Dumperfoo on Impressing Vanilla Ice, Hanging With Snoop Dogg, and Other Hip-Hop Hijinks
If you happen to attend Adam Dumper's big 40th birthday bash tonight at Club Red in Tempe, don't be afraid to call him Uncle Dumps. Yes, we're well aware that the renowned Blunt Club promoter and urban art impresario usually goes by his famous nom de guerre, Dumperfoo, but referring to his lesser-known moniker is cool. After all, he's sorta like a cool uncle -- if not a godfather -- to the Valley hip-hop scene.
Benjamin Leatherman Adam "Dumperfoo" Dumper
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As we documented in the feature story of this week's music section, Dumper's been more than a little proficient at lending his support or paintbrush to countless local hip-hop endeavors. Just ask his longtime collaborator and fellow Drunken Immortals member Michael "Mic Cause" Cosentino.
"The thing about Dumper, even if he's not involved directly with promoting it or making any money on it, he still promotes it. Anything that anybody sends to him that has to do with Arizona hip-hop, he'll promote it, in every capacity he can," Cosentino says. "That's why we call him Uncle Dumps, because he's always looking out for other people. Even if he doesn't know anything about it. He's like, 'Oh, it's Arizona hip-hop? Well, you gotta go and check it out!'"
Dumper spoke about some of the many nights and events that he's been a part of over the years during our recent interview with him, as well as some juicy yarns about the time he hung out and created art for both infamous rappers Snoop Dogg and Vanilla Ice. For reals.
Dumperfoo with the Doggfather
Up on the Sun: There's a photo of you and Snoop Dogg on your website. What's the story behind that?
My buddy was a fabricator for this show Man Caves and he was making this couch out of the back end of a '57 Cadillac and it had these lift-up wings with spaces for Snoop Dogg to hide his bongs in. And he called me saying he was making this couch for Snoop Dogg and asked if I wanted to come out to deliver it, 'cause he was going to Diamond Bar [California] the next day. They'd seen my artwork and would love for me to come along and do a live art painting of Snoop. I'm, like, all right. So I come to his shop and help build the couch, strapped it in the back of his truck with the canvas and drove down to Snoop Dogg's house.
We hung out there all day, all night until 3 a.m. and filmed these episodes of Man Caves and Snoop Dogg's Father Hood. I did a painting. Snoop Dogg's walking around with flip-flops on, with his socks on, smoking a joint all day. They were like, "Yo, Snoop, you can't smoke on television!" And he's like, "This ain't smell-o-vision!" He kept smoking and we were laughing. We got to play basketball with his kid and his whole football team. It was really cool. Snoop Dogg is a very nice guy.
Tell us about the time you toured with Vanilla Ice.
Dumperfoo: DisGo was like, "Dude, need a new poster for The Nile, we have a show with Vanilla Ice." I was laughing, like "Ha-ha, Vanilla Ice." So I drew some shit, some silly drawing of him choking this dude saying "I'm back," around the time his rock album came out. Just making fun of people making fun of him.
And later on that night, DisGo called me and said, "Vanilla Ice is here. He wants you to come down to the tour bus, wants to meet you and put that shit on some T-shirts." So I'm like, "Yeah, right, dude. Fuck that." It was true. I went down to The Nile with my brother and the next day I'm printing up T-shirts with the shit on there. Went to San Diego with him and did a show with him and DJ Hurricane and toured around with him for a little bit. It was pretty crazy.
The first two albums I bought was Egyptian Lover and Kraftwerk at Tower Records when they were downstairs at MetroCenter in the mall. Those were albums I just had to get. -- Adam "Dumperfoo" Dumper
Were you into his music back in the day?
What else were you into growing up?
Me and my friend Tyrone Robinson listened to New Jack Swing stuff at that time, because that's when we were going to all the clubs and dancing like Kid 'n Play-looking shit from that era. We were getting our New Jack Swing on. Me and Tyrone danced at the Cactus [High School] talent show and competed against MC Puma [Walker], who was with this guy Boo. He was a DJ and Puma was a rapper back and they won that shit. I really didn't see Puma too much after that. I got into being a gang-banger.
Did you sport coveralls and the other bad fashion from around then?
Yup, had the goofy-ass pants on and all that shit. I might have worn one strap down even. It was a pretty bad era of music and clothing and fashion. Z Cavariccis and Girbaud [jeans]. Just all this horrible, horrible fashion.
What were the first records you ever purchased as a kid?
The first two albums I bought was Egyptian Lover and Kraftwerk at Tower Records when they were downstairs at MetroCenter in the mall. Those were albums I just had to get.