living​.​room

by jason chu

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sharegrace At a time when it's tough to know what our role as Asian Americans is in this struggle and fight for racial justice, "Honor" really pumped me up! Grateful for this anthem. Favorite track: Honor (feat. Uzuhan).
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1.
02:54
Can a prophet still speak when his time passes? What's an "influencer" who never had the masses? Whatever happens to your mission when it hits a setback? If it crumbles does that mean you never had the passion? Sittin still, the world is movin ever faster Never popped a pill but I've been high on my own satisfaction Hit the gas at 25 and sped thru all the crashes Lookin back, like, maybe I shoulda asked directions Comparisons, funds become embarrassing Considering my marriage and my message, tried to balance things Friends make Facebook posts about the joys of parenting And I'm like, look, that one single got a lot of streams But I'm still out here in the studio to make a change Believing that these words can heal and that it just takes faith Produce a dose of hope, and inject it in the veins Magic - how it works, even if the doctor's strange Been sayin prayers that my lifetime might be used well My momma named me as a healer, and she chose well Talkin to her back home, she said "I'm so proud What you give the youth with all a the stories you tell" Still, I got a lot more questions than I do answers But I've learned to do dishes and to love dances Don't know what lies ahead but that’s become standard I moved to LA with no plans except to take chances And I've spent these years, written them in my poems To bless you with the stories that I carry in my bones When I’m layin in my tomb, they will write it on my stone And my children and their children will always have it be known That their ancestors and parents fought through racism and wrongs In a world that rejected them but still they made their own And the music that I make might be forgotten before long But if I lay a single brick to build a future - I reached my goal To make it home to make a home To make our home Let's go
2.
0:12 Chorus My life scrollin by Highlights scrollin by I see myself in your eyes I feel so alive You got me tongue-tied Unravel it if you like You can tell when I lie From you where do I hide? 0:36 Verse 1 Checkin myself out in this black mirror Look at my outfit, isn't it a killer? They say if a pine tree was to go timber and nobody was around the forest wouldn't remember I was back in New York, it was back in December, the photo of 30 Rock look like a greeting from Santa Cupcakes at Magnolia always look like a winner but I would prefer the dumplings that they serve near the Chambers Street station Glasses on, I look at life with my lens craft Face ID, I guard it like a PIN pad, whitewash the grill they told me other colors look bad I guess the yellow always remind them of witchcraft Why buy the six when they got the seven? Rest in peace to my headphone jack, I hope it's up in heaven Don't go to church no more but I will stream the sermons Nowadays we rather live a meme, than die a legend 1:32 Chorus My life scrollin by Highlights scrollin by I see myself in your eyes I feel so alive You got me tongue-tied Unravel it if you like You can tell when I lie From you where do I hide? 1:52 Verse 2 If I occur in your mentions please pray for me It's been a long week and I ain't found time to feed If I disappear from this earth was it the result of curse Or did a higher plane just open up vacancy? You got me sub scribed, I just wanted the free wifi A fire fit and a walk along the Highline A pint of cider or a cup of chamomile, I'm simple in desire, I don't need the second phone line The candle was a votive I used to want to get quoted Now I just wanna learn to be devoted Fell out of line like an old notification That red numeral haunt me like a seance God bless the decimals and every algorithm The court cases that told corporations that they livin I find my space in the recycle bin and I wonder if it's true that stray dogs go to heaven Amen. 2:40 Outro Tap me on the shoulder I'll hold you in the dark They say all we need is time But all we got is us
3.
02:58
0:12 Verse 1 I got lost in LA, for a hot second All of my life goals turnin into life lessons Seen viral success turn into second guessin Done too many things just tryin to find mentions Insecurity, almost thirty actin immature Inadvertently, I was thirsty then it's all a blur No analogies, I won't hide behind the words It's just my apologies to all the friends I might have hurt I know you well-wishin when you speak of fame but it's a thin line between well diggin and diggin graves They let the bird sing inside the cage, But the clipped wing rings louder than the praise hey LA got haze that's the green weed, Ever since a shorty, I aimed for the big league Chu, in the pocket like iPhone in jeans My dream: make a livin if I just do, me Wanna see beyond the frame of the Gram pictures I wanna see what I can make without the analytics wanna rip stage without thinkin attendance Learn to lead by listenin, not like these influencers 1:11 Chorus I got lost in LA for a hot second All of my life goals turnin into life lessons (Life lessons) Learn to lead by listening, not like these influencers 1:31 Verse 2 I'm less concerned about what they think of me now I tried to stay home and learn to be a good spouse Real spit, we was always a second away from dippin, thanks to Jon for input and weekend spent on his couch Right now? I measure impact in my house If I can't rock that then why would I go out? They say the other side, that's where the grass green But if you ask me, it's freshest where you water the leaves Wifey was my partner like we sponsorin a start up Satin garment like a Starter when she came home I was starstruck Sparkin like a starter spittin fire in a motor You come startin shit unguarded she be very far from harmless Honest, she kicked it with the crews like a princess Never got bored with her moods - that's Pinterest That ring - that vow - that was commitment This life - that girl - that's who my influence was 2:20 Chorus I got lost in LA for a hot second All of my life goals turnin into life lessons (Life lessons) Learn to lead by listening, not like these influencers
4.
5.
Go, on and on And on and on x4 0:22 Verse 1 Holy water rainin from the skies I call it Christmas The best gift since I would come to Jesus wit my wishlist Back when grandma lived in DC, we would drive to visit Back when CDs outta the plastic were a new religion Prayed for it Saved for it Wait… Used to dream about this very moment when I felt foreign Runnin like Gump, Forrest life slippin past me Not into athletics, more a type of Mathlete Track meet, souls on concrete outside that Acme - fillin the parking lot, acne and energy Used to ride in Brett’s side seat, shotgun Now he got a kid in first grade, that’s awesome I only met his daughter twice Ten years went fast, out of sight Drops on the sidewalk in the light And the water wash away all my sins, Christ 1:08 Chorus Take a look at me now And I'm fallin I'm goin right back to your arms Take a look at me now And you're calling I didn't know we'd get so far 1:39 Verse 2 Been down a lot of these roads That no one knows, where no one goes They turn no stones around here Seem fishy like Pisces, but the water they swim in is up in they eyes like it’s Visine Or geysers Faithful Who do you pray to? And who do you pray for? 9-11 come through just to pick up the pesos And they don’t even leave bits when they leave the room announcin it’s case closed It’s a puzzle In my face, I wear it like a muzzle I trained it like a muscle Hard to crack, yea, it’s like a mussel But when the eyes opened, the chakra, can flow Hands up they still blow Nonviolent, the steel toes The lion, the witch knows He’s silent, but not for, ever no 2:48 Chorus Take a look at me now And I'm fallin I'm goin right back to your arms Take a look at me now And you're calling I didn't know we'd get so far
6.
0:28 Chorus Will you hold me close in your memories? Will you smile when you dream of my open doors? Will you hold me close in your memories? I smile when you land on distant shores 0:52 Verse 1 Now let me celebrate my town a little bit To keep it humble, people forget that we exist Odds are good, they don't know anyone that reps But you know: anything precious is often scarce This is a love song to cold nights and rainy winters Headlights on Kirkwood Highway in December Slidin down Lancaster Pike at like 6 AM and Wawa's diet peach iced tea, the taste still lingers To all the townies, who grew up on Main Street Half your high school class wound up at UD Sneakin in the Stone Balloon with fake ID, get kicked out, then we hang out in the side streets Rehoboth summer breaks and Hockessin Soccer Leagues Three Little Bakers and Kahunaville, RIP I been all around the world but still I never leave cuz everywhere I go, I bring it with me in my memories 1:38 Chorus Will you hold me close in your memories? Will you smile when you dream of my open doors? Will you hold me close in your memories? I smile when you land on distant shores 2:01 Verse 2 Now let me first of all acknowledge what it is To keep it honest often I wanted to just forget Spent half of my lifetime just runnin from the past - but I, Circled the track to see it made me who I am So it's a love song to warm nights and wet summers Two showers a day, the sweat still runnin Happy Harry's, runnin errands on a low budget Rita's Italian Ice, eatin cold custard Sheel's basement, Woodside Creamery, The Harmony Grange, White Clay Creek scenery Often dreamed of escapin to Philly sEcretly, instead we loitered in the Newark Shopping Center frEquently These are the places that raised me right 95 percent of yall might not get that life That's fine, because it's not why I write It's to connect me to my roots so I can reach towards the light Chorus Will you hold me close in your memories? Will you smile when you dream of my open doors? Will you hold me close in your memories? I smile when you land on distant shores
7.
Verse 1 Thank God for every microphone and engineer Every single plane ticket that done brought me here All the late nights it took to build a long career And the job that moved my family to Delaware Thank God for my family, my mom and dad We got our battle scars but they still got my back My little sister, I'm proud that she's in therapy Teachin me to do the work to build a better me Thanks to the exes, who gave me a chance to love Thanks to homeschooling I never got hooked on drugs Thanks to John, who taught me how to use kung fu Thanks to 302, you taught me how to stay humble And thanks to the fans, and every single person, who took the time to listen even if you didn't purchase I hope that it was worth it and it gave you a sense of purpose, if I helped you through the day I was happy to be of service And I was grateful though it didn't always come through Thanks for all the moments that you thought I was the one too Elizabeth, our marriage, it was the hardest thing But I was thankful every time I saw our wedding rings Chorus Sit here as the world spins Sit here as the world spins And God bless the day God bless the day I sit here as the world spins Let's sit here as the world spins And God bless the day God bless the day 1:35 Verse 2 I curse like a sailor, then I sing like a choir Go to church in the morning, get to work after hours .Sit on the stoop and meditate to get higher Step to the stage then I burn like a fire Let me build a bigger chapel so the world can visit If I paint a better picture, would you come and listen? Living present in the moment cuz I know that every one is precious What would you do if you knew there was no fear of failure? Resetting what I thought the game was in life Even if it's all for love it still takes sacrifice Too many artists wind up Fyre festivals - I'mma be rap game brussel sprouts and vegetables A superfood, superlosers co on my back My very first praise song, Jung on the track I'm not here to perform, cuz I don't know how to act I'm just sharing my life and I do it through rap Chorus Sit here as the world spins Sit here as the world spins And God bless the day God bless the day I sit here as the world spins Let's sit here as the world spins And God bless the day God bless the day Bridge And bless the day, the sun is Going down Bless the day, the world is Spinning around Oh, bless this day, the sun is Going down Oh, bless this day Chorus Sit here as the world spins Sit here as the world spins And God bless the day God bless the day I sit here as the world spins Let's sit here as the world spins And God bless the day God bless the day
8.
02:47
Russell Jeung says Chinese people can speak two love languages fluently: food and sacrifice. Every time I visit her apartment, my grandma does two things: she cooks pan fried dumplings and she presses a new $100 bill into my hand, Benjamin Franklin wrapped in a red envelope like a robe. She lives across from the Montgomery Mall, where we walk after lunch, bellies straining, to search up and down the aisles of K*B Toys. I lie on her carpet through the late afternoon playing with my new LEGOs as she watches the Chinese news on her old TV. Grandma is an immigrant - worked to support three sons - knows how to leave everything behind - knows these dollars are nothing more than a nursery of fading green, a paper thin cocoon transforming labor into life. What idiot collects shed skin and dead hair and calls that life? I do. For two months, my friend David hid every mirror in his house, turning frames and taping up newspaper until he was living in a perpetual state of tornado readiness. He said: the more he looked at himself, the less he saw others. I’m afraid to accept that I’ve forgotten how to see you, grown used to seeing what I need from you; Terrified to confess that I care more about what I’m saying than who I’m saying it to. That’s not language. It’s a mirror. And isn’t our world filled with mirrors, kisses like cold glass and songs clear and clean like the air in a bank? Maybe the answer is learn from grandma: I'll cook you your favorite food, press into your hand my stored labors which you will spend on late afternoons with me. If I'm gonna live in a world where kisses taste like summer and songs sing like two palms warm against each other, I will need to speak In a language I haven’t yet mastered, but need to. We speak two love languages fluently: food and sacrifice.
9.
Thank you, but it's an honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian Verse 1 (jason) From gold skin to cinnamon Green cards and citizens Airlifts, university scholarships, and immigrants Dark hair and irises Young without collagen Whatever we playin at you know we be killin it Humble but dominant Grew up an acrobat Flip from laundromat to graduate to diplomat Called Chinamen by the ignorant The wise they call them gentlemen, Yall know what time it is - I love my people how we haggle at the markets Take a family vacation to the outlets Eatin out it's not a question if we gon split Or if anyone take the last portion, no I love the smell of salt and sweet, Gold in the air like the sun off the beach I love the stories that make us so unique You can copy the food but the soul is outta reach It's an honor Honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian 1:06 Verse 2 (Uzuhan) Ay, OK It's the voice of the people, uh Voice from the steeple, uh Voice of illegals who tug of war with the eagle, uh OK, I speak up, go kick your feet up Then say they takin all the jobs while they clean up, yea So just sweep em and push em to the side But keep em if you see the dollar signs Your story's so unique! Say we need em but actions admit the lie If history's repeating I don't think we'll even mind yeah Get your clout points, mm, pimpin our voice, yea, breath of fresh air, guess I'm just your Altoid People of color, yea, need to be scholars, and lift it up in honor, time to remove the shot caller Used as your token but even checks fade Tell me, which of your pawns will fight a checkmate? I know you need us, just admit that you do In a decade you will see if what we're saying is true, It's an honor- Honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian Honor Just to be asian 1:23 Verse 3 (jason) White and blue collar They come, became martyrs Honor to all the mothers and fathers of daughters, Sons of back kitchens, liquor stores, and corners, Dollar cabs, massage parlors and fruit farmers Grew up with no role models and no stories Learned to use tongues and brains in due order War? They called on us then left us war-torn, it's no surprise we cut borders but not corners And they treat my father like he still a tourist But they got no problem buyin Sony or a Taurus Hypocrites, I'm learnin to ignore em Cuz the obstacles they gave us only taught us how to flourish Artesia to Tyson's Corner, the streets of Flushing, Plano! Yea my peoples gorgeous Sky is the limit, since Bruce broke the boards, I know no bamboo could ever hold us under water It's an honor
10.
02:41
On the train with a strange man sittin next to me, if I end deceased, rest in peace and call my next of kin I'm ponderin this question on a concrete mezzanine: Entertainment is a necessity? Or luxury? Give me a tummy tuck or tuck me into cotton sheets Either way my appetite is piqued by the monotony Now every director out here playin Sophocles Bored with the vanilla, had to push it til they fed asleep Ever been out on the road? Wonder if you could handle the tours I know that you think you could go But really you more of a tourist Why are we all runnin so fast? There's dignity in being tortoise Told all a your friends you was lovin the show but you only was singin the chorus 00:55 Chorus Photographers come for your head This music it go to the chest You tired? I sleep when I'm dead This music it covers the rest x2 1:07 Verse 2 I wanted to follow the King But I slipped on the balcony steps The bullet went over my head and it hid in a box of ballots instead I wanted to carry a crown but they gave me a circle of lead Put my hands on it and turned it to gold then they took it and gave me some cash Moon light, white beam through my window She's on my lock screen til I been home Red eye, numbers pass like it's bingo If this was a sing along her beat would be my intro This music is really so beautiful, I been to everywhere except Georgia Shouts to the people I met who the homies, the circle is really so gorgeous Picked up a cookie and broke it in half and inside I discovered this fortune: Luck and ability get to the top but it's character keeps you from fallin Drivin, 75 in the fast lane Snow drifts on my windshield like ashtrays Headlights up through the night like Batman If I made a mistake, pray that God can back space 1:49 Chorus 2 She's flyin away on a jet With music to keep in her chest I'll carry her smile in my head I'll see her again when we rest x2

about

The new album from Chinese American rapper jason chu, living.room began on a trip home in early 2019 to move his family out of their house of 26 years. Starting with those demos written in his childhood neighborhood, the project was completed in the midst of a global pandemic and national lockdown. A reflection on growth, homecoming, and rest, living.room is 10 tracks of casually lyrical lo-fi rap music for warm, thoughtful days at home.

Created with jazz-hop producer Elyonbeats, the album features live instrumentation from keyboardist Fictitious Professor and touring guitarist Jeremy Ting along with sax player Neel Ghosh, with vocals courtesy of indie-pop artist Joe Kye, folk musician Shane Palko, singer/songwriter Leo Xia, and Atlanta rapper Uzuhan.

credits

released June 5, 2020

Produced by Elyonbeats, Nate Kodi, Mixtape Seoul, Chase "Flow" Bradley
Additional instrumentation by Joe Kye, Fictitious Professor, Jeremy Ting, Neel Ghosh.
Mixed by Joseph "HD" D'Ottavi (Track 1, 3-10) and Joshua Abelson (Track 2)
Photography by Fictitious Professor
Art direction by jason chu

Thanks to my creative collaborators and partners: Elyonbeats, Cam + Yuli, NITEMRKT, Andrew Chau, Fictitious Professor, Jeremy Ting, John Kim, Neel Ghosh, Joe Kye, Chase Flow, HD, Samantha Shen, Andrew Lee at 3Arts, and Nicholas Minniti at Proper One. Thanks especially to Peter, Kevin, and Tina N at GGE.

A special thanks to The Slants Foundation and Simon Tam for a generous grant in support of art that serves as an open letter to those who are furthering hate - in a manner that creates empathy, connection, and compassion. Find out more at www.theslants.org.

Shouts to 302, especially the Chu family, the Weber family (Brett, Marta, Justin, Karen, Jeremy), the Ganatra family, the Ogunnaike family, Kiel Drake, the Hung Wing Chinese Cultural Center, and Mrs. Gupta.

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jason chu Los Angeles, California

Speaking hope, healing, and justice in a broken world.

#TeamNotLazy

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