Black Filipino Artist Reveals Discrimination Growing up in Oakland

Oakland-based singer/songwriter Guapdad 4000 recently opened up about his own experiences of discrimination while growing up due to his biracial heritage.

Guapdad, whose father is Black and mother is Filipino, shared in an interview with Inquirer how prejudice has affected his childhood.

“My mom looks Asian and I look Black, and some people would say weird things at times,” the artist was quoted as saying. “Discrimination was always sneaking through the cracks.”

Guapdad pointed out that similarities and differences in his family’s cultural background would often reveal prejudice in others.

“I’m flamboyant with my taste in fashion,” he narrated. “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.”

According to the singer, the experiences made him “mentally tougher,” allowing him to eventually overcome the pain that came with them.

At the moment, he is utilizing his partnership with 88rising's Philippine sublabel, Paradise Rising, to help highlight Filipino musicians' accomplishments in music. He said he is using his platform to advocate for a better understanding of these successes in the mainstream.

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“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.”

One of the songs included on his album "1176" is a track called “Chicken Adobo," referencing a popular traditional dish in the Philippines.

“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.”

Featured Image via Guapdad4000

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