Thanks to Lac Su for pointing Mondega out to BcB. This is the first part of a two part blog post on the Asian American rapper from North Cackalacka. The next installment will be an interview with Mondega by cbruhs. This gem of a review by AzN is on his latest LP: For the People.
I guess the first thing to say about Mondega is he’s been through a lot. Take the worst of the worst origin story of a rapper from the drrrty South and add the refugee experience and genocide and you got Mondega. Why else would he name his first album I Am the Best Asian Rapper Alive? The man grew up an ethnic minority in the highlands of Viet Nam, how many other rappers could say they grew up without an official country?
The second thing I would say about Mondega is his lyrics are inspirational as hell. The man rhymes about the refugee experience while growing up in a community that was 75% African American. Not many of us can relate to that context and its important his voice gets out to our folks. Mondega is looking to the Asian American community to support not only his music, but also his message. And that’s what makes him the Best Asian Rapper Alive.
Mondega’s lyrics rip through anyone that has ever remotely been in contact with the refugee experience. One look at his documentary and you’ll understand why:
But what about the music you ask? I think Mondega has a lot of potential, and I definitely feel the music in his latest album, For the People. Cop it at Black Lava dot net. Especially the first single, titled Listen to My Song, which pretty much sums up what its like being an Asian rapper trying to make it in a predominantly African American industry.
Some other favorites are Rise Up, a song about third-world living. Another notable song is Living in America. I think this is the first rapper who didn’t take living in America for granted, judging by the lyrics… Also check out Love Will Remain ft. Semi-Auto, which is worth it for the title and featured rapper alone (the slowed-down 90s DJ Premiere-like beat is my favorite on the album). And if you wanna see his lyrical skills, Me and My Rhyme has the best flow (Nas should probably listen to this track and learn some breath control).
So for folks that wanna hear a story and support a lyricists, cop For the People. For the rest of you, the Far East Movement album gives you some AsAm street cred, but not as much as this album!