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Review: Dallas Waldo – Earfood (EP) Release Party in Taipei, Taiwan

Dallas Waldo – Earfood (EP) Release Party in Taipei, Taiwan

At the Triangle live music venue in Taipei, YouTube rapper Dallas Waldo held a release party for his new EP Earfood. The rapper has amassed a decent following after his song “Stinky Tofu” went viral in Taiwan. Coincidentally his EP shares the same name as the album by the late-great Jazz musician Roy Hargrove, I’m not sure if Dallas is aware of the album’s existence but using the same title as one of the best Jazz albums in the past twenty years seems like a major oversight and could have been fixed by a quick Google search. Nevertheless, the similarities end there. Hargrove’s album uses earfood as a metaphor to describe the experience for the listener while Dallas literally refers to food. Continuing with the same formula that made him popular he previewed another song from the EP called “Cheesecake.”

The lyrics for both “Stinky Tofu,” and “Cheesecake” are embarrassing for any native English speaker or hip-hop fan. One attendee even mimed shooting themselves in the head during his performance of “Cheesecake,” preferring death than enduring more of the song. Some of the lines include, “I like Stinky Tofu,” and “Gotta get that Cheese…cake.” The only possible redeeming quality of this music would be if the artist was self-aware enough about the quality of his music and embraced its terribleness or treated it as a joke, but based on his performance and music video, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead what you get is a cringey-Canadian opening his song by stating its for “Stinky Tofu and the Ganja” and abusing the word “Yo.” In fact, Dallas is closer to The Backpack Kid than DBangz or Oliver Tree. The average wannabe rapper that we all knew back in high school can find an audience in Taiwan if they can speak a little Chinese and reference Taiwanese culture. I still don’t understand why foreigners are able to gain an audience in Taiwan for such low-quality content. The chance of a Taiwanese living in America rapping about hotdogs or hamburgers and achieving the same level of popularity as Dallas is close to zero, but in Taiwan, losers back home (LBH) are able to strive and thrive.