As an Asian-American, I know that my culture is not particularly considered to be part of Hip Hop or Rap. But I grew up loving the whole Hip Hop culture and have always tried to learn more about its roots. Anyways, I'm trying something new by sharing some of my thoughts on Spike Lee's autobiographical book - "That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It" (As told to Kaleem Aftab). I read this because I really liked watching "Do The Right Thing and "Malcolm X" and I wanted to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes.
One of the more remarkable things I learned from this book is how Spike Lee's character "Mars Blackmon," helped bring the sneaker brand Nike to its current stature amongst its competition. NIke's owner, Phil Knight, reached out to Spike Lee to have his Mars character do a commercial with Michael Jordan. This would be one of the first media projects to show the unique relationship between basketball street wear and Hip Hop style.
Another interesting thing to read about was how in most of Spike Lee's 90s era movies, the Mars Blackmon character seemed to be often altered into other characters in different movies. First, Mars was introduced as a basketball and rap-loving black teenager in "She's Gotta Have It," then Mars seems to be very similar to Mookie's character in "Do The Right Thing," and then Shorty's character in "Malcolm X" could have been Mars and Mookie's grandfather.
Lastly, the book addresses the inequalities regarding "black media and entertainment." I'm not trying to claim another race's struggle but as an Asian-American, I definitely recognize the misrepresentation and/or lack of representation of Asian actors and actresses in the media in general.
Overall, this was a great read and I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about the media/entertainment industries and even some Hip Hop history.
Independent music blog based in Honolulu, HI. Hotsted by artist/rapper Jehzan Exclusive.