When Bruce Lee entered the film industry, his journey to and acceptance in Hollywood was not easy. He was Asian and although his talent and hard work was enough to bring him success in the industry, the ride was not without obstacles which were purely based on his race.
LA based rapper Dumbfoundead’s new music video Safe is a statement, his interpretation of Asian representation in Hollywood today. The song which is mainly trap, has Dumbfoundead rapping “The other night I watched the Oscars and the roster of the only yellow men were all statues; we a quarter of the population, there’s a room of fuckin’ 1 percenters laughing at you…” with the video of him replacing the Hollywood actors in popular movies including Pulp Fiction, Ghost, The Matrix, Casablanca and so on.
The real twist to the story is towards the end of the video where the rapper who is sitting on a couch with his wife and two kids is replaced by an American (white) actor, after the director tells him his face doesn’t have the Hollywood star quality and ousts him from the shoot. The video is timely with respect to the #OscarSoWhite controversy that caught on after having only white actors as nominees in the top categories for two years in a row at the Oscars.
It’s always interesting to artists react to something that they feel strongly about through their art and not just social media posts or public statements. Dumbfoundead has been quoted saying he made this song and video after the last Academy Awards. It is a cause that disturbs Dumbfoundead among many others and his voice strikes high and mighty.