Wednesday, 2 February 2005

Fuck Who?

This arrived in my inbox from a journalist/friend based in New York, Aiko. It might not be grime, but it's grimey... and worth a good read.

"You know I don't do mass e-mailing much, especially not with a political content. But allow me this one opportunity, because not enough is being done with something that's seriously disturbed many people like me: a hip-hop head. a NY kid. an Asian. and more importantly, a global resident.

IF YOU FIT IN ONE OR MORE OF THE CATEGORIES ABOVE, you need to check this. If you believe in god(s) of any
kind, or love the song "We're the World" then also, you want to know this. But, FIRST, please read this excerpt below and decide if you want to read the rest:

"...All at once you could hear the screaming Chinks and no one was safe from the wave...there were Africans
drowning, little Chinamen swept away / you could hear God laughing, "Swim, you bitches, swim"
So now you're screwed, it's the Tsunami / you better run or kiss your ass away, go find your mommy / I just saw
her float by, a tree went through her head / and now you children will be sold to child slavery..."

Now, if you had any reaction, please read on. If you don't think anything of it, thanks for reading. Please feel
free to back to your business. But if it had any impact on you at all, please, I'm personally asking you, to take time and read this whole thing.

As many of you may know, that excerpt was from the "Tsunami Song" performed by Ms. Jones & Todd Lynn,
hosts of Hot 97's Morning Show. (Here's the link to the audio clip:
missjones/extendedtsunami.mp3 )

Those of you who are in New York may have already heard enough about it, but I need you, then, to spread the
word out to the folks outside the city. This is about more than the city. It's about hip-hop. It's about the media
and its appalling power. It's about that good ole topic of ours: RACISM and IGNORANCE.

When the scandal that the said hosts aired a Tsunami parody song, the fact that the song included such racial
slurs didn't reach many people. The fact that it was so graphic and that it suggested that a god would utter a
curse didn't reach many people. THIS IS WHY I'M SENDING THIS OUT.

Though the song was aired not just once but over a few days in a row, and naturally the concerned folks started
jumping on it, not many hip-hop sites dug deeply into this premium news, probably, out of fear of interfarence
with future business dealings.

I'll leave it up to Jay Smooth's site (, Okayplayer (,
and Asian Media Watchdog ( to detail the whole story. But let me just throw out my thoughts and summerize the main problems this incident posed:

- Isn't it SO DISRESPECTFUL that they used "We're the World" as the base song for the parody?
- Since when did "CHINK" become an acceptable word for anyone --especially non-Asian people -- to use so
liberally? I'm Asian, and I don't even use that, for I'm Japanese I might use "JAP" but never that one.
- And that was ON AIR!!! Do words like "NIGGER/NIGGA", "SPIC", ever go broadcast without getting bleeped on a
- Yes, people, that's right, remember, this was a PRE-RECORDED SONG. So, why didn't anyone review the
content? Hello? Is censorship still active?
- According to Ms. Jones and Todd Lynn, God would laugh at the disaster and say to victims, "Swim, you
bitches, swim". Apparently I don't share the same god with them.
- After the first airing of the song, IT TOOK AT LEAST 3 DAYS for Hot 97 to give an apology ONLINE: "HOT97
regrets the airing of material that made light of a serious and tragic event. We apologize to our listeners and
anyone who was offended."
97 to "suspend" the show "indefinitely."
- Not to mention, it personally offends me that Hot 97 and its parent company have yet to let go of Ms. Jones. Is
making fun of Asian people and the disaster victims that light of an issue? Would it have been different, if it
were about black people or white people in tragedy?
- Now, what does the "suspension" mean? It means the hosts are still active members of Hot 97 and its parent
company, and the show might as well resume as soon as people stop talking about it.
- Before the suspension, the company offered that one week's salary for Ms. Jones would be donated to a
tsunami relief charity. I don't know what figure she makes, but I know she's not in Fortune 100, so it's not that
- PLUS, sending money to charity as a form of punishment? Ummm... doesn't that just sound funny...?
- And all this happened at a radio station that claim's to be "the Official #1 Station for Hip-Hop and R&B". Now,
that's dissing music already.
- And all this happened at a New York City station out of all places in the world!

Alright, though I have a lot more thoughts, I'ma stop here. But please, do forward this e-mail to people in your address book, esp. outside New York. Spread the word out. Think about what hip-hop means. Think about what New York means. Think about what media do (or more like, don't do). Think about the power relationship of today's racial structure that some seem to belive in.


THE END... or is it?

1 comment:

Frantz said...

deplorable. just deplorable. anothe reason to hate that station.