Dumbfoundead Gets Personal and Professional with 'DFD'
by Linda Son
Rapper Dumbfoundead, a.k.a. Jonathan Park, released his sophomore solo album “DFD” on Nov. 1 to an overwhelmingly positive reception from fans. Currently, “DFD” continues to impress with a 5-star rating on iTunes with hundreds of positive reviews. The album showcases the Korean American rapper’s life and individual sound and the 13 tracks make up a more mature album where Park reflects on his past relationships and experiences.
Park said in an interview with iamKoreAm.com that his previous solo effort, “Fun With Dumb,” was created while he was distracted by working different jobs. The 25-year old, who sometimes moonlights as a comedian, said “DFD” marks the first time he has fully committed himself to pursuing a career as an MC.
Your new album is titled “DFD” can you tell us why you chose that name for this album and if it holds a special significance?
It’s pretty much the acronym for my full rap name Dumb-Found-Dead. I wanted to shorten it and make it more grown. It can have different meanings as well (Don’t Fall Down, etc.). It’s all up for interpretation.
Where did you draw the majority of your inspiration and creativity for the creation of this album?
[The] majority of my inspiration comes from the relationships I’ve had in my life. Whether it’s with family, friends or women I’ve been involved with. It all helped me grow as a person, which helped me grow as an artist.
How was working on “DFD” different than working on your previous solo albums?
This is the first album I’ve put out as a “professional musician.” I was working sh-tty jobs during the creation of my past projects. This is the first project where this was [for] my career. I used all the inspiration I garnered from my past experiences into this.
How long did it take to you to bring all the elements together for this album?
This project took longer than many of my past projects. I included a lot more live instruments and worked with vocalists to show people I wasn’t just a rapper, but a musician.
Which track did you work the hardest on? What did it take to put that one track together?
I think I worked the hardest on “Are We There Yet.” The writing portion was easy [because] I had a lot to say on the track but the mixing process was brutal. I wanted to get the sound clean as possible so people can really hear the content.
Six of the songs from “DFD” feature artists, how did you get involved with these artists that collaborated with you?
Before I collaborate with any artist, I like to get to know them first. Every artist featured on my album is [a] good friend of mine. I’ve known some for many years and others not as long but we’ve hung out enough to know what our personalities and musical styles are like.
Your songs draw from a lot of personal experiences such as your family’s history and your former relationships, was it difficult finding creativity from such struggles?
Not at all. I’ve heard rap songs about the same struggles throughout my whole life but each storyteller delivered it a different way. There are always little details that differentiate your struggle from someone else’s.
Of the 13 tracks on “DFD” which track holds the most significant meaning for you?
“Are We There Yet” is probably the most personal track I’ve ever done and the most popular amongst my fans. I think out of the three verses, there is at least one that anybody can relate to. Family, love and passion: three of the most important things in life!
How is making a solo album different compared to other projects you’ve worked on?
Solo projects are definitely the most difficult. The album is [going to] be a reflection of who you are as a musician and person. If there is even one thing you aren’t happy with it can haunt you for the rest of your life.
What are you most excited for with this album’s release?
Every album I put out is the beginning of a new journey. This one is especially important to me [because] I feel it is the beginning of my journey as a professional musician. The feedback has been overwhelming and all the dues I’ve paid in the past are starting to pay off.