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▶ Awkwafina "NYC Bitche$"

Source: YouTube Video

Stashed in: Young Americans, China!, Korea, Hip Hop, Awesome, New York, Music Videos!, Music, Favorites, When Hip Hop Collides

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So many elements in one production. 

What kind of elements?

I grew up back East. This video, the entertainer, the coolness of it all would not have existed when I was growing up there.  It's interesting that she is a Korean/Chinese woman who raps about NYC, in an authentic and entertaining way. Plus the hip look of the video was just considered nerdy when I was a kid. Those glasses. It's like she was born exactly at the right time for all the elements to come together!

I do love those glasses of hers.

awkwafina glasses

awkwafina glasses

Thank you for providing context. She sounds fascinating, frankly.

If she's rapping about NYC does that mean she is American now?

Where in the East did you grow up?

She grew up in NYC. I grew up in Rhode Island/Massachusetts. So actually, I don't relate to the NYC hype (at all) but it's still neat to watch her performance. 

As a cultural phenomenon, she would have been hard to predict. That she's popular and has fans reflects more accepting social attitudes, which is awesome.  Back when I lived there, I pretty much had zero role models in popular music, let alone rap.   (And just as in rap, some of the lyrics make me cringe but . . . you know, it's dorky to admit that.) (Uh oh. Wait.  Not again . . ..)

Actually except for K-POP I have trouble naming a Korean artist.

I am talking about Asian Americans. There are a lot of others around, many that you do know. KRNFx is a beat boxer from Canada. Dumbfoundead is from LA. In more popular bands: Linkin Park (Mike Shinoda, Joe Hahn), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Karen Oh), Hoobastank (Doug Robb is half Japanese), Smashing Pumpkins (James Iha), DJ Steve Aoki, etc.

Part of the reason I am impressed by this rapper's performance is based on the fact that she is accepted as an American and not a foreigner/immigrant/whatever. Rap has its roots in the US (NYC especially) and requires that the audience buy into the performer's authenticity so the convergence of all the social factors that had to have taken place to have produced this performer is impressive.

I could write a paper on this. Whether or not I like the music, its existence is culturally, historically and socially remarkable. But since I'm out of school, I just enjoy the phenomenon!

A shorter clip, with fewer NYC specific references.