For most of my life growing up, I felt like an outsider... most Asians didn’t understand me and I didn’t share the same interests with them. Back then hip hop was still fairly new and it was definitely NOT on the pop charts or in popular culture. I could count the amount of Asians who worked in hip hop back then on one hand. And for sure there was little to no yellow representation in Hollywood unless you were in martial arts or willing to portray a nail shop/liquor store owner. But we’ve come a long way. I didn’t mind always being the only Asian in circles or wherever I went. I got used to it. But last night was magical. It showed me how much cooler it is to not be the only Asian repping. In fact last night was the most grand magnificent event I’ve ever attended and I’ve been to the Grammys before. I’ve recently won a few awards (Hypebeast 100, Jeweler of the Year), but winning the cultural lifestyle achievement award last night meant everything to me. I’ve watched the #AsianAmericanAwards on social media and heard about it from word of mouth for over 15 years and never was invited. And I’ve been putting in work for decades behind the scenes, without a manager or publicist. I’ve been used to not being included in Asian events, but I was so honored to receive this award that I almost cried. Seeing my mom break down in tears after my speech got me emotional and deep in my feelings because even though I’ve been successful for a while, I gave her hell for a majority of her life. Being kicked out of schools, going to jail several times and just being a hooligan. 🤦🏻♂️😭 She always wanted me to be a stock broker or doctor or lawyer and that was the last thing I wanted to do. But now I really feel like I truly made her proud and that means more to me than any amount of money in the world.
Thank you @koreasianmedia for having me and more so awarding me for my lifetime of grind. 🙏🏼. @jonmchu you set the tone last night and put fire under my seat. @johnthecho thank you for shouting me out. I realize we all need to stick together as Asians do and continue this wave. When we unify, we flourish. #AsianExcellence #UnforgettableGala2018 #UNFO 💪