It's not easy being an Asian American male pop music critic (AAMPMC). Not only do we have to deal with the everyday challenges of negotiating a path within the quagmire of both the music industry and corporate publishing worlds, but we're dealt the additional outrage of being confused for one another all the time. It seems like a lot of people out there (Black, White, Latino, anything but Asian) can't seem to tell us apart. It's the Yellow Man's Burden, f'real. My man Todd Inoue at the SJ Metro told me that just last night, someone came up to him and called out, "O-Dub!" And frankly, me and Jeff Chang get confused for one another so often, a paternity test might be in order.
As a public service, I decided to break down it down for ya'll:
POP LIFE'S GUIDE TO THE AAMPMC
(Asian American Male Pop Music Critic)
Jeff Chang. Age: ~37. Height: 5' 9". Hair: Black, short or shaved. Eyes: Brown, wears glasses (occassionally). Ethnicity: Chinese. Based in: Berkeley, formerly Park Slope. Frequently spotted: chanting "Si Se Puede" at Bay Area political rallies, searching the South Bronx for a copy of Afrika Bambaataa's high school yearbook, cribbing dubplate titles at soundclashes. Distinguishing marks: Owns full line of Quannum t-shirts. Responds to: Jeff, DJ Zen, Zen Boogaloo, Jay Cheezy, Godfather.
Hua Hsu. Age: ~27. Height: 5' 9". Hair: Black, short and cropped. Eyes: Brown, wears glasses. Ethnicity: Chinese. Based in: Boston, formerly Bay Area. Frequently spotted: entertaining the nation's best and brightest at Cambridge's Enormous Room, enjoying a Bistro burger, heckling Alex Rodriguez. Distinguishing marks: Scholars hands crossed with dusty fingers. Responds to: Hua, Hoo Ah, Mister Sulu, Hua Diggety, Triple H
Todd Inoue. Age: ~37. Height: 6' 1". Hair: Black, short and messy. Eyes: Brown, wears glasses (occassionally). Ethnicity: Japanese. Based in: San Jose. Frequently spotted: extolling the virtues of San Jose living, playing pick-up soccer against Brandi Chastain, shopping at Good Vibes for unmentionables. Distinguishing marks: Only wears soccer jackets. Responds to: Todd, Theodore Unit, Teddy Ted, T.I., I-Don't-Play-Inoue
Jefferson Mao. Age: ~35. Height: 5' 10". Hair: Black, shaved. Eyes: Brown, no glasses. Ethnicity: Chiense. Based in: NYC, formerly Boston. Frequently spotted: ignoring dumb requests at APT, educating VH1 audiences, researching upcoming Ego Trip's Big Book of North American Amphibians. Distinguishing marks: Gives hard glares to silly toys. Responds to: Jeff, Mao, Chairman, Great Leader of the Glorious Motherland.
Oliver Wang. Age: 32. Height: 5' 11". Hair: Black, short or shaved. Eyes: Brown, wears glasses. Ethnicity: Chinese. Based in: San Francisco, formerly Oakland. Frequently spotted: sitting in wi-fi cafes not working on dissertation, slobbering in rare vinyl record stores, hiding from students at Berkeley. Distinguishing marks: Unusually large head (both literally and figuratively). Responds to: Oliver, Ollie, O-Dub, "mark ass, dumb f---, dick rider"