Long Beach State assistant professor of sociology and hip hop journalist Oliver Wang “remixed” his dissertation on the cultural phenomenon of predominantly Filipino Bay-Area mobile DJs of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s into the book Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wang discussed the particular social and cultural context that these crews developed in an interview with Vice:
I was used to thinking about how hip-hop crews were often very identify-focused—I came up during the era of pro-black/political hip-hop after all—and so my assumption was that this would be a major part of their identity as well. It wasn’t, though. Their self-awareness/pride in being Filipino was very individualistic but not reflected in the scene as a whole. If you just look at the names of the crews or the parties, there’s almost never an indication that these were predominantly Filipino American crews. There are any number of ways to possibly explain this: It was their age, it was their generation, it was the overall climate around race/ethnicity and music, it was because, as Filipinos, they’ve historically been treated as invisible. I do think, had this scene taken off in the 1990s, we may have seen a different dynamic because of the influence of hip-hop.
Read the whole interview here.