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Afro-Asian Rhythms and Rhymes

Afro-Asian Rhythms and Rhymes

The Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Lyricists of I Was Born with Two Tongues and the Mountain Brothers

(p.115) 4. Afro-Asian Rhythms and Rhymes
East Meets Black
Chong Chon-Smith
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter addresses the conductive intersection of live performance by Asian American men in hip-hop music and spoken word and links the possibilities of Asian-Black cultural fusions and internet productions as their main medium of communication. It calls attention to the role of public intellectuals, such as Denizen Kane of I Was Born with Two Tongues, and the role of art, activism, and culture intertwined with Asian American cultural production and Black musical expressions. The Mountain Brothers offer a different perspective on Asian-Black connections in hip-hop because they are an Asian American group signed by street credible Ruff House Records. Significantly, this chapter focuses on little understood, yet highly significant cultural practices taking place in Asian American communities, especially youth and internet cultures. All together, it emphasizes the Asian-Black interface of spoken word and hip-hop as an avant-garde revolutionary practice, as the practitioners claim, one that disrupts the constancy of racial magnetism in matters of social policy and public discourse.

Keywords:   I Was Born With Two Tongues, Dennis Kim/Denizen Kane, Mountain Brothers, Asian American hip-hop, Asian American spoken word

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