Jin Au-Yeung (Chinese name: 歐陽靖; born June 4, 1982), known as MC Jin, is an American rapper, songwriter and actor of Hakka descent who is the first Asian American solo rapper to be signed to a major record label in the United States. Born in Miami, Florida and later living in New York City, he lived in Hong Kong for several years before returning to New York in the summer of 2012.
Jin Au-Yeung was born on June 4, 1982, in Miami, Florida, to Hong Kong immigrants of Hakka descent. He was raised in the general Miami area, where his parents owned a Chinese restaurant and Jin attended John F. Kennedy Middle School in North Miami Beach. Jin went on to attend North Miami Beach Senior High School, from which he graduated in the year 2000. After graduating Jin decided to forgo college and begin his rap career, moving to Queens, New York City with his parents in 2001. While there, Jin participated in many rap battles with his peers.
2001: Freestyle Friday
Jin began performing freestyles and selling his own mixtapes on the streets, in hip hop clubs and wherever else possible. While battling on the streets, he was spotted by Kamel Pratt, who then became his manager; together, they formed Crafty Plugz Entertainment. Au-Yeung's big break came when the BET program 106 & Park began inviting local rappers to hold battles in a segment known as Freestyle Friday. He won seven battles in a row, enabling him to be inducted in the Freestyle Friday Hall of Fame. Unlike other competitors, Jin occasionally spoke Cantonese in his freestyle verses.
2002–2005: Ruff Ryders Era
That same night of his Hall of Fame induction, he announced that he had signed a deal with the Ruff Ryders label. His first single under Ruff Ryders was titled "Learn Chinese". It contained a sample from song "Blind Man Can See It", by James Brown (also sampled by Das EFX and Lord Finesse). The second and final single for the album was originally supposed to be "I Got a Love" featuring Kanye West. The album was originally scheduled to be released in the summer of 2003, but was delayed for over a year by the label. In October 2004, Jin released his debut album, The Rest Is History, which reached number 54 of the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. The two singles, "Learn Chinese" and "Senorita", were not major mainstream successes. Nonetheless, Jin's music video for "Learn Chinese" was the first video ever to be played on MTV Chi.
2005–2007: Independent label
On April 23, 2005, Jin and rapper Serius Jones engaged in a rap battle. The battle was featured on Fight Klub DVD.
On May 18, 2005, Jin revealed that he would be putting his rap career on hold in order to explore other options. To make this clear, he recorded a song titled "I Quit", produced by the Golden Child. The announcement was widely misunderstood to have marked the end of Jin's rap career. However, he later re-emerged under a different alias, The Emcee, and freestyled over such songs as Jay-Z's "Dear Summer." He released a single called "Top 5 (Dead or Alive)" in which he explored the history of hip-hop's greatest artists, using lyrics. The legendary DJ Kool Herc, who is credited as the founder of hip-hop, appears in Jin's music video. With independent label CraftyPlugz/Draft Records, Jin released his second album, The Emcee's Properganda, on October 25, 2005.
Jin was also featured on Taiwanese pop artist Leehom Wang's 2005 album Heroes of Earth. Together, Jin and Leehom performed their "Heroes of the Earth" collaboration live in Shanghai on February 16, 2006 at an event arranged by China-resident American A&R exec Andrew Ballen. Ballen was also the first promoter to bring Jin to mainland China in 2003 for his "The Rest is History" tour.
Jin released two albums in 2006. The first, 100 Grand Jin, was a mixtape that was released on August 29, 2006. The single released from the album is "FYI", for which the rapper shot and released a music video. The second album is Jin's third LP, I Promise.
On Jin's MySpace, Jin mentioned that he was working on another English album named "Birthdays, Funerals and Things in Between". Jin premiered a song called "Open Letter to Obama" on April 24, 2007, which made him become 1st on then-Presidential nominee Barack Obama's Top 8 list on MySpace.
On April 16, 2007, Jin made a tribute song to the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre called "Rain, Rain Go Away". Later that year, Jin decided to make his November 2006 online album, I Promise available in retail stores; it was given an October 23, 2007 release.
2008–2013: Success and fame in Hong Kong
Jin did a collaboration with Malaysian rapper Point Blanc in a track titled "One Day" (2008).
Mid-2008 saw Jin relocate to Hong Kong, initially for three months, to promote his first all-Cantonese language album ABC. The album was written and recorded in the US in 2006, but it wasn't until mid-2008 that Universal Records HK contacted Jin, interested in releasing the album there in the midst of an upsurge in interest in hip hop. In an interview Jin commented "I think with various artists, Cantonese hip-hop was starting to become more and more widespread"." ABC debuted at #1 and achieved gold status in Hong Kong.
He also put the song "Welcome to the Light Club" on his Myspace page. Jin is a Christian, stating in his song "Welcome to the Light Club" he was baptized in 2008. He has featured in Far East Movement's "Millionaire". He has done a track over a DJ Premier-produced joint titled "World Premier". He also collaborated with producer Trendsetter (aka Mark Holiday).
He has recently thrown out a Hip-Hop Census in honor of the 2010 Census and Chinese New Year, 2010. As said by Jin, this mixtape is open to anybody and will be mixed from the general population along with Jin. He released a mixtape entitled "Say Something", on May 15, 2010.
Jin released an album with his friend Hanjin Tan in 2010. On July 10, 2010, Jin collaborated with Singaporean Mandarin-language singer Hanjin Tan (陳奐仁) to release another Cantonese album 買一送一 (Buy one get one free). Jin also released a music video for his English single "Angels".
In December, 2010, Jin joined forces with Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang to release a Christmas music video entitled "Rap Now, 2010", which he performed for free. The video, with lyrics penned by Jin, featured a number of lines ending with "Act Now!" (起錨), echoing a Hong Kong government slogan. It garnered in excess of nine million views on the CE office's YouTube channel. A CNN report described the video as an "official eyesore" and "a political message thinly veiled as a Christmas card", and further criticised Jin's rapping as resembling "awkward nursery rhymes", in contrast to his earlier performances. However, local newspaper The Standard, in response to critics, stated in an editorial that "Tsang, like the millions who post videos of themselves or their loved ones, only wants to have fun."
On March 7, 2011, Jin released a music video for a song from his upcoming English album entitled "Charlie Sheen," collaborating with artists Dumbfoundead and Traphik/Timothy DeLaGhetto. Jin released an EP titled Sincerely Yours, a Christian-oriented and self-improvement-oriented EP featuring positive messages about life and self-reflective insights into his own life. Jin released his new single called "Shoot for the Moon" on June 4, 2011. On May 16, 2011, Jin released the track "AIYA" featuring label-mate, Toestah. He released a video on his YouTube channel consisting of hundreds of pictures of fans holding the aiya logo. On August 8, 2011, Jin released an all-Cantonese album, 回香靖 (Homecoming) in Hong Kong. And has since released several singles and music videos on YouTube.
Jin used to reside in Hong Kong. He starred frequently in commercials there, and made numerous appearances on TVB like Big Boys Club. He is also seen as an important part of recent Asian hip hop trends. Jin has since returned to the United States to reside permanently in New York again. In February 2012, Jin released a re-vamped version of his EP, Sincerely Yours 2.0, featuring some of the same lyrics, but many others changed, slightly altering the overall feel of the record. In August 2012, Jin released his English album, "Crazy Love Ridiculous Faith," for free download, an album in which he positively addresses both Christians and non-Christians. This album is intended to show a maturity in himself, as well. In December 2012, Jin released an EP called "Brand New Me EP."
2013–2017: Returning to the United States
In late 2013, Jin collaborated with independent label The Great Company. The first track to be released on the label was called "Hypocrite (The Gold Chapter)." On December 21, 2013, Jin released the first EP under the label called "Hypocrite". On October 21, 2014, the label released Jin's first album under their label: XIV:LIX. The album features Teesa, Hollis, Stacie Bollman, Tim Be Told, Bére and Storm. In 2015, he started Stand Up Comedies in New York City.
2017–present: Success in mainland China
In 2017, he competed in The Rap of China, a rap reality show based in mainland China, under the alias of "HipHopMan" wearing a mask. This gained him fame and success in mainland China, having previously only been widely known in Hong Kong. In 2018, he became a rapping instructor with Jackson Wang in Idol Producer. He reprised his role as a rap mentor for Season 2 of Idol Producer.
On February 12, 2011, MC Jin and his fiancée, Carol, got married in Puerto Rico after a seven-year courtship. The couple had a son in summer 2012 whom they named Chance. MC Jin has been a born again Christian since 2008, and has expressed his faith in his music since becoming a Christian.
In 2006, the PlayStation 2/Xbox video game NBA Ballers: Phenom featured MC Jin as one of the rapper characters along with Ludacris and Hot Sauce.
Responding to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Jin participated with Jackie Chan and numerous other celebrities in a special three-hour charity concert, titled Artistes 311 Love Beyond Borders, on 1 April 2011 to help raise funds for Japan's disaster recovery effort. The 3-hour concert raised over HK$26 million (USD$3.3 million).
In 2019, Jin announced on Twitter that he officially endorses presidential candidate Andrew Yang as a Yang Gang. Since then, he has released two songs supporting Andrew Yang, "Drew Yang Gang That's Who I Hooked Up Wit'" and "#8MileYang". Jin also toured with Andrew Yang's campaign events.
Catchphrases and fan culture
Aiya! (哎吔) is Jin's catchphrase and has often been used by him. It is a Chinese interjection roughly equivalent to "Oh my gosh!" Fans pictured with the logo were able to appear in the music video for his song "Aiya!" (featuring Toestah). Jin also refers to his fans as his "AIYAfambam" or as the "AIYAmani.
After his success and popularity on the Rap of China, Jin gained widespread respect and popularity throughout China, and also with the Chinese people worldwide. A China fanbase is secure with an official account on Weibo "MCJin欧阳靖全国粉丝后援会" on August 12, 2017. Jin the officially named his Chinese fans "不帅团队" (Team Bu-shuai), a name which he came up with due to the focus on 'looks-oriented' artistes. Bu-Shuai means 'not handsome' in mandarin, and Jin joked with his fans that although he is not handsome as compared to many artists, he is proud to be so as he is secure in himself as an 'un-handsome'. The official slogan for Team Bu-Shuai is "生活愉快、越来不帅", which means to live joyfully and become more and more 'un-handsome'. A series of official Team Bushuai merchandise such as tees, hoodies, windbreakers and caps donning the slogan and team name (designed by Jin) is also available on Taobao . Jin also released the song "不帅" with an official music video made by him and Team Bushuai together. The song talks about the special relationship between Jin and his beloved Team Bu-Shuai, promoting the slogan "生活愉快、越来不帅". The fanbase 'Team Bushuai' has an official account on Weibo , with over 55 thousand followers. Jin actively interacts with its members online, and is known to sometimes arrange to meet them in different cities for movies and coffees offline.
During the period on Idol Producer, Jin started being active on Twitter, and gained familiarity with many fans through stan twitter. His worldwide Fans via twitter are now known as Emojins and communicate often through social media. His 2018 song 'Debut' also starts with the lyrics «Shout out to the emojins, and the emojins only» He has various catchphrases which he often uses on his Twitter such as uwu, Skinny legend and Issa Bop. The way to become a true Emojin is through Ywitter interactions and most importantly being mutuals because as MC Jin states in Debut «If we ain't mutuals we ain't cool, I don't make the rules».
|2004||"Learn Chinese"||Jin – Learn Chinese|
|"Senorita"||Jin – Senorita|
|2005||"Top 5 (Dead or Alive)"||Todd Angkasuwan||Jin - Top 5 (Dead or Alive) (Music Video)||Uses a collection of people voting for their top 5 rappers.|
|"Come Closer (Kohl Aaja)"||Juggy D feat Jin – Come Closer (Kohl Aaja)|
|2006||"FYI"/"100 Grand Jin"||Todd Angkasuwan||Jin ft.Young Mac – FYI||Two songs.|
|2007||"Yo Yo Ma"||JIN Yo Yo Ma||Contains a mix of languages including English, Japanese and Cantonese.|
|"ABC"||Todd Angkasuwan||Jin 歐陽靖 'ＡＢＣ' MV||Cantonese. Contains a short appearance of the producers of the song, Far East Movement.|
|2008||"搵兩餐"||Daniel Wu / Jason Tobin||Jin 歐陽靖 '搵兩餐' MV||Cantonese|
|"飲啖茶"||Evan Jackson Leong||Jin 歐陽靖 '飲啖茶' MV||Cantonese|
|"香港Superstar"||Jason Tobin||Jin 歐陽靖 '香港Superstar' MV||Cantonese|
|"上堂時間"||Jin 歐陽靖 '上堂時間' MV||Cantonese|
|"喂喂搵邊位"||Kim Chan||Jin 歐陽靖 '喂喂搵邊位' MV||Cantonese|
|2010||"Angels"||Hosanna Wong||JIN "Angels" Official Music Video (2010)|
|"The A List"||Carl Choi/Jin Au-Yeung||Deleted from YouTube.|
|"711"||"711" – MC Jin feat. KT||Cantonese. Filmed in 7-Eleven.|
|"It's About Time"||Romago Presents: MC Jin "It's About Time"||Cantonese|
|2011||"Charlie Sheen"||Kevin Boston||"Charlie Sheen" Traphik, Jin, Dumbfoundead|
|"人氣急升"||Kevin Boston||MC Jin人氣急升MV||Cantonese|
|"Aiya!"||AIYA – Jin feat. Toestah||Song repeated twice to fit all pictures in.|
|"Shoot for the Moon"||Carl Choi||JIN "Shoot for the Moon" Official Music Video (2011)||Song edited for video. Uses various images and video from his life and career.|
|"發咗達"||Benny Lou||MC Jin發咗達MV||Cantonese|
|"立立亂"||Evan Jackson Leong||MC Jin立立亂MV||Cantonese|
|"When The Lights Come On"||Duno Tran||"When The Lights Come On" (Official Music Video) – Jin feat. Joseph Vincent|
|"Brand New Me EP"||Todd Angkasuwan||"Brand New Me"|
|"Open Arms"||Brian Tang (StopMotionClub Productions)||Open Arms|
|2013||"Feel Good"||Simon Yin||Feel Good feat. Toestah & Joseph Vincent|
|2013||"I Break Stereotypes"||I Break Stereotypes"|
|2014||"Complicated"||Brad Wong||MC JIN - Complicated ft. Hollis (Official Music Video)|
|2003||Jin: The Making of a Rap Star||Himself||Documentary about him|
|2 Fast 2 Furious||Jimmy|
|2005||The MC: Why We Do It||Himself||Documentary|
|The Art of 16 Bars: Get Ya' Bars Up||Himself||Documentary|
Volume 2 of The MC: Why We Do It
|Live from New York||Himself||Documentary|
Footage filmed in 2002
|No Sleep Til Shanghai||Himself||Documentary about him|
|2009||Split Second Murders 死神傻了||Chief Editor Chan|
|Bruce Lee, My Brother (aka: Young Bruce Lee)||Unicorn Chan|
|2011||Turning Point 2||Yeung Lap-chin|
|2012||The Man with the Iron Fists||Chan|
|2014||Revenge of the Green Dragons||Detective Tang|
|2016||Buddy Cops||Drug squad guy|
|New York New York||Chinatown gangster boss|
|2017||Love Beats Rhymes||MC Jin|
|2018||A Beautiful Moment|
|2019||Bodies at Rest|
|The White Storm 2: Drug Lords||Cho Ping|
|The Fake vs. Real Monkey King|
|TBA||Street Struck: The Big L Story||Himself||Documentary|
|2002||106 & Park||Himself (as a Competitor and Guest)||As Freestyle Friday competitor and guest|
|2004||Himself (as a Judge)||As Freestyle Friday Judge|
|2009||Cooking 媽嫲||Himself (as Host)|
|2010||Show Me the Happy||Himself||Episode 25|
|Jade Solid Gold||Himself (as Host)|
|Big Boys Club||Himself (as Host)|
|2011||Himself (as Host)|
|Stairway to Dragon||Himself (as Host)|
|Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir!||Himself|
|Lives of Omission||Officer Yeung Lap-ching|
|Kung Fu Supernova||Himself (as Host)|
|Top Eats 100||Himself (as Host)|
|2012||Highs and Lows||Ng Dak-tim (Saadaam Tim)|
|2014||The Ultimate Addiction||Chu Kwok-leung|
|2018||Idol Producer||Himself (as rap mentor)|
|2011||TVB Anniversary Award for Most Improved Male Artiste||Show Me the Happy, Big Boys Club, Stairway to Dragon, Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir!, Lives of Omission, Kung Fu Supernova, Top Eats 100||Won|
|TVB Anniversary Award for My Favourite Male Character||Lives of Omission||Nominated|
|2000||Grab the Mic 2000||Montu||Win|
|2001||Blade Battle||Parable, OBCT||Win||Three way battle|
|Icon the Mic King||Win|
|Super Bowl 2001||Esoteric||Loss|
|Scribble Jam '01||Alias||Loss|
|2002||106 & Park's Freestyle Friday||Hasan||Win||as the challenger|
|Sterling||Win||as the champion|
|Skitzo||Win||as the champion|
|Skyzoo||Win||as the champion|
|Lucky Luciano||Win||as the champion|
|Logan||Win||as the champion|
|Sean Nicholas||Win||as the champion – inducted into the Hall of Fame|
|2004||Javits Center||Kamikaze Grey||Win|
|Fight Klub Mixshow Power Summit||Wreckonize||Win|
|Fight Klub Mixshow Power Summit||Shells||Win||Won final prize of $50,000|
|JUMP OFF/Jin's 'The Rest Is History' Concert||Saint||N/A|
|2005||JUMP OFF||Professor Green||Win|
|Hot Import Nights Los Angeles||Speakz||N/A|
|Hot Import Nights San Mateo||Mistah F.A.B.||Win|
|Fight Klub||Streetz The Block||Win|
|Fight Klub||Serius Jones||Loss|
|Fight Klub Mixshow Power Summit||Professor Green||Win||Won final prize of $50,000|
|2006||San Francisco Bay Festival||Arukasaki||Win|
|2007||Fight Klub||Iron Solomon||Loss|
|2015||Epic Rap Battles of History||Western Philosophers||Unknown||Plays as Confucius along with other Eastern Philosophers|