Hoa Bin Plaza – Wednesday July 24th 2019

It was tough to get out of bed, Wednesday July 24th at 9AM and even anxiety-inducing to mentally prepare for the many possibilities that come along with socializing but also publicly advocating for a cause. I’m so glad that I was not alone in these tense feelings as an organizer confessed to me. More importantly though, during and after the rally my joy from our collective organizing far exceeded that doubt and difficulty I faced to align myself with my fellow people in Center City, Philadelphia.

For those that aren’t aware of the situation that requires our collective work this explanation is for you. For months, local organizations in the surrounding area (Philly, New Jersey) have planned and fought for the continuation of local Southeast Asian businesses. However, the external forces of gentrification in South Philly are also fixed to displace immigrant and refugee residents alike in areas that they have lived in for generations. The same areas that have previously been deemed undesirable, a common description of places regionally that are being targeted for gentrification or “development”. Kensington is an example of such a place; tri-state area residents may be familiar with this part of the city and the negative reputation it receives. Now, plans are being proposed to destroy Hoa Bin Plaza, located at 1601 Washington Ave in Philadelphia, and construct condominiums and single family homes that will most certainly displace residents and their vital businesses. That is a rough overview of the prior events.

 

Here is a summary of the day’s events:

#1 Speakers consisting of the local business owners and Philly leaders (I was not able to make it in time for this portion)

#2 Time spent outside 1515 Arch Street to explain the court proceedings and session from Skyline

#3 Filing into the building (There was only room for a select few in the room. Most of the rally participants were in the lobby holding signs and conversing about the events and how to handle the wait time)

#4 Local business speakers

#5 Food! (The food was so good! I remember having a bowl of cooked rice, egg, and some green vegetables. I was grateful because I didn’t eat beforehand. I honestly saw that cooking as a revolutionary act. For the business owners to have prepped such delicious food for people they hadn’t even met may seem small but struck me as radical.)

 

The heart of the protest honestly touched me on an unexpected level. Maybe how I felt as we chanted, organized, and came together could be compared to a fan attending a sporting event and they see their fellow fans as deeply connected. However, even as a sports fan I can’t say I ever felt this way cheering for a group of athletes that have no interest in my community. This day and this event was different because I truly believed I came in contact with the heart of many people on behalf of the plaza and Southeast Asian residents and Asian-Americans.

Rhythms led by Viet Lead were plentiful that day and they certainly had a positive emotional and mental impact on the Hoa Bin Plaza supporters. “Development without Displacement! Development without Displacement! Everywhere we go, people wanna know! Who we are, so we tell them! We are the people! The mighty mighty people!” Indeed, the mighty, mighty people we are. It was through our collective patience, self-control, and agreeability that our strength as a unit was really put on display. The age range varied greatly in the crowd that day and I believe all of these accolades are a testament to the work of the organizers who were able to involve, educate, and inform those from their own communities. Anything good I can say about that day was thanks to their efforts beforehand and behind the scenes.

There are a few words I want to share before I close.

What I’m grateful for is the people that have organized now and in the past. What I hope for in the future is even greater accessibility for those like myself with a variety of  handicaps and disabilities such as ASL translation and ramps for those needing wheelchairs. I think this is a good time to thank those that did translate the words of some of the foreign language speakers into English. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who greatly appreciated this!

One of the organizers had a great phrase that I found ended that day’s events so succinctly. “The next time we show up, we’ll have twice as many people here.” I found this quote necessary because it captured the need for more support, our potential understanding and solidarity, and the hope that lies within us all. In addition to that sentiment, I want to have the organized investors from Skyline convinced of the intrinsic value of the plaza.

Please follow this ongoing event by connecting with these organizations:

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Home

18MillionRising

https://18millionrising.org/

Asian Americans United

Asian Americans United

Viet Lead

Home

RAAWC – Radical Asian American Womxn’s Collective

https://www.instagram.com/raawc/           https://www.facebook.com/RAAWCPhilly/

Please let me know if I left out any organizations and if you can help with the sources for quotes. Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and share.

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IGOR Album Review

Tyler, The Creator has a brand new album y’all !

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To the best of my ability I want to be able to present an unbiased, untouched, and unique review. I really would love to do background research on the album and share that here in the review but I’m too scared I’ll stumble upon spoilers.

In trying out new methods I will do my best to sum up each song in one sentence if possible. I’ve noticed that in my writing process once I get started I have a hard time stopping and being concise. So as a challenge I’ll stick with the singular sentence format.

A little more prefacing this review! My favorite ways to enjoy fresh albums are A) listening parties B) reviewing the music as I experience it for the first time.

So this is more of a joy to do than work for me. I hope y’all enjoy this anywhere close to how much I will.

 

Review:

Day 1

IGOR’S THEME

Track 1 Review:

Dark, dark is the first descriptor I would use to describe this track and now fun.

Sidenote: Oooo I can’t wait too hear the next track, it definitely has me on my toes with a mix of fear and excitement!

EARFQUAKE

Track 2: Wow the first note that hit was funky, so much yes so quickly and these synths are giving me the perfume of summer love.

Sidenote: This one sentence review is really tough lol! I want to give more thoughts, definitely more than just one haha.

I THINK

Track 3: Building on that theme of new age funk like The Internet the album seems to be morphing into the perfect companion for evening summer festival shows.

Sidenote: I have had this song on repeat about five times and I think I found that one track. Every album I try to review sends me a song that I get “stuck” on. I expect this song to be one that I always come back to after listening to this album once through.

EXACTLY WHAT YOU RUN FROM YOU END UP CHASING

Track 4: I listened to a small slice of Flower Boy earlier today in preparation for this review and heard one of his skits, these Tyler skits are a surprising joy.

Sidenote: Someone do some psychological research on the concept behind this track! I’ve heard this idea before. Maybe there’s a psychological reason for that phenomenon.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Track 5: This is the first track I didn’t enjoy overall, the break down at 1:30 on is when I like the song though, I guess I find it annoying in its pitch, no album is perfect!

Sidenote: I can’t recall an album that I’ve loved every song end to end. That’s a musical Liger to me, as in it only exists in fantasy or rather theory for that matter. But, it’s an unfair expectation because wouldn’t that be perfection? Perfection isn’t really a concept I cosign on for humans so, it is what it is.

NEW MAGIC WAND

Track 6: Old Tyler, The Creator potentially, hmm, but also a great raging anthem so far!

Sidenote: This is definitely another highly repeatable tracks. Good job to Tyler’s team on this joint.

A BOY IS A GUN*

Track 7: Yes, with an exclamation point, oh damn the sample in this one is a good look, number 7 honestly sounds, in one word tasty!

Sidenote: This got me me knocking my head real hard and grinning.

PUPPET

Track 8:  Well, these lyrics are so sweet; much need and much want.

WHAT’S GOOD

Track 9: The mosaic of sounds is nice but overall this song is pale to some other tracks on the album, fair enough.

GONE, GONE/THANK YOU

Track 10: If this is a song dedicated to Jaden then I need two tickets aboard wherever this train is going.

Sidenote: I found a loophole and I get an extra sentence since there’s technically two songs on this track 😀

/THANK YOU

Just when I thought this track couldn’t get any sicker, I kept listening to these bass lines and hits.

I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE

Track 11: Perfect music to play as you formulate the conclusion to this album review, take it as you want.

ARE WE STILL FRIENDS

Track 12: It took me a while to get the string leading through the middle of this album, there’s a linear progression of relationships in the song’s titles and tracks and for that I love it Tyler and crew, thank you.

 

In Conclusion,

I’m debating if how I want to quantify the overall album review.

Should I sum it up in one sentence, again?

Or should I put the conclusion in twelve sentences to match the tracks?

Since this piece is best summed up as a mosaic that would be a con of the singular sentence approach.

However, on the flip side a pro would be the challenge of trying to once again stuff one sentence with the emotional connection of a thousand suns into a handful of words.

This is a pro because it challenges the reviewing  and writing content to level up.

Good art should challenge its consumers, although consumer doesn’t really capture how art is enjoyed.

After all the connotation of a consumer doesn’t account for what fans contribute in the form of support and feedback.

I try not to worry about what critics say too much or about album streams/sales especially since a lot of the albums I enjoy don’t reach the upper echelon of that criteria.

If one of my albums does fit that mold, wink Astroworld wink, I’m usually shocked and then rapidly disappointed which songs gets popular in the radio.

But what can you do in an industry as complex and involved as the modern music industry?

I say all of that in order to say that I think this album is a master piece and I hope I feel the same as time passes.

 

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Are Marvel Heroes for Everybody?

I get it. Hero movies are “nonsense”, right? Just for kids? I disagree, literally every person growing up looks up to someone, whether fictional or real.

My main point: I was watching some Marvel movies last night. Suddenly I started reflecting. Wait how many of these movies are focused exclusively on straight White men? About 99.9%. These are globally successful franchises and infiltrate many media and casual aspects of your children and our lives. Why? Are the only people that have the ability to inspire and save straight white Men? 🤷🏾‍♂️ Just thinking out loud here.

A semi related article link from the screen grab: https://www.theroot.com/spider-man-homecoming-diversity-push-makes-no-spidey-s-1796704406

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Is Freddie Gibbs’ Music For Me? – Part One

For the past couple weeks I have been checking out music through a new medium. That’s not really the focus of this post though.

 

What’s important is that I finally check out Freddie Gibbs’ music. More of ten than not I unconsciously avoid listening to artists. Some of those reasons include but are not limited t: A) I don’t want to be told about new artists  B) I have no space left in my intimate memory of artists C) Personal recommendations taint my experience as an innocent new listener

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Artistically, in Freddie’s case I wasn’t seeking out artists from the rap genre. The more I’ve studied texts that relate to the struggles and ignored requests of women I’ve become less interested in rap. I’ll see if I can circle back and give you some notes and sources on those texts by women. A non women source is the ‘Grow The Heck Up’ platforms. Highly recommend for good discussion, although like all good content creators and discussion leaders I don’t agree with everything said. (Not sure it’s possible or healthy to agree with everything some one says / puts out).  It’s kind of a bad genre a lot of times unfortunately content and perspective wise. Very hateful and not careful with the violence it haphazardly handles in its lyrics and visual aspects.

Anyways, back to the point. Freddie Gibbs right? I don’t share some of those inner thoughts often so I believed it might be a rare treat for readers.

I came to know of Freddie’s art when Logic and him apparently had issues figuring out Logic’s album cover was stolen from Gibbs. Personally, I didn’t really have any interest invested in that discussion or battle.  That happened about a year or two now that I remember my Logic ‘Everybody’ album review [Part 1] & [Part 2].

I’m thinking about doing a Tweet review of this album. I do have some other albums lined up to be reviewed before this album technically, but this artist has been on my list to at least check out at the minimum.

 

Some upcoming projects
Lost & Found – Jorja Smith
K.T.S.E – Teyana Taylor
4:44 – Jay-Z
EVERYTHING IS LOVE – The Carters
Black Thought – Streams of Thought
#1HappyHoliday – D.R.A.M.

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iMade a Summer 2018 Playlist [NSFW]

Hey there folks.

Long time no read.

Since I’m basic I made a hip-hop playlist for the summer on Tidal.

I don’t think any of these songs are new per se, but I like cracking open old songs and rehashing them. After all good music doesn’t get stale it just ages.

Oh, by the way it’s meant to be chopped and stirred in the sense that certain songs don’t need to be played completely. To be more akin to an actual Disc Jockey and not just a passive radio playlist :]

https://tidal.com/playlist/f790a4fd-269a-4283-ae0d-af56a5878966

BUT,

Just in case you don’t have Tidal I’ll  post a Spotify playlist link.

Plus, since I love y’all I’ll even post the songs from the playlist so you can do your thing on other platforms.

Don’t say I never did anything for y’all 😉

Signed,

Sincerely

Song List:

Summertime Playlist! [NSFW]

The Check Point – Wiz & Curr [How Fly]

Speedboat [Stoned On Ocean] – Curren$y feat. Wiz Kha

Higher [Stoned On Ocean] – Curren$y feat. Sheek Louch
Ink My Whole Body [Star Power] – Wiz Khalifa

Let It Rain – Action Bronson

Terry – Action Bronson

Actin Crazy – Action Bronson

La Luna – Action Bronson

The Passage – Action Bronson

Easy Rider – Action Bronson

Intro feat. Big Body Bes [Blue Chips I] – Action Bronson

The Rising – Action Bronson

One More Time – Daft Punk

Practice – Action Bronson

Reminder – Action Bronson

Reminder – The Weeknd

Brand New Car – Action Bronson

Reminder (RMX) – Young Thug, The Weeknd

CHA CHA – D.R.A.M

pick up the phone – Young Thug, Travis Scott

Wyclef Jean – Young Thug

Sacrifices – Drake, 2 Chainz, Young Thug

Unforgettable – French Montana, Swae Lee

Patek Water – Future, Young Thug, Offset

Killed Before – Young Thug

Drip on Me – Future, Young Thug

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