Recently an article entitled “Sorry Asians, my Blackness is Not your Counterculture,” began making the rounds on the interwebz and social media that drew much attention from all people of color and hip-hop heads alike.

If you haven’t read it, basically the author, Nia Tucker, strongly argues that Asian Americans are unforgivably the newest culprits in a long line of cultural appropriators benefitting off hip-hop culture. What’s more, she claims that not only are Asians appropriating said culture, but doing so while not giving any proper credit to its roots in the Black community. The author states:

“I’d love to sit here and say, “yeah, rap and hip-hop is for everyone,”  but. It isn’t as simple as that.”

However she forgets to mention that although she believes hip-hop and rap isn’t for everyone, apparently a blatant lack of self awareness and hypocrisy is. Hip-hopcrisy is you will, and it’s as simple as that.

Now all terrible puns aside, it’s startling not just because of the inflammatory accusations she is making at one specific group of people, but that she does so with such vitriol and hypocrisy. It would be almost ironically comical if it were not so tragically misguided. I mean for God’s sake she had her article published on NEXTSHARK,  an online publication created by Asians and targeted toward Asians. It’s the Asian FUBU of viral articles!

If ever a confused Jackie Chan was needed.. it’s NOW!

It is her opinion that:

 “I have no problem with other POC taking part in hip-hop and Black culture and being able to relate to the stories in the music, but the issue comes in when the culture becomes your counterculture, and is what allows you to defy whatever constrictions you feel by your own personal ethnic identity.”

Yet apparently sees no issue with groups like the Wu-Tang Clan and their many members who have unabashedly appropriated and profiteered off Asian culture throughout entire decade spanning careers. And we are not just talking about using clever lyrical allusions or re-purposing racial slurs to do so. The same tactics Nia Tucker accused the recent rise of Rich Chigga of doing. No. We are talking about straight up taking personas from Chinese culture, martial arts, religions, and a myriad of intellectual property without giving any credit to the originators. Not to mention the undoubtedly numerous cases of copyright infringement off Hong Kong based studios that produced characters like Ghostface Killah, Master Killah, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard just to name a few.

I want to give RZA the benefit of the doubt, and maybe he is just having trouble seeing but…..

And let’s not get it twisted, I love the Wu Tang Clan and trust me they ain’t nothing to fuck with, but when Nia Tucker goes on to say things such as this:

“I hope for more inclusion and participation of Asians and Asian-Americans in American media. But, when credit is meant to be given, and Asians are given fame and money for a culture that isn’t theirs, and when we as their fellow POC are left in the dust still fighting for their rights and end of the appropriation of their culture along with ours, it feels like we’ve drawn the short end of the stick.”

To be fair, she makes valid points, and many POC including Asians feel this way not just in hip-hop, but society as a whole, how do we fix this by furthering our divide through scapegoating Asians as the problem?

It’s hard to take her argument seriously as anything but misguided and hypocritical when she is overlooking the entire C.R.E.A.M. mantra of the RZA, The GZA, ODB and the Ghost Face Killah when it comes to taking Asian culture with no credit given to the originators. And that’s just the Wu-Tang Clan! Hell an entire thesis could be written on Black Hip-Hop culture appropriating Asian culture from The Last Dragon to Kendrick Lamar’s Kung Fu Kenny!

Because as we all know nothing represents the Black Hip-Hop community than brandishing katanas.

Yep, no one has benefited monetarily by appropriating Asian culture in Hip-Hop apparently..

Damn indeed.

You could even do so without mentioning other hip-hop groups like 2 Live Crew, which I might add had an often un-credited Asian member, Lil’ Kim, Sisqo, hell even Rihanna and that God awful Princes of China song which mindbogglingly took every Asian trope in the book and even used Yellowface! But yea that’s cool Nia, none of that happened apparently. And in Ri Ri’s defense that might have also been Chris Martin’s idea. Jury is still out on that.

Even Rihanna in Yellowface is throwing you some shade at you and your comments Nia..

Point is if you want to pose the question like Nia did in her article:

I just need to know, where is the line drawn when a love for hip-hop becomes a misuse and appropriation of Black culture, and the Black people behind the culture become forgotten? And when will non-Black POC realize our culture is not up for commodification and you don’t get a pass?

My guess would be probably around the time you realize that your thinly veiled racism, lack of knowledge, and hypocrisy in blaming Asians and Asian Americans for embracing hip-hop as a form of appropriation makes no sense. For fuck’s sake, even the people you are accusing and those that I am as well, Rich Chigga and the Wu-Tang Clan respectively, have worked together with no problem. If GhostFace Killah can give props and respect to Rich Chigga and vice versa why can’t you?

Oh I forgot it’s because you make statements like this:

“I’m just going to start by saying solidarity across all POC is a ridiculous concept, especially as a Black person. The racial hierarchy does exist, and with a history of erased, unwritten and stolen culture, Black people are at the bottom.”

And I’ll just end by saying this hierarchy will continue to exist when authors like you write articles without doing their proper research. It will continue to exist when you don’t see the hypocrisy of blaming others for anti-Blackness in our society when you are basically heralding anti-Asian sentiments. You are just perpetuating racial divide, infighting and that very hierarchy you are speaking of. When instead you could be embracing the fact that the Asian community and Black community have worked as allies in the fight for equality and should not be positioned as enemies. Especially within our own communities.

Also moments before the first multiracial Maypole Dance was held.

Forget hip-hop, and remember that the Black Panthers drew from Chairman Maos’ Red Guard and even Malcolm X had a trusted Japanese ally Yuri Kochiyama. You know the one that cradled him in his arms while he died fighting for POC’ freedom? Hip-hop is everyone’s counterculture, just like Asian culture was for Black counterculture.

One thing is for sure, Black or Asian, we both can rock the hell out of a beret.

Never Forget.

Written by SheuManChu