Asian MCs Have A Tougher Road In Rap. This Documentary Shows Why (Video)
Hip-Hop has long been considered a cultural melting pot. While the culture was established by Black and Latino men and women in 1970s New York, it has since grown to include nearly every racial, socioeconomic, age, and religious background across the globe.
A new full-length documentary film, currently screening at Tribeca Film Festival, examines Asian American MCs. Bad Rap is directed by Salima Koroma, and produced by Jaeki Cho—both veteran music and lifestyle journalists and filmmakers. The documentary follows four professional rappers: Dumbfoundead, Awkwafina, Rekstizzy, and Lyricks. It chronicles their experience in the industry, and Hip-Hop culture. With the tagline, “you won’t hear us on the radio,” the film delves into whether Asian MCs face a tougher road than that of other races, based on cultural expectations, stereotypes, and other outside forces.
In the trailer, the MCs explain their struggles, innovations, and varying views on how they are received. Commentary is made by Drake, who praises Dumbfounded. Jin, a former Ruff Ryders/Virgin Records artist and respected battle MC appears, as does HOT 97/Beats 1 personality, host and program director, Ebro Darden.
Notably, Awkwafina, in addition to a prominent DIY music career, has been featured on MTV’s Girl Code and the 2016 film, Neighbors 2. Dumbfounded is a veteran MC and member of Project Blowed affiliated group Thirsty Fish. The Los Angeles, California representing MC has worked with Anderson .Paak, Abstract Rude, and Rakaa.