Redefining Rap Culture In The Philippines

Friday, March 20, 2020

Admit it or not, I know that you know that we all had our phases wherein Rap songs became the anthem of your lives. I don't know about you but in my time, "Kabet" and "Highschool life" would be blasted on the radio, and you can hear them whenever you go, the rap groups such as "repbalikan" and "Hambog ng sagpro" are the real deal and part of every student's playlist. Now that times have changed, maybe "Batang Pasaway" and "ZEBIANNA," might be more familiar to you. The trap light sounds of Ex Battalion can be heard daily on the radio, whether in the streets of Manila of the comfort of the province. Rap battle culture is also alive and well, with Fliptop ranking as one of the world's most-watched battle leagues.

Well, the Rap culture of the Philippines has been thriving for the longest time but still faces a hunch in gaining the respect it deserves. From Francis M. to Gloc 9 to the newest rap artist out there, Pinoy rap is still perceived as inferior to western rap. It is not an exaggeration to say that we have a fair share of responsibility to its dreadful state, Let's be real, a lot of us have been acting elitist over it and we have labeled Pinoy rap songs as "baduy" and "jeje" So I say, Pinoy rap isn't "jeje" and we shouldn't be ashamed to like it.

Image result for ex battalion

One could argue that the reason it's considered "baduy" and "jeje" is that there are some raps with nonsense lyrics and sexual undertones, but let us not forget that the most prominent consumers of this genre are the masses who relates to the song. But even with the negative connotation about Pinoy rap, no one can replace the fact that unlike other local scenes around the world, rap is very often seen as a window into life in the Philippines. Rapper such as Gloc 9 raps about politics and current events and I think it's the beauty and uniqueness of Pinoy Rap, because of its substance, realness, and challenges the status quo..

If you keep an open mind, you'll find that the Philippines have several talented artists in the industry who have great content. We also need to stop regarding things that are very Filipino or "pang-masa" as lesser or embarrassing just because it doesn't fit our taste. With any genre of music, there are songs that are bad, downright terrible, average, right, and brilliant.

By: Mark Elwyn Baccay 

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