Blumio: Germany's "First Slant-eyed Star"

August 3, 2009

(This is what happens when Jenifer Wofford goes to live in Europe. She finds these things and sends them back to us.)

Meet Blumio. Yes, that's right, Blume, as in "flower," and io as in "silly rapper name." He's a Japanese German from Duesseldorf, who got his moniker from hanging out with friends on hallucinogens (somebody saw him all flowery one day.) But the name is appropriate because, in content anyway, he's kind of a solo, latter day, Japanese German Arrested Development, with less soul, but maybe more humor.

Apparently, at the age of 17, Blumio won some sort of MC contest and met Don Tone, with whom he seems to have produced most of his music, including his early mixtapes. He was signed to L Records (which seems to be defunct or hitting some sort of snag, since its website gives a 404 message.) Blumio hints in the interview (above) that something shady went down. Anyway, apparently through L, he burst onto the surprisingly robust German hip-hop scene with the single "Meine Lieblingsrapper" (My Favorite Rappers,) in which he parodied a number of popular German rappers, a tactic that went viral. He went on to build an audience for his songs via YouTube (the above vid for "Hey Mr. Nazi" has had over 600,000 hits in a single month.)

Since whatever happened to L Records, he decided to found his own label, Japsensoul (or "Jap-soul"), and just came out with his first album in June, The Yellow Album. No word yet on how it's doing. In fact, I had trouble finding out any information on him in German or US cyberspace. But I'll keep an eye out. (By the random way, there seems to be a weird strain of orientalism among German rappers. There's a "Taichi" [who's German], and a "Bushido" [who's Northern African.])

Anyway, Blumio says he wants to break out of the hip-hop mold ... and I'm not sure he's done that yet, but he's a funny and engaging rapper with a sort of pacifist, internationalist worldview. Some lyrics from "Hey Mr. Nazi" (above):

It's not easy dealing with loneliness
Everyone wants to be surrounded by likeminded people
But then, without meaning to, you're in a group of friends pointing your finger at outsiders
And no lie, it can happen fast
Most people have racist impulses somewhere
I see racist teachers and racist officers, racist Germans and racist foreigners
And I used to be a little racist myself; do you see how easy it is?
Yeah, I know you're always hearing me say "jap" this and "jap" that
But basically I don't care; I'm a nice guy, and that word is sapping my power
So today I'm casting off all my prejudices

Here's another song, "Ching Chang Chong", in what appears to be a fan video. The rap goes by too fast for me to catch everything, but here are some choice snippets (which rhyme and scan in German, natch):

Kid, you have a tattoo in Chinese characters
You think it means "luck" but it says "penis-face"
You're so arrogant it's indescribable
We Asians are likeable and modest
But enough is enough, I'm gonna fuck you in the ass
Blumio, the first slant-eyed star

... ching chang chong, ching chang chong
Yo fuck it, if you don't like me
Then "ching chang chong" means you can all fuck yourselves

A sentiment we can all get behind, yes?




Ich liebe ihn! Bluuuuumioooooooo!
"You're so arrogant it's indescribableWe Asians are likeable and modest"We Asians We Asians We Asians We Arrogant But Don't Realize It!