Dumbfoundead, 2013

Koreatown, or K-town, is an area in Los Angeles, California. What gives Koreatown its name?

Dumbfoundead opens the song with a line about pressures he feels. What are these pressures? Have you ever felt similar pressures? Compare and contrast your experiences with Dumbfoundead's.

According to Dumbfoundead, how is he more privileged than other residents of Koreatown?

What do you think Dumbfoundead means when he raps about Koreatown residents as statues "that froze at their last step?"

"24KTOWN" performed by Dumbfoundead on Old Boy Jon, © 2013. Available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

For more information about Dumbfoundead, visit their official website.

Rights have not been secured to reprint the words for this song. Please consult the following online resource for lyrics:

Online lyrics are available here.

explicit lyrics

Jonathan Parka, aka "Dumbfoundead."

Jonathan Park, also known as Dumbfoundead, was born in Argentina in 1986 to South Korean parents. He came to the United States when he was three years old and grew up with his family in the Koreatown section of Los Angeles, California. The area became known as Koreatown when many Korean immigrants settled there in the 1970s after the National Immigration Act removed national origin quotas. While the largest nationality in the area is Korean, the biggest ethnic population is Latino. Korean, Spanish, and English can be heard throughout the neighborhood, and Park's influences include Latino musics, freestyle and rap, and punk rock.

At age fifteen, Park was performing at open mics at the Korean Immigrant Workers Alliance and at the South Central Los Angeles hip-hop collective Project Blowed, where rappers freestyled, or improvised. He began to participate in rap battles—competitions in which two rappers alternate improvising clever rhymes, rhythms, and put-downs to show dominance over the other. He had his breakout in 2007 when one of his rap battles became an internet sensation. He says that a good rapper is socially aware and has an understanding of all cultures. Park is also a storyteller and does stand-up comedy, often addressing stereotyping in his routine.

"24KTOWN" (sometimes written "24KTWN") is included in Dumbfoundead's solo album Old Boy Jon, which was self-released in 2013. The lyrics refer to the challenges of living in Koreatown and spin a fantasy about leaving and returning rich. The "24K" in the title refers to karats, but "K-town" also refers to Koreatown.

Temporary Henna: A decorative, temporary body art often worn in Southeast Asia, where designs are painted on the surface of skin with a brown dye, traditionally henna, in contrast to a permanent ink tattoo that deposits dye under the skin.



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