I grew up in an age of mixtape. And by "mixtape" I mean quite literally those plastic cassette tapes that you'd keep in your dual deck boombox and to which you would race over to press record as soon as the radio station started playing the song you wanted to record next on your perfect mixtape. There was no blending, sometimes you'd miss the beginning of the song, and often, you'd get the radio DJ voice. But these mixtapes -- when you were able to put the tracks in an inspiring order, have a theme, and then, if really courageous, you'd be able to give it to your CRUSH.
Well Angry Asian America -- I have a crush on you. And we at 18MillionRising really want you to get out and vote on November 8th. So we made you a mixtape.
Voices of Our Vote: My AAPI Vote Album is a compilation album featuring 32 politically empowering tracks by an eclectic mix of Asian American musicians. This album was created in partnership with TRAKTIVIST, Kollaboration, Tuesday Night Project, and Mishthi Music. Given the current political climate of anti-immigrant rhetoric and increased racial tension, turning out to vote as an Asian American community this November 8th is more important than ever.
To inspire you even further, I'm making you a Top Five List of Why You Should Vote Using Lyrics From the Voices Of Our Vote Album:
1. St. Lenox - 21st Century Post Liberal Blues
"And lately I've been learning things I didn't understand, things like black lives matter, and that wall street is a lie, and I can't get it out of my head these days, it's just that video tape reel. I can't explain. I can't explain these twenty-first century post-liberal blues."
2. ohyung - Vote Vote (Qu Tou Piao)
"Asian president that can be you friend. You are powerful, you are important. Check those fucking boxes. You can do anything."
3. DANakaDAN x Jun Sung Ahn - "Alive"
"I am the whitest whitest asian that you ever did see, so when I tell you I'm out there working man I'm not doing it just for me. I'm doing it for you and you and your mom, representing out there so strong, trying to prove you and I belong."
4. aber beats ft. Priska - Never Too Late
"The time is now to brace your voice, so get on up get up now, throw your hands in the sky. It's never too late, you can never go wrong, just lift up your voice, and shake off the clouds"
5. The Kominas - See Something, Say Something
"If you see something you better say something - or nothing at all."
Do you feel a little bit of the crush now? Do you finally feel like showing up at your poll on November 8th to voice your vote? In all seriousness, everyone involved with this passion project truly believes in the magic of music's ability to shift hearts and minds. With the release of the Voices of Our Vote: My AAPI Vote Album, we believe music can also activate Asian America to the polls.
Download the album at voicesofourvote.org. Pledge your vote at vote.18mr.org. And then tell us why you'll vote using the hashtag #MyAAPIVote.
And of course, go vote on November 8th.
Tanzila 'Taz' Ahmed is a Campaign Strategist at 18MillionRising. She is also half of the #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast. Additionally, she writes a lot, including in the book Good Girls Marry Doctors out this month on Aunt Lute Press.