Friday, March 14, 2008

In Defense of Kanto-Rap


It's all over the news: Students take part in a rally at the Liwasang Bonifacio today. Contrary to other news items, I am aware of this one because it took place near work. I happened to pass by the Manila Post Office on my way home and heard the "rally" progressing. They weren't picketing or shouting though. Creatively, they held a concert instead. I chanced upon a youth group singing a rap song about the corrupt people in the government and you know what? They weren't half bad. The lyrics were actually kind of hilarious. And heated. ridiculous but well-rhymed. I was surprised. It was almost another kind of genius. Twisted and crude, uh-huh, but a talent nonetheless.

"Akala ko ang buwaya ay nandun lang sa kanto...
Yun pala may buwaya rin doon sa may palasyo..
sana lahat ng corrupt sabay-sabay pumanget...
Sabay-sabay sumara butas ng kanilang puwet...
Pag eleksyon may karga-karga silang bata...
Pero pag tapos na di na marunong makibaka...
Natapos na ang termino ngunit eto pa rin kami...
Eto pa rin aba at eto pa rin api..."

Graceless, artless and superficial, but I am sure it was also reflective of what the common people think about in their unguarded moments. If this is what the common gangsta kids are engaging in nowadays, this kanto-rap, well, I wouldn't be so annoyed about it. Aside from the fact that they develop their "balagtasan" abilities in a modern format, it also keeps them aware of current issues (maybe even more than I'll ever be). And with awareness comes critical thinking.

I won't be buying the album, but I won't diss it all that much either.

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