A friend of mine passed along this video and asked for my opinion on it. And since it’s been a minute since I dropped some gospel on ya asses, why not?
Day Above Ground recently released a music video for their song “Asian Girlz.” The five minute track features the beautiful Levy Tran, who I actually know nothing about and will just assume she’s reblogged on Tumblr a lot.
I’m not going to bash on the singing or overall production of the track or video because as far as I’m concerned, the guys can sing, the composition is legit, and it looks like something they’d play on MTV late at night when only crackheads roam the earth. Albeit the somewhat rushed “in-the-spur” quality of it, all in all, it just doesn’t suck.
Now as we linger into the red zone, let me just admit. I’m Asian and I laughed. Ya’ll know how I am – I enjoy playful wordplay. “I’ve got your green tea boba / so put your head on my shoulder”? Girl, I died! But what about the overall message? Is it right to produce a song that’s heavy on stereotypes? What an intriguing question.
Make no doubt about it, before they even open their mouths, you can already tell the shit is about to be a social disaster… and I think it all starts off with the oriental riff (some originality would’ve been appreciated, guys) blaring out on piano under the guitar. Then in some parts, you’ve got Tran in a blonde wig. Girl why?!
Now if you could take the song like it was a wet towel and you rang it dry, you’d have a big ass yellow puddle of slurs. They’re not belittling our women (mind you, they’re singing in adoration about THEIR Asian girl), but the satire of it all relies solely on preconceived notions about the community.
It begs the question, why write a song with a mildly offensive spin if you like Asian girls? I would and could understand if it was an in-the-moment joke that just so happened to turn into a song, but fact of the matter is, ya’ll sat around a table, thought up a bunch of stereotypes, and packaged it all into a track. AND THEN one of you had this brilliant idea of asking Asians to actually be IN the music video!
The song is funny, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone takes offense to it. Inversely, the Einsteins of Day Above Ground thought it’d be OK posting it on YouTube without the slightest thought of repercussion. And once the backlash started, they were quick to parry away the racist accusations, saying that it wasn’t written with “malicious, hateful, or hurtful intent.”
Well, you guys, if the reason you wrote the song was to get some laughs, then FER SURE DUDE. You got it. But all in all, if you just envision the process of putting the song together and just look at the big damn picture, it boils down to a bunch of dudes who were laughing so hard about their masterpiece that they didn’t even stop to think, “well hey, this might be offensive.” If you’re in the music industry, or at least aspiring to be in it, you all know that that is a dumb decision.