The 32-year-old MC’s story begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he and his sister were born and then smuggled up through Mexico by their mother, eventually settling in Koreatown, California. Jonathan Park aka Dumbfoundead quickly took to the freestyle element of the hip-hop culture through workshops and nights like Project Blowed, which was founded by Aceyalone of Freestyle Fellowship. At a time when Gangsta Rap dominated the west coast, Freestyle Fellowship and Project Blowed helped popularize an alternative scene based around the original elements of the culture.
After sharpening his freestyle sword, he eventually turned to the art of battle rap to get his name out and especially in the emerging Internet-televised battle scene that blew up with the Jumpoff World Rap Championships in 2007. With a strong showing appearing in 12 different battles throughout the day against the likes of The Saurus, Illmaculate, and Nocando, he had the entire battle worlds eyes on him. His first taste of viral Internet fame came with a battle against Tantrum, another talented MC of Asian descent, in which the two go back and forth lyrically playing on stereotypes and poking fun at each other. That battle has nearly accumulated 2.5 million views on YouTube. To show he wasn’t just a gimmick, Dumbfoundead took on battles against battle rap legends The Saurus and the late Pumpkinhead aka PH cementing his place as one of the modern era’s greats.
His biggest battle to date was at the Drake and OVO sponsored King Of The Dot Blackout 5 event in Canada against Wild N Out personality Conceited that is sitting on an enormous 8 million views at the time of this article. At a press conference surrounding the event, Drake was quoted as saying “For me, you know, for me a big thing is Dumbfoundead” the megastar went on to give even more props “To see him come back and just bless us with (his) presence at this event is insane.” Dumb took one more battle in his career with the man that took on both Canibus and Cassidy to critical acclaim, fellow west coast wordsmith, Dizaster.
But Dumb is no one trick pony, having released four albums and two EPs since 2011 and proven that his songwriting is just as good as his battle artillery. In 2016, he released the song and video “Safe,” which is a creative and entertaining piece of social commentary intended to draw attention to the lack of Asian and Asian-American actors at the Oscars and their underrepresentation in Hollywood. Some of his finest underground work stemmed from his frequent collaborations with Anderson .Paak under his pseudonym Breezy LoveJoy, in which the two displayed a natural and soulful chemistry on tracks such as “Cellphone,” “Fck It” and the metaphorical “Wine.” Another stand out track is the humorous “Korean Jesus” where Dumb drops bars like “Baptized with water in the glass bong, turned water into soju, got your facts wrong” over a progressive stripped back instrumental. DFD’s music seems to have no rulesets or boundaries when it comes to content or production and there is definitely no stencil being followed as he paints his pictures.
While Dumbfoundead is no up and comer and he is certainly on the worldwide radar with more than a handful of songs viewed over a million times, he hasn’t fully been embraced by the masses at large yet, but he absolutely possesses the potential with the skills, personality and story to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue very soon. Get familiar.
Photo courtesy of Dumbfounded’s Facebook