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I'm a pop music writer for the San Jose Mercury News. I cover pop, hip hop, punk, rock, dance, and ethnic - well, basically everything you can dance to.

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  • Wednesday, January 26, 2005

    Hot 97 defaming Asians with a tsunami song

    It has been great to see the world doing so much to help Tsunami victims. But, even with all the good, the bad seems to find a way of rearing its ugly head.

    Last week, New York hip-hop station Hot 97 aired an inflammatory tsunami song, poking fun at Asians.

    The song was made to the melody of "We are the World" and contained lyrics with derogatory words and depictions of Asian (though the song ignorantly assumed that all the Asians are Chinese).

    Here's a sample: "..All at once you could hear the screaming (expletive toward Chinese) and no one was safe from the wave there were Africans drowning, little (expletive toward Chinese) swept away you could hear god laughing, "swim you (expletive) swim" Click here to see the uncensored lyrics.

    The station owned by Emmis Communications has since posted an apology on their website and said the morning team who aired the song, has also been indefinitely suspended.

    This is not the first time the morning team's host, Miss Jones, has made defaming comments toward Asians. After the board game Ghettopoly, which was created by David Chang, she suggested a Chinese version with a derogatory name. Leaders of some Asian American groups denounced the game and what it stood for.

    In response to the tsunami song, Chinese American rapper Jin, fired a response with lines like "Thousands are still getting discovered each day/ how dare you compare a life to a week's pay" and is rapped to the melody of Jay-Z's "Breathe Easy." Click here to hear the song and here to see its lyrics.

    In other tsunami news --

    In Australia, a youth radio station called Triple-J, had a different reaction to their country giving tsunami aid, saying that it shouldn't take a tsunami to trigger help.

    Finally, Michael Savage, who when SARS hit, linked it to the demise of Asians, goes off about the tsunami not being a tragedy.


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