Nov 12, 2020 • 1HR 44M

The history of Filipino DJ culture in the Bay Area with Oliver Wang

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A podcast about Asia, Asian America, and life during the Coronavirus pandemic, featuring Jay Caspian Kang, Tammy Kim, and Andy Liu.
Episode details


Today we have something a bit different for you. TTSG goes a bit Melvyn Bragg with a history episode about Bay Area Filipino DJ culture. Our guest today is Oliver Wang, professor of sociology at Cal State Long Beach, one of the co-hosts of the Heat Rocks podcast, and the author of Legions of Boom, a fascinating book which tracks the history of Filipino immigrants into the Bay Area after the 1965 Hart-Celler Act — first into San Francisco and then out into suburbs like Daly City, Fremont, and Vallejo.

If you’ve ever wondered why so many of the top DJs in the word are Filipino and want to know the creation story behind legends like DJ QBert and the Invizibl Scratch Piklz, this is well worth your time. We discuss the mobile DJ scene in the 90s, the class dynamics of post-1965 Filipino immigrants versus the manongs who came over in the early 20th century and settled in San Francisco, and how music and a party scene can create a sense of cohesion and true identity.

Here’s some of the music these DJ crews created so you can play it as you listen along. Enjoy!

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