Back in March, I fell into obsessive love with this mix of Eastern and Western pop music from Tzechar. Not only did it feed my latent K-pop fetish, but it also somehow managed to bridge Vietnamese grime and Cantonese rap with choice cuts from Death Grips, Rabit, Nguzunguzu, and Future Brown. "What the fuck?" is right. Now, the anonymous duo is back with a music video (of sorts). Just like the mix it's based on, the video is a montage of disparate cultural references—in this case, clips of anime, k-pop and gangster films from all over the world. The thread that connects them is the idea of "thuggin" across Western and Asian pop culture.
Although the word "thug" has recently become the subject of racial contention, Tzechar sees it as more of a historical trope. "From its Indian assassin origins, to 2Pac's self-empowering life branding, to various manifestations of (violent) loyalty and camaraderie in media throughout the world," the concept of 'thug' has been constantly changing with cultural contexts and time, they explain.
"It's just as applicable to the romanticized lifestyles that represent overcoming impoverished trappings through the indelible appetite for freedom, as it is to its most recent re-appropriation as a dirty word via circumstantial linguistic weaponry. It belongs and refers to no particular racial stereotype."
Kenji Kawai - "Chant II (Ghost City)"
Throbbing Gristle - "What A Day"
SLV - "Glassed (Chimpo Remix)"
Azealia Banks - "Heavy Metal and Reflective"
Death Grips - "Get Got"
blackhandpath - "STICKUPSIDE"
Yasunori Mitsuda - "Ruined World"
P.O - "I Believed In Me"
Drake - "Dreams Money Can Buy"
LMF - "冚家拎"
Suboi - "Trò Chơi (feat. Touliver)"
Masta Wu - "이리와봐 (feat. Bobby)"
Sophia Grace - "Best Friends (Y//2//K Remix)"
Keith Ape - "It G Ma (feat. Okasian, Kohh)"
Howie Lee - "Xiang" x Block B - "Nilili Mambo"
Alexander Brandon - "Hong Kong Canal (Desolation/Shootout)"
Noise808 - "FLW"
DEMONSLAYER - "Blanka's Quest"
Rabit - "Black Dragons (feat. Riko Dan)"
Future Brown - "Wanna Party (feat. Tink)"
d o w n s t a t e - "w e ' a l w a y s . w i l l"
Koz & Blow Fever - "Balling 大富翁"
TZECHAR - "Ridicurous"
张?...芳 - "月琴"
Samename - "Gishiki"
Nguzunguzu - "Harp Bell"
Michelle Lhooq is THUMP's Features Editor. She's on Twitter