All Photos by Zach Shwartz
The first time I was run up on by Mark Seaquist was at an NYU event at a venue across the street from Washington Square Park. Mark has a stocky build, especially in comparison to a sea of Asian college kids, so when he stood at the back of the crowd, he worked his way to the merchandise booth where I was standing, fairly easily (and aggressively, as a Chinese elder woman at a Flushing bus stop).
Mark seemed innocent and as happy to be there as anyone else at first, but when he sparked up a conversation with me, I realized this was more than just a regular supporter. Mark had brought with him limited edition merchandise I sold online, in super limited quantities, from a previous project on some Nardwuar shit. We spoke briefly about my surprise reaction of him–of having that piece; he wasn’t just a fan, he was a fanatic. This older, Italian gentleman from Staten Island, NYC knew more about my music and my career than you would think.
Eventually Mark invited me to go to his car. I was like, “nah.” Somehow the strange man lured me over and what I saw on the roof of his Daewoo, I will never forget. It was like a Smithsonian of relevant, and completely irrelevant, Asian-American rappers and singers signatures written across the cheap upholstery of an Korean import car (that I’m fairly sure isn’t street legal).
You can see a list of some of the artists that have touched this roof, below.
From then on, I would see Mark pop up at almost every event that I, or my other Asian-American colleagues, would be at. He became somewhat of a staple in the support system around us.
This week Vice published the first story documenting Mark Seaquist’s very specific fandom for Asian-American artists.
The photograph at the top of this article was taken at the Bad Rap screening in NYC, where Mark broke out into tears as his pride for these artists, that he now calls friends, overflowed and he could not contain his joy.
Mark’s a special kind of character, especially in a niche-world such as Asian-American Hiphop. It all sounds so obscure but the best stories always are. This won’t be the last you hear of Mark Seaquist.