Friday, August 17, 2007

Fil Am "Invasion"?


For those of you who may not have read this, here is a link to last week's LA Weekly article on the Filipino American hip hop "invasion" of Hollywood clubs.

http://www.laweekly.com/2007-08-09/music/the-fil-am-invasion/


I'm sure we're all glad that the mainstream media is highlighting our communities. But if you read closely (or not so closely), you might find a number of errors and problems. Here are a few:

1. In the print edition, J Rocc (Beat Junkies) is the cover picture. Although he's a down brutha, J Rocc ain't Pinoy, and the story is strictly about the Fil Am "invasion." On the website, J Rocc is also featured spinning in a You Tube clip, as if he represents the Fil Am youth Slovick is trying to portray. They also list Rodney-O as a Filipino. It gets weirder...

2. Filipino youth have been involved in hip hop in LA and Hollywood since the 1980s. Why does the author Sam Slovick make it seem like this is a new thing? What a nasty insult to the OGs.

3. This sentence is disturbing: "These Fil-Am kids are serious about having a good time, and that’s about it. It’s cultural. It came from the islands. The celebratory communal music and dance go way back to tribal roots." Ok, let's ignore the Americanization (and African Americanization) of Filipinos in the Philippines since 1898. Gotcha!

4. He pits the "old" DJs against young, trendy club promoters. He calls Icy Ice part of the "first-generation" of Filipino DJs. No! Ice is probably considered the newer era of mobile DJs, because there is a whole lineage before him! He started learning from older cats at age 12!!

5. Slovick needs to justify what he means by hip hop, because the young, trendy club promoters are more the side of business and partying, rather than the cultural, aesthetic, and disciplined realm of hip hop, a dimension of hip hop that Slovick sets up in the beginning when introducing Icy Ice and other "first-generation" DJs. Bright colored sneakers, spermicidal foam, porn stars, and cars-- oh the generation that embraces these wonderful things really needs to be emancipated from dusty-fingered, disc jockeying old fogies! (Beware the coming era of Reconstruction and Jim Crow.)

6. If this is about hip hop, where are the legendary Fil Am graff artists, dancers, rappers? This is in Los Angeles, and there is no mention of Black Eyed Peas (pre-Fergie)? They were a famed dance crew before they turned to music, and very deeply influenced by the Filipino American dancers (like Regan). And Apl is Pinoy.

7. Slovick needs to learn how to insert his screwy, neoliberal, off-color interjections more craftily when he tries to write about a group he doesn't belong to or understand. This is how he ends the article: "Today, hip-hop is a form of assimilation — a way for anyone to show up in the USA and invent him or herself, to take the prevailing culture and add to it what they brought with them. God bless America. Everybody is a star, baby." No craft! You're sinkin' foo!

Red flags go up when anyone mentions assimilation. Maybe because it starts with the word "ass."

For more discussion on this, look at Oliver Wang's posting and comments on his blog:
http://poplicks.com/2007/08/la-filipino-invasian.html

The UPDATE:
No Hip-Hop Hurrah

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73 comments:

O.W. said...

Yo - I totally missed the point that J-Rocc is on the cover for a story on FA Djs!

Hilarious.

David Melo Ruiz said...

I agree strongly with Wang, Slovic should not be talking about a group he doesn't belong to. Not just that, his article is suppose to give you in insight to the Fil-Am culture, but all he maily talks about the club scene. There's more to it than parties involving pornstars, bubbles, and cars. What about the music? The dancing? Where is the true Fil-Am culture?

Abdul Dia said...

I feel that this article adds to my believe that hip-hop (as defined in Slovick’s article) has been demoted to a sexual, wild, unaesthetic, and “free” way of life that rarely glorifies the original movement which was rooted in individuality. Hip-hop began as a counterculture for the youth to express their political, social, and gang troubles. It then evolved into a social culture that allowed the youth to gather for the purpose of artistic expression. This expression was mechanized through graffiti, rapping, DJing, and b-boying.
Currently, hip-hop is a commodity that is shipped and stored on shelves. The business of selling hip-hop does not care to preserve the foundations. But rather, the business seeks to evolve hip-hop to reap financial gains. One of these evolutions is the current L.A. FIL-AM club scenes where the main objective is to gather as many people as possible. Slovik himself admits that the purpose of these gatherings is mainly sexual. Where is the cultural mixing and crew competitions that fueled hip-hop? Villegas makes a good point, these Filipino’s who are “serious about having a good time” are not a product of tribal dancers. They are a product of the American mainstream culture that is geared for profit.

Dane Chaussee said...

In the article by Slovic, he describes how Filipino Americans first got roots in the hip hop scene. And it makes sense until Wang debunks the article. He brings up several good points. One was the fact that in the article, Slovic makes it seem like the Fil Ams are new to the hip hop scene but they actually have been around since the early days of hip hop in the 1980s. The article by Slovic does manifest many of the negative qualties of hip hop that are often criticized such as the sexually explicit lyrics. It makes it more clear, that hip hop of today is not what it was back in the day of it's prime. When hip hop was originated, it was a form of expression for people enduring hard times in the Bronx area, now it is soley a way for hip hop artists and label comapnies to get rich.

kristen kelsey dewey said...

first off, when someone says "new", it's pretty much meaning within the past few years. however, to me, 20 years is hardly considered "new". it's not like the fil-am culture isn't new to hip-hop and in fact could probably teach people these days a lot more than they realize. in addition, how can slovic honestly give insight to people on a group that he isn't involved in? you can't have a first hand experience if you're not part of the group. not only do i find it hard to give slovic the credit he desires, although i do agree that hip-hop these days is focused more on just making money and seeing who can get a higher rating on the music charts. when it started originally, people used hip-hop as more of an expression of what they were going through and how they dealed with everyday problems such as gang violence, political turmoil, and issues that actually mattered. these days, it's all about who can take down who, who had a harder life, and how much gold they have around their neck and diamonds in their teeth. what about the meaning behind the music. it wasn't always about being rich and famous and that is what needs to be realized.

arthur tru said...

In his article, Slovick says that J-Rocc was part of "Beat Junkies" who were manifested by the "Fil-Am" scene...It does not seem that he states in any way that J-Rocc himself was Filipino American. Considering the picture Slovick posted of J and Rhemattic, I would guess that he was well aware of J Rocc being African.

Slovick's article does focus largely on the Filipino American's club scene but offers more information then that...He talks about the rise of the Fil Am movement from its garage level scene...the Filipinos had their own scene going on prior to the westwardly spread of hip hop. In this way, it seems that the movement was an original Fil Am take on their underground culture.
In his comments, Villegas seems to automatically try to discredit the viable history that Slovick is telling us about.

Although Villages does make good points that do discredit Slovick, to discredit the Fil Am scene in its entirety is not justifiable. They are a legitimate subculture that began before hip hop even hit the west coast. What is less certain is not whether, but how the Fil Am's fit into hip hop culture. I can see where Villegas is coming from when he argues against Slovick, questioning Fil Am's validity in the context of "true" HH culture.

Meghan Funk said...

Although Slovick's article seems to contain some valid points on its first read, the article is not as scholarly as it seems. Villages reports some of the article's errors such as the not correctly identifying people as Filipino. Slovick should be given the benefit of the doubt though because he might have known that those individuals such as J-Rocc was not Filipino. I think the real problem with the Fil-Am article was that it did not seem to have an arguement or purpose for it being written. It is simply a miswritten summary of Filipino history.

Grace Leung said...

I'm not very good with hip-hop and everything, but reading Slovick's article and than reading contradictions against his points really shows how different hip-hop is perceived and viewed amongst people. Hip-hop seems to be a broad statement defined by many. I believe hip-hop is starting to branch out and reach people in many different races, in this case Filipino Americans. As to the time and events of when it started, I'm not too sure about that. But I think it's cool. Very cool.

Breece Pignaz said...

I thought that it was really interesting that Slovick said all those things when he himself is not filipino and his information seems to be very wrong. For Slovic to say that filipinos are new to the hip hop movement and to talk about Dj's who are not filipino realy throws off him article. He talks mostly about the club scene and I didn't think that he referred enough to hip hop all together. While their were hip hop songs and DJs involved in the clubs, what about the rest of the components of hip hop? Slovic should find better information that gets what he's trying to say out.

Pat Scannell said...

When i heard about the response to Slovicks article i did not at all expect it to be so critical or harsh. But i agree one humdred percent with the criticisms made of Slovicks article. I mean assuming that that criticisms are corrrect than Slovick really needs to better research his topics before writing articles about them.Slovick presents a false sense that filipinos were not influential in the hip hop movement until the evolution of hip hop was almost over. Clearly according to the criticisms they were much more influential early on. Also he states that Icy Ice of the 80's was the first one to really catapult filipinos into the hip-hop seen. I would have to agree that he must have learned from others because the hip-hop generation was well in stride long before the 80's and im sure the filipinos were already enlightened on the topic by them. Slovick really needs to more thoroughly research his subject and he wont have to worry about his article coming under so much fire.

Jamie Rayahin said...

I don’t really know much about hip-hop artists and the Filipino voice in hip-hop, but when reading the article, I thought that Slovick made some really cool points and interpretations about hip-hop and the Filipino ethnicity. The only problem I had with the article was the fact that the non-party scene of hip-hop and Filipinos wasn’t really covered. However, after reading your response to the article and learning a little more of the background, even though I am not of Filipino origin, I kind of feel offended that he failed to do his research on some things or just neglected to include vital information. I felt like he was trying to spoon-feed us hip-hop through his perspective, which is something you can’t do with a genre like hip-hop because of the extent of its complexity and wide-ranging diversity.

I really didn’t understand Slovick when, toward the end of the article, he argues, “Hip-hop doesn’t mean what it used to…now, nobody controls the market.” I never thought that anyone controlled the hip-hop scene. Sure, there were those who had huge influence and prominence in hip-hop, but the beauty of hip-hop was its transforming nature: its ability to readily change. With hip-hop, artists could sing about what they wanted, however they wanted. However, Slovick makes it seem like hip-hop didn’t begin like that and has transformed to that liberal scene today. If anything, I think that hip-hop was more open back when it was first started with artists like Public Enemy, rather than now with its commodification and mainstreaming.

Kelli Hickey said...

I agree with Mark Villegas' criticisms of Sam Slovick's article about the Fil-Am-Invasion. As Villegas states, Filipino youth has been involved in hip hop since the 80's, so why is Slovick bringing up the issue now? What is the significance in Slovick's article? Slovick said the Fil-Am kids are all about having fun, but Villegas states that Filipinos adjusting to life in America is an important aspect of their involvement in hip hop. Also, according to Villegas, Slovick's information/research is false. He refers to Icy Ice as an old DJ, yet he is actually part of the newer generation of DJs. Slovick talks mainly about the clubs in Hollywood, and not how the Fil-Am kids became involved in hip hop and how it affected their lives in America. Lastly, Slovick was not part of the Fil-Am-Invasion himself so why is he acting like he knows everything about it?

Although Slovick's article helped me to become familiar with what the Fil-Am-Invasion actually was, Villegas's position helped me to be more critical of Slovick and his findings.

Sam Scarpelli said...

I know nothing about Filipino-Americans and their influence on hip-hop, but I do believe that Slovick does need to do more extensive research on a topic before writing about it. I noticed that he tried to make it seem like the Djs would drink and lie about not drinking. He said that Gee Cee was drinking while trying to get into the club even though Gee Cee says that he doesn’t drink. Also, when talking about Jep, Slovick states, “he says he doesn’t drink or smoke.” making it seem like he doesn’t believe Jep. I found it very interesting that the Black Eyed Peas learned to dance from Fil-Ams.

Jadeer Judah said...

Slovik's article is interesting in the fact that it is talking about a different race integrating into the hip-hop culture. Phillipinos are believed to be by many, the third race to begin the hip-hop culture following the Black and Latinos. Incorporating more races such as Middle Easterns, who today are becoming more popular, and Asians. Though, the Phillipino parties were huge at the time and there were many artists that became amazing at turntables. Gee Cee said he quit smoking weed and drinking, which is why he had a sentence of him trying to go into a club with a beer.

Ariana Khosravani said...

I don't know much about Filipino-Americans and their role in hip-hop and when I read this article the only two names I really recognized were probably the Black Eyed Peas and Public Enemy. I don't know how accurate Slovick's article is, but I definitely do agree with many of the points that Villegas makes. Slovick definitely focuses more on the partying and business aspect of hip-hop: he completely disregards the dancers, grafiti artist, and rappers, which are all people that should definitely make up for the majority of what most identify as "hip-hop." I also agree with the fact that Slovick makes hip-hop seem like a completely brand new thing to the Fil-Am culture, but Villegas points out that its been around for more than 2 decades and that the artists Slovick portrays as old school are definitely considered new. After reading this article, I'm not exactly sure what the point of the article was, it was a bit unclear. It seems like it was intended to be a summary of the roots of Fil-Am and hip-hop, but lacks some of the most significant information about it.

Tom Kafkes said...

I believe that Slovick's article reaffirms the belief that hip-hop has become much less of a way to politically express oneself then it has a way to "have a good time" in a wild and unmotivating atmosphere. The meetings and parties that are now centered on hip-hop have evolved into sexually charged environments that are fueled by the revenues and consistency of the people at the top. Hip-hop was created as a means for those with hardships and political ideologies to express themselves and give themselves and their communities an outlet and a sense of hope. Strength in numbers and capital was never the original goal of hip-hop but unfortunately it has evolved into a way to round up as many people as possible and turn a profit. Popularity has become the basis of this genre, strength in numbers seems to have taken over where unique ideologies left off.

dragana micevic said...

Slovick's article was bit confusing to me because it was a crossover between the Fil-Am culture and life of partying. He presented the idea of hiphop culture today as a wild lifestyle, sex, clubs, etc. The other aspects of it were forgotten such as graffiti, rappers, dancers, and other components that make up hiphop. The aesthetic and creative sides of it are not acknowledged enough, which makes the industry to look like it is only about making profits. The Fil-Am are not given much credit in the hiphop movement, and illustrated as if they just entered the scene, although they have been in it since 1980s. Overall, I was kind of confused with the article because he was trying to argue too many points which made it difficult to understand what was the main claim of his writing.

Jessica Kean said...

I am also not very familiar with the whole hip-hop scene, and i know very little about the filipino perspective on hip-hop. However, reading Slovick's article and Villegas' point of view on his findings was very interesting to me. I found it very odd that Slovick would make it seem as if the filipinos in hip-hop were just emerging, since they've been envolved since the eighties. Villegas has a valid point, it doesn't seem as if Slovick did all of the necessary research. His article helped me to learn about the filipinos in the hip-hop industry and the fil-am invasion, but i found Villegas' comments on his article much more insightful.

Hney Carmona said...

I like many others have alreasy said, am not familiar with the role of Filipino-Americans in hiphop or how accurately Slovick's article was, but it seems to me that Mark Villegas belives that Slovick did not reseearch enough to support his claim that filipinos have not been involved with hip-hop in L.A. and Hollywood, when in contrast they have been around since the 1980's like Villegas states. It also seems to me that Slovick believes that Dj. Icy Ice is part of the first generation of Djs when in reality there were others before him, which he learned from. I also realized that Villegas argues that Slovick didn't even mention Fil Am rappers or dancers like the black Eyed Peas who were influenced by the Filipino American dancers.

Henry Carmona said...

I like many others have alreasy said, am not familiar with the role of Filipino-Americans in hiphop or how accurately Slovick's article was, but it seems to me that Mark Villegas belives that Slovick did not reseearch enough to support his claim that filipinos have not been involved with hip-hop in L.A. and Hollywood, when in contrast they have been around since the 1980's like Villegas states. It also seems to me that Slovick believes that Dj. Icy Ice is part of the first generation of Djs when in reality there were others before him, which he learned from. I also realized that Villegas argues that Slovick didn't even mention Fil Am rappers or dancers like the black Eyed Peas who were influenced by the Filipino American dancers.

Carol Hines said...

I found this article to be very interesting. I learned a lot about the Fil-Am culture and how it has become associated with hip-hop. I felt that the article is trying to give us the right information on the Fil-Am culture and its importance to the hip-hop culture. Many points are being argued throughout the article. The Fil-Am culture has been around in hip-hop for a long time. Slovick makes it seems as if the Fil-Am invasion has just began, which is not the case. Filipinos have been involved in the hip-hop culture since the 80’s. Slovick has to include all of the Filipino dancers, graff artists, DJs and rappers who are included in the hip-hop movement. Hip-hop is important in a lot of cultures. Hip-hop has come a long way and is a way of bringing different cultures together. It’s a way of living and all types of people are making it their way of living. Slovick is not a part of the Fil-Am culture, so he really doesn’t know whats he’s talking about. In order to comment or, better yet, write about a subject, you would have to have some type of knowledge about the subject. Slovick doesn’t seem to have any correct knowledge.

Kaitlin McIntyre said...

As I was reading the article by Sam Slovic, I was struck by how much I didn't know about the Filipino-Americans' role in the hip-hop industry. Then I read Mark Villegas’s blog, and was struck by how little the article itself actually knew. What is worse, is that LA Weekly readers were misinformed. Hopefully, Mark Villegas's requested the LA Weekly to print a retraction. However, I suppose it did one good thing by raising awareness of the Filipino-American role, which judging by the responses to the blog, many others did not know about. While this is good for Filipino-Americans, it is somewhat bad for the hip-hop scene. Slovick illustrates it as nothing more than a giant party, complete with spermicidal foam and models booty dancing in glittery daisy dukes. This reaffirms the negative image of hip-hop that many have and ignores other parts of the culture. It is also a sneaky ploy to win over more readers, as it appeals to both proponents of and those against hip-hop. While some may argue that all journalists employ literary tactics to garner more readers, I feel that all journalists check their facts before printing their material. As Villegas points out, Slovick pretends the Filipinos were never Americanized, although this process started in 1898! All for the sake of creating a dance party image that cannot rise to more than anything else, since it is supposedly in the Filipino roots. Slovick portrays hip hop as all about the money. I guess his journalism has the same motivation.

-Kaitlin

Joshua Kannankeril said...

Slovic's article discusses how Fil-Am hip hop thrived in Los Angeles. He explains that hip-hop had recently become a way to express yourself sexually through its dancing and "having a good time". Villegas argues that Slovic has only pointed out the "partying" side of hip hop, and not the disciplined side as well, which is just as, if not more, important. However, I believe that Slovic's view of hip hop as becoming demoralized and desensitized away from the important issues that it once stood for is very true. Popular hip hop has indeed been brought to a much lower level than ever hoped for. But this will not change because this is what the people want to hear. Politically charged hip hop, though it still can be found today, is much more scarce and it does not have the same meaning that music during the roots of hip hop had.

Michelle Apple said...

I do not know a whole lot about the Filipino-Americans influence in the hip-hop scene, but I found both Slovik’s article and the blog very interesting. When I first read Slovik’s article, I thought he made some very good points and explained the scene very well, but I was mistaken. I believed this because I had no idea who J Rocc or Rodney O was, so I was unaware that Slovik had published inaccurate data. I am pretty sure that many people who read LA Weekly were also unaware that they were not being informed of the truth. I am glad that I was pointed to this site, so I could realize that I was misinformed. I am glad that I learned the truth about what did or did not actually happen contrary to what Slovik stated. I think it is ridiculous that Slovik was allowed to publish an article that he obviously did not adequately research.

Valaree Potts said...

Although Slovick's article seems well research at firt read, he did get a lot of the information wrong. If I were to have not read over any other opinions on this article I probably would have taken Sovick's article as somethign that had been researched and had backed up the information. I guess that really shows you to check all the things you read. I believe that he or anyone should not be writing about something that was not fully researched or comprehended.

Travis Strutz said...

I really had no prior knowledge of the Fil-Am effect of hip-hop, but upon reading Slovic's article, I feel that I have a little better understanding. I, however, have a hard time believing everything since many of his points were discredited. I really turned away by the fact that he didn't even know that Rodney-O was African-American; he is listed as Filipino. What make all of this worse is that a majority of the readers of the article are probably just like me, hip-hop illiterate, unknowing, and easily lead astray by misinformation. I think Villegas was doing a service to the readers of LA Weekly and the world by calling out Slovik's mistakes. Thanks for looking out for me, the little guy.

Neil Shetty said...

Now that Mark V mentions it, what was the motivation for Slovick to write this article now, to say Filipino Americans are becoming a significant part of hip hop now? There is no current event or major new Fil-Am hip hop group that solicited this article to be written. Slovick is writing about old news. As Villegas says, Filipino Americans have been making their mark on hip hop since the 80s. Slovick’s focus seems a little skewed when he starts depicting the debauchery of the club scene as if it were synonymous with hip hop. As Villegas points out, Slovick also closes in on Neflas and Tung (who are more businessmen than musicians) to exemplify his dubious point that Fil-Am teens are entering hip hop. Slovick then makes a point of saying the two may not know the musical roots of hip hop (mentioning Sugar Hill who were only the first major commercial success after ripping off the real forefathers of the Bronx like Bambaataa and Kool Herc), but that they definitely know who Russell Simons is. Regardless of the truth of the argument, Neflas and Tung are hip hop marketers rather than musicians; thus, the argument is irrelevant. Even though the supposed focus of this article is Filipino Americans in the hip hop scene, the actual music and Fil-Am hip hop artists are neglected.

Megan Drozd said...

After I read Slovic's article I believed it and felt like I had learned somthing. I found it intresting how recently it seemed that Fil-American's blew up the hip-hop scene with newly emerging clubs, clothing, and underground music becomming main stream. The article focused on famous fil-Americans who were becomming sucessful due to the hip-hop/club scene, but I wasn't sure what Slovic was attempting to proove with the mentioning of porn, and sperimicidal foam(becuase I wasn't aware those were part of the hip-hop culture). It was good to read someone like Villegas contradicting article. Clearly Villegas disagrees with Slovik's interpretation of hip-hop, and I also agree that hip-hop and the club scene are very different. After reading Villegas article I realise alot of what Slovik said may have been very innacurate and it's always important to read both sides of na argument. Much of Slovik's article is about the emerging hip-hip culture, but we later learn that Villegas doesn't consider what Slovic describes as hip-hop and mentions that Asain's have been in hip-hop since the 1980's (which discredits most of Slovik's article). Im glad to read both articles or else I may have easily believed everything Slovik wrote, without thinking twice.

Stephanie Hunt said...

I think the article was very narrowminded in assuming that all of hip hop has become meaningless in the fact that it's all about money and sex. Hip hop started as something completely different years and years ago and for the article to make it out to be so bad is wrong. I agree that some artists are bad influences and shouldn't even be considered to be in the hip hop genre but there are still some great artists out there not like that. Some artists still perform and write what they feel and it's not always about money and materialistic things. I also had no idea how many filipino-americans are involved in the hip hop scene today, but i guess more and more races are getting involved. All in all I believe the article to be too judgemental and stereotypical to what the real truth is.

Sharon Brandys said...

When I was reading Slovick’s article, I was not convinced by what he was saying to be true. I know a little about the Filipino hip-hop scene by learning through friends. If I was reading his article about ten or fifteen years ago, it would have sounded a lot more believable, but his argument just did not seem convincing for today.

The Filipino-American hip-hop culture is fairly strong in Chicago already, so his point of saying it is an invasion in L.A. would mean that it could not have spread here yet. I think the Fil-Am hip-hop scene has thrived on local artists but has yet to explode nationally such as the Latinos did in the 70’s and 80’s. There are many Fil-Am local well-known spinners and DJs that I think could be the next J-Lo and Ricky Martin.

It is ironic that Sam Slovick kept mentioning DJs who said they did not drink but got caught with bottles of beer in their hands, while he has just been caught by Mark V. for his falsities about portraying J-Rocc and others as Filipino.

Slovick also seems to spit out a lot of random words and does not relate them to what the article is about. He mentions that in the foam party at Cinespace, where most of the crowd is Catholic Filipino, there is spermicide in it, which goes against their religion. He then says that they would not care anyway because they “are serious about having a good time.” Sam does not show any significance in mentioning their religion or, as Mark mentioned, the sentences after it.

Edilberto Barrera said...

Although I don't know much about hip-hop among different ethnic groups, I think that all hip-hop groups are the same. Hip-hop has become so big that everyone is doing it nowadays, whether its Filipinos and Asians, whites, hispanics or blacks. Everyone wants to be a part of the hip-hop culture and they believe that because they come from a different ethnic background, they can bring something new to hip-hop. Slovick states that hip-hop is no longer "segregated". If hip-hop is not segregated, then why is Slovick writing about these Filipino-dominated clubs and not about clubs filled with Blacks, Whites, and Asians all together? I don't know if Slovick's statements and facts are correct or not, as Villegas says in his response, but I do know that hip-hop among Filipinos is no different than hip-hop among anyone else. Slovick's writes, "He’s [Jep Martinez] the new guard of Fil-Am hip-hop. The culture... the music, the clothes, the lifestyle, the possibilities." But I think every kid who wants to be "hip-hop" dresses like Jep Martinez, whether he's Filipino or not. Hip-hop has become a market that focuses on image, anyone can go out there and dress with sagging jeans, tilted caps, and huge t-shirts and call themselves hip-hop. In reality, hip-hop among different ethnic groups today is all the same. When hip-hop was starting it may have been different among different groups, but now, hip-hop is all the same, because it has evolved into something totally different from what it was when it was born.

Emily Yen said...

I think the article brought up a lot of valid points regarding hip-hop in today's culture. People who are club-regulars such as Gee Cee represent the idea that hip-hop is not dead, but is evolving, with different artists collaborating and thinking of new beats. Another point that proved the evolvement of hip-hop was shown in the descriptiveness Slovick used when describing one's appearance. From name brands such as Ecko, Nike, and Phat Farm, it sure seems that hip-hop has evolved to form a branch of marketing.
Along with evolving, Hip-hop has also been a form of refuge and self-expression for Fil-Ams. Cee Gee says he was drawn to hip-hop, "Born in the Philippines, he sees himself as outside mainstsream American culture, and his identity as an MC is a way to express those sentiments" (Slovick). I think the main idea that hip-hop was able to unite people who came from different areas and give someone an identity proves a powerful point in the movement. Although it's now undoubtedly more commercialized, I still think this branch of music will live on because of its power of uniting people of different backgrounds.

Tony Wojkowski said...

I think that the original focus of Slovick's article were to concentrate on the Filipino American's influence on hip-hop. I think that Slovick slowly drifts from his original idea because he concentrates on DJ's who are not Filipino American and the nightclub scene in Hollywood. Slovick also talks about porn stars and how nightclubs thrive on women who are dressed in "booty shorts" and short skirts. I think at this point in the article, Slovick highlights the degrading of women in hip-hop culture. Slovick mostly talks about the commercialization of hip-hop and the night club scene.
After reading Mark Villegas' response to Slovick's article, I think Villegas points out some very big flaws in Slovick's article. From these flaws, I think that Slovick should have done more research as to when Filipino Americans were first involved in the hip-hop scene, and on other topics of his article.

Dexter Teng said...

The article by Sam Slovic represents the general public's misunderstanding of hip-hop and it's history. He down plays the importance of Fil-Am in the hip-hop society by introducing them in a poor manner because he associates them with sex and unabated partying. He never points out that the people that started the hip-hop generation did it as a form of expression. Instead, he promotes Fil-Ams in hip-hop as a commodity that is more concerned with clubbing and having fun than trying to change the society for the better.
I also like how Mark points out that these sightings might also be racially inspired by mentioning Jim Crow laws and the Reconstruction Era.

Melvin Miguel said...

Sam Slovick's article, "The Fil-Am Invasion" depicts Filipinos within the hip-hop scene. This recent article may be seen to be filled with many incorrect ideas, such as Mark Villegas has pointed out. With how recent this article is, it only makes it seem like Filipinos are just showing up to the hip-hop scene, even though they have been active since the 80s. Also, Slovick points out that this “invasion” has only “began” to spread in Los Angeles. However, it is fairly easy to locate and tell that the Fil-Am culture is alive, well, and at the same time mainstream here, at Chicago. There are many groups of Filipinos going around town and having a good time here in the middle of the city, even though Slovick fails to illustrate this.
The subject I did like is how Slovick pointed out how Filipinos enjoy the music, people, and atmosphere that hip-hop creates. He states how “These Fil-Am kids are serious about having a good time, and that’s about it” (Slovick 2). I found it funny that this is true and that my family and I love to have a good time listening to music and dancing. It really is about having a good time. But the way it’s worded, when he states, “It’s cultural. It came from the islands. The celebratory communal music and dance go way back to tribal roots” (Slovick 2), makes Filipinos seem like tribal people doing some kind of ritual. I have to agree with Villegas that “this sentence is disturbing” (Villegas).
One more subject that Slovick fails to depict is his view of hip-hop. Hip-hop is a culture that is expressed through its music, art, and dance. These elements of rapping, graffiti writing and b-boying really make the real culture of hip-hop, rather than the business of selling brand name clothing, shiny jewelry, or records. The side Slovick speaks of is the business and financing side of hip-hop, which really does not depict the culture it self.

Alex Mariscal said...

I think that Villegas was more than justified in his corrections on Sloviks article. To someone who is unfamiliar with hip-hop, especially Fil Am hip-hop, Sloviks words could be taken as truth and seen as a useful port of information on the subject. However, it doesnt seem like Slovik really did much research for this topic and just presents misleading information on a subject that he barely even touches on. Slovik speaks about porn stars, booty shorts, and main stream, and strays completely away from the entire subject of the article. There are many disrepencies as well that makes the article very discredited.

Hai Vu said...

I don't know much about the local scene, nor so I know much about hip hop, but it seems to me like Slovick's article is a little skewed and even vague on some parts about the Filipino hip hop music scene in general. With the club scene, it seemed like everything was more aesthetics than actual hip hop, complete with Import girls in booty shorts, hot cars, and spermicidal foam. What's this got to do with the relationship hip hop culture has forged with Filipino Americans and their entry into the hip hop scene? Where is the distinction of Fil-Am culture and its effects on hip hop culture in general (as in not limited to the party/club scene)? I definitely question Slovick's accuracy in his depiction as well as his familiarity with the Filipino hip hop scene in general. Assimilation? Slovick makes it sound like hip hop is a way for people to conform, to become more Americanized. Slovick's description of the Fil-Am party scene just seems like a product of hip hop's commercialization over the decades, written without understanding the real impact of Filipinos on the culture's evolution. Perhaps this is what the consolidation and dilution of mainstream hip hop over the past decades has given us.

tom heller said...

What slovick's article does accomplish is give a fairly reasonable introduction to a scene a lot of folks don't have any knowledge of, myself included. Yeah, it may not be the most accurate or appropriate, but it drops some names and locations i hadn't heard before. you can't usually expect a paper like the la weekly to dive deep enough into a specific scene to fully flesh it out. leave that to blogs like yours, or journalists who have at least a slight amount of personal interest in the subject.
ill give you that. slovick could have been a little more thoughtful in his conclusions, which come off sounding a bit egotistical and accusatory, and to someone involved in the scene, offensive. but as someone uninvolved, i can't make much of an intelligent comment. i'll leave that to you, which you've done here, nitpicky as it might be.

Romeo said...

Solvick's article on Fil-Americans and there influence on Hip-Hop was a good brief description on the rise of Fil-Americans in Hip-Hop. The article gives a background story of the Fil-Americans similar to the beginning of Hip-Hop in the Bronx with the arrival of the DJ's. From te DJ's came the partying, rapping, and style. What I did not understand about Solvick's article was really why ws it written. According to Mark V the problem with the article he left key things that would let the reader become more knowledgable of the Fil-American experience with Hip-Hop in L.A., but he focuses more on the club he is attending. I wanted to know why was the club scene so popular to the Fil-American downtown rather than someone were near where they lived. Mark also claims that he makes the Fil-American experience with Hip-Hop a short one at best. Making it seem that Fil-Americans are relatively new to the scene when i fact they have been around since the 80's. Where according to Mark V, " were already interracially mied due to the array of ethnicitites in L.A."
Overall, Solvick's article was I think just a brief description of the Fil- American Hip-Hop experience. It would seem as though he tried to report on his time downtown with the Fil-Americans through his memory and includued information that maybe he should not have.

Edgar Yahuaca said...

The Fil Am “Invasion” article by Sam Slovik and Mark Villegas position on it show how there is misrepresentation in the media about hip hop. Villegas made a good point regarding J Rocc being made to be seen as being Filipino when he is not. This shows how Slovik slants the truth to strengthen his viewpoints on the Filipino hip hop “invasion”. Mark Villegas also makes a good point as to the how recently Filipinos have been involved in the LA scene. Slovik skews facts to further his point that the Filipino invasion is new idea emerging now. This lack of proper research and knowledge from Sam Slovik discredits him and makes him look like an unreliable source. Villegas’ response seems to have a more solid argument and presents itself in a better way. I also felt that the hip-hop that Slovik was talking about further into the article was not really hip-hop. Mark Villegas addresses this well by mockingly saying that,” Bright colored sneakers, spermicidal foam, porn stars, and cars,” not being part of the hip-hop culture. Villegas does a very good job at picking apart Sam Slovik’s weaknesses in his argument, from his lack of understanding of the groups he talks about to his lack of knowledge of more Filipino inspired artists. I felt Villegas showed an overall better understanding of Filipino influence within the hip-hop culture in his article. Sam Slovik’s article did not have enough evidence to support his argument concerning the Fil Am “invasion.”

Jorge Leon said...

I was not really aware of the influence of Fil-Ams to hip hop and vice versa. I was trying to aborb most of this information and only to find out that Slovick needs to get his info straight. The article really focused on hip hop going mainstream in hollywood. According to Slovick, Fil-Ams have waited a while to get where they are at now. Even though a lot of people are bashing this article, I do agree with the closing statements of the article. I do believe that hip hop is a way to assimilate with others and let youself be known. It's not about how hip hop influences you but about how you influence hip hop.

Natalie Harris said...

I think that Villegas is right in saying that Slovick left out many points in his article. The Fil-Am Invasion is thought of as new in the article by Slovick but is it apparent that they have been in the scene for much longer than that. I do think that Slovick's points about hip-hop and the influence is has on people are true but his argument about the Fil-Am Invasion, I think is not correct. I also think that Villegas was right when saying that Slovick didn't know much about the topic because he put J Rocc as the article's main image. One point that Villegas made that I thought was very interesting and could have contributed to Slovick's article was about the Black Eyed Peas. Pre-Fergie, Slovick talks about how they were a mainly dancing group, not singing, and how they impacted the Fil-Am Invasion as well.

Aaron Schiff said...

The author never claimed J Roc is Pinoy... he said that J Roc and the "Beat Junkies spawned from the Filipino scene." I think Slovick is focusing more on the idea that new generations are tilling the rap movement, intermingling new styles with styles from "older cats." When I was reading Slovick's article, I also questioned the terms he assumed to synonymous. As for your last three posed problems, I completely agree; Slovick did not focus enough on many aspect of hip-hop in his article, and it would have made a stronger impact had he expanded his scope. For instance, his large focus on clubbing didn't sound like it had much to do with the Fil-Am culture.

Alvin Lapuz said...

From reading Sam Slovick's article about Filipinos and Hip hop, it was poor and embarrassing on how Slovick portrayed Filipinos as the way he did on the article. He made it seem as Filipinos were new to the Hip hop scene but Filipinos have embraced the culture of hip hop since the early 1980s. Slovick just mentions the clubs and places where most of the Filipinos from California party at. I do not even know why Black-eyed-peas was mentioned even though there is actually a member who is pinoy. But that does not relate to the real Hip hop movement. Slovick needs to do more research before writing a paper. It is a shame when someone wrongfully talks about a particular group when he or she is not even related to them. Not only that but Slovick misunderstood on what kind of Hip hop to write about. He missed the points where Hip hop was used to bring rival gangs together from 70's Bronx, and how it evolved itself to be used for correction of politics, environment, and other affiliations. -Alvin Lapuz

Hetal Chaudhari said...

Sam Slovick's article about Filipinos and Hip hop was quite interesting. I haven't really read a lot about international hip-hop or other races being involved in it. This article gives a great amount of information about Fil-Am culture and its' association with hip-hop. Slovick writes as if Fil-Am invasion is a new thing, but Filipino people have been involved with hip-hop for a while. Slovick doesn't include a lot of key people or facts in his article and this makes him seem unintelligent. Writers need to get all of their information together before writing about a topic. Understanding a topic will make the article better and readers will enjoy and understand it more.

Eugene Raskin said...

Although I think Slovick's intentions were good, he seems to have hurt Filipinos more than helped them by writing that article. It's often said that any publicity is good publicity, and I'm sure the Filipino club promoters in Hollywood will be happy with increased traffic. However, looking at the big picture, Filipinos outside that little commercialized enclave will be hurt by the superficial and materialistic portrayal of their contribution to hip-hop. If I were a Filipino hip-hop head, I'd be offended if my expression of hip-hop was described as simply for fun, commercial gain, and assimilation. What about the effort, time, and creativity that DJs, MCs, graffiti artists, and bboys of any ethnic group put into perfecting their craft? What about the artistic value? Slovick's article is typical of the Hollywood/MTV view of art: a way to make money. He implies that by participating in hip-hop, Filipino-Americans are just along for this conforming, money-making ride. No wonder Mark Villegas is angry.

Neill Schultz said...

I would have to agree with much of your argument. As it seems, Slovik did not research the facts and instead wrote based on his observation in the clubs. An author, no matter if he writes for a publishing company or a magazine, should not make assumptions without checking the accuracy of what is being said. Saying Filipino Americans are just getting started in the hip-hop is naive and factually incorrect. But, I do feel Slovik tries to make the point that the number of Filipino Americans involved in the hip-hop scene today is much more noticable today then it was in the past. While I will agree with him there, I feel making the club scene sound like a giant orgy is wrong. While many people who go to clubs are interested in finding "action," it is not specific to Fil Am clubs. Any club you go to will have that going on.

AbdulRahman Abutaleb said...

Personally when I read Slovick’s article I imagined the wild partying and sexual tendencies of the Filipino hip-hop generation. But by the end of the article I felt that the Filipino Hip-hop seen was is either the way Slovick explained it, which was totally the opposite of what I thought the scene would be like, or Slovick was writing from a journalist perspective of a one time visitor to a Filipino/L.A. hip-hop club. Nevertheless, after reading Villegas’ response to Slovick’s article I felt that I was cheated by Slovick’s article, as it altered my perspective on the hip-hop movement from one of respect and inspiration, to one of disgust and scorn.
Learning in depth about the hip-hop movement I felt that it was a way for youth to form their own culture as a defense and safeguard against the evils of society; a way for them to express their artistic styles in music, dance and art. But, after reading Slovick’s article I thought that maybe this is what hip-hop is all about outside the Bronx and Jamaica, simply a club where youth got drunk, danced and met girls. However thanks to Villegas’ criticism of Slovick’s article, I now view Slovick’s article as an account of the club life of Filipino-Americans and not an account of the Filipino-American hip-hop movement. As Villages explains, the Filipino-American hip-hop movement is older and more complicated then Slovick’s club scene. In addition, I agree with Villages’ claim that hip-hop is really a way for Filipino’s to express their own culture, against the “Americanization of Filipinos”, and that Slovick’s article is not a true portrayal of the Filipino hip-hop movement; but only a journalistic article by one who is writing” about a group he doesn't belong to or understand”.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I missed that part about J Rocc too, lol. But anyway, I personally didn't think the author meant to make it sound like Filipino youth in hip hop is something new. I kind of see it as new because it hasn't been around as long as hip hop in general

Anonymous said...

Yea, I missed that part about J Rocc too, lol. But anyway, I personally didn't think the author meant to make it sound like Filipino youth in hip hop is something new. I kind of see it as new because it hasn't been around as long as hip hop in general

Victor K. said...

I think Slovick does need to justify his interpretation of hip hop. I couldn't make his connection with all the clubbing and business ideas. If I were a first time reader on hip hop culture in the fil-am society, I would probably be influenced by what he says. However, he does have specific credentials in what he was talking about. Some examples were the DJs such as DJ Piklz Q-bert, DJ Curse, and DJ "what?!". He also did include Gee Cee and how DJ did sort of changed his life. I think he did not give out the right impression for the audience using these credible sources.

Aisha P said...

I agree with the end of Sam Slovick's argument. I think that hip hop is a way for people of all different ethnicities and nationalities to put their own spin on a culture and watch it spread. The way he describes it, it is a way for everyone to be able to come together with one common view of hip hop. When he talked to Jep, I do believe that he (Jep) did not realize (or care) where hip hop truly originated from because he doesn't identify with the issues that hip hop was all about in its beginning stages. Now that there is a "Fil-Am" side to hip hop, he (Jep) is able to identify with that and he sees that as the beginning of hip hop. I don't see a problem with having different branches of hip hop, but I think that anyone that is involved with the hip hio industry should know and remember where it came from.

Ameenah Muhammad said...

Yo! I really think this LA weekly article is taken way too seriously. First of all this "newspaper" is a part of the mainstream media that every Hip Hop head is hating on. So why would we then expect for it to serve as a useful piece of literiture that would give real and positive images of Asians in Hip Hop,or even Hip Hop as a whole. The writer of this " Fil-am Invasion" has issues from the beginning, considering the title includes the word invasion... which literally means an attack by a group of persons with the ability to cause havoc. If i were asain I wouldn't even begin to read the article because of the the title alone, I knew it was going to be a negitive outlook on Filipino contributions to Hip Hop. Its true that the "Fil-Am invasion" is covered in false truths but come on... did you expect anything better.
We should all realize by now how outrageous mainstream media is overall. Hip Hop was nearly destroyed when she crossed over to mainstream , so why trust it? You don't! Hip Hop has nothing to do with assimilation it's all about radical ideas and action, not fitting into populare culture. Hip Hop is not a part of White American (which is what i think if when I heard the acronym USA) therefore it has no connection to one's need to find a sense of belonging in the USA. Hip Hop is an even bigger melting pot than what America has claimed to be. There are African, Carribean, Latino and Asian influneces in it on every level but its not a means of personal invention. To make a respectable contribution to Hip Hop you better be invented already, or else no one will hear your cry, you'll end up "Turning Yo Swag On" with the evil moguls of mainstream media.

Julie Day said...

Wang brings up very good points regarding the Fil-Am Invasion article by Slovick. I do not know how someone can talk so much about a culture they do not belong to. He also doesn’t even talk much about anything else besides the club scene. He makes it seem like all they have is a party life. Also hip hop does not just revolve around the club life, there is so much more to know to understand the culture such as graffiti , b-boying, break dancing, rap, etc. He does not talk about the important issues that hip hop artist bring up in their raps. People that are involved in the hip hop culture have a passion for it and dedicate themselves to this culture and are not in it for just a fun time with foam parties. I think it is wrong to say how the Filipinos are just interested in having a good time and that’s their culture. I feel he is just stereotyping them. There is more to any culture than just music and dance. Also he mentions how the Filipino culture is new to hip hop but they have been part of it for over twenty years. In twenty years the Filipino culture contributed a lot to hip hop. Within those twenty years there have also been other cultures that took a liking to hip hop other than Filipinos. Cultures blend together in hip hop. Just because they are Filipino does not mean they have different priorities. Slovick needs to understand the culture of hip hop and the Filipino culture more before writing an article based on a general idea that the Filipino culture loves partying and orgies. He needs to expand his mind to other aspects of the hip hop culture.

Gina Costanzo said...

This blog brought a lot of things to my attention that I read over while reading the Fil-Am Invasion article. Slovick seems to act like he knows so much about the hip-hop culture but really he doesn't at all because as Wang states he doesn't talk about graffiti, break dancing rap and the other characteristics of the hip-hop culture. Instead he gives the hip-hop culture a bad reputation. He talks about the culture as if he is involved in it but in reality has no right to say the things he has said. He portrays the hip-hop culture negatively as a bunch of no good teenagers who just go out clubbing to have fun and have orgies in the foam. That was certainly uncalled for because there is a lot more to hip-hop, there is a lot more meaning behind the culture and the artists of the hip-hop culture. I don't think they would appreciate Slovick's article because what they do means a lot to them and it is basically their life. When Slovick acts like he knows what he is talking about and talking about the hip-hop culture in a negative manner, it is very unfair to everyone. It is especially unfair to Filipinos because he talks about how they are "new" to the hip-hop culture. Last time I checked, 20 plus years isn't new. They have contributed a lot to the culture and Slovick talks them down as if they are only good for partying. If I didn't know any better, after reading Slovick's article I wouldn't be too fond of the hip-hop culture but since I do know better, I appreciate the culture because I know there is more to it then just parties and hooking up.

Andrea Crump said...

I personally don’t understand why Slovick is calling this a Fil-Am invasion either. I’m not Filipino, but I know a lot of Filipino teens that have grown up listening to hip-hop. I actually have a Filipino friends that know more about hip-hop than I do, which surprises my white friends since I’m black. Fil-Ams in hip-hop is nothing new, just like Oliver said when he read this article. That’s like saying Michael Jordan is new to playing basket, it just doesn’t work that way.
I kind of chuckled to myself when Slovick said, “These Fil-Am kids are serious about having a good time, and that’s about it. It’s cultural. It came from the islands.” I didn’t chuckled in a good way, it was more like I can’t believe he just said that. Don’t these guys proof read and go over their work when they’re done? I almost felt insulted by that statement. He makes Filipinos seem like free loaders that don’t care about anything but a good time. That’s a terrible thing to say about anyone. I don’t care if that statement is true or not. And what does this have to do with the “Fil-Am Invasion” anyway?
Another question I had was, is the Fil-Am community really that concentrated to the Southern California area? I remember watching something in class that talked about them also living in New York. Why did Slovick just concentrate on Hollywood? There are Filipinos all over this country, and I’m sure that they “party hard” in other places and what to be discovered in other places as well.
One last thing. What was with the whole booty thing? Did they really thing that they thought of the next revolutionary way to make money? Those guys must not have noticed what was and still is on television all the time. Showcasing the booty is nothing new, try to be more creative and think of something original to sell.

Jonathan Chang said...

As informative as Slovic’s article about the Filipino American is about their involvement in hip hop, he is not entirely accurate as he writes his article from an outsider’s point of view on the hip hop scene. He creates the illustration that being part of the Filipino hip hop culture is to go to parties and indulge in sex, drugs, and drinking. He makes it seem like the partying scene only occurs among Filipinos when in actuality it happens everywhere in America. Being unfamiliar with the culture, Slovic makes these observations about the Filipino American community and analyzes them based on limited perspective. Right off the bat, there’s already something wrong with the cover picture. The hip hop scene is definitely not the partying scene that slovic talks about. He’s instilled the wrong image of hip hop, forgetting that it’s the rappers, the b-boys, the graffiti writers that create the foundation of hip hop. It’s almost ridiculous as to how how slovic’s described the partying scene in place for the hip hop scene. It also seems if slovic is unfamiliar with the hip hop scene. Apparently Mark Villegas’ comments concerning Slovic’s findings on Filipino Americans tend to be more on the serious side. “Slovick needs to learn how to insert his screwy, neoliberal, off-color interjections more craftily when he tries to write about a group he doesn't belong to or understand.” Mark Villegas may have harshly criticized Slovic for his ignorance of the Filipino culture but there is only so much analysis you could make as an outsider of the culture. He is just making observations and what it seems to him. It would be reasonable to trust Villegas’ critique because he probably knows more about the Filipino hip hop scene. More research is needed by Sam Slovick on this topic.

Bhaven Minawala said...

This article was mainly about how Filipinos Americans started up in the Hip Hop world. Through this article by Sam Slovik we can see that Hip Hop is influencing other races in the world. In this article specifically, the race that is being influenced are the Filipino Americans. I thought that this article by Slovik was interesting for the reason that he talks about new races that are becoming inspired by the Hip Hop culture of today. So, this included that Filipino Americans became very good Djs and they became big in scratching because Filipino Americans had a good technique for the subject. Sam Slovik states in this article that today’s Hip Hop culture involves sex, money and clubs rather than the original Hip Hop culture which consisted of graffiti, Djs, and rappers. In today’s world it seems that the Hip Hop music industries are more into making as much profit as they can rather then what the Hip Hop culture was originally intended to do which was spread a new genre of music to the rest of the world. I believe that the Filipino Americans have not gotten all the credit that they deserve in Hip Hop. The Filipino Americans really have put in a lot of effort and time to recognize and spread Hip Hop but in the article it is portrays to the readers that the Asian Americans recently entered the scenario. This also, makes it seem like the Asian Americans don’t need the credits, since this article is showing that they really didn’t do anything for the Hip Hop culture. So, all in all I really believe that the Filipinos Americans should get more credit than there given.

Matt Krzeminski said...

The subject of Filipinos in the hip-hop industry isn't one that I really know much about. The poster at the top made some good points about the article though. The tone of the paper made it seem as though Filipinos invading the L.A. club scene is a recent thing. Also the portrayal of the what Filipinos in the hip-hop world look like are skewered. All this talk about colored shoes and naughty things happening at foam parties seem completely out of place when you're coming up in the rap and hip-hop industries. It really is a lot about the business and for all DJs to be crazy club heads doesn't seem to real. Misspelling names of DJs you're writing about doesn't seem like a great idea either. Slovick makes some heavy mistakes here and it's hard to not doubt his credibility and knowledge on this subject. On the other hand a few things within the article seemed pretty informative and helped understand where the Filipino uprising towards hip-hop might go. There is a gripping sense within the article when describing the beginning. A typical kid wanting to go to a club and giving that feeling on how it is in L.A. He did a good job describing the DJs and who it was leading this cause (despite the name being wrong of course). He showed quite nicely who these people are and what it is they do to help progress the attack of getting Filipinos interested in hip-hop music out west. Slovick writes a good article but it's hard to tell why in a sense. It seems he did give solid information on the subject a few times but in the end you can't help feel like he shouldn't be writing about things that he doesn't know about.

Lewis Brown said...

I believe that this article, bashes the Filipino American hip-hop community, is not a good source to speak of them as a whole. Slovick speaks of how the hip-hop group has been the hot new thing in the LA area, but as the other article states, it has been around for quite some time. After reading the article and then reading what the flaws of the article were it became clear what the message was saying about Filipinos in hip-hop. Hip-hop has its own unique style and audience that is becoming larger and attracting more and more cultures constantly. Although the hip-hop style is part of many different aspects of life, I completely disagreed with what Slovick said about Filipino American kids in hip-hop, he stated “These Fil-Am kids are serious about having a good time, and that’s about it. It’s cultural. It came from the islands. The celebratory communal music and dance go way back to tribal roots.” He makes it seem like Filipino American kids are just careless party animals that want nothing more than to have a great time. He says its part of their culture and comes from their roots. Weren’t the Philippines under rule of different countries for centuries, and was forced to take the culture from those countries, Spain, and the United States? Also hip-hop was started by the black community, which, as we all know were slaves in America since the early 1600’s. Is there anyway we can connect these two cultures together seeing that they both were under control by the same country? ABSOLUTELY!!! Filipinos were considered black for years, and it would be almost impossible to not have some sort of mixed culture between the two. I believe that this article was poorly written because Slovick clearly has not done his work before and gotten the background info he needed for this article. It almost makes you wonder if he wrote it to bash the Fil-Am community in hip-hop because of the ridiculous statements he made and the info he used to portray the community.

Mariesha Pelham said...

When reading Slovick’s article I felt as if he narrowed Filipinos to a specific area, that area being California. I felt as if he made it seems as if they lived in a kind of secluded area and he failed to touch on the issues of Filipinos throughout America rather than just summing it up to one particular area such as Hollywood. When describing the lifestyles of a Filipino involved in the hip hop industry I felt as if Slovick just categorized them as party animals that engaged in drinking, sex, etc, as if Filipinos are the only minority or community that participates in such activities. When I think of the books and other material that we’ve covered in class regarding to the hip hop scene I never walked away with the idea of it being full of partying and other reckless behavior like Slovick presents it to be. Obviously he did not know what he was talking about or had a limited sources when writing the article because the culture of hip hop incorporates so many different elements. Because of Slovick’s ignorance towards Filipinos and the history or knowledge of hip hop in general, Villegas harshly and defensively responded against Slovick. Villegas provided a more passionate and factual perspective in his film, which would lead any sane person to believe his findings as truths. The interviews and terminology that Villegas incorporated into the film proved that he did his research and was not bias whatsoever. He showed all aspects of Filipinos in the hip hop industry not just there partying side, he illustrated a legit reason for Filipinos to recognized and respected in the hip hop community.

Mariesha Pelham said...

When reading Slovick’s article I felt as if he narrowed Filipinos to a specific area, that area being California. I felt as if he made it seems as if they lived in a kind of secluded area and he failed to touch on the issues of Filipinos throughout America rather than just summing it up to one particular area such as Hollywood. When describing the lifestyles of a Filipino involved in the hip hop industry I felt as if Slovick just categorized them as party animals that engaged in drinking, sex, etc, as if Filipinos are the only minority or community that participates in such activities. When I think of the books and other material that we’ve covered in class regarding to the hip hop scene I never walked away with the idea of it being full of partying and other reckless behavior like Slovick presents it to be. Obviously he did not know what he was talking about or had a limited sources when writing the article because the culture of hip hop incorporates so many different elements. Because of Slovick’s ignorance towards Filipinos and the history or knowledge of hip hop in general, Villegas harshly and defensively responded against Slovick. Villegas provided a more passionate and factual perspective in his film, which would lead any sane person to believe his findings as truths. The interviews and terminology that Villegas incorporated into the film proved that he did his research and was not bias whatsoever. He showed all aspects of Filipinos in the hip hop industry not just there partying side, he illustrated a legit reason for Filipinos to recognized and respected in the hip hop community.

Ahmed Sakr said...

As I read “The Fil-Am Invasion” by Sam Slovick I was not at all surprised by what was written. I have read countless articles regarding hip hop from mainstream news sources and all the articles sounded the same. It is as if they have a template to follow and all they have to do is plug in names and locations. Every article described their clothing and lingo in great detail and every article detailed a club scene where the club is packed with horny teenagers. These writers who write about the hip hop scene in their cities are usually very ill equipped to do this. They know very little about hip hop to begin with so they just go along with what they feel will bring their article more attention. Slovick assumes his readers are not hip hop listeners so he provides them with more of the party details than the aesthetics of Filipino Americans in hip hop or even hip hop at all. The only meaning full piece of journalism work is when Slovick talks about his conversation with Chad Hugo from N.E.R.D. and describes hip hop as a form of assimilation for many people of different backgrounds and cultures. In general I believe this article achieves very little in the way of informing the reader about the Filipino American influence in hip hop. It only gives them a bad image and reiterates a stereotypical view of hip hop. Slovick should have conducted more research and dug deeper into what the Fil-Am kids were doing than just going to a club. The mass media needs to understand that hip hop is way more than just about partying, drugs, drinking, and getting money but the media is now accustomed to describing hip hop that way and manage to turn a blind eye to hip hop’s more serious side.

Jose Gaytan said...

As I was reading the article by Sam Slovick in the LA Weekly magazine, I could not help but take every statement as a fact, since I am not that familiar with asian involvement in hip hop. I actually found it to be very informative and interesting how they have a whole subculture movement. Mark makes a valid point though, if Slovick is not from the culture, he really should not be stating such arguments as facts, especially in a newspaper. Mark does a good job listing the errors in the argument and adding his own input onto each erroneous fact. The fact that he is from the culture adds credibility to his argument when he states that Slovick cannot distinguish the business side from the cultural side of asian involvement in hip hop. He states that Slovick needs to redefine his views of hip hop so as not be be confused with a culture that he does not understand.

Oliver Wang also adds his two cents to the argument. He states that asians go to parties and clubs to promote their material by selling sex essentially with themes in clubs such as booty shorts night or short skirts nights. He adds that this argument goes deeper than rap, into the real culture female exploitation.

Both argue that Slovick fails to mention the integration of asians into the American culture and that he simply states that asians in hip hop is more of a fad than a culture.

Becky Horwitz said...

Although the article was interesting, since I didn't really know much about the Fil-Am influence and involvement in hip-hop,I can definitely see how someone that does know more on the topic could be and should be perturbed by this. I feel like Slovick should have done a lot more research before just diving into the culture in the way he did. He made the Fil-Am culture seem less serious than it really is! I've always considered Asians in general a huge part of hip-hop, especially after watching America's Best Dance Crew, where some of the best crews on the show were made up of Asian-Americans (my personal favorite, the winners of this past season, Quest Crew). I also found the statement about the kids going back to their tribal roots extremely offensive. Anyone can learn how to dance and produce music whether or not their roots point in that direction. Overall the article by Slovic was interesting, and I liked how he actually went into that "scene" to investigate himself. But on the other hand, he should have done some outside research before even going to the clubs and such...that would have given him a better perception of what was really going on.

Samantha Mattson said...

I would have to agree with what Sam Slovick says at the end of his argument. I truly believe that hip-hop is a way for people of all races and origins to take some part of a culture and twist it their own way, to make the new style of it their own. People become passionate about their music and try to become more involved in it and dedicate themselves to it, they aren’t in it just for fun. When he said the Filipino’s becoming involved in hip-hop makes hip-hop one race as compared to about 20 years ago when every race was doing their own thing, made it seem like hip-hop cannot be for different races, but it should in reality just be for the race that created it. He portrays hip-hop as being all about drugs, getting money, partying, and drinking, and that is now what hip-hop is being thought of as.

Nathan Otokiti said...

I think that this article shows how Pilipino culture has integrated with hip-hop. Everyone knows that dj s and karaoke are part of the every Pilipino culture with allot of Pilipino kids listening and consuming hip-hop I think it is only natural to think that there will be a rise of Philippine artist in hip-hop. What I do think that the article leaves out is why Pilipino Americans embrace hip-hop culture when the Philippines is still largely a very racist society. From my personal experience when my family visited the islands there was not a day ware I was not called a nigreto or made fun of because of my skin color. I thought the states were pretty bad, but there was not a day in the Philippines when the natives did not remind me that I was black.
Do Philippine Americans accept hip-hop because it has evolved from being a black culture to an American one? Regardless Philippine American culture has strong similarities with that of hip-hop and the acceptance of hip-hop in to the culture will lead to new forms, genres, and styles of hip-hop. I really don’t see the importance of this fact because all cultures seem to be consuming hip-hop not just Filipinos.

Natalie O said...

I also believe that there are many red flags in Slovick's article "Fil-Am Invasion." I agree with point number 3, how the Fil-Am kids are all about having a good time and it goes back to tribal roots, I think there has a lot to do with Americanization and African Americanization also. It's a combination of both bringing the Filipino culture into hip hop and the American influence it has. And that's why I do agree with Slovick that hip hop is an outlet for all different cultures and people to bring in their own country and part of their culture in the mix.

However, Slovick does portray the Fil-Am invasion as a party scene and not as a serious form of art. Though it could be true that these young hip hoppers are spending a lot of their time at the clubs, but so is the rest of the hip hop culture, not only Filipinos.

It is true that today hip hop seems to be about materialism and "living the good life" through money, drugs, sex, and women, but Slovick shouldn't look at the party scenes, because young people regardless of race enjoy partying.
I'm not too familiar with a lot of the Filipino-American culture and hip hop but,Slovick did a poor job in regards to his research. Any one can examine the party scenes in California, New York, or Chicago and find the same crowds of young people looking to have a good time. Filipino-Americans have brought some of their culture into hip hop, and for Slovick to only recognize the ones that seem to give a demeaning image is a shame.
For one I know Fil-Ams integrated a lot of their style in dance and continue to expand hip hop's endless possibilities.

Alexandra Wilson said...

Well, from reading this blog it is very apparent that when Slovic wrote his article he neglected to mention a few...matter of fact...a lot of important details involving the history of Filipinos and Hip Hop. It seem that Villegas' blog really proves many of Slovick's ideas and claims wrong. So, from comparing both the article and the blog, i can agree with villegas that Slovic does not accurately describe Filipino's and Hip Hop full history, however I think that
Slovic main focus was Filipino's and the business and club aspect of hip hop. I dont think that Slovic was trying to take any credit away from any of the filipino "og's" in hip hop. Yeah Slovic should not have brought up the fact that dancing a partying is cultural for filipinos and it comes from the islands when the Philippines were actually Americanized and the style of dancing he is describing probably was not originally part of filipino culture but i think that the Slovic article was successful in describing the filipino growth in hip hop and informing people like me who aren't familiar with it.

Halko said...

The way that Slovick represents the Filipino hip hop scene is inaccurate. Since the beginning of hip hop Filipinos, Asians and all cultures have been contributing to the ultimate success and widespread attraction of the music and other pillars. Primarily focusing on the club scene in L.A. was not a fair representation of the Filipino hip hop culture, I’m sure there is much more going on than just the clubs. Integration of the races with a common cause brought up interesting inquiries as to whether or not America created the Filipino hip hop community or destroyed it? Would the Filipinos had been better off without hip hop or with it? Certainly it seems that their participation in the movement today is more than un-noticed but still not as widespread as the African participants in the game. The primary focus of hip hop is, style respect and popularity amongst fellow hip hoppers , the most interesting part of his piece was the way he covered scratching, unknown were the rules of this section of hip hop to me. Scratching should be a whole pillar on it’s rather than just a different style of DJing, the battles seem to be just as intense and highly participated as ciphers and Beboying thus giving it respect of its own. Since no film-am group has had a major record deal does not mean that the worthiness is any less than another hip hop subculture; graffiti never made it in the galleries as big as everyone thought it would but it still remains the primary beginning of every other hip hop pillar. The real truth at hand is not the film-am invasion but more importantly finding their contribution to the success and respect of Filipino hip hop lovers.

Nate K said...

This was a very interesting blog. Slovick doesn’t really seem to know what he is talking about. There is so much more to hip hop then the club life. It appears like he was not really all that well prepared to write an article. For example, he said that hip hop in the Filipino culture was a new thing but it has been around for many many years. As Wang put it, it is hard to talk about a culture a lot that you do not belong to. Slovick appears to be making to many generalizations about the Filipino culture. He did make a good point at saying hip hop is a way for all cultures to come together. It would be great if people could find a common ground somehow, whether it be hip hop or not.

Danny said...

It seems to me that the author of this blog is biting the hand that feeds him. Yes it sucks that Filipinos are being misrepresented in the hip hop genre, or at least within this article, but when has anything not been misrepersented? Look at the original creators hip hop. Even though hip hop has been created as a means of escape, stereotypical stereotypes of the genre today state that it is only about violence, women and guns when we clearly know that it is not. What really rubbed me up the wrong nerve was point number seven. Okay, we all know that when a race of human beings consort themselves completely to one culture but stating that it is a means to unique themselves is not assimilation. Right, and I am the queen of England. It's like they say, you are unique, just like everybody else. Look, I know Slovick misstated the reason for Filipinos to join the hip hop genre, but isn't what you are doing a way of assimilating? Instead of taking Slovick's article as an insult, keep your chin high and look at it as a step forward of recognition in the mainstream media.

MV said...

"Look, I know Slovick misstated the reason for Filipinos to join the hip hop genre, but isn't what you are doing a way of assimilating? Instead of taking Slovick's article as an insult, keep your chin high and look at it as a step forward of recognition in the mainstream media."

nope nope nope... out of all the comments from Cheryl's class, this right here is really off the mark. recognition in the mainstream media? far from it. this is so problematic.