Dr. Oliver S. Wang is an Associate Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. His research focuses on different forms of popular culture and their role in identity/community formations and social relations. Besides Legions of Boom, he has also written on Asian Americans and hip-hop, the social geography of mobile food trucks, the retro-soul music community and the “Linsanity” phenomenon.
Regarding Legions of Boom:
“I was drawn to the history of the Bay Area’s Filipino American mobile crews for a few reasons. For one, having lived in the Bay Area since 1990, I could remember reading about DJs like Q-Bert, Apollo and Mixmaster Mike back in the early 1990s (shout out to Neva Chonin and the SF Bay Guardian) and was intrigued at how these Filipino DJs from the Bay were taking the DMC and other competitions by storm. It also didn’t hurt that I also began DJing in 1993 and as Chinese American, seeing a fellow Asian American cutting and mixing was a powerful inspiration and affirmation.
When I became a music journalist myself mid-decade, I began writing stories about the likes of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz and Space Travellers and gradually began to hear about how almost all these DJs got their start in mobile crews, back in the 1980s There was very little written about that scene and I was intrigued by how the mobile scene linked all these different people yet so little of that history had been collected. That was the starting point that’s eventually lead to this book.”