Towkio - Drift

From the Windy City, the rapper known as Towkio is channeling his family roots with his tongue-in-cheek single, "Drift." Is it all style and no substance? We Are: The Guard unpacks all of this ridiculousness, right now.



Born Preston Oshita from Mexican and Japanese parents, Towkio embraces the exotic nature of his origins and is part of the Chicago-based hip hop collective called Savemoney. Mixing humor and unconventional, often strange beats, "Drift" is overflowing with plenty of the ingredients that brought him to the dance. Typical hip hop this is not. Examining it closer, "Drift" appears as an over-exaggeration of Towkio’s Asian heritage to the level of caricature.

Drawing upon the silly premise of The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Towkio utilizes his platform as commentary on the misconception of Asian popular culture, such as loving to drift import cars, and hip hop culture with its hyper-materialism and objectification of women. It is all here in its entire array of ridiculousness. Sounding like the Teriyaki Boyz and their sampling of Japanese women singing in broken English in the Tokyo Drift soundtrack, Towkio opts for broken Japanese instead. This choice seems way too intentional. At certain points, it is cringeworthy. But that’s what makes the whole thing so brilliant. Part satire, part fire.

Towkio really goes all out in embracing his family roots, being part Mexican, part Asian, and all-American. It’s a difficult mix to make work, but he delivers the goods to perfection. Love it.