Hapa Music is Black and Brown

“Hapa Music is Black and Brown” is a blog series that looks at the racial politics of multicultural Japanese American musicians. The first blog in the series features Jhené Aiko, while the others will comment on Chicago-based rapper Towkio, musician Judith Hill, and one of the most famous enka singers, Jero.

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Jhené Aiko and the Problem of Multiracial Self-Representation

At the 2018 VH1 Mother’s Day music tribute concert titled, Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms, Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Jhené Aiko recited this poem she wrote for her mother, Christina Yamamoto, a woman of African American and Japanese ancestry:

“I found another grey hair today but I was not bothered at all. I feel like I earned it. I’m better, I’m wiser, I’m leveling up overall. I am becoming my mother, my beautiful mother, who taught me with age, comes might. I'm becoming my mother, my beautiful mother, she is love in ...

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