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xmag.com : May 2002: Like WOW!

Once in a while, in the ordinary lifetime of an ordinary man such as I, a musical artist emerges who oozes such talent, personality, and GREAT HAIR that one is stopped dead in one's tracks and forced to say, "Like, WOW!"

Y2Khai is just such an artist.

He dresses like Elvis. He looks like a Chinaman. He sounds like a retard. His lyrics are disgusting, with rampant references to poop and STDs. He raps about his tight, sweaty balls and about sucking on his girlfriend's dirty, stinky toes. He is Y2Khai. He is, quite simply, my favorite modern American musician operating within an urban-contemporary format.

His website, y2khai.com, is the funniest site in the world. And in a wistfully poetic way, it's fitting that what is perhaps the greatest website of our time would also feature what is undoubtedly the greatest song of the modern era, Y2Khai's "Wow." I have watched the video for "Wow" at least nine hundred times. "Like, WOW! Like...WOW!" That's all you can say after seeing this short Flash video featuring, among other things: a girl in legwarmers; a tranny who let Khai live at her condo and used "to have a ding-dong"; Khai eating a Big Montana sandwich at Arby's and dripping steak sauce on his underwear; and Khai pulling up in his bumpin' vintage Impala to the local high school and getting surrounded by "a gang of bitches" before he turns "the ugly hoes away" and peels out. "Like...WOW!" That's all you...and your friends...and all of their friends...will say for weeks and weeks after seeing the video for this
maddeningly infectious song, and, frankly, it becomes tiresome.

If his website is to be believed, Khai haunts the mean streets of California's San Fernando Valley (or as Khai calls it in his charming street argot, "The S.F.V."), spending most of every day smoking da chronic,
driving around in his Impala, and playing bitches for money and sex. Y2khai.com features MP3s and videos for a mere seven songs that total barely eight minutes, which I'm assuming is pretty much all of Y2Khai's recorded canon. Almost all of the songs are short, crude, hilarious remakes of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem records...well, they're not really even remakes. It sounds like Khai used the actual backing tracks from the originals, so the overall effect is more like karaoke wherein the singer improvises lyrics about poop and transsexuals.

Khai's English-as-a-Second-Language, soft-enough-to-be-a-fag's voice clashes hilariously against the hardcore-rappa persona he's trying to
project, but maybe it isn't so contradictory after all. Actin' like a ree-tard has a long, noble, curious tradition in hip-hop, dating back to Humpty Hump in the early 90s and Dana Dane before him. Through some weird, mystical, Coptic ritual inversion, if one acts REALLY uncool, unfunky, and unsexy, they suddenly become the coolest, funkiest, sexiest jibber-jabber in the whole hip-hop Biosphere.

Khai's site has photo galleries featuring pix of topless or almost-topless girls who've scrawled "Y2Khai" onto various body parts, as well as a
disturbingly large section of Fan Art wherein Khai's

sunglass-wearing, Elvis-bewigged head is Photoshopped onto the bodies of pop icons such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson, and Bigfoot. The
site also hawks Y2Khai T-Shirts and promises a "new Hip-Hopumentary video on Y2Khai coming soon" which I predict will be the best music-related film since Vanilla Ice's Cool as Ice. The site also host several lively discussion boards, but I never join groups except to
spy on them.

For a week or so after discovering Khai's website, I felt happy. I felt energized. There was a spring to my step and a song in my heart. I felt hopeful for the first time in years. I felt fully alive for perhaps the first time in my life. I took a deep breath and pondered the possibility that my childhood premonitions about my life ending in disaster were wrong. And the reason for my startling psychological recovery was Y2Khai, and Y2Khai alone.

And then, to my severe karmic horror, I began reading Internet rumors that there is no "real" Y2Khai at all, that the pictures of the Asian lad in the Elvis outfit are all photos of some obscure Asian singer from... y'know... Asia...and that the entire site was concocted by some bored, potty-mouthed computer nerds looking for a cheap laugh and a fast buck, a bunch of cold-hearted sharks who don't care about shattering the admittedly delusional dreams of unstable persons such as me.

My dismay grew deeper after I e-mailed

"Khai" asking for a phone interview and received this response:


Hi Chumley,


This is Y2khai. Sorry I don't do phone interview. But, you can sent me the questions and I will try to answer them. thanks


This is where I started getting REALLY suspicious. Why wouldn't he do a phone interview? It's a lot easier to do than e-mail. And come to think of it, no REAL Asian would drop the 's' in the word 'interviews' like that. Neither would a REAL Asian write, "you can SENT me the questions." He might say it, but he wouldn't write it that way. Suddenly, something seems highly fake about it all to me. It's almost as if he had written, So solly about you ruck--you rikey flied lice?

Come to think of it, y2khai.com features ubiquitous banner ads for some dorky-looking white musician dude named John Patrick Foshee, so maybe that's the White Guy Behind Y2Khai, the white guy who burst my bubble and broke my heart.

Or maybe I'm overreacting. I'm good at that.

But I began sweating. I started pacing. Beads of sweat began forming on my head like Turtle Wax Car Polish. My heart went thumpity-thump in the night. I was afraid to ask any more questions, because I really couldn't bear to hear that there was no Y2Khai. I wanted to believe in him, and so I did. I fell into a state of cognitive dissonance; the more evidence I had that there
was no Khai, the more I believed in Khai. When I heard the mere suggestion of his nonexistence, I didn't want
to believe my ears and wished misfortune upon those
who would dare suggest such a thing. I had fallen in
love with Y2Khai. I wanted there to be a Y2Khai just like I wanted there to
be a Santa Claus. And
I would get my wish, even if I had to hurt people in the process.







He talks about ass and feces even more than I do.

As opposed to most rappers, who tend to be muscular black males from the inner city with an apparent chip on their shoulders, his goofy Asian persona is sexually non-threatening to me.


He has trouble pronouncing past-tense forms of English verbs and will add an unnecessary syllable at the end. For instance, he'll say the word boned like "bone-did," and he says checked like "check-id." He also pronounced settle like "shettle," which is mildly charming.


He flaunts an unashamed
proclivity for underaged girls, as evidenced by the lyrics, "All of my girls are in Junior High/They all ask why Khai is so fly" and "Khai creepin' up to the high school like
a Chester."


He keeps referring to California's San Fernando Valley as if it were a crime-ridden urban 'hood rather than the home of child-loving pop star Michael Jackson.


In the song "The Khai Episode," he has the guts to tell his chubby girlfriend she's been eating too much pie.


And yet, despite that, he shows an empathetic side in the song





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