Were You Listening? Track 13: Ojos Chinos

April 21, 2021 Mix(ed)tape Season 7 Episode 13
Were You Listening? Track 13: Ojos Chinos
Show Notes

In Ojos Chinos El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico reveals a blind spot with respect to people of Asian descent. The song is a confusing act that oscillates between appreciation and mockery of Asian and Asian-Hispanic people. Although we love El Gran Combo here at The Mix(ed)tape Podcast, would this love we have for El Gran Combo be true if we weren’t willing to point at the blind spots as well? Probably not. So here we are, using this song to grow together.

Why is it a confusing act? Well, on the one hand, the song professes abounding, overflowing love for a Chinese muse (the chinita). On the other, it creates a racialized stereotype of Asian people by coupling exaggerated fake Chinese accents in Spanish, with references to Asian food items, and with poor emulations of Chinese sounds. The original cover of the album where the song first appeared tilts the scale further on the side of mockery by relying on blatant yellow face.  

Were we listening?

The construction of this episode was a collaboration between our Host/Producer Andrés Hincapié and our Graphic Content Creator Susan Mykalcio, who is a woman of Asian descent.

Check out our playlist Arroz con Salsa!

For more info and resources check our website  here and our YouTube channel here.

Contact us at: themixedtapepodcast@gmail.com

If you like the music we use check our playlists here.

Host/Director of Series: Andrés Hincapié, PhD
Producer: Melissa Villodas, PhD Candidate
Graphic Content Creator: Susan Mykalcio