The identity of Asian Americans is a vital problem in contemporary Asian considers. In the course of one and a half centuries’ pioneering work in the United States, Asian Americans have experienced the following changes in their identity: temporary settlers, ethnic Americans, Asian Americans and the emerging multiracial or ethnic Americans to a certain extent. Each category of identity has different characteristics of the times and practical meaning, which imitates the receipt and revision of Asian Americans to American society and culture, and also reflects the complex status quo of ethnic identity in American multi-ethnic society. The paper analyses the identity of Asian Americans from the perspective of documentary Bad Rap, that is, pop rap.

Birth is the brand of a lifetime. Identity and emancipation are both ways of choosing.

According to Awkwafina, five years ago, there was even a prejudice in American music circles that “Asians can’t Rap”. In the documentary film “Bad Rap” directed by Salima Koroma, rapper Rekstizzy once complained that because we are Asian, there are always people who tell us what to do, and they think that Asians are uncomfortable singing. In that film, Awkwafina is also one of the four leading actors. He appeared with David Rekstizzy Lee, Jonathan Dumbfoundead Park and Richard Lyricks Lee to tell each other about their rough rap path. In fact, they do not get rid of their own identity, but rely on their own efforts to make others identify.

Actually, in the 1940s, due to long-term restrictions on immigration, the number of native Asians exceeded the number of immigrants for the first time. According to the relevant naturalization clauses in the United States, anyone instinctive in the United States has the right to develop a statutory citizen of the United States. In this way, the majority of Asian Americans have citizenship, which is a new feature of this period (Atkinson, Ruth, 1989). Among Asian Americans, for the first cohort of settlers at that time, old-style culture was their only mystical support in the development of enduring long-term political, economic and cultural violation, and it would be difficult for them to part with in their lifetime. However, compared with the early temporary residents or expatriates, their identity is no longer purely inherited from the old way of the latter. The basis of identity is based on region or language or religion, but largely on ethnic groups, descent and national origin, and on this basis a new ethnic residential area has been formed.

Moreover, it is necessary to note that this identification model continues even in the process of cultural adaptation and integration into the normal society of immigrants to the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. This is also the basis for our understanding of the rational existence of ethnic and cultural diversity in contemporary America. So for native Asian Americans, they are willing to be recognized as Americans in their hearts. Gordon, an American national theorist, pointed out that immigrants in the United States often complete cultural assimilation first before realizing the fundamental assimilation of social structure, that is, they are like Americans in terms of language, clothing and diet.

Identity is a label, and someone is always eager to erase it. According to a Korean woman who was born in Hawaii, in order to look more like an American, “In summer, many of my friends will go back to Japan to have their eyelids cut, which is not a surprise. And more people dye their hair brown.” She also remembers that her sister never wanted to go out with Asian men because they reminded her of accented English and unequal treatment (Eglash, 2002).

Nevertheless, the de facto racial segregation and prejudice have not disappeared, and the relative concentration of ethnic groups in living patterns still has a great impact on the preservation and extension of traditional culture. Whether in schools or in ethnic settlements, they are segregated from people of other races by something called race, which intensifies Asian youth’s reservations of American identity and their adherence to traditional culture.

They are willing to associate with people of the same ethnicity and establish contact with people of the same ethnicity in order to isolate and be isolated from the mainstream society. Even when they become middle class in American society, the influence of childhood or youth experience on realistic thinking cannot be ignored (Jennifer & Min, 2004) This influence will be projected into the process of education and cultivation of their children and future generations.

Birth is the brand of a lifetime. Identity and emancipation are both ways of choosing. Asian parents want their children to mix with their aristocracies and select lifelong associates, so the grade of intermarriage between Asian communities and foreigners is very limited. From this point of view, although most of the Asian Americans of this generation belong to American citizens and maintain the identity of Americans to a considerable extent, they still have its place to the cultural source of the ancestors of immigrants from the perspective of their psychological affiliation (Jennifer & Min, 2004).

They are cultural Americans with robust characteristics of their own ethnic groups and are mutually reinforcing. Separated Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. In fact, this identity has its own characteristics of the times. It is the choice that the second cohort of immigrants can make from the consideration on the knowledge of their precursors and the adaptation to actual life. It is in line with the gratitude and receipt of them by society of American. Compared with their descendants, their living space was still limited and hindered under the historical conditions at that time, which in fact opened up the compatibility between Asian Americans in the United States and the normal society.

According to an interview with Awkwafina, one of Bad Rap’s leading actors, as a female Rapper, it is by no means easy to gain a foothold in American music circles, let alone a high reputation. With the label of Asian Rapper, it is even more difficult. Although Awkwafina is a native New Yorker, like other Asian Americans, she is not integrated into a black-and-white dual society, but the more she wants to get rid of it, the heavier her sense of alienation becomes.

In the 1960s, the torrential social progress gave birth to the developing of Asian ethnic awareness. Asian Americans in the United States set an instance for blacks and campaigned for equal rights of political as whites. The descendants of different ethnic groups abstract the history of separate ethnic collections into the history of the whole group, create a new culture, extract a pan-Asian identity from the common experience of exclusion and discrimination of their ancestors’ immigrants, and make it the ideological basis for uniting all ethnic groups of Asian descent, and realize the rights of the group.

Instead of realizing the interests of individual communities, Americans of Asian descent are called upon to act jointly for their fundamental rights as Americans. The name “Asian Americans” emerged as the times need. It is not just the collection of multi-ethnic sub-groups under large ethnic categories any more, but is crossing over Asian sub-groups for marriage, and forming new groups and universal unions. At this time, the third and fourth generations of immigrants have become the main components of Asian Americans. And they have been deeply affected by American culture for a long time (Jennifer & Min, 2004).

American ideas, American ways and American environment have formed them into supporters of white culture. The objective living environment makes them lean towards to identify with an American. Especially the descendants of Japanese immigrants, due to the decrease of immigrants from Japan to the United States in recent years, the inheritance and extension of traditional culture lack the necessary supply, so they emphasize their American identity. For most of the third and fourth generation Asian Americans instinctive and educated in the United States, traditional culture, if it exists, is more likely to play an ethnic symbolic role and does not play a decisive role in their real life. This is different from their ancestors’ immigration.

However, as time goes by, when the experience of immigrants is rendered as a political need, as Marcus Hansen Lee said, “the second generation of immigrants tries to forget, the third generation is remembering.” Even according to multiculturalists, Zheng reiterates that they belong to ethnic minorities separated by racial politics and practice in the United States, refuses to recognize previous efforts to enter the mainstream society, and reiterates the right to autonomous ethnic identity in a culturally pluralistic society. However, the coming American culture has silently reshaped the offspring of these immigrants, who have been powerless to erase the influence of American culture and survive in the American method.

They are still citizens and members of American society, and they have no selection to respect Americans as their key identity, or as Americans of Asian ancestry. For the majority of Asian Americans, although in some ways they still live in Asian communities, such as symbolically participating in various activities of the community, more or less influenced by the cultural traditions of their ancestors, and having deep or shallow ethnic awareness, it is difficult to find traditional cultural elements in their way of life. As a defensive strategy, Asian Americans need to conceal their conscious ethnicity and tend to emphasize their American identity, consciously or unconsciously. Even to some extent, it can be understood that multiculturalism, as an academic contention, is more popular with some Asian Americans.

Emphasizing pan-ethnicity is a necessary strategy adopted by leaders of ethnic communities to safeguard the interests of a particular group; most ordinary people tend to identify themselves as Americans (Deborah, 2004). Moreover, for the latter, identification with Asian ancestry is not an obstacle to pure American identity. The former is only a cognitive problem, or a symbolic addition, but cannot be a substitute. Asian descent is an indelible feature of their descendants as Asian descendants. It is also the only symbol of the distinction between Asian groups and mainstream societies and other ethnic groups. At the same time, there is a large group of Asian Americans, namely the new immigration group. Their arrival has further strengthened Asian identity with American culture.

The new generation of immigrants who entered the United States after the 1965 Immigration Act, regardless of their overall cultural quality, background and living environment, are far different from those of early or early immigrants (Wong, Deborah & Elliot,1994). Their advanced educational experience and the advance of contemporary cultural and technological connections, together with the ever-improving ethnic relations in the United States, are all new. Successful adaptation of generation immigrants provides more accepting and free-living plot.

The new generation of Asian Americans maintained a high level of American identity and the opposite degree of ethnic identity in a relatively relaxed environment. Some studies have pointed out that young Korean Americans who developed in the United States have striking similarities with Asian Americans born in the United States, that is, after experiencing American life and cultural baptism, their identity will gradually tend to Asian Americans. Because of the intimate association with their parents’ culture, they are offspring of Asian descendants and successors in traditional ethnic culture. All at once, because they raised in the surroundings of American culture, they are completely American in American culture. Both of them are mutually sovereign and balancing, and show enormous flexibility and adaptableness, so they can be more flexible in the two cultures.


The identity of Asian Americans is founded on ethnic and racial awareness, from the preservation of early temporary colonizers’ village consciousness to the emergence of independent ethnic awareness to the rise of pan-Asian consciousness, and finally to the direction of multi-ethnic or ethnic realization. This is not only the accurate result of American national policy, but also the unavoidable trend of Asian Americans adapting to the normal culture step by step. It is in view of this that the diversity of nationalities and cultures has become a protuberant characteristic of American society, and the United States will show great vitality and attraction.