At present, there are striking differences between the two, with the former taking a more old school style approach to rapping and orchestration. This can be understood by the fact that many Filipino people follow current American hip hop artists, and may simply see the difference as being that of American hip hop sounding one way and Filipino hip hop sounding another. Although there is strong support for underground artists through area affiliation or artist collectives, the vast majority of hip hop artists in the Philippines are seen by the strongly Catholic Filipino society as socially unfavorable, due to the mature nature of some of their lyrics which often portray the harsh realities of a developing country; while the latter, due to their immediate surroundings in more productive areas of hip hop as well as economical advantages, are able to perform and orchestrate in current styles and branches of hip hop, giving content and listening choice a wide array of options, and unlike in the Philippines, the youth-oriented culture of many western countries attribute to many Filipino-American or overseas Filipinos support of these overseas Filipino hip hop artists. However, a growing number of Philippine hip hop artists in the Philippines have been orchestrating and rapping in styles closer to Hip hop variants followed worldwide today, showing a new wave of outside-in influence. The Philippines has the oldest hip hop scene in Southeast Asia, largely due to that nation's historical connections with the United States, the birthplace of hip hop. Filipino rap is heterogeneous, encompassing rap in languages such as Tagalog, Chavacano, and Cebuano, as well as English. The musical style has become as diverse as hip-hop music itself with such sub-genres as Kalye (Street), Masa (Commercial), Makabayang (Ethnocentric/Socially conscious), Gangsta, and underground rap.
The intimate relationship between hip-hop culture and the large Filipino American community along the United States West Coast naturally resulted in the exportation of rap music back to the Philippines. Numerous cassette tapes, videos, books and magazines concerning hip hop issues and popular rap artists would be sent out by Filipinos to family members back in the islands. :]
The towns and barrios surrounding the numerous American military bases that were scattared throughout that country such as Clark Air Base in Angeles City and Subic Bay Naval Base in Olongopo were among the earliest to be exposed to the culture; as contact with African-American, Filipino American and Latino servicemen resulted in some of the earliest exposure the locals had to the new musical genre.
Groundbreaking hip hop films such as Wild Style (1983), Breakin' (1984) and Krush Groove (1985) were also major influences; and as early as 1982 local breakdancing crews like the Angeles City based Whooze Co. International, with members consisting primarily from Clark Air Base, The Eclipse (whose former members included Francis Magalona, Dance 10's Darwin Tuason and current Federation Sounds' Glenn "Kico" Lelay), Info-Clash Breakers and Ground Control (members included Rap Master Fordy, later to be known as Andrew E. and Jay "Smooth" MC of Bass Rhyme Posse) became mainstays in local parks and malls in and around the Metro Manila area such as Glorietta Mall, which was an early hotspot for breakers. Several mobile DJ crews of the era included such names as the Rock All Parties Crew which emerged onto the scene only to produce such future Pinoy rap pioneers as Andrew E. and Norman B.
The genre developed an underground following in Metro Manila during the 1980s. In late 1989, former DJ and breakdancer Andrew E., or, as he was then called, Rap Master Fordy, introduced two of his friends from the mobile DJ group Rock All Parties Crew, Norman B. and Andy "Luv" MD, to J "Smooth" MC, an acquaintance from Andrew's breakdancing days. The trio would go on to form the group Pine Rhyme (for Las Piñas City, the area from which they hailed), later to be renamed the Bass Rhyme Posse. The pioneering act was Pinoy hip hop's first rap group and would release their self-titled debut album on VIVA Records in 1991 which spawned the cult hits Let the Beat Flow, Buhay Estudyante (Student Life) and Juan T. becoming the genre's first rap group to release a record.
The genre soon entered the mainstream with Francis Magalona's debut album, Yo!, which included the nationalistic hit "Mga Kababayan (My Countrymen)". Magalona (widely known by the aliases Francis M., The Man from Manila, and Master Rapper), a former breakdancer from the The Eclipse crew who rapped in both English and Tagalog, became an instant superstar and the first rap icon in the Philippines as a result.
More stars followed in Magalona's footsteps, including Pia Arroyo who's (Loving You) duet track with Francis M. marked the first time a female had rapped on record in the country, Lady Diane (The First Lady of Rap), Andrew E. (Humanap Ka Ng Pangit) (Look For Someone Ugly), Bass Rhyme Posse (The Bass Rhyme Posse), Denmark (I'm Markie D.!), Michael V. (Maganda Ang Piliin) (Pick Someone Pretty), Rapasia (Hoy! Tsismosa), Marcelo (Di Ka Ba Marunong Umayaw), Rapi Boys, and MC Lara, who released a self-titled album. AM Kidd and Topkat are Filipino-American rappers emerging from the Bay Area rap scene.
Following the path set forth by their Bass Rhyme predecessors, the tri-lingual rap group Rapasia released their self-titled debut record in 1991, garnering the hit "Hoy! Tsismosa". One of the earliest Filipino hip hop groups to embrace such an abstract format, the album's lyrical content often contained a mixture of various Philippine languages (including Tagalog and Chavacano) along with English. Rapasia's innovative style would later be built upon years later by other Pinoy rap groups such as Zamboanga's Ghost 13. Rapasia's members included Martin "Bronx" Magalona, brother of Pinoy rap entrepreneur Francis Magalona.
MastaPlann was also another group that did all their music in English.The group had 3 deejays and 2 mc's. The mc's were known as Type (Johnny Luna) and Tracer One (Butch Velez brother of famous actor Vivian Velez). MastaPlann released 3 albums that went multi platinum.Mastaplann is an all-Filipino Hip Hop group that was formed in 1992 in the Philippines, with original group members Butch Velez aka Tracer One, Johnny Luna aka Type Slickk, Disco Mix Competition DJs Sonny Abad, Noel Macanaya aka DJ MOD, Lopi Guzman aka DJ Lopi, and managed by Jesse Gonzales. Butch and Johnny were balikbayans from the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles, CA, Sonny a balikbayan from Hercules, CA, near the San Francisco Bay Area and Noel and Lopi native Filipinos. In 1992, Mastaplann was signed by Universal Records, where they released two records; in 1993, their debut eponymous release, and in 1994, The Way of tha Plann. These albums eventually obtained platinum status and are still selling worldwide. In 1995, Butch and Johnny went back to the states to take a hiatus from the scene. In 2000, they released a third album through BMG Records, under the new sub-label, Red Egg Records entitled Mastaplann.com, an obvious reference to their newly developed website. Additionally, the group scaled down their line-up to just Butch and Johnny, and then added Johnny Krush, another balikbayan from the San Francisco area. This album has already obtained gold status in the Philippines, and is also still selling. Currently, the group is based in the States where they still perform and make music. Mastaplann is currently working on their fourth album, yet to be titled, to be released under True Asiatik Productionz.
The following year marked a turning point for Pinoy rap with the release of Francis M.'s influential second album, Rap Is Francis M (1992), which is highly regarded as one of the greatest Pinoy Rap albums. Ushering in a socially-awoken wave not seen in the Philippine music industry since the heydey of Juan De La Cruz, Sampaguita and 1970s Pinoy rock; Magalona's tracks dissected the various cultural, social & political problems that plagued his country such as drug addiction in "Mga Praining" (The Addicts), political corruption and instability in "Halalan" (Election) as well as the detrimental effects of a colonial mentality to Filipino culture in "Tayo'y Mga Pinoy" (We Are Filipinos), the record's complexity and socially sentient message quickly earned it its classic status and became the standard by which future albums of the genre were to be compared to. Magalona's enduring contributions to the genre would later be recognized in the All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap and Hip-Hop (2003) published by Backbeat Books; as well as in the U.S.-based hip hop publication The Source (magazine) (May 2004).
In 1994, going against the wave of radio-friendly rap tracks that dominated at the time, Death Threat released the first Filipino gangsta rap album which told tales of the daily lives and struggles impoverished Filipino youth faced growing up in the slums of Metro Manila's barrios entitled Gusto Kong Bumaet (I Want To Be Good).
In 1997, the underground Pinoy rap group Pamilia Dimagiba released their groundbreaking album Broke-N-Unsigned on Tenement Records, marking the re-emergence of the conscious emcee in Pinoy rap. A coalition of sorts, Pamilia Dimagiba composed itself of several underground Pinoy rappers and crews such as 8th Messenger, Shadowblyde, Spoon, Murder-1 of Khan's Assassins and Young Galaxy of Iron Triangle among others. The raw seven-track, politically minded album was a breath of fresh air at the time; as Pinoy rap during the era had taken a more hardcore, gangster persona. Known for their coarse lyrics, serious subject matter complemented by heavy beats fused within traditional Filipino folk music; the camp's records by the names of "Duelo", "Manila's Finest", "Reality Hurtz" and "Brainstorming" among others were largely in essence a throwback to the early, nationalistic Francis M. inspired days of the genre.
Another Filipino hip hop artist who achieved prominence during the 1990s is the formerly Los Angeles-based DJ Andrew E. (born Andrew Espiritu), whose tracks "Humanap Ka Ng Panget" and "Makati Girl" (as done by Norman B. of Bass Rhyme Posse; was the first Pinoy rap track recorded to contain beatboxing) became monster hits in the Philippines, rivaling even Francis M.'s previously untouchable reign on top Pinoy rap's throne. Prior to landing a recording contract, the rapper had competed in various rap contests around the Philippines; the likes of which also produced Pinoy rap stars Michael V., Denmark and Martin "Bronx" Magalona. Andrew E.'s 1991 hit "Humanap Ka Ng Pangit" (Look For Someone Ugly) was the first to spawn a plethora of response records from other rappers in the country, such as Michael V.'s "Maganda Ang Piliin" (Pick Someone Pretty). The rapper's ability to combine unique storytelling with raunchy and humorous wordplay laced with catchy beats made Andrew the first of his kind in the genre. He then went on to release a movie entitled Andrew Ford Medina: Huwag Kang Gamol in 1991 which was the first film in the Philippines to include a full-on freestyle battle on screen. By the mid-1990s he had established his own record label, the controversial Dongalo Wreckords, as well as many successful rap groups, including Cebuano rappers The Anthill Mobb, Madd Poets and Bicolano rappers Salbakuta. The former, known for their complex and versatile lyrical ability achieved fame with their debut album Ikatlong Mundo. In 1997, Andrew E. produced and hosted the first Pinoy rap television show, Rap 13. Other popular rap artists and groups included Cirkulo Pugantes, El Latino, Mastaplann, Verbal Sativa, Kulay, Legit Misfitz, Pariente, Urban Flow, Sun Valley Crew, and Mega Force Crew (*formerly known as Grand Assault Tribe).
In 2003, Death Threat member Gloc 9 (born Aries Pollisco) released his solo debut album entitled G9, scoring such hits as "Isang Araw", "Sikat Na Si Pepe" and "Jologs" among others; making his solo arrival known to the Philippine music industry the record was an instant hit. The album would be followed up by 2005's memoiric Ako Si...Gloc 9, the rapid-tongued emcee's career has since been elevated to new heights and is considered to be one of the most acclaimed and popular rapistas within the genre today.
Hip-Hop group MOBBSTARR, consisting of Cebuano rappers Dice & k9 scored a phenomenal hit with the song "Itsumo", further establishing their role as premier southern Filipino rap artists.
On August 22, 2006, AMPON Absolute Messages Personified Over Noise dropped their debut album "Dekoding Rhythm"; a compilation consisting of both primarily English & Tagalog tracks by producers Mic, Caliph8, Chec, and Skarm among others.
On June 2008 OPM Hiphop music was back on the airwave when wave 89.1 debuted one of the deepest lyricist from the underground group RAPSKALLION FAMILA, Amazing Kid Released Hustla's Musik which spoke of positive hustlin' which the listeners felt deeply the song got major support through request via text,calls and YM,then comes His more RNB tip type of music on August 8, 2008 Amazing Kid followed up with Almost which was collaborated with DJ Myke of the AKAfellas and Sabado Boys. This time Amazing Kid brings a more personal type of storytelling and the story is so vivid you get a feeling you were there to witness the song itself currently it's getting the same request as the first single. With the two single the RAPSKALLION TRILOGY Album carried these tracks which also feature 2/3 of the Rapskallion namely Hash One and Lamarga,Hash One is a Pasay based MC talking about life struggles and Lamarga is a Batangas based Mc's composed of ill29,kid immortal,tre cash and doughboy.
The 2000s saw the resurgence of grade school rappers in Filipino Hip Hop. 2005 was a breakthrough for kid rappers in the Philippines as Aikee, through the Madd World/Circulo Pugantes Camp released his debut Ang Bawat Bata (Every Child) on Alpha Music and at eleven years of age, became the youngest Filipino rapper to release a full rap album, and as a result has become one of the most popular mainstream rappers in that country. Other notable junior rapistas include Lil' Kix (Dongalo Wreckords), Xylk (Real Deal Productions) and the duo Kid Rappah (Dongalo Wreckords)
Many other aspects of Filipino hip hop are embodied in other elements such as turntablism, with DJs DJ Coki, DJ Kimozave, DJ Rocky Rock, DJ Arbie Won, and DJ Sir Scratch among others. Philippine-based DJ crews such as The Megateam, Spindicate Posse and Samahang Ng Mga Turntabolista sa Pilipinas (S.T.P.) dominate DJing competitions such as the Disco Mix Club Philippines. Artists representing other elements include b-boy crews like The Battle Krew (TBK), Tru Asiatik Tribe (TAT) and The Balikbayan Tribe (BBT), grapistas or graffiti crews such as, SBA CRU, UAT, Elemento Syento Porsyento, Estrella Pasay Grafixerz (E.P.G), Farm Friends Kolektib (FFK), CIS as well as beatboxers like Christopher Oreo a.k.a. BoomBuster, Cool MC Norman B. of the Filipino rap group Bass Rhyme Posse.
As early as the late 1970s, during hip hop's infancy, pioneering mobile Bay Area Filipino mobile DJ crews such as Sound Explosion, Unlimited Sounds, Electric Sounds, Fusion, Ladda Sounds, Ultimate Creations, Sound City Productions, Kicks Company, Images, Non-Stop Boogie, Imperial Sounds, and Sound Sequence among many others helped capitalize on the massive Filipino party scene by introducing the newly formed genre of music while spreading its popularity throughout South San Francisco and its surrounding areas through paid gigs on house/block parties, family gatherings, school pep rallies, weddings and church halls; primarily playing and mixing electro funk alongside Latin freestyle. Rival crews would often one-up each other by showcasing superior equipment and providing elaborate set-ups. Early mobile DJ stars included DJ Ren, (born Rene Anies) founder of one of the first Filipino American DJ crews Electric Sounds and DJ D-Styles, (born Dave Cuasito) who in 1987 established the mobile DJ crew Sound City Productions. In 1983, a real-estate agent by the name of Mark Bradford established Imagine, which began primarily as a showcase for Filipino DJ talent in and around the Bay Area and came to serve as the premier event for DJs until the founders untimely murder in 1991.The movement would reach its pinnacle in 1987, when more than one hundred mobile DJ crews would participate in all important DJ sound clashes and showcases. By the late 1980s, the mobile DJ movement had declined in popularity and had given way to the turntablist, largely due to the rise of Q-Bert and the innovation of scratching within the DJ community. The legacy of the mobile DJ would live on however; because many of the Bay Area turntablists that would go on to define the art in the 1990s such as Q-Bert himself, along with DJ Shortkut often had their beginnings in mobile DJ work. Also in New York City, early hip hop musician and Salsa legend Joe Bataan (half Filipino and half African American) had one of the first rap hits, "Rap-O Clap-O," in 1979, released on his Salsoul label. In 1980, DJ Nasty Nes (of Rap Attack fame) of Seattle launched the specialty show "Freshtracks" on Seattle's 1250 KFOX introducing the first ever hip-hop radio station on the West Coast. He would than later go on to serve as the DJ for pioneering Seattle rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot.
In the 1980s, several legendary Filipino B-Boy groups such as the Renegade Rockers, Knuckleneck Tribe, Rock Force Crew, Daly City Breakers, Jughead Tribe and Concrete Rockers also emerged out of the bay area rivaling even the New York City based Rock Steady Crew, whose official West Coast contingent is known to consist of several Filipino American members. Kalifornia Noize Terrorists' Paul Sirate, better known as P-Kid emerged out of the Bay Area becoming one of the early premier breakdancers and later went on to MCing and producing, lacing tracks for the likes of the Bronx's Terror Squad and L.A.'s Pharcyde. Elsewhere in the Bay Area, pioneering Filipina rapper Lani Luv (born Melanie Caganot) became one of the early West Coast female MCs.
Several tagging crews such as Oakland's Those Damn Kids (TDK) were some of the originators of Graf Art on the West Coast. It was during this time in 1983 that TDK's King Dream (born Michael Francisco) surfaced out of the graf art world. Francisco utilized his pieces to celebrate, express and educate from his own Filipino American background in order to promote tolerance while simultaneously strengthening bonds with others from differing cultures, eventually achieving international recognition. Now deceased, (Dream was murdered in 2000) he is considered by many to have been one of the greatest and most influential graf writers who's work had been expressive of his urban environment while focusing on social issues concerning not only Filipino Americans, but also other people of color in America such as police brutality, racism, nationwide liberation and rebellion.
By the 1990s, hip hop artists of Filipino descent (particularly turntablists like Q-Bert and the Invisibl Skratch Piklz) achieved prominence and came to dominate the DJ art form of scratching, introducing the world to a more innovative style of scratching utilizing a wide variety of new techniques, including the playing of actual melodies, as well as the inventions of the crab scratch, tweak scratch, strobing, and furthering the development of flare scratching. In 1996, the International Turntable Federation, which hosts the largest international turntablist competitions, was established by Alex Aquino. DJ Glaze of Long Beach's Foesum have together been staples in the West Coast gangster rap scene since the G-Funk era of the 1990s. DJ Babu (born Chris Oroc) has gained notoriety for his work with the turtablism group Beat Junkies and the alternative hip hop act Dilated Peoples. Many other notable DJ champions from other countries around the world such as Canada, Australia, Japan and Germany have also been of Filipino descent. Other notable DJs include DJ Kuttin Kandi of New York City's 5th Platoon, DJ Icy Ice of Los Angeles' KDAY 93.5 FM and DJ E-Man from Los Angeles' Power 106 FM, DJ Marlino aka "da5footafunk" from San Diego's XHITZ-FM Z90.3; From the Washington DC Area, DJ Enferno (2003 US DMC Champ/2003 1st Runner Up DMC World) and DJ Geometrix of the Trooperz Crew, From Texas, DJ Manila Ice (2007 DMC US Finalist) and DJ Jester the Filipino Fist. Another long time contributor is music producer and Hawaii's 1st Hip Hop DJ Champion, Joseph Netherland, better known as, DJ ELITE of Elite Empire Entertainment, LLC Two long time staples for entertainment in Sacramento, CA are DJ Eddie Edul and DJ Billy Lane
Filipino Rap Community www.pinoyraptalk.com