Skip to Content

Interview With The Koreatown Oddity

11:11 AM PST on December 15, 2015

    The Koreatown Oddity represents everything that is good about Los Angeles. His creativity on multiple fronts (he wrote and starred in the feature film Driving While Black, raps, and produces music), his optimism, openness to the world of cultures that make up this microcosmic city, and his utterly unique approach to life make him a favorite at Low End Theory, underground parties, and in the back of your favorite taco spot. We caught up with  the man himself, Dominique Purdy, to discuss a few items of interest...

    What's your  favorite taco?
    I dnt really have a fav taco spot but i do fuck wit cactus #1 & #2 . Also a few random trucks throughout the city the dont really have names. And i dnt eat meat so a place tht does a great potato taco is a plus. I still think about this one sweet potato taco i ate at the Taco Madness Event yall did. Shit was amazin. I fuck wit burritos heavyyyyy too on another note.

    Where did you grow up and how did it shape who you are?
    I grew up in ktown of course. St. Andrews & 5th , Hobart & 7th , Harvard & 7th. Moms said before i was born it wasnt called koreatown tho. Just like mid city wilshire or some shit. Growing up it was black & hispanic and some korean kids. Though alot of businesses were korean owned. Man shit i was in the riots when i was 8 years old in ktown and ridin through the whole city, so ive seen alotta thangs happen there. I remember when they put the first subway station on wilshire & western. Me and homies as kids used ride tht shit for free. It only went to dwntown then. I saw alotta property get torn down i been hit by cars all type jazz in ktown.


    When did you start wearing a mask, and where is the mask from?
    The ceremonial headress was a decorative thing i would bring when i did sets to have on the table along with my operation brain surgery toy. Id bring my turntable a stack of records , my mpc, and a cool lil table cloth. Ive had the headress since i was in highschool. I dnt think its from anything specific. But it tells you alot about me and music because its not attractive to look it but you feel my vibe. Im inspired by Graff bombers wit how i operate.

    Favorite all-time MC? Producer?
    Of you know Kool Keith is my shit but man there are so many emcees that laid it dwn in the culture tht inspired and influenced me tht this paragraph would be waaay too long. Same goes with producers. Obviously i love all the OG greats! And alotta dope heads tht came after. Too many to write dwn. I aint tryna get carpal tunnel. You know phrases from emcees or certain songs just inspire u. Producers too. Certain beats they did or how they flipped samples inspire you to stay ill and get iller. This is a question you gotta ask in person i can go on & on. I dnt name a bunch a people and forget somebody.

    You're an actor and a rapper and producer. Which of those is your true calling, which do you love the most?
    All the things i do in this life expressing my creativity is my calling. Dnt really consider myself an actor tho. Like spike lee he can pull of parts he feels a connection to but i dnt do shit i dnt feel. All these things i do film and music have been around me since i was kid. Growing up in the hip hop culture inspired all the shit i do today and how i do it.

    How would you describe Koreatown to someone who's never been there?
    To describe koreatown to someone whos never been here i would first say wilshire & western is the center of the city so we have every type of person in the city pass thru. Theres alot of buildings tht have been here since the 70s and 80s. Its black, hispanic, and now the biggest population of koreans outside if seoul korea. Theres some more white folks sprinkled in now too lol.The nightlife is poppin. There all kinds of good food. And although there is alot of gentrifrication happening here there are OG people from koreatown tht are developing things to keep it dope and bring new life. This shit got alot of history and i been here since the 80s so i seen hella shit. Man we just need a dope ass record store here now for all my loop diggers. Shit maybe i will be the one to do it.

    What keeps you in LA? What would make you leave?
    LA has everything i need. Theres so many cultures from Ethiopian, to Indian, Greek, etc. I mean every fuckin thing. The music scene, arts, nightlife theres always some shit to do. Comedy spots beautiful landmarks and history , murals. Just interesting lookin old people. Obviously being born & raised here i have a deep connection with the city . I have memories scattered across the entire city. Im never living anywhere else. And after i become a supercentinarian im gonna die here.


    When and where were you most happy?
    Thats a tough question because when i happy im happy so the MOST happy kinda dnt exist. But i will say tht when me & all the peeps i fuck wit are living comfortably paper wise as we do the shit we love and we all breakin bread and giving back to the community while doin it and my parents dnt have wrk thats when i will be MOST happy.

    How have you changed as a performer in the past couple of years?
    Everytime i perform i want people to feel some shit. Something tht relieves stress and or inspires them in whatever they are trying to do. I feel every performance im more in tune with tht energy i wanna give. I start seeing waves floating in the room.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.25.09 AM

    Got any shoutouts? 
    Shout to Yall first off. Appreciate the support. And shout to everybody who fucks wit me you know who you are. If we smoked weed together, i slept on ur couch, we rolled on a mission somewhere, we ate lunch dinner or breakfast together, you bought my shit, or we created some shit together, or you put snaps on the petro when i had a whip, or you put me up on game wit some knowledge. If you fuck wit me i appreciate it cuz i wrk hard as fuck G.

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024

    Facing ‘Immediate Layoffs,’ L.A. TACO Launches Membership Drive to Save Our Publication

    After Sunday, we do not have enough money to make another payroll. We need 5,000 members to become sustainable. Our deadline is April 26th to hit this goal.

    April 12, 2024

    The Final Round of TACO MADNESS 2024 Is Now Open for Voting! It’s Highland Park vs. San Fernando Valley

    It was an incredible comeback to deny last year's winner and bring a first-timer from the San Fernando Valley to the finals. They will have an uphill battle against Villa's Tacos, who lead all teams in total votes so far in the 2024 competition. L.A.'s favorite taco will be decided on Sunday, April 14th, at 11:59 P.M. 

    April 11, 2024

    This New Koreatown Onigiri Spot Is Unlike Any Other in Southern California

    Supamu, which started as a food truck and a series of pop-ups, brands itself as Southern California’s first Okinawa-style onigiri. What sets its onigiri apart from competitors? All the details are in the post, plus where to find it.

    April 10, 2024

    When ‘Tomorrow’ Never Comes: The Saga of a DTLA Bar Staff’s Struggle To Get Paid

    A barback recalled a time when he had to use a payday loan app to cover a dinner bill. “How can you, with a straight face, hand someone a check knowing that there isn’t money in the account,” the barback questioned.

    April 10, 2024
    See all posts