Asian-American Entertainer: Dumbfoundead

cover photo Dumbfoundead

If you spend too much time
thinking about a thing,
you’ll never get it done.
– Bruce Lee

I was six years old on the day Asia arrived in America. I do not mean as a people or a culture. On the coasts, Americans of Asian descent, have been a part of the melting pot for nearly as long as the pot has been in existence. San Francisco’s Chinatown is not only one of its most popular tourist destinations, but is a vibrant community in its own right. But in Hollywood, Asian actors were often reduced to stereo-typical, slapstick style characters, and many times, in the most popular roles, were played by white Americans or Europeans (Warland Oland as Charlie Chan) further insulting both American Asians as well as, Asians abroad. But in 1972, an American born actor of Chinese heritage exploded on the scene, bringing not just his authentic cultural identity with him, but ushered in a martial arts craze that would become an unrivaled American  curriculum for decades to come.

The Chinese Connection and Fist of Fury starring Bruce Lee were action packed thrillers, with intimate storylines rumbling beneath. But it was the 1973 blockbuster Enter the Dragon, coupled with his untimely death at age 32, that cemented Bruce Lee as an iconic international star. His moves were brilliant. His strikingly good looks all but erased the racial characteristics that were so often portrayed by the entertainment industry, and unwittingly thrusted into the subconscious of the average American moviegoer. Bruce Lee was not just a Chinese star, or an Asian star but a brilliant, talented and popular global superstar.

There have been hints at a repeat of his success. Hong Kong based director John Woo (Face/Off, Mission Impossible II), actress Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels, Kill Bill, Chicago) and more recently South Korean born singer PSY (Gangnam Style) and the American born quartet Far East Movement (Like a G6), but their storylines have either stalled or are still in progress.

Introducing Dumbfoundead

With the swagger of hip hop, the backstory Americans love and the talent of a star, Dumbfoundead not only embraces his American culture but does not shy away from his Korean heritage. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to South Korean refugees, along with his sister, he was smuggled into Mexico before settling in Los Angeles’ Koreatown at the age of three. Clear pays homage to his past, present and future. The video was shot entirely in South Korea, and the subtle sounds of the far east cannot easily be ignored, and may be the formula that sets him apart from other aspiring rappers. But his smooth flow, intelligent lyrics (I’m Malcom, I’m Gladwell that tippin point is risin’) and original sound, although  a long way off and treading uncharted waters, Dumbfounded remains on track for mainstream success.

a music review from thepublicblogger

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the mind game show

 

23 comments

  1. Music is so universal whichever genre when you are dealing with real originality which is highly lacked these days. IN a culture where everyone is trying to make money by being what sells instead of being true to yourself and who you are. I can definitely appreciate the originality and hearing someone in their own complete being. That is what real music is all about to me. You took me way back to when I discovered Bruce Lee and the whole kung fu action packed movies.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Though Asians in gen’l have enjoyed the stereotype as brainiacs, I wonder if it might surprise people to learn Mr. Lee was so intelligent for his faulty English and/or the stereotype against fighters that they have more muscle than brains to boast. This post obviously hits home, KP, as I was born in S. Korea. Not only is Little Tokyo in LA a self-sufficient world all its own but Korea Town a vibrant, important city. It can be quite a daunting challenge to take on for Asian-Americans, the exploration of their roots, definition of their present boundaries, and declaration of goals and dreams. Not only is it all a very difficult question to answer but immigrant parents who laid it all down for their children – of whom I am one – to able to succeed here typically would disapprove of rapping and dancing as a worthwhile means of redeeming their toil, sweat, and dreams. It is wonderful to see Asian-Americans, and I admit, Korean-Americans in particular, cut their cloth and boldly stitch it on the global tapestry bc Koreans (unlike a culture like that of the African-American I am so fond of) are not as a whole a vocal people and have not fought for their right to sing and dance and be taken seriously. Thanks for broadening your horizons here.

          HW

          Liked by 1 person

          • That was taken a bit to harshly, I just have that quote from Bruce Lee which it´s very true what he says that´s why I have it written right up over my computer to stare at it every day.

            I know the stereotype that Asians are brainiacs, but as you said in general, and I wouldn´t go that far with Bruce Lee, he was just an actor who made good fighting movies at that time in the U.S,he made his own way there by hard work and determination and I´m not sure about that he was somehow a culprit of fighters having more muscle than brains to boast. I think that´s taking it a little to far.

            And this might sound controversial, but it´s the simple truth. Stereotypes are true. In general that is. You first have to look at the person but in general there is a common denominator. I include myself with the Spanish being always with the party or “fiestas” where great at that, but when it comes to waking up at 6 a.m to work,no way, they look up to the government to hand them their paycheck. Lazy is the stereotype and in general is the truth.

            Plus the statistics in the U.S does show that Asians do better in school than other races, it´s just a fact. Nothing wrong with that. Because of family structure or culture or whatever it may be, but that´s a fact. And if in your case you like singing and dancing and writing and creative things not as the sterotypes that Asians have of being great at math, then good for you and pursue that dream.

            I´m basically saying that don´t take it too much to heart, if I took to heart all the things that they say about me or my country for that matter when I was in the U.S, they always said “you Spanish? Torero, torero?” It seemed the only thing I did was fight bulls when they found out I was Spanish. Just come back with a witty answer and a back and forth to have some fun. Plus not taking yourself to seriously, actually is quite liberating I think.

            Like

            • Hey CP, nothing was taken harshly. =) Which is why I’d said “in gen’l”. And you may have caught a flourish of the Race Around the World I ran with bloggers across the globe last yr: yes, we all saw stereotypes are there and last for a reason.

              “culprit of fighters having more muscle than brains to boast.” No culprits in mind. =) I was thinking of the MMA fighters I’d interviewed last yr. Those who take to the ring and cage have a special place in my (intrigued) heart (esp since I learned some moves maself).

              Love what you shared about yourself as a Spanish nonbullfighter LOL.

              *Pat hand*
              *grin*

              Like

              • That should have been quite neat to interview some of these MMA guys.

                About the bullfighter, to tell you a little secret I just said that not only did I go into the “ring” with one bull but with two, and some American´s actually bought it. So yes, the friend around there called my the Charly the bullfighter. Jokingly obviously, good old days those American days.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Exceptional response! 👏 After watching the video, my initial response was, Will his parents respect or appreciate his art expression as much as I do? I sincerely hope they give it a try. A healthy support team is so important to any endeavor.

            Like

            • You nailed it. If I had more time when I put up the first comment, I would’ve added that we have made our mark for the most part in quiet ways. Through study. Art and drama, new rough roads we are hewing. Thank you for bearing witness to the development of the Asian-American voice.

              HW

              Liked by 1 person

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