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Dumbfoundead Reps for Asian-Americans on “We Might Die”

Dumbfoundead

On his previous albums, rapper Dumbfoundead was just as likely to turn his racial identity into a punchline as we would a source of pride. On “Korean Jesus,” he jokes about “turning water into soju,” and the fact that it, “took 20 years to grow this goatee.” But on We Might Die, that kind of self-deprecation is nowhere to be found. “Safe,” the song that gives the album its title, was inspired by a cringeworthy bit at the 2016 Academy Awards, when host Chris Rock brought three Asian children to the stage and described them as the show’s “accountants.”

The song functions as a warning shot, for those who expect Asians to passively accept a joke made at their expense (“You took me as safe / that was your first mistake”). “Banned in the Motherland” features Korean rappers Jay Park, G2 and Dominic—a banger that doubles as a call for solidarity. And in “Ancestors,” he lovingly calls his family gangsters for doing whatever it took to survive as immigrants to the United States. For Dumbfoundead, being Asian is no longer a laughing matter.

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