WATCH | LA Rapper Dumbfoundead has more on his mind than music.
Los Angeles rapper Jonathan Park, aka Dumbfoundead, is on tour in February and March promoting his new mixtape, “We Might Die." It’s the first time the 30-year-old has headlined a tour, and so far, things are going great.
But on Feb. 4, in the hours leading up to a show at Songbyrd Cafe in Washington D.C., Park realized something pretty important. He’s got to have a serious talk with his mom.
“I don’t talk to my mom too much about politics, but I feel like I need to talk to her really soon,” said Park.
Why? Well, she’s a green card holder. Over two decades ago, she flew from her native Korea to Argentina, and from there to México where she found some coyotes (individuals who smuggle people over the Mexican border for a fee) and entered the United States illegally; moving to Los Angeles with her two young children.
It’s something that’s been on Park’s mind given the current political climate surrounding the status of undocumented immigrants in President Donald Trump’s America. And Park’s tweeted as much.
My parents both green card holders, guess they ain't traveling anytime soon :/— DUMMY (@dumbfoundead) January 29, 2017
A deeper understanding
It’s an experience that he says he doesn’t much remember, but one that’s shaped his understanding of how different communities in Los Angeles, and in the United States, interact.
“That’s a similar story to a lot of people, maybe not necessarily in the Asian-American community, but in the Latino community that I grew up with. And it’s wild. It means a lot more to me now hearing all these news stories happening now,” said Park.
That awareness has naturally translated into Park’s music. After the Oscars in 2016, he penned a song called “Safe,” highlighting the lack of diversity in Hollywood.
“I wrote it because there were a lot of people who were frustrated in the same way as me. There were bloggers going off and all these different online people going off. For me, you know, the best way I express myself is through raps. So that’s pretty much how I expressed my frustration through that,” said Park.
WATCH | "Safe" by Dumbfoundead
Making the most of his stage
Park has a platform, and takes advantage of it. But he’s keen on others making their voices heard if they want change.
“I think it’s important that everyone really joins up together and sticks together and isn’t afraid to speak up. I don’t like the attitude of just, Deal with it,” you know? “It’s time to move on.” I don’t like that.”
(Photos and concert footage courtesy of Isné Nuyent)