Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pinoys In The International Scene: Are We Really There?

It’s a perpetual struggle for any musician to be recognized for his or her music. It seems a contradiction for what music really stands for. It is, after all, art. It is personal and the only true validation you need is your own.

There is this universal truth we can’t ignore though. Along with our humanity is the innate need to be acknowledged. We need our lives to be witnessed and noticed, if only to assure ourselves what we are doing matters. The need is more intense for artists because they have the natural tendency to get in touch with their deepest emotions and then express it in an international language, music.

This is further heightened for us Pinoys for reasons that were borne of our painful history. We had 300 years of colonization, another 25 under a dictatorship, and 3 years under the Japanese. Our independence, if we really have it, is in its infancy. Our olds are very much alive and we continue to turn to them for guidance.

Then there are the Americans whose influence and power remain omnipresent especially in the music industry. It may be because the biggest music labels originated and centrally operates in the US. It could also be because of the international influence of US trade and commerce. After all, the US dollar remains the currency by which everyone else’s is measured.

We are part of an international industry and we mean that in the strictest sense of the word. We are part of it. We have been respected and revered. It is a pity that everyone seems to acknowledge that except us. That is why we, in liveOPM, bother. We want us to realize that there should be no doubt on our talents because despite the obvious disadvantages there have been Pinoys who more than made it internationally. They set trends, broke records and influenced even the music of today and they did without compromising the Philippine sound.

They carried a sound influenced by Pinoy culture. As much as I admire and respect the likes of Charice, Arnel Pineda and Leah Salonga, perhaps even they would agree that the artists below deserve more because they wrote their own music, carried with them their unique style and threaded the path less travelled. They didn’t compromise and proved you don’t have to.

The One Who Created A Genre

There are three names in Latin Soul that are universally respected: Ralfi Pagan, Harvey Averne, and Joe Bataan. They are credited as the godfathers of the Latin-American Soul genre. Any song that uses a capella in full or in part owes to these three.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hip Hop and Rap: Is it for Filipinos?

Note: This is a breakaway from my usual weekly Filipino achievers tribute. I have no reason... i just feel like writing this. 

image by: Kanade-Chizuru

J-Nick, Repablikan, Loonie, Zaito, Target, Dello, Breezy Girlz and the opposite gender’s counterpart, Breezy Boyz are the biggest names in Philippine Rap industry nowadays. Most of them made their way to the top through “street rapping battles” called Flip-Top. It’s where rappers come together to battle each other. Each city or town can organize their own battles and work their way up to the national championship.

One of their videos has more than 9.1 million hits on youtube and that’s not counting the hits of others who reposted the original video. However, none of them are signed to any major label. They release their songs on YouTube and their social networking sites. The support from their fans is pretty unbelievable. Their fans create their own music videos for their songs. There is one song that had more than 20 user generated music videos, all that for a song that never saw our radio airwaves. Take that Eminem!

So why are they still unsigned? There is hardly a chance the labels haven’t heard of them yet. Three of them are, in fact, in the show Bubble Gang. There is only one reason a label wouldn’t sign an artist, if they don’t see a viable business. Most of their supporters come from the Lower C and D. People from these classes wouldn’t exactly put CDs as their financial priority.

The question now is why are they still underground? We know there is a market out there for rap. The late Francis Magalona created that. Andrew E. and Michael V. capitalized on that. Was it a fad for us Pinoys? Is it a genre we can truly embrace?

For us to answer this question, we need to go back to the roots of rap. Understanding its beginning will allow us to understand the very essence of the genre and how it fits to our culture.

First, let us define the terms. There are three basic assumptions:
  1. Rap is talking in rhyme to the rhythm of a beat
  2. Hip-hop, on the other hand, is a culture. It is a way of life who identify, love, and cherish rap, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti
  3. Rap is a musical genre born from hip-hop[i]

Monday, January 14, 2013

Claro Claridad: Jumped into Ice Covered Lake to Save 2 Kids

Okay, listen to this.

What if like a god tell you 'Ey, I'll give you a chance to be a hero. Not like a Jose Rizal hero, okay? Just a hero like... two to three families will forever feel happy that you were once alive.'

Aight. Not bad, right? So, the next question is... what do you have to do to earn the respect and affection of two to three families?

So, this god will answer, 'You need to jump into a lake covered with ice to save two kids that will run away with their family after being saved and not even thank you.'

Here's what I'll say... put my d!ck in your ear and fu$% whatever you hear you amoeba product stinking piece of $h!t. Why? Why the f$%k will I do that? Tell me... why... would I ever offer my life to someone who don't even have the fu$%in' balls to man up to their d@mn stupidity?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Knife Edge Trilogy: Be Stupid for a Split Second and You Die

Despite our reputation for having rich natural resources as evidenced by the continuous attempt of different countries to invade us for the sole purpose of scraping our country off our natural resources like a bear let off in the middle of a bamboo field after 2 years of hibernation, we still rarely get mentioned when they make lists of best places to visit if you want to go nature tripping.

The top 10 Most Difficult Mountains to Climb list, for example, doesn't include a single mountain from the Philippines. It may be because we don't have snow here. Most deaths in those mountains is caused by Hypothermia.

In the mountains of the Philippines, mountaineers don't battle hypothermia, they battle leeches, falling rocks the size of Antartica, unpredictable weather that changes its mind more often than we take in oxygen, snakes and other yet to be identified forest animals, ghosts and monsters, and some gaddam cannibalistic ethnic groups.

photos by:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Jose "Pepe" Rizal: The Pinoy with Gigantic B@lls

The only photo of Jose Rizal that shows him smiling

It’s gonna sound crazy but Jose Rizal is underrated. He has become a nuisance whose novels subject many students to failure and many sleepless nights. It’s not fair because Rizal is beyond badass. The fuckin’ guy got some balls.

Jose Rizal’s got a huge pair. Gigantic in fact. It’s so big, he has enough for the entire fuckin’ country.

Rizal’s balls have the same size as fuckin’ Mars that got pumped with salt and water that it got packed with so much fat that it would take a lifetime of surgery to get it all out. His balls is so fuckin’ big that he decided to publicly denounce Catholicism, almost singlehandedly challenged the country that was conquering the Philippines with nothing but an effin’ pen and paper and put in sexual undertones in the two novels that managed to find its way to the High School curriculum… and this was the 1800s, women had to wear seven layers of garments believing it would make them pure.