"Smoking got my eyes like an Asian." "Got more kicks than Bruce Lee." "Take her out like Chinese food." We've all heard the overplayed Asian stereotypes in rap lyrics, some less offensive than others. But the collective known at Stirfryboyz is making their thoughts known once and for all regarding their stance: let's just have some fun but be mindful of it. In their new Aroy Productions-directed video "INSTANT RAMEN," they put a ramen shop in a classic American-style diner while hopelessly chasing after a couple of girls and ending up washing dishes for an unpaid tab.
Aside from the entertaining video, their production and lyrics are uniquely memorable, making them a new act to pay attention to in 2020. It's the subtle mixing of Asian and American cultures that might go unnoticed on first listen. While Leon casually raps, "Whippin' in the wok, no I can't stop/Six-figure man, shit, that's my job," Colin throws in the flex, "Roll around town with metal chopsticks/Got bars for days."
In an email, they explained their inspiration for the song: "It's a lighthearted take on cultural appropriation and how that exists in Asian culture too. Everyone loves specific elements—including instant ramen—yet when a pandemic hits, suddenly our culture is gross and uncivilized. People freak out and use us as scapegoats to avoid admitting their own discomfort when faced with something foreign. We used to get made fun of for the food we'd bring to school. It's funny how cultural appropriation has suddenly made it trendy. And it's even worse for the Black community. Fuck that."
Their first merch capsule is available on their site with profits going to COVID relief for impacted Asian-American businesses and Black Lives Matter causes. A vintage merch capsule will be out with their next video on 8/14.
Their first mixtape Suburbia will drop later this year via Kreshendo.
Photo: Colin Zyrek