Dumbfoundead is a rare breed when it comes to Hip-Hop and entertainment as a whole. Coming up as a battle rapper in the early 2000’s, real name Jonathan Park proudly puts on for the Asian community as a minority in the music business.
Written By: Shirley Ju
November 9, 2018
Through his witty flows and meaningful lyrics the MC quickly established a name for himself not as a Korean rapper, but someone who could spit regardless of his race.
Fast forward to 2018, Dumb continues to broaden his palette, transitioning into the world of film. Somehow balancing recording in the studio, shooting a movie, and a social life (which may include partying it up at Cafe Bleu in hood of KTown), he effortlessly serves as a role model and innovator.
Playing a role in Joseph Khan’s new film Bodied, the 32-year-old returns to his roots as a battle rapper who comes with a vengeance — the perfect metaphor for his life. We Take Note caught up with Dumb to chat about his impact on the culture at the red carpet premiere at TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood.
SJ: How do you feel about impacting the culture?
DUMBFOUNDEAD: I don’t know…with me, I guess, I am a creative that has been around for a while now. I’m not like a young rapper anymore but I definitely don’t have any plans to stop anytime soon. I love creating stuff so I don’t wait for people to make things happen. Like I’m not waiting for an investor or blog or anyone. I just keep doing my own thing. It’s exciting and it’s been 10 plus years that I’ve been doing it so it’s cool to see kids kind of grow up on my shit.
SJ: What are some goals for yourself right now?
DUMBFOUNDEAD: My goal right now it to have that Donald Glover trajectory, really. I want to be able to do everything. I want to write, pitch TV shows, write movies, star in them, and make music. To me, it’s all about creating and just being able to stay creative in different mediums.
SJ: In what aspects do you feel you can impact the culture with your platform?
DUMBFOUNDEAD: I think it’s really just staying true and honest to myself. Especially me, I am very big about representing Asian-Americans properly, so that’s the thing I am passionate about. I guess in culture is somewhere I know I can make an impact on the new generation of Asian-American kids.
SJ: How do you feel about working with a director who is also Asian?
DUMBFOUNDEAD: It’s crazy. I think that’s why I have a big connection to this movie as well, in that element. Us coming from the same ethnic background, and seeing someone who is an OG out of the Korean-Americans. He’s done rap videos in the early 90’s, so that’s really cool. There’s so many different reasons why I am so attached to this project.
SJ: How are all your family and friends feeling?
DUMBFOUNDEAD: Yeah, I think they are excited. A lot of them have already seen the movie and they are proud of me. They are very supportive and it’s cool. My close group of friends are doing really well. Some of my best friends are like “on, on.“ I’m talking like Aquafina, Anderson .Paak, etc. These are some of my best friends. We are talking about some of the biggest stars around right now. To me, it’s inspiring. It’s motivating me to go hard right now.
SJ: Talk about your new EP and your mindstate in creating this one.
DUMBFOUNDEAD: The EP is called Cafe Bleu, named after a bar that I frequent in Koreatown. It’s not really about that bar in particular, it’s just about any bar. Any place that you feel like you go to wind down, figure things out, and brainstorm. It’s kind of like an imaginary place where there’s no judgements. Anyone can come in, do their thing and at the end of the EP, it’s kind of like when you’re leaving the place, and leaving purgatory. It’s only 6 songs and it’s very different from a lot of my past stuff I would say. It’s a little more experimental, a little more sing-y and melodic.