While promoting his recently-released album, 1176, Oakland artist Guapdad 4000 has focused much of his press run on Filipino publications and radio stations, in honor of his Filipino roots and how they tie closely into the themes of the new album (he even collaborated on the album with a Filipino-American producer, Illmind). In a recent interview with Entertainment Inquirer, he touched on how he was affected by anti-Asian discrimination growing up due to his biracial heritage (his grandad was Black, while his grandmother was Filipino).
In the interview, Guapdad makes it a point to note the similarities between the two cultures (“A sense of family and loyalty is something we both share”), but also highlights how, due to his upbringing he was able to see how both can be negatively affected by prejudice. “My mom looks Asian and I look Black, and some people would say weird things at times,” he recalls. “Discrimination was always sneaking through the cracks.”
“I’m flamboyant with my taste in fashion,” he continues. “So, you have this handsome, flashy Black child walking around with this super modest, humble Filipino lady, and some would be like, ‘What’s going on?’ I also experienced some prejudice from older Filipinos, who would crack jokes about my dark skin. That hurt my feelings, too. So I had to dodge bullets from both sides. I usually chalk racism up to ignorance.”
He says he was able to overcome those experiences because “they made me mentally tougher.” He also shares how his partnership with 88rising helps shed light on Asian-Americans’ accomplishments in music and advocates for a better understanding of them in the mainstream and admits that, despite having a song titled “Chicken Adobo” on his album, it’s the one traditional dish he’s intimidated to try cooking. “We had some discussions, especially about trying to be more forward in letting people know that I’m Filipino; that I want to go out of my way to do stuff for us, and shine a light on what other Filipino artists people are doing. It just seemed a good fit.”
“I think it’s super cool and it’s a beautiful opportunity for Asian artists in general to have this platform. I’m excited to see what everyone else is up to. And I’m just on board as a fan in general. I’m a fan of so many of their artists before I was even part of it. I’m now reaching out to a lot of people and getting familiar with people I didn’t know about. I expect to do more collabs with Filipino artists in the future. But now I’m just warming myself up.”
You can read the full interview here.
Guapdad 4000 is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.