When They Hear Us

When They Hear Us is a CD archive of prominent Asian music artists in the American hip-hop industry. Each CD in the collection is a curated mixtape, highlighting the works of a specific artist. The music, images, biographies, and interviews help illustrate the persona of each artist, showing how they each navigate life in their unique ways. More importantly, many of these artists speak out about the experience as an Asian in the hip-hop scene, a music genre created by Black culture. As an Asian American growing up in the Bay Area, hip-hop and basketball was everything to me, but I was always aware of the foreignness of Asians in these spaces. More specifically, these spaces are dominated by hyper-masculinity, a trait that doesn’t fit the common Asian stereotype. Although the representation of Asian Americans in hip-hop culture is gradually increasing today, there was little to none until the late 2000’s. When They Hear Us was created to highlight the narratives of Asian American artists in hip-hop. This archive is meant to show that you can become a part of a culture that may be foreign to yours despite your race, gender, or religion. Finally, immersing yourself in cultures different from your own can increase our understanding of one another.

Com. Design BFA Thesis

Creative Director

May 2020

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