Yesterday AzN reviewed Asian American rapper Mondega
‘s latest LP For the People
. Mondega was gracious enough to complete a BCB Profilin’ and give us a glimpse into his values system, what has shaped him, and why he’s one of the fastest rising rappers out there.
Greetings, I am…
Mondega for the people, also known as self proclaimed “Best Asian Rapper Alive”. I am a hip hop artist based in Raleigh, North Carolina with listeners/supporters throughout the U.S. and overseas.
I’ve been known to bitch about…
Vietnam’s oppressive government getting rich off stealing the Montagnards, in other words “Dan Thoc”, Indigenous and “minority” people’s ancestral lands for Bauxite and Coffee exports.
Our people have been stripped of our cultural identity, language, religion and rights as equal citizens of Vietnam. In other words we ARE the “niggas of Asia.” Is it because we’re brown skin? Are we less human? How can we Asian Americans complain about racism, when racism exists within our own culture?
Throughout our history, the Montagnard people have never been conquerors or people of war, but we’ve been enslaved, used and manipulated by many. Even before French and American occupation, our people have been raped, tortured and murdered by the Vietnamese people and government. It’s not just history. It’s happening today! In Vietnam, there is no such thing as a fair trial. If someone tell you that there is, either, they are one of those wannabe socialists without a realistic view on the human element or they are working for the government, period. Look at Cambodia for example, the Killing Fields is only half of the story. Here’s where I come in.
The communist, and militant regimes of Southeast Asia have been killing indigenous people and minorities for decades and no one gives a fuck about it! Look at Burma for example and the plight of the Karen peoples. Some people have been in refugee camps so long, they no longer speak their native tongue. Volunteering at a human rights organization, stacks and stacks of immigration paperwork’s lay, waiting for young, educated volunteers to help translate and fill them out, but where are we? too busy clubbing? Partying? Smoking, drinking and wasting our lives away?
I use hip hop as a tool to reach out to the youths, because we are the future. I don’t have the power to fight the entire government and change the world, but i will do whatever it takes to raise an army of young, intelligent minds to takeover the callings of today and tomorrow. I’m not saying that I’m perfect, but at least i acknowledge the issues and strive to do better, as a voice for change. Through hip hop, i can speak more bluntly. You’ll see what i mean on the next album.
I tell people “I Am The Best Asian Rapper Alive”, and because of that, the Asian Hip Hop community is not too fond of me. They’re listening. I know they are. They are anxious to hear what i have to say, but too proud to call me their own. I don’t know, i guess the things i rap about is not an easy pill to swallow, especially when we’re trying to be accepted by “the man”. I could careless. My dad once told me “what’s right is not always popular and what’s popular is not always right.” I’m going to let Bicoastal-Bitching be the witness, as i quote “I don’t give a fuck if i piss these wannabe rappers and so called superstars off, fuck feelings, i don’t give a fuck about you, you or you! Cause at this point and time, i do not care about your clubby beats, gimmick lines and rhymes about the streets, hoes, clothes and money. I’ve been in the streets, i sold drugs, i robbed lame fucks like ya’ll, but it’s time for a change, i fucked more women than you can imagine, but that’s not what it’s about! I was in the hood today selling cds to real gangsters in the streets! Where ya’ll at? When i say “I do this for the people”, i mean it. It’s up to you to hate it or love it, but either way, i stood up for what i believed in.”
Because of colonialism, foreign influences, and Vietnam’s greedy, ignorant and down right contradictive policies, innocent indigenous men, women and children live without food, clothing, shelter and suffer daily. They live without the freedom of religion, speech or assembly. In America, there are laws in place, such as “eminent domain”, where citizens are compensated if the state seizes their property, but in Vietnam’s case, they will take your land, burn down your homes, imprison your folks and you will not get anything in return. Not a penny, not a payment plan, not a job application, nothing! So what are we left to do? Blow up buildings and hope for a change? Brothers and sisters, i hear your cries, i’m doing the best i can. I’m just a young, ex-drug dealer trying to change my life… bare with me for a sec.
I think the most frustrating part of it all is that we, as Americans, allow this to happen. I mean, we ARE the main buyers of Vietnam’s exports. Where are you at Obama? But then again, it’s not really up to him. Its in the hands of “best interests”, right? During the Vietnam war, the Montagnard people stood alongside Americans on the frontlines, yet our fathers receive nothing but years of torture, imprisonment and receive no veteran benefits. Now that our people need America to step in and help us, no one listens. Like Pac said, i’m tired of knocking on the door beggin’ for food, i’m picking the locks and coming in blastin’!
I’m very concerned about our community. We are so caught up in this life that we forgot who we are and where we came from. At this rate, we will no longer have a language or culture of our own. We’re too busy trying to be accepted by the white and black world we live in, in other words, we are voluntarily walking into our own self destruction. Our families brought us to America to live a better life and bring freedom back home, not to extort one another, die in the streets or fly back home in handcuffs. Wake up!
My influences are…
Nas, Common, 2pac, Snacky Chan, Bambu, Thai, Lac Su, Aung San Suu Kyi, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad and many, many more…
On a Saturday night you can find me….
Meeting different people and selling CDs.
On a Tuesday night you can find me…
Meeting different people and selling CDs.
My usual drink/poison is….
If I was a superhero my name would be…
The last song/album I listened to is…..
Snacky Chan – “I feel sorry for your mother”
I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with…
Newports and ganja
Favorite thing to do in L.A. and Raleigh, NC….
My favorite thing to do in LA is going to different parts of the city and trying different food from every hood. My favorite thing to do in Raleigh is kicking it the homies that i grew up with, drinking Heinekens with the O.G.’s, spending time with my girl, making music and basketball.
Free Association time! First word I think of after “Asian America”:
My weapon of choice is….
i don’t want to say it, so I’ll just say a microphone.
Be sure to check out my…
album “FOR THE PEOPLE” available now at http://mondegamusic.com/ and http://blacklava.net add me on facebook! http://facebook.com/mondega
Thanks Lac and Mondega!