Let me tell you a little story about last Sunday night.
Ya know yo girl is a huge fan of Dumbfoundead, so when I was unfortunately denied press (I reached out way too late), there was no stress as I’d already bought my ticket. And lucky I did! You see, Dumbfoundead is a hell of a lot more popular than some want to admit. He has a rabid fanbase, some who’ve been following him for years, and he also has a burgeoning new fanbase due to his viral video releases such as “Harambe” and “SAFE.” This is proven by the fact that he performed an almost completely sold out tour with his East Coast brethren, Year Of The Ox, or YOX as we fans know them by.
DJ Zomanno was spinning the crowd into a frenzy as we entered the venue, and people were already dancing and grooving. Danny Chung and The Frog Prince himself, Rekstizzy, were out in full force warming up the crowd.
The thing about LA shows is we have this habit of being snide-ass hipster concert goers who just stand there with a look of disdain on our faces, watching the show. It’s become an LA concert-going trait and frankly I hate it. So when I get the rare experience of going to a show that is crazy … let’s say it’s like Christmas for me.
EVERY. SINGLE. DUMBFOUNDEAD. SHOW. IS. CHRISTMAS.
There is no standing still, and your carefully selected spot in the crowd is going to change, whether you like it or not.
Anyway, after a bit, Danny Chung steps up to the front of the stage and practically screams “YEAR OF THE OX!!!” as the crowd goes nuts! Two men step on stage and take to the mic. JL and Lyricks invade space, forcing their booming voices at you. Year Of The Ox is a hip-hop duo that embodies everything that is East Coast hip-hop. The struggle, the sound, the unbridled honesty in their lyrics. They’re no joke. I, for one, went to this show just to see them spit live and damn was I blown away!
JL is a flowing poet, weaving in and out of rhymes like I weave in and out of traffic. Lyricks hits you hard, one minute smooth and subtle, the next all speed, slamming you through verses to the point where you feel battered by his talent, in a good way. If that even makes sense.
The crowd was raging hard, hands in the air, rocking to the beats and cheering on YOX to keep going as they powered through tracks from their new self-titled album. They rolled through the title track “YOX,” “Stretch,” and “Stampede,” the latter driving the crowd to the point of lifting my ass up and shoving me closer toward the center of the crowd. My favorite had to be “Check 2 Check” with lyrics that hit home for lots of us creative types trapped in the 9-5. The entire crowd felt every poignant lyric, and before we knew it they were thanking LA for being amazing as their last show on this tour and the stage curtain was dropping. Yes … The Roxy has a stage curtain.
DJ Zomanno followed by spinning a few tracks, and then the curtain rose right back up again and Dumbfoundead took the stage. There
was no time to even prepare or hype the crowd. The moment he stepped foot on stage, it was pandemonium! I was shoved damn near to the front with only a few people between me and the stage as Dummy raged into the mic.
While he performed classics like “Cellphone,” “Ganghis Khan,” “24KTOWN,” and “Korean Jesus“…
…he also threw in singles and collabs that I never expected to hear live like “Mijangwon,” “KBB,” and “Harambe,” while rolling into tracks from the new album like “We Might Die” and “SAFE.” Every single song was met with a chorus of the audience singing along, raging against the stage and just being beyond lit!
Dumbfoundead is unique not only in his sound but his capability. You can look at him in multiple ways and I’m really not sure any of them would be wrong. He’s an amazing rapper in battles or on tracks who happens to be Korean American, and he’s also a Korean American rapper who’s breaking boundaries as solid representation in an industry where diversity is limited. Recently he’s had a message he wants the world to know and it’s skyrocketed him to viral fame. Either way, his talent speaks for itself as a man who embodies the art of poetry written to a beat.
Dummy’s audience is typically a sea of diversity, and this show was especially interesting. It was an intersection of West Coast rap meets East Coast rap solely fronted by Asian artists. These men represented so much as they stood on stage and performed for a crowd that would have made anyone with equality issues struggle. Practically every race and gender accounted for, and that’s the most important part of this whole experience. In a time when diversity is so desperately needed, it’s found in the middle of Hollywood at The Roxy at a hip-hop show headlined by Dumbfoundead.
Not a soul expected it as Dumbfoundead stepped back on stage to a crowd chanting “Encore!!!” He said “Fuck it, let’s do ‘Harambe’!” and then the most insane thing happened as Jay Park emerged out of nowhere as the surprise guest rocking a mid-90s jean jacket and fancy side flipped hair. AOMG‘s founder and co-CEO took to the stage with the entire ensemble from the night’s performance and they all got turnt! Water flew everywhere as Lyricks, Dumb, and Jay took turns freestyling on the mic. Jay greeted fans against the stage, high fiving the crowd and kneeling down for pictures and video. He danced round on stage with Rekstizzy and Danny as Zomanno spun the crowd out until it was over. The curtain dropped back down and everyone stood around staring at each other in this shocking euphoria, confused and elated as to what just happened.
On top of that, Dumbfoundead and Year Of The Ox did a free meet and greet for every single person who showed up that night while Transparent Agency family, Jay Park and crew, Roy Choi, and other LA K-Town heavy hitters mingled a mere 10 feet away. Of course ya know yo girl stood in that long ass ling with her girls, got hugs, congratulated them on an amazingly successful tour and bought a few CDs, posters, and a YOX face mask…
…and now I am poor. But I definitely regret nothing!
The main takeaway should be this: If you have a chance to see Dumbfoundead live, don’t miss it.