Two Cents: My Thoughts on Asian Rap’s Biggest Fan Being a White Guy from Staten Island

For anyone that follows Asian-American Hip-Hop artists, there’s little doubt that you’ve come across the online presence of Mark Seaquist. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, then perhaps you know him buy his online handle, daewooparts. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Then perhaps you’ve seen this face in the mix in photos of some of your favorite artists.

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So why are we talking about Mark? Well let’s just say he’s gotten some much deserved shine lately due to a feature article on Vice: Asian Rap’s Biggest Fan Is a White Guy from Staten Island and I wanted to make sure this moment is perpetuated. Since the early days of this site, Mark (aka daewooparts) has been a constant supporter of Asian-American music and has been one the scene’s most vocal fans. He advocates stronger for the artists than pretty much anyone else I know, myself included.

I met Mark briefly 5 years ago, at the very event/show of the poster that he is holding up in the photo above. He recognized me as I was exiting and said something along the lines of “Yo! GT, right? I’m Mark… daewooparts. a-Tunes is some good shit, man!” I was a bit caught off guard and just nodded in quiet acknowledgement, voiced my appreciation for his support and off I went. It was only after that I connected the dots as to who I just met and ever since then we’ve been loosely connected on social media.

Listen, I’ll be frank, I was a bit confused by Mark. I didn’t know what to make of him. Who is this white dude and why is he is so adamant and open about his Asian-American fandom? And why the deuce is he letting every artist he meets tag up his car?

His car was Korean, of Daewoo make, evinced by the Korean Hangul writing on the side mirrors. The car’s roof was covered in more signatures than a dive bar’s bathroom wall. “That’s the biggest collection of Asian rap signatures in the world,” he said. “That’s everyone. That’s over 150. I got them all to sign it.” It was like reading the all-star roster of Asian hip-hop: The Mountain Brothers, Dumbfoundead, Awkwafina, Rekstizzy, Far East Movement, Jin, Decipher, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Jay Park, Manifest, Lyricks. “And that’s Keith Ape right there!” he said giddily as we drove. (Vice)

But after a while, I realized that it doesn’t matter. I don’t need to know why or how he got to this point. I don’t need to fully understand him. I just need to be thankful. For whatever reason, the man shows more love for these artists than nearly everyone else – period. He’s traveled to dozens of states to support artists, attending their shows, buying their merch and spreading the word on their music. He is a one-man street team for not just one artist, but an entire ethnic group of them. He comes off a bit brash at times, and he is certainly strongly opinionated… but the guy has been the most under appreciated yet influential non-Asian-American for Asian-American rappers since Peter Quistgard (of Cool Edit Pro fame).

So Mark, if you’re reading this and knowing you, you probably are – let me jump on the bandwagon and say thank you. Thank you for your years of unwavering support, for wanting to spread a movement, and perhaps most importantly, for just being a fan at heart – regardless of rhyme or reason.

Everyone else, please do check out the Vice article on Mark. It’s a good read and for once, it features the fan and not the artists, and the reciprocated love is long overdue.

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