21 Thoughts on "You
The Official Interview
Conducted on August 19, 2004
1. When did you create the title song, "You Got Beef?"
Its actually "You Want Beef?" ahah, but ya I titled it after I wrote the hook.
2. How long did it take you to record it?
Once I heard the beat I wrote and recorded it right away, it was a pretty quick song I'd say a good hour to write and record.
3. Where did you get the idea to make this song?
Well at the time I was just being recognized in the community so I thought it would be good to big up my people and hope future generations here take pride in their race.
4. What were your inspirations for making this song?
Honestly the beat, its a great beat made by Auditory, and once I heard it I had the idea instantly.
5. What were you hoping to accomplish as a result of making this song?
Open peoples eyes in this area I guess, us Vietnamese people have always been here and will always be. At a time when we were at war with the black folks here it was just an anthem type of song to make em relize we aint no chumps. Now its all cool, everyone is fam so the song itself was just made for that purpose now I guess its just another "asian pride" song.
6. Did you write the lyrics entirely by yourself or did you have help?
I write all my stuff so that the people that know me know I'm speaking real shit.
7. How did you end up working with director Paul Nguyen?
Me and Paul the director hooked up through a friend at school. He heard my album that I was pushing around the community and gave me a holla. After that we got right down to buisness. He's a good and talented guy still always wants to get straight to buisness.
8. The music video created a lot of controversy regarding the portrayal of Asian gangster life. How do you feel about this?
When I made the song I never expected to do a video to it so when we actually got down to doing it we had to make some choices. Wether or not to film a realistic way of life or just a small fictional glimpse. I actually wanted to have a big fight scene between the black guys and the asian guys but on the recording day none of the black guys wanted to be filmed as bad guys in the video Ahaha. Regardless of what people may think this is how it is, you mess with family or friends, you deal with the whole group. I got all the newer generation guys to come be in this fun project instead of guys who shouldnt be filmed due to the potential risk of the video being shown around. Either way I think we kept the main message as realistic as possible while having fun being filmed.
9. The video was never released on national TV, yet it circled the globe in a matter of weeks and has been seen by tens of thousands of people. Do you have any ideas of how this happened?
Welcome to the world of asian's once one asian person see's it another 5 will.
10. People all over the world as far away as Australia, Denmark and Vietnam have downloaded this video. How did you react to this phenomenon?
Not much reaction at all, I didn't really care, as long as my people all see it then I'm safe.
11. "You Got Beef?" is considered to be the world's first Vietnamese rap music video. What kind of standards do you think the video has set for future Vietnamese rap videos?
I don't know about the whole first vietnamese rap video thing but I think this video will certainly cause other vietnamese rappers to start taking the next step and making enjoyable videos for their listeners.
12. What were your fondest memories of the video shoot and why did they stand out to you?
No doubt it has to be all the people that showed up, there were so many of my boys that day that it just made me smile ahaha. Its a shame we didn't get to put everyone in the video.
13. Did you encounter any major problems or obstacles while shooting the video?
hmm let me think.... The Fuckin Rain ahah, it was fucking pouringg when we shot that walking scene.
14. The video has been widely praised for encouraging a sense of Viet pride among many viewers. How does that make you feel?
Thats good cuz after all that was the whole point of me making the song to show that we stand up for our people and we dont back down.
15. The video has also been heavily criticized by some viewers for being overtly violent and racist. What are you thoughts on this?
Overly violent?? Ahah if I had my way with the filming I would have had pure machetes and extendos on both sides duking it out. And the whole racist thing is a joke, all the people in this area know me and know what I was trying to do ain't nothing racist about that. If anybody here took it as being racist I would have a bullet in my head right now and Jane n Finch has a very large black community.
16. Some critics think this video is creating a bad name for the Vietnamese community. What is your response to this?
Fuck them done deal, I'm trying to create a name for my Vietnamese people here cuz we never even had one now that we being recognized, other fellow Viet's can step up and start making some changes.
17. Some people have been offended by the lyrical and visual content of the video. What do you have to say to these people?
If your offended dont listen to it, don't watch it, close your fucking eyes. Its simple. I don't force people to listen to my shit or watch it, your responsible for what you do. I make songs for the people that want to listen to it not for the people that are going to get offended.
18. If you could change anything about the video, what would it be?
A better story with more action scenes.
19. You've achieved quite some fame and notoriety from this video. How are you reacting to this kind of worldwide exposure?
I ain't really phazed by all of it but it's good to know the video at least got somewhere.
20. You have been widely regarded as one of the top underground Asian acts in North America, alongside other well-known rappers such as DYP tha Goldynchild, Flow Sik, Thai and Snacky Chan. How do you feel about this?
Its an honor those are some talented rappers, but I ain't trying to be named beside them. I'm doing me, my own way.
21. Last, but not least, there has been rumors of a sequel to your infamous video. Care to give any details?
yes indeed the next one I'm going to let some rappers from my team get some shine. The video will be based on the black side this time taking on the asians, should be fun. Be sure to check that shit outttttt. We would like to thank Chuckie Akenz for his time in conducting this interview. - Jane-Finch.com staff