Monday, April 27, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Speaking today @ conference on Chinese-African Relations

In other news, apart from the Living Water Spring jam going down tonight, I will also be speaking at a short panel discussion on hip-hop in China, as part of the Youth Forum on China-Africa Relations (YFOCAR) conference going down this weekend. I'll be discussing my background in hip-hop, experiences with my crew in China, and hopefully uncovering socioeconomic parallels between the adoption & flourishing of hip-hop in China and Africa.

More importantly, this marks the first time that I have ever been on a website as a "confirmed speaker". Pretty sure that I am both the least educated as well as, simultaneously, the least experienced on the list.

4:30-6:00 pm

Informal Discussion: Sino-African Parallels, Hip Hop in Africa and China
Mohammad Yunus Rafiq
Jason Chu

Branford College Common Room

The man with whom I'm sharing speaking time co-founded a Peace Village. For comparison's sake, let me remind you: I co-founded a rap crew.

Out of my league? Nah, right.

Dirty Paco, Slim Paul, Zhang Yi, Beibei... this one's for yall. 代表街头文化.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A mid-morning antiphon

Hello hello
We're at a place called Vertigo
Lights go down and all I know
Is that you give me something

I can feel your love teaching me how
Your love is teaching me how,
how to kneel.

Bono: ''Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff''.

Assayas: ''I'd be interested to hear that''.

Bono: ''That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep shit. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace.

"I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity''.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Racism = alive and well

(image by the talented Gene Yang)

"This past Monday, on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration, I discovered that the casting of the four leading characters for the upcoming live-action movie, "The Last Airbender" (based on the TV show, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”) had gone entirely to white actors. I want—no, need—to say something about this." - Derek Kim, New Day in Politics, Same Old Racist World on the Silver Screen

"intentionally or not, they are adding another chapter to Hollywood’s long, sordid history of Yellowface. By giving white actors roles that are so obviously Asian - and by stating from the get-go their preference for Caucasians - they tell Asian-Americans that who we are and how we look make us inherently inadequate for American audiences, even in a movie that celebrates our culture. Like the schoolboy who pulls up the corners of his eyes at his "Oriental" classmate, they highlight our otherness." - Gene Luen Yang, The Last Airbender Casting Controversy

""What frustrates us most is that you had this amazing opportunity -- you've got a nation of fans who love this quintessentially Asian story," says Kim. "This could have broken down every barrier in the business, proving you can have an all-Asian cast and score three blockbuster successes. Instead, we just get three more chances to cringe."" - Jeff Yang, Bent Out of Shape

To get involved or read more about the organizing going on around this issue, visit Saving the World with Postage or, where the letter-writing and protest campaigns are centered.