My research is on Hmong American rappers. The artist I chose was Tou Saiko Lee and the piece I shared with you all was called "30 Years of War." The purpose of this paper was originally to write about how rap close the gap between the youth and the elders. One thing I did not think about was how does rap affect the elders and if it really does it. It may benefit the youth but what more can rap offer? Also during my presentation, we discussed that the song I presented was post-memory making, which is creating the refugee experience without living it.
Many youth even the 1.5 generation, did not experience the refugee experience and yet they write about it as if they lived and seen it. Is this what Hmong American rap is coming to when it comes to writing about Southeast Asian experience or the parent's experience?
Although I only shared one song of the artist, Lee has other songs focused on social justice and cultural preservation. There are a couple of performances where Lee performed together with his grandmother. His grandmother sang a "paj huam" which is the equivalent to free styling in rap but it is spoken in Hmong. Lee has written a piece on the infamous murder of 19 year old Fong Lee, who was shot nine times by the police and claimed that he had a gun to justify his shooting. The piece mention connective marginalities, which brings incidents such as Fong Lee and compares it to similar experience such as Oscar Grant.
It would seem that I should write more about that rather than the post memory making, but let me know what sounds better.
In the Memory of Justice - Tou Saiko Lee