Rapper and activist jason chu releases his new album We Were the Seeds this Friday, September 15 on all streaming services.
Known for his social media posts on Asian American history and mental health, chu addresses these very topics in his music as well as add a bit of Mandarin to reflect his ties to both his Chinese heritage and his American hip hop roots. His featured artists also reflect the community that chu is heavily involved in, including Travis Atreo and Ann One.
“For the past two years, I’ve seen our people figuring out our future,” chu says in a press release. “I’ve seen us looking for a way to hold onto ourselves, free from the ‘need’ for someone else’s approval. These days — thanks to friends, mentors, and ancestors — I’ve started to know myself. This album is about who we can be, when our stability and life draw from those deeper roots.”
In his melodic English-Mandarin bilingual single “Drive Slow,” which was released on August 31, he sings about a loving and fun relationship and the process of it. He tells his beloved, “Let’s meet where you and I know / Don’t rush, honey / Just drive slow” — symbolizing that love doesn’t need to be rushed and they should just enjoy these moments together.
chu has been active in the Asian American community for many years. When he first started his music in his early 20s with Some Day Soon in 2014, he rapped and sang about injustice — which made sense as Asian Americans still were fighting for representation and wanting to be heard. Though chu does talk about some diasporic issues in We Were the Seeds, now in his 30s, there is a bit more maturity and and acknowledging the troubling (and happy) times in his life.
For We Were the Seeds, chu says it’s a reflection on Asian American inheritance, strength and survival. But, also, songs about life and love. Check it out when it comes out on September 15 on all streaming services.