Underappreciated Musician of Color #8: Jin
I had a bizarre moment today while watching TV. I was flipping through the channels and I came across MTV. On the tube was something I had never seen before - an Asian guy.Gawd, he's sexy. *squeals like a little girl on Christmas morning*
It wasn't the revelation of seeing an Asian man on TV (as rare as that may be), it was the context. He wasn't rattling on in really bad English (as I saw last night on The Practice); in fact, it was basically the opposite in dimension and delivery. He was rapping.
And he wasn't just rapping...He was serious. Brief research shows that he was signed to Ruff Ryders after he made a name for himself on a seven-week long freestyle battle competition on BET. Wyclef was by his side to throw in a few verses. And there were voluptuous black women that were caressing his body like they meant it.
Somewhere my cousin is reading this post and laughing his ass off. He introduced me to Jin years ago when this suave, sexy, improvisational genius appeared on 106th & Park and lasted week after week after week.
I'll be honest...when I started adding guys to this feature, I tried to see how long I could hold out on adding Mr. Thang right hyah. Whether it's tha MC, or Jin the MC, or MC Jin...he'll always be Jin, feel me?
Born Jin Au-Yeung in Miami, Florida, he's the first Asian solo rapper to ever land a major record deal. Did he become a filthy rich commercial loser? Nope. And that's good. A seasoned battle artist, Jin's lyrics are witty, socially, and even politically conscious (within 24 hours of the Virginia Tech Massacre he wrote and recorded a tribute song to the victims)...so there's really no place for him a world of rims, hoes, and Cristal.
Fluent in English and Cantonese (and having already released an all-Cantonese album), Jin now resides in Hong Kong full-time, where he is obviously comfy.
(Neck tattoo alert!!!! *squeal*)