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MC Jin is the first Asian-American rapper to sign with a major record label in the United States. Born in Miami, Jin resided briefly in Hong Kong as an adult.

This Sunday, the Hong Kong Student Association, in collaboration with the Chinese Students’ Association, will welcome Asian-American rapper MC Jin for a free, public lecture on his music career and his connection to Hong Kong.

Born in Miami to immigrants from Hong Kong, Jin moved to New York City in 2001 while still a teenager. There, he began performing in freestyle rap battles.

After winning a string of Freestyle Friday battles on the BET program “106 & Park,” Jin signed a record deal with Ruff Ryders Entertainment — becoming the first Asian-American rapper to sign with a major record label.

College junior and HKSA President Salina Lee said this event will be the largest in the group’s history on campus, adding that Jin’s celebrity abroad — he lived and starred in several TV commercials in Hong Kong — will help “let other people in the Hong Kong community [at Penn] know we’re here.”

In the past, most HKSA activities have been small, intimate events among 15 to 20 students, said College senior Carson Ley, a member of HKSA who has collaborated with Lee on this event since last September.

Last fall, however, College freshman Bryan Hoang — one of HKSA’s freshman representatives — and his passion for hip-hop inspired the group to invite Jin for a speaking event.

Since then, HKSA has worked with several other student groups — including the CSA — to secure funding and help with marketing for the event.

“This is a pretty big step for HKSA in general,” Ley added. He hopes that inviting Jin to campus “might establish a track record for future HKSA boards.”

While Jin’s lecture will focus in large part on his rap career, it will also touch on the rapper’s use of Cantonese in his lyrics and his ability “to pull in both sides of the cultural spectrum,” Lee said.

Ley believes that Jin’s career and personal history will show Penn students that “it’s okay to go wherever your heart is.”

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