We Belong '21 (feat Ann One / prod. by Chucky Kim)

by Magnetic North & Taiyo Na

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about

We Belong '21 (feat. Ann One / prod. by Chucky Kim)
By Magnetic North & Taiyo Na

All Streaming Links: ffm.to/webelong21
Music Video: youtu.be/2k8euwSwXWU

In 2010, “We Belong” by Magnetic North & Taiyo Na was a rallying cry for humanity and belonging amidst the AAPI community's experiences with erasure, exclusion and absurdity. Sampling Asian American folk pioneer Chris Iijima on the chorus, the song was part of a larger thematic album Home:Word, where homeland and refuge were explored from an Asian American migrant perspective.

In 2021, the context of increased anti-Asian violence, particularly the mass shootings in Atlanta and Indianapolis, called for a new rendition of the song. Even community members such as Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man asked for an updated version. "We Belong '21" adds layers of urgency and relevance to the original topic, delving deeper into experiences of a community being appropriated and othered while pointing towards the possibilities of solidarity and action to bring us forward. The incomparable Ann One lends her voice to sing Iijima's timeless words.

lyrics

Verse 1 (TVu)
I’m here, grew up on the shores of America
Open up shop ran stores in America
Washed windows cleaned floors in America
Only trust me with your chores in America
Just need one open door in America
Cried when we elected 44 for America
My families here fought wars for America
On TV just a whore for America
I get the memo this is your America
Still take my money, tax forms in America
Take our food charge more in America
Use our culture for decor in America
The history that you can’t ignore America
I’m the leader I was looking for America
Never silent, keeping score America
And it’s time I needed more

Chorus
We're still here
We're going strong
And we're getting tired of proving we belong
We're still here
We're going strong
And we're getting tired of proving we belong

Verse 2 (Derek)
We’ve come a long way, but what’s changed?
Since Vincent Chin, the difference just - names
Xiaojie, Daoyou, Suncha - know these names
Hyun Jung, Soon Chung, Yong Ae - we have names
Victims, silenced, evicted from our lives cuz
Our skin is the color they love to villainize
But if it’s food, movies, or women, they love to fetishize
But if it’s COVID-19, then oh - China Virus
Fuck these colonizers, calling us outsiders
We built this country too, and they built it alongside us
1 generation 2 generation 3
To the young generation, you generate me
So T, Taiyo, Ann One, and Chucky
And anyone who feels like a guest in their country
And everyone who’s ever lost somebody to the struggle
Know you’re not alone, I promise all of my people, y’all we love you
And we’re here

(Chorus)

Bridge
Because these hands have washed the clothes
And these hands have served the food heaven knows
And my neck has felt the mob's rope and it's been behind barbed wire
My arms have nailed down railroad track and our back has been for hire
And these hands have fought injustice and this soul is still on fire

Verse 3 (Taiyo)
We belong to each other, magnitude and bond
Black feminist scholarship indigenous songs
Belong at the center like ethnic studies
Be the robinhood and invest in us, we
Be living pleasure acts abundantly
Abolition is healing our suffering
Belong in our purpose, to the ones in need
Cause if one ain't got it, ain't no one free
I speak from the streets of Lenapehoking
All my relations need reparations
Power to the people, our disposition
Belong to the land with first nations' permission
--Maktub-- the word that was written
When we decolonize, we belong to wisdom
The cry for liberty
the right side of history
Overstand the bigotry it's never really finished, see here

Chorus
Here even when the smoke is cleared
Strong even when the hope is gone
Cuz we're getting tired of proving we belong
But we keep holdin' on
Here even after all these years
Strong even when it all went wrong
We're getting tired of proving we belong

credits

released May 3, 2021
(C. Iijima, D. Kan, C. Kim, T. Na, T. Vu)
Produced and mixed by Chucky Kim
Original sample from Chris Iijima “Asian Song”
Keys by Jaron Lum
Guitars by Takenori Nishiuchi
Horns by Andrew Sumabat
Bass by Chucky Kim
Additional drum samples by Abraham Kim and David Kong
Mastered by Bob Power
Artwork by Sahra Nguyen

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