From the dungeons of the underground comes Dumbfoundead — a rhymesayer whose lyricism is capable of reaching to the outermost corners of the hip-hop universe and beyond. Blasting onto the scene in 2007 with the epic Super Barrio Brothers album, the Argentine-born emcee of Korean descent wasted no time in establishing himself as the ultimate videogame rapper. We’re talking hardcore videogame nerd rap, complete with audio samples straight outta your old Super Nintendo game console.
What Phoenix Orion did in 1999, when he released Zimulated Experiencez — arguably the most overlooked and seminal science fiction-themed rap album in hip-hop history — Dumbfoundead did with Super Barrio Brothers and gamer culture. It is doubtful that anyone will surpass the precedent he set with those tracks and, really, any other emcee attempting to blend videogames and hip hop into one cohesive album would at best achieve equal status.
But Dumbfoundead is no one-trick pony. Which makes sense for a kid whose formative years were spent running around the shady parts of Los Angeles battle-rapping in the same environment as infamous rap tyrant Cadalack Ron, or tearing up open-mic stages with numerous other Project Blowed prodigies.
New cuts from the album Love Everyday display Dumbfoundead’s ability to tackle completely different subject matter. These songs are almost entirely focused on love, relationships and the struggle of an independent artist in love with his work. Funky hooks and jazzy samples are flexed and flexed again as Dumbfoundead wields a slower cadence tailored to listeners who appreciate storytelling.
Dumb hasn’t just evolved in terms of his content; his stage show has come along with him. He is now a true showman, capable of moving the crowd and prowling the stage with the confidence of a troubadour. Simply put, he’s advanced to the next level of the game, and he’s touring the West Coast to prove it.
Dumbfoundead plays with Watsky 9 pm Saturday, July 28, at WOW Hall; $10 adv., $12 door.