Let’s Ask Bout Jay Park
All photos credited to Roc Nation
The day we heard that Jay Park signed with major American hip-hop label Roc Nation, we all felt proud—whether you’re a fan of Jay Park or not. It’s no surprise that Asians are misrepresented in Western media—be it in TV, movies, and extremely so in music—it’s just plain ridiculous how few deserving Asian artists are represented in mainstream media today. So hearing that Korea’s man of R&B and hip-hop, AOMG and H1GHR Music CEO Jay Park got signed to Jay-Z’s label was a welcomed surprise. However, while it was a promising first step, some couldn’t help but be wary of just how successful the endeavor would turn out. Sure, we all know Jay Park is a boss in the hip-hop scene in Korea, but how will America react to an Asian rapper?
"Me, being Asian-American, I was always looked at as an outsider. I always had to fight for my place” - Jay Park, (Source: CNN)
Jay Park is here to challenge Western beliefs of what sexy looks like in a man, and all fans of his Korean work are living for it. Goodbye stereotypical ideas that Asian men can’t be sexy, Jay Park is here to rid of all those useless ideas with just a song. “Yacht” was released last summer as a Korean track and featured Sik-K. It’s the perfect summer song with that incredibly catchy R&B beat Jay Park has become known for, so it makes sense that he would choose this track to add to his American debut album, Ask Bout Me. Jay looks as hot as ever in the music video for the track which takes place mostly on, fittingly, a yacht. The track features Vic Menza who does a good job in fitting his American-style rap into the groove of the song. It’s very much unlike Sik-K’s flow, because it encompases a sort of flow that has become popular in American hip-hop as of late, but it works quite flawlessly into this English remake. In fact, while I prefer the Korean sound in the song overall, Vic Menza does something to the song that I can’t help but love more than in the original.
Check out the video!
Ask Bout Me includes six other songs, including “SOJU,” which was pre-released and features 2 Chainz. The opening track “Fsu” is one any hip-hop lover will likely vibe to. It’s of an American style with its lowkey backtrack and rap flow, but it’s still undeniably Jay Park. It features GASHI and Rich The Kid and all in all, these three create a pretty fire track.
Other songs include “Chosen1,” which reminds me of one of my favorite tracks on Everything You Wanted, “Only One.” “Sexy 4 Eva” is a somewhat hilarious track that I can imagine being all too fun to sing along to on a night out, due to its somewhat emotional electronic arrangement beneath the lyrics “ima be sexy for eva.” You can’t help but agree with Jay by the end of it, he will no doubt be “sexy 4 eva.” “Million” shows a bit more of Jay’s R&B side for the first time on the album before moving into “Yacht.” “Ask Bout Me” reminds fans of “Alone Tonight” with its somewhat eerie arrangement and provides a powerful track for Jay to introduce himself to the world.
Overall, it’s exciting to see Jay Park finally venture out into the Western world with the giant powerhouse Roc Nation beneath him. I hope this album brings success and leads to more opportunities for him. Jay Park has been a trailblazer in Korean music, and I won’t be surprised if he ends up taking the same title in Western music when it comes to Asian representation. Do us proud Jay, show America what a sexy boss Asian man looks like.