Songs about the Asian diasporic experience

The Sociology Source teaching blog has started a new section called Sociology Sounds for songs that can be used as teaching tools. Here are the songs that I submitted about the Asian diasporic experience (none of which, unfortunately, have been posted on that blog at the time of writing). Any suggestions? Please share them in the comments!

Taiyo Na – Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother)

This song about Na’s love for his working-class, single immigrant mother touches not only on immigration but also on family structure, violence against women, and language discrimination. The above video was shot in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, of which I have many fond memories from my college days.

Jimmy Wong – Ching Chong! Asians in the Library Song

A humorous response to a racist rant that unfortunately incorporates some sexist imagery. This song went viral last year and even got the attention of National Public Radio.

Quynh Anh – Hello Vietnam

This song (which I had written about earlier) is about the complicated relationship many diasporic peoples have with their homeland, especially if the homeland has recently experienced the traumas of war.

Monsieur Nov – Trop Fresh

I don’t understand the lyrics, but the video challenges North American stereotypes of Asian masculinity and interracial relationships. One of my first posts on this blog was about this video!


  1. A. Brewer

    I have recently been introduced to the music of Monsieur Nov and some of his music does talk about his experiences and from what I can gather, the experiences of other minorities growing up outside Paris. If you want a translation of some of his songs you can try http://lyricstranslate.com/en/monsieur-nov-lyrics.html.






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