Music is pervasively used to tell stories. Its style, context, beat, and lyric changes according to different period time of history. One interesting reading of this week, a chapter in Schlund-Vials’s “War, Genocide and Justice”, talks about Hip-hop and Cambodian American critique. PraCh Ly, a Cambodian American rapper from Long Beach creates his first album Dalama: The End’n Is Just the Beginnin’. This album is a collection of “transnational story of war, relocation, and resettlement” (Schlund-Vials, page 153). Taking sources from his refugee family and everyone he had known, praCh put all stories and experiences into lyrics, delivering a mesmerized history lesson during the Khmer Rouge regime. I think it’s very effective to use hip-hop to tell history about war and Cambodian genocide. In my opinion, Hip-hop with its strong, rhythmic, rapping speech can portray strong, aggressive feelings such as grievance, anger, rage and struggle very emotionally. I can feel that many Cambodian refugees suffered after the genocide and they keep being haunted by the past as they try to move on in America. It might be the case for all people who actually lived through the genocide. However, for future generations, when they start to adapt and assimilate into American life, could they still be able to share the same feeling of what their grandparents or great grandparents had experienced?
Beside PraCh Ly's album, I found an interesting Cambodian hip-hop songs talking about deportation of young Cambodians. Here check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a86S45mL_Ug