Guapdad 4000 and fellow Fil-Am Saweetie are two of several artists featured in the official soundtrack of 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' -- the Marvel film that has broken box-office records in a significant victory for Asian representation in Hollywood.
As one of the rising superstar-rappers in Hollywood, Guapdad said his success is something he's struggled and worked hard for to provide him the opportunity to help his family. "It helped me be the man that I am today... So, I am grateful for every struggle that I've ever had."
Guapdad grew up with his grandmother Corazon who is from Olongapo, Philippines. His Filipino side strengthened through travels there, in Subic Bay, and Zambales, inspiring him to write one of his songs 'Chicken Adobo' which he made with Fil-Am record producer Illmind. He shared that being born biracial came with challenges -- sometimes brought about by people from his two communities.
"It was hard to get accepted from both sides, because you always aren't black enough or you aren't Filipino enough. So you kind of played a balance, and you have to learn how to separate other people's opinions for yourself and live for yourself and love what you are as a whole," Guapdad said. "So it's one thing for me to grow up and to see the world separated is what kind of hurt my feelings; and then I had to grow past."
But in finding his own path, he was inspired by his Filipina mom Sheila who faced her own challenges. "As weird as it is to say, her struggles, in watching her, were a great example of things to do and also to not do. So I have a lot of experience to pull from, from such a strong person who was able to weather such crazy storms and obstacles in her life. It's cool to be able to look at her now -- where she is now and where I am now and kind of champion together."
Guapdad added, "That's why I put out the music that I put out and I share a message that I do because I want people to feel that way. I want people to connect with my struggles because I know that they're going through theirs."
Guapdad recently held his first set of successful headliner shows in California.