Private Playlist: The Koreatown Oddity is raising his daughter on a colorful musical diet

The Koreatown Oddity. Photo courtesy of the artist

Private Playlist is a listening session with Southern California’s most notable musical figures in their private creative environments.

A native Angeleno, The Koreatown Oddity (Dominique Purdy) was born and raised in his namesake. As a teenager, Purdy plied his craft on the Sunset Strip, performing stand-up sets at the Laugh Factory. He made his feature film debut in 2006 in "The Boys & Girls Guide to Getting Down" before issuing his debut mixtape, "Eat A Dead Goat," in 2012. Over the last decade, his discography has swelled to include seven studio albums and an additional 11 mixtapes, largely issued on cassette. He issued his debut album for Stones Throw, "Finna Be Past Tense," in 2017.

For this edition of Private Playlist, The Koreatown Oddity says that music is a family affair. He shares inspirational classics from Horace Silver, Big Brown, The Stranglers, and more.

“Nobody gives a f*** about what kind of rating you got on Pitchfork when you die.” — The Koreatown Oddity

THE KOREATOWN ODDITY: Everything's great [during the pandemic], actually. Nothing's changed too much. I still listen to music the same way. I still find music in all the various ways I would before. And whatever I'm listening to, the baby can listen to. 

My mom never had any restrictions on what music I could listen to. I listened to her tapes when I was a kid. She put me onto hip-hop. I was listening to Ice-T, Queen Latifah, MC Treble, Ice Cube, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Chubb Rock, and all the random s*** she was listening to. 

I'm kinda the same way, and obviously, there's stuff that [my daughter's] gonna like. She's got some musical thing going on in her, so I really don't shy away from any type of music. I'm always playing all kinds of wild music. Every once in a while, she's tired in the car and might be cranky, and that's when we gotta toss on "The Elmo Slide" or "Wheels on the Bus" or something.

HORACE SILVER

"I've Had A Little Talk" is a song where Horace Silver is saying he talked with his different organs, like "I talked with my lungs, I talked with my stomach and my heart." And he's talking about how he decided to treat them right: "I'm gonna change the things that I'm doing with those specific organs, so they can do the job that they need to do, and I can continue on doing my job with my creativity." So I always loved that song. 

And when I go play records, I definitely always be like, "Okay, I'm gonna put this one in here," even if I don't play it. There are records, like, even if I don't play it or don't get to it, I want to have it there, just in case I want to. And it's just a groovy jam. As soon as you hear this, you're like, "I wanna have this so I can drop this on somebody." Because the song is so jammin,' you don't care if he's talking about that or not, but it might subconsciously get in your mind. Maybe that was the choice of the music, being so funky.

THE STRANGLERS

This record's from 1981. And you know, everybody talks about now like, "You need to give people they flowers." But they was already thinking about how people don't do that, and it's still a thing to this day. Even with MF Doom passing, which was major in the hip-hop community, all his music shot to number one. All his albums were charting on iTunes and all these crazy things. But that wasn't happening when he was here, though, because he was still alive. And that's just what it is. People say, "Give these people flowers," and all this stuff, and it's like ... there's never gonna be enough flowers for any artist. And when you pass, that's just when you get 'em. That's just what happens. Everybody doesn't know about what you're doing, and some people find out about people when they pass. 

So when people pass, I think it's a positive thing that people can discover you too, if they never knew you, or appreciate all the stuff you laid out. Because that's the bookend: Now you know this person is not going to be creating anything new ever again. And even if you were a fan from the beginning, it even makes the fan go back and just listen to the music with a different ear, knowing that this person is done. You don't even critique it the same. 

People got hella s*** to talk about while you're alive: "Man, this album was better than this one; this sucked; you fell off," and all these different negative comments people have to say while you're an artist still growing and making music. But when you pass, all the critiques go out the window. Nobody gives a f*** about what kind of rating you got on Pitchfork when you die. People just take the music as it is — which is, at the end of the day, what's most important.

AZIMUTH

Azimuth is a Brazilian jazz group. To me, this track sounds like when people spray a nice fragrance of mist within your vicinity, and it's refreshing. Like someone keeps spraying the room with this fragrance: "Ah, man, this is life. Life is nice. It's just vibin.'" It's such a little groovy track. There are some people who only listen to certain kinds of music, but I think if I play that track, you're like, "Man, this is dope. This is a refreshing kind of sound, you know?" It's not too fast, not too slow, and those sounds just get your ears excited.

BIG BROWN

This is not really a song. It's poetry over some music. The whole Big Brown album is like a poetry album. And on this song, the part that always gets me is about [how] you gotta be able to look yourself in the face at the end of the day in life, and that's the thing that matters the most. Not what everybody else thinks but what you think. You could be the most beautiful-looking person in the world, but if you know inside what's really going on, you're going to feel like you're hideous. There's this last couple bars at the end where it says: "You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years. And get pats on the back as you pass. But your final reward will be heartache and tears. If you've cheated the man in the glass."

MADLIB

These are all joints that are not new, but we're going to talk about something new. Madlib is the newest thing I've been having on repeat, and "Hang Out (Phone Off)" is really dope. That's the one I put on repeat when I'm riding around and looking outside the window at people in the world. That's the newest thing I'm listening to a lot, because when Madlib drops, everything stops, if you know what's up.

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