Vincent Chen opens up this week’s look at Chan’s Politickin’.

ChanPolitickin’ Vol. 1 (2006), Hip-Hop, Dynasty Muzik

Steady beats drive sharp, smart lyrics in Chan’s Politickin’, Vol. 1. Snacky Chan raps about life, hip-hop, politics, women, and growing up as an Asian American male in the United States. The New Jersey native does this without coming off too preachy. He raises sociopolitical issues but the choruses and production have enough head-nodding goodness to keep the apathetic ears tuned.

A true underground head, Chan spits, “This is life or death/ I got no regrets/ All the money in the world can’t replace respect!” He talks a lot about the music scene, from calling out the big labels and sellouts to staying true to the art form. It may sound a bit trite, but still rings relevant.

The album as a whole isn’t very cohesive, and plays like a collection of good singles rather than a body of work with a concentrated focus. As such, we have a myriad of common subjects that all get touched upon but not dug into substantially. But Chan is at his best when he reflects about political and racial identity and ultimately empowers fellow APIs in the United States:

“We know participation
Y’all ain’t part of my nation
Put your hands up in the sky if you love bein’ Asian
I see a vision in the mirror
God’s greatest creation
My sister’s the target of Caucasian infatuation”

Overall, a solid amalgamation of years of material that puts a much-needed voice in the game. Give this record a spin.

vincent chen