Jin talks about "Learn Chinese" Single

Discussion in 'Battle Video Archives' started by Alfie213, Jan 23, 2004.

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  1. Alfie213

    Alfie213 The Alfamale

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    Over 2 years have passed since Jin's lyrical carnage on 106 & Park's Freestyle Fridays. Taking a break during a studio session, Jin spoke to ••••••••• on the "Learn Chinese" backlash, Asian rappers and the "N" word.

    While Jin was inducted into the Freestyle Fridays' Hall Of Fame, running through opponents with lines like, "the last time you had a fan / it was spinning off the ceiling," the emcee's superior improvisational skills have been overshadowed by his Chinese descent. Towards the end of last year, Jin premiered his debut single and video -- the Wyclef Jean produced "Learn Chinese." (Real Audio) The release has garnered radio play, but a lukewarm response from Jin's followers.

    "For the most part it's been mixed reviews. It served its purpose. It's getting its spins across the country."

    And Jin challenges critics who purport he is using his Asian heritage in the song as a gimmick.

    "Clef and Pras are Haitian. But nobody ever said anything and said it was a gimmick. Pun had a song called "100 Percent." And they're looking at it like, he's reppin for his heritage, not like he's using the fact that he's a Spanish guy. It's a double edge sword because if I don't acknowledge it they'll say I'm not in touch with my culture, but if I do or overdo it then I'm using it as a gimmick."

    Critics have also knocked Wyclef for his production on "Learn Chinese," saying the Haitian sensation simply produced an uninspired loop of Das Efx's "They Want Efx."

    "That's actually a James Brown sample," the sympathetic emcee said about the instrumental. "We were looking for a first record. And Clef was like, 'where do you want to go?' He was like basically any newspaper you pick up, the headlines will read 'Asian invasion in Hip-Hop' or 'first Asian rapper' so Clef was like, 'hit them in the head with it.' 'Learn Chinese.'"

    And Jin clears the air regarding labels that say he's "the first Asian" rapper, a ludicrous statement considering his predecessors, The Mountain Brothers and Lyrics Born.

    "I was a big fan of the Mountain Brothers and I supported everything they did. But you have individuals that put me in a category as a Chinese or Asian rapper. They also might have said it because there hasn't been one too prominent," Jin revealed, acknowledging he's not the first Asian rapper.

    Like it or not, Jin's album is ready to drop. And though he recorded countless songs for his debut, "When Did," a controversial track in which he discusses the "N" word, isn't likely to make the cut.

    "That's still in the air. It's a touchy subject. The debate was do we want this for the first album and is it something you wanna do. The concept is basically -- when did it become cool to use it?" Jin explained. "You got people saying, 'I can say it because I came from this background, but you can't say it.' Everybody has different views. Personally I don't use it. I say we just don't say it, all of us. Either that or don't get mad when somebody says it."

    Jin's The Rest Is History featuring production from Kanye West, Wyclef Jean and Swiss Beatz hits stores on March 23.
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