“Yeah! I am Chinese and what?” Let’s me clarify upfront that I won’t critique Jin’s The Rest is History based on his ethnicity but on the work itself. Furthermore, I won’t classify him as the “First Asian Rapper” but just a rapper period. He is skillful enough to be qualified as an MC. He has the charisma, his flow is tight, and his lyrical content is good even though he still needs improvement.
While his debut is not all that bad, the sugar-sweet coating diminishes Jin’s lyrical content. It’s probably Ruff Riders that responsible for the production instead of Jin. Even so, once you can get pass the “Club Song,” the radio friendly “I Got a Love” with Kanye, the ghetto fabulous “The Come Through” with Twista (though I like the way Jin speeds up his flow), and the booty shaking “Senorita,” you will find Jin’s finest pieces from his heart on the second half of the album.
“The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” demonstrates his skillful storytelling while “Cold Outside” shows his sentimental side as he recalls the night his man took a bullet for him, “What if he would have die? / What am I suppose to say to his fam?”
Although it’s extremely rare to see an Asian boy with a Black girl, Jin’s interracial “Love Story” is still convincing. Then again if he’s into Hip Hop, I can see how a Black girl can be interested in him. “Same Cry” is another beautiful work where Jin gives an eloquently delivery on behalf of Asian American, “Think we open restaurants because we cook good? / Hell no! We ain’t got no choice. / I gotta speak up / Without me, my people have no voice.”
“C’mon” is one of the most focused and refined lyricism tracks on the album; however, the structure and the flow are too similar to Eminem’s “Sing For The Moment.” By the way, what’s wrong with computer design? It’s a form of art too. While rappers use words to express themselves, designers use visual art to articulate their creativities. So don’t get it twisted it, brother.
As a freshman in Hip Hop, Jin has created a huge leap forward. However, he still needs to push his craft and improve his lyrics. Hopefully, he’ll be able to have full control on the production of the next album. He definitely has potential and room to climb higher. The future looks bright and shines so keep come thru, Jin.