Angry Reader of the Week: CHOPS

Hey, everybody. Gather 'round, because it's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Scott Jung, aka CHOPS.

Who are you?

I'm Scott Jung, some people know me as CHOPS. Son, brother, husband, father, musician, hopefully friend. Not the best at any of those things, trying to improve though.

What are you?

I'm a music producer, writer, sometimes rapper, sometimes vocalist, 2 to 8 bar instrumentalist, and former Mountain Brother. I'm somebody who spent most of life not thinking about being Asian on a daily basis, except for 2 periods: while the Mountain Brothers were doing our thing, and now. I think this period will last a good while.

Where are you?

In a basement just outside Philly, usually. Every now and then I'm allowed out for sunshine, air, bathroom breaks, stuff like that.

Where are you from?

Philadelphia. I say Philly because it's the place that shaped me the most musically, and it's where I've spent the most time. Plus I usually don't feel like giving the whole list of the jillion places my family lived, and then having a whole conversation about whether my dad was in the military (he wasn't).

I'm also from America, my family has been here forever. My grandparents on my father's side were both born here, Oakland and Pittsburgh. They spoke English. Grandpop would switch his L's and R's but only as a joke to mess with people. Dad grew up in Wilmington DE near Philly. Mom grew up in Brooklyn.

And I'm from the first Asian American rap group to ever be signed to a major label.

Oh, and where I'm "from-from", since we all get asked that question, Chinese.

What do you do?

I make people sound like the superhero version of themselves. With their help.

What are you all about?

Sound, timbre, the way different notes played by different instruments mesh with each other. Soul music, drum patterns both live and programmed, melodies, harmonies, basslines. Guitar licks, synthesizer blips. The way a singer bends a note, the way an emcee leans into the beat.

Right now I'm all about this Strength In NUMBERS project, it's my chance to work with and help showcase some of the best Asian American rappers and singers I could find, some of my favorite artists in the world. The guys from Mountain Brothers were kind enough to make some new music for it too. I hope plugging is ok, here's a couple links where folks can find out more, including everybody who's on it, and support:



What makes you angry?

When people just bitch and complain about the way things are, instead of doing something about it. I admit I do that, we all do. But once in a while I try to be about action rather than just words. This new Strength In NUMBERS project is an attempt at action, it's something I believe in. I've been interested in how Asians are represented (or misrepresented) in the media, in entertainment, in popular culture, since I was little. I even studied psychology for a while, trying to somehow understand the effects of the images people receive of "themselves". Instead I ended up making rap music, which ironically made more difference than running a classroom or lab. I would have made a horrible teacher.

It's exciting to see how much has changed in the 15 years since my group was out. But a friend reminded me last night, there's still a long way to go, we still have to do this shit ourselves. Any changes came from self-determination. Help is not on the way. We have to help ourselves and each other. So there's some anger there, but it's a good anger maybe, if we do something with it.

Coffee makes me angry. If I drink coffee I get aggro a little bit.

Also it makes me angry when people leave off the S in CHOPS. That's like saying Angry Asian Ma.

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