KWONG WAS A GOD.
Everything was about to change. In less than forty-eight hours, guy’d be taking the stage in Van City, owning an audience meant for some all-hype-no-talent new-money rapper, spitting next-level truths that’d have a&rs scrapping for him coast to coast.
He’d ink some paper and drop an album that the world didn’t even know it had been waiting for. All with game and swag to spare.
To the kids gathered out there in the bush somewhere between Township Road 382 and the United States of mtv, this man was god. Chi-rhyme, nip-hop, zippa-flow, slanty, jaunedell, chinksta: all planets in a system revolving around its rising son, King Kwong, my brother.
Chinksta rap is all the rage in Red Deer, Alberta. And the king of Chinksta is King Kwong, Run’s older brother. Run isn’t a fan of Kwong’s music – or personality, really. But when Kwong goes missing just days before his crowning performance and their mom gets wounded by a stray bullet, Run finds himself, with his sidekick, Ali, in the middle of a violent battle between Red Deer’s rival gangs – the Apes and the Necks – on the run from his crush’s behemoth brother, and rethinking his feelings about his family and their history, his hatred of rice-rap and what it means to be Asian.
Jonathan Chan Simpson grew up in Red Deer, Alberta, and lives in Toronto, Ontario. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s MA creative writing program, and his work has been featured in Ricepaper magazine.