Korean-American Rapper Dummie Enters New Era With “Café Bleu”
Released November 2, 2018
Café Bleu is the latest project by LA-based Korean-American rapper, Dummie, formerly known as Dumbfoundead. In 2017, Dumbfoundead had two major EP releases. Almost a year after his last project, Rocket Man, Dumb comes back with a new vibe and 6 new songs. The 6 track EP is super chill and really consistent. Dummie collaborates with several well-known artists to create the smooth-tuned jams in this latest installation of his discography.
1. “Café Bleu Theme”
“Café Bleu Theme” starts off with a sweet piano melody intro into the album. Instead of being an intro song, it’s the average length of the other songs on the EP, but you don’t necessarily feel like it’s that long. Dummie’s voice rings out on the beginning of this track singing about entering a place called Café Bleu. The idea of this café being a physical place is injected into this first place and then left, not being returned to until the end of the EP (see below: “Pink Bleu Dawn”). But the concept of all of the songs in between occurring in this space is something I really vibe with. The chorus, “Looks like we’re back again / if you’re feeling broken down / well I know a little place in town/ café bleu, café bleu” is sung on top of the aforementioned piano melody. Overall, it’s a nice intro to the album that seems to follow the same kind of feeling throughout.
“Weird” is an anthem to doing whatever you want at the moment without thinking of the consequences. It was produced by Sweater Beats and Donye’a G. “Weird”, like the other songs on this EP, is fairly slow paced, but the rap flow is very consistent, so it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to listen to. There is an overarching theme throughout the album, something along the lines of not really caring about what other people think (consider the lines, “I have no more fucks to give away / stopped caring long ago what people had to say about us”). A living for yourself kind of thing. Dumb says, “Let’s go out let’s do something / let’s get high go in public / go get lost in the moment / if you trust me you’ll love it” and I honestly… kind of do love it. @ Jonathan Park hmu I’m game.
This was the first song I listened to on the EP. It’s produced by Shawn Wasabi (you might know him from this), but unlike Shawn’s typical upbeat and poppy dance tunes, the beat is more toned down for this song in a more Dumbfoundead style. It’s something Dumb is able to rap over without getting too aggressive or taking away from the tune of the song. The melody is dramatic; it begins with echoing chords presenting the melody for the first almost 30 seconds of the song. Then, enter the lyrics. The first verse goes, “I feel so ancient / they say Asian don’t raisin / went from young and the dangerous to making all of my payments”. Park raps about getting older on this track. At 32 years old, he’s no longer a newcomer to the scene, or in life. He raps about getting older and the responsibilities that come along with the age.
I personally really like this song, not only because it was the first song I listened to on the ep (therefore it has sentimental value and sets the tone for the rest of the album in my eyes) but because it’s true to classic Dummie style. I like that he raps a lot about real life, his life. The melody is catchy, it feels a little sad (but I like that) and the flow of the rap on top makes it feel like everything goes really well together.
4. “Chill Foo”
This track is pretty upbeat and relatively more fast-paced than the previous tracks. It’s an interesting choice, especially at this point in the EP where songs might begin to blend together if the pace doesn’t pick up. Following the previous track’s theme of growing up and becoming more mature, “Chill Foo” explores Dummie’s current lifestyle, reflecting, “think I might be goin’ too hard / they tell me that I’m taking it way too far… I gotta chill / lotta homies in my face like chill foo, chill!”. Besides the beat (and horns incorporated in the track!), this song doesn’t stand out much lyrically or melodically as something super innovative, but it’s still a fun track that’s definitely more upbeat than other songs on the EP.
5. “Almost There”
“Almost There” features Korean rappers Paloalto and Year of the Ox, infusing Korean into the English album. On previous releases, Dummie has mixed Korean and English into his songs (see: my personal favorite) but it seems like this EP is going back to pure English, with the exception being the features on the track. Not that that’s a negative thing, but I’m a big fan of mixing languages in songs—it’s such a fun thing to do and it adds an extra layer of intrigue, especially with potential new fans.
I like the idea behind the song: while he is pretty successful after having been making music for over a decade, he’s not giving up with the fame he has right now. That there is always something new to reach for and giving up isn’t an option. It’s very reflective of who Dummie is as an artist, in my eyes. In the past few months, he’s gone on tour, began a new podcast, starred in a movie, and released this EP, all on top of switching up his alias (again… he’ll always be Dumbfoundead to me). Looking from the outside, everything looks like it’s going well, but the success isn’t without struggle and hard work.
6. Pink Bleu Dawn
“Pink Bleu Dawn” reminds me of walking home from a club at 5 in the morning. It’s dark out, but the sun will be coming up soon and the streets are pretty empty. I’m tired and way ready for bed. Park sings “I think it’s time that I head home / take the keys to my car / I think it’s time that I head home / to the pink bleu dawn” before the music erupts into its own instrumental. Dreamy hums accompany soft drums on top of the beat where there would normally be rapping if this part wasn’t a break before the reprise of lyrics before the end of the song.
As a whole, Café Bleu EP was a fun listen and a great addition to Dummie’s discography. I give it a 5/7 because all of the songs flow really well with each other and it’s a good, light listen. That being said, there aren’t as many iconic lyrics like I was hoping for (if you’re an avid DFD fan, you probably know what I mean) and the songs sometimes felt like they were very similar to each other. Give it a listen, if you’re into chill rap and support Dummie!