I don’t remember exactly when I was introduced to Dumbfoundead. It’s likely it was through a music video on YouTube. Exploring the world of hip-hop in the United States performed by Koreans, Dumbfoundead is one of the most prominent artists. DFD is one of those classic albums that must be heard, shared, and praised. It’s not just the excellent production of the album, but the actual message behind each song.
Dumbfoundead is one of those rare artists that I listen to the lyrics. DFD’s content is based off of Dumbfoundead’s experiences and there are a lot of stories told through the album. “Town” is a perfect introduction. While his style has evolved over the years, the 2011 release highlights a strong and even flow. Dumbfoundead doesn’t use hard rhymes or interject difficult to understand polyrhythms, but he flows over the beat with a precise attack. It comes across as effortless and every song on DFD is a segment of his perspective.
The biggest strength to DFD is the variety of instrumentals for each song. He doesn’t stick to one specific beat, samples, or rhythm. It gives the songs a feeling of a true musical journey. The lyrical content is very important. While he doesn’t specifically address the immigrant or Asian experience on each song, there are a lot of mentions to his life. His music is his diary and each glimpse is amazing. Some songs might not be safe for parents like “Green,” but honestly it shouldn’t matter considering how good the song is.
One of the best songs is “Cell Phone” featuring Anderson .Paak (then going by the name Breezy Lovejoy) and Wax. It’s a great collaboration showcasing three different styles and highlights the talent of each artist. With 13 songs, you get a great amount of music that stick in your head. People will find their own favorites and there are a lot to choose from. Probably the biggest song from DFD is “Are We There Yet.” It’s the song that spoke to me the hardest because of the straight forward presentation of content. It’s an amazing song and closes out DFD perfectly.
I’m not sure if Dumbfoundead is going by a different alias, but DFD is an album that contains some of the best hip-hop songs I’ve ever heard. It’s sad that Dumbfoundead isn’t bigger because his subsequent albums show how much his talent has grown. Regardless of being Korean, he’s a true artist and proved it on DFD.