Worst Ever: SNL Korea & Blackface

These are the type of things that make me cringe and hang my head in disappointment. SNL has recently decided to start up their long running live sketch comedy show in South Korea, which can be a potentially good thing. But the writers for the new international branch, in their infinite wisdom, made a very serious faux paus by running a bit incorporating the infamous practice of blackface. Yea…, they used make up to paint up their faces and bodies to portray themselves as African-Americans in a parody of Dreamgirls. Not… cool. I know it’s a different culture, with different standards of humor – but in the end it’s still a disrespectful and ignorant thing to do. Sadly, they aren’t the only ones to pull these type of shenanigans.

Worst. Ever.

Source: 8asians

Worst Ever: Forever 21 Plagiarizes David Choi’s Lyrics

You’ll have to grant us a late pass for this one, but we still found it worth sharing. Audrey Mag broke the news that Forever 21 had printed lyrics from David Choi‘s song, “That Girl“, onto some of their apparel without authorization or even credit. Choi had the following comment for AM:

“I’m disappointed that Forever 21 [because I felt] like they didn’t have to ask permission to use my lyrics in their commercial product, but I’m also flattered at the same time”

I can certainly understand his mixed reaction but in the end I still view this as a huge gaffe on Forever 21′s behalf – and deem it a shame that David was both disrespected and short-changed by the company. That’s not to say this is the first time this type of situation has happened to the Youtube star, as he’s found his music being used without proper licensing in several TV programs that aired in South Korea.

Now, let me go ahead and say I have no idea if the situation has been rectified or whether or not the merchandise is still for available for sale – but at the end of the day someone at the clothing chain dropped the ball, regardless of intention. Not only were they profiting of his work, but they didn’t even give him the credit he deserves as the author of those words. The use of his work is kind of a back-handed compliment; recognition without proper compensation.

Worst Ever is an editorial feature highlighting some of the more ludicrous and cringe worthy moments in Asian-American music. The views and comments made by the author do not necessarily reflect those of a-Tunes.net as a whole.

Worst Ever: Sno – “Eyes Like a Chinese”

Sigh. It’s never good when we can post two “Worst Ever” features in one week. But this one definitely takes the cake. SNO, a group affiliated with Three 6 Mafia, has a new joint called “Eyes Like a Chinese”. I mean… really?!

For the unintiated, squinty eyes are a tell-tale sign of someone who’s consumed a fair amount of marijuana. Some refer to it as having “Chinese eyes” or in this case, “Eyes like a Chinese”. Now, perhaps I’m being too uptight but when a table full of people, none of whom appear to be Asian, sit there eating with chopsticks while making various Asiatic references along with numerous appearances of the “slant-eye pose”, it’s hard for me not to feel offended.

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Worst Ever: Dumbest MJ Cover EVER

Sigh. I have no words. From the off key singing to the divo attitude and repetitive shouting of “ITS NOT MY TRACK!”… along with the s-bomb as the cherry on top… This will go down in history as one of the worst covers of an Michael Jackson track ever. Watch this kid’s attempt at “Black or White”. That my friends, is why this is another addition to our “Worst Ever” feature.

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Worst Ever: NYU Freestyle Ettiquette

The freestyle cypher is a staple of Hip-Hop. It’s so ingrained in the original culture that it’s impossible to try and discredit it’s importance. But that’s not to say it’s always executed correctly. In fact, one would argue that unless the cypher is composed of veterans who can adjust and adapt to the rhythm of it all, then it’s pretty much always awkward. Such is the case in the following clip I came across in the twitter verse. Dumbfoundead recently had a show in NY and a lot of different hip-hop heads came through, including special guest Decipher. Well when it came time for an open mic cypher, too many MC’s got caught up in tryna grab their time to shine without paying attention to who’s in line to spit next. Case in point, watch Decipher get M-C-blocked numerous times. Disrespectful? Arguably, perhaps. Awkward? Completely. The art of it all is knowing when it’s your time to step up, and your time to fall back… something that mainly comes with experience.

Worst Ever: The Slants Denied Trademark to Own Bandname

Rock band The Slants have just been dealt an unnecessary setback. They’ve been denied the trademark to their own name because the US Patents & Trademark Office thought it was “was disparaging to Asian Americans”. It’s nice that Big Brother and Uncle Sam are looking out for us “yeller fellers” but really? The Slants is too offensive? Keep in mind this is a band active in the Asian American community, comprised of several AA members. Documentation and evidence of the fact was even submitted along with the application but it was still deemed too controversial.

Yes, it’s true. The Slants can be a racial slur but not in this context. If anything it’s a self imposed commentary on the group and it’s members and their identity in society. It’s a talking point, a tool used to start conversation about the band and the stereotypes they are trying to break. But regardless, the folks at the USPTO, in their infinite wisdom want to protect us. Perhaps the Slants should change their name to “The Asians and/or Pacific Islanders” to be safe.

Fine. So be it. But before they take away The Slants from us, someone tell the USPTO that they need to have a little chat with Uncle Kracker too.

You can read more about the topic over at 8Asians.

Worst Ever: Wonder Girls = Hyori? Amazon Thinks We All Look Alike

Wow. OK. So allow me to preface this post with the disclaimer that I’m a huge fan of AmazonMP3. I purchase most of my digital music through there and since I’m not really plugged into the Apple Universe of products and services, Amazon remains the most viable option for me.

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With that said I was browsing the site when I happened to peek at the suggestions they had for me. Lo and behold I see a Hyori’s face and I chuckle, because for one I didn’t expect her to be on AmazonMP3 and two it’s a humorous suggestion to begin with. I click the image and quickly realized this is the page for the Wonder Girls’ album Triology. For those of you not well versed in KPOP culture, those are two very different acts. Hyori is a women in her early 30′s that has made a career out of strategically capitalizing on her sex appeal while the Wonder Girls are a group of teens & young adults who symbolize the epitome of bubble gum pop. I’m a casual fan of both but there really is no mistaking the two.

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Worst Ever: Peter Chao Does Blackface

Youtube comedian/”musician”/personality Peter Chao has the tendency to both crack me up and make me shake my head in disdain. One of his latest videos, entitled “Chinese Guy WHIPS His D!CK (Back and Forth)!”, made me do the latter and potentially turned me off from his comedy completely.

His self-deprecating humor is already too much for many, as he puts on a crazy chinese accent and generally acts a fool. I for one found him to be humorous, occasionally hilarious, all the while acknowledging that it is in fact racist. But his latest video crossed a line. He went from making jokes about his and others cultures, to actually visually mocking African-Americans via blackface. For those of you that aren’t familiar with blackface… read up. But in general it’s a very degrading representation.

There may be some of you who think I’m being too uptight and that I’m just missing the point of his humor. Maybe so, but I still stand by the fact that there’s a fine line between funny and distasteful, and Peter Chao completely jumped into the latter side head first. I couldn’t even finish the clip, I was so disgusted.

And that is why I’ve chosen to unsubscribe.  I’m not telling any of you who are fans to do the same. But I am at least asking yourself, is this a justifiable cost for some cheap laughs? If someone did yellowface, I doubt you’d be laughing.

Worst Ever: Rush Limbaugh

I know this isn’t music related, but I felt it was worth sharing. So I was making my evening twitter rounds when I came across the following tweet by musician Taiyo Na.

And I was thinking, what the deuce did Rush say to get him all heated like that? Considering the person, I should have known. Now I’m all for free speech. And I’ll admit that it is Limbaugh’s American right to say what he says in the following video. But that doesn’t make it right or remotely appropriate.

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At the end of the day, the dude is a fool that says things because it more or less keeps him relevant. It just shows a great deal of ignorance and lack of character… but it is what it is. Rush is just one voice – albeit a very loud, bigoted, and sadly influential one. But it’s times like these we just gotta shake our head, don’t bother crying about it, and instead do something about it. Truth is, this guy will likely end up suffering from some type of terminal baby boomer ailment in the next 15-20 years but douche’s like him will continue to exist. Perhaps we don’t need to shut them up, but rather change their hearts.

Idealist? Perhaps. Preachy? If so, I apologize. But let’s at least all agree that Limbaugh was extremely disrespectful, and that people of Asian descent deserve more than that.