By Mimi Chen, AsAmNews Music Correspondent
While 2021 is the year where the pandemic slowly releases Americans from its grasp, it is also clear, it’s the year the pandemic unleashed harassment and hate crimes against the Asian community. With the uptick in Asian hate breaking into mainstream awareness. there is a noticeable increase in the number of Asian artists releasing songs that profile their treatment in today’s society.
The Joy Ruckus Club, known as the largest Asian music festival in the world, has released the I Hate Being Hated group song which seeks to bring awareness to anti-Asian hate. The mammoth song that clocks over a lengthy 13 minutes long features 14 vocalists who performed at Joy Ruckus Club festivals, The artists on I Hate Being Hated include Heesun Lee (Staten Island, NY), May Cheung (Vancouver, BC), Pattie Lin (Los Angeles), Ashya (Los Angeles), Geoff Ong (Auckland, New Zealand), Koryo (College Station, TX), Sawhee (San Francisco), V8Muzik (Stockton, CA), Tealousy (Bay Area, CA), Saenabi (Peoria, IL), Hunter Dane (San Bruno, CA), Poet Initiative (London, England), C-Tru (Los Angeles), and Chow Mane (San Jose, CA).
The song was produced by Philadelphia-based Ben Other and entertains as much as it educates with all the various vocalists and styles.
Saenabi, for instance, sings about “Feelings of hopelessness, fear of a stranger who looks at my face and sees only danger, not a human, a disease,” details the prejudice endured by Asians in today’s society in the wake of the pandemic.
With a spoken word verse, Chow Mane puts the current wave of anti-Asian hate in historical context: “Bombed our countries, raped the women, and murdered our babies, you remember My Lai or No Gun Ri, when the US army used to kill our chinks, today the same sh*t, more sinister, less overt.”
Geoff Ong’s verse shows that even in other countries such as New Zealand, Asians are experiencing the same things: “How does it feel to be a hated race, sometimes I’m like at least they said it to my face.” Not all is despair as Ashya sings of keeping one’s head high in spite of the hate, “So love yourself, there’s no one like you, one of a kind.”
Meanwhile, artist Jake $ing (Sing) is releasing a new single/music video called FreshOff the Boat, set for release July 9th.* The bold #StopAsianHate anthem invites anyone who’s ever felt different, bullied, or ashamed of where they come from to reclaim their own power, heritage, and unique identity.
States $ing, “This song is about representation, open-mindedness, and just being kind to each other, not being ashamed of where you are from and not apologizing for being who you are. Our differences don’t need to divide us,” he notes.
$ing continues, “this song is for anyone who’s ever felt they needed to hide where they came from and change themselves to fit in or have been told they’re not ‘real Americans.”
$ing sums up what the majority of these artists say as he proudly declares, “I’m Asian but I’m as American as it gets.”
Other Asian artists such as B Phong with his song Love will Stay, along with The Hotel Lobby’s tune Tonight and rapper Jason Chu have also previously released songs in response to #StopAsianHate. It’s certain these kinds of songs won’t be the last we see this year.
Here are links to the two songs:
I Hate Being Hated
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