Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is coming to an end this long holiday weekend — but just so that you know, it’s OK to celebrate Asians year round. You can actually do the same with any marginalized community. Black people, Latinx people, Indigenous people, diasbled people, LGBTQIA+ people — we exist all year round and it’s OK to learn about us 365 days of the year.
Nonetheless, rappers Jason Chu and Alan Z released a music and multimedia project called Face Value earlier this month. Following the release of singles “Model Minority” and “Making the Banned,” the projects puts a glaring spotlight on a wide range of issues and experiences, including immigration, food culture, anti-Asian violence, microaggressions, and gender. Face Value includes collaborations from a diverse team of creative members from the Asian diaspora including Ronny Chieng, Dante Basco, Ruby Ibarra, AJ Rafael, Zeda Zhang, among others.
In the vein of Kendrick Lamar and Run the Jewels, Face Value is a way for audiences to access the passion and stories that can transform and heal society in a year when racial and social issues are centered in the national discoure.
“I hope the release of the album gives our communities and friends a pathway to healing and activism through our exploration of Asian American oppression and resilience throughout America’s history,” said Chu. “The stories we tell on this album highlight history’s continued relevance today, as struggle and solidarity are birthed from tragedy.”
“Remembering and naming Asian American history is necessary for the change and healing we wish to see in today’s anti-Asian climate,” added Alan Z. “A truthful record of the collective pain and power of Asian American experiences is at the core of the project.”
The project is presented by XRM Media. Supporters include: Andrew Chau (Boba Guys), Takashi Cheng (SueYa), Victor Cheng, Michael Y. Chow (Co-Founder, XRM Media), the Donald R. and Esther Simon Foundation on behalf of Maggie Hsu & Stuart Wagner, John Kim (Kobunga), Kevin Lin (former COO, Twitch), OCA-APA Advocates, and Katie Soo (SVP, HBO).
Face Value is available on major streaming services now. Click here to listen.