Thursday, July 23, 2009
Beyond, Beyond written & directed by Dominic Nuesa
As many of you know, this post is the latest installment on a series of entries exploring the hip hop scene in Metro Manila. I've been attempting to paint a picture of the loyalty, dedication, and quality that these artists are putting into hip hop, especially for Fil Ams who are more familiar with U.S.-based hip hop and are not fluent in any Filipino language.
And, oh boy, the homeys at southern Metro Manila-based Turbulence Productions really outdone themselves now. When I thought I absorbed all the energy these artists are constantly projecting, they go "Beyond, Beyond" all expectations.
For any artist trying to make a legit hustle out of your craft, you know how frustrating it is to balance your love of the art and the business of maintaining success. The poem/video above, "Beyond, Beyond" written and directed by Dominic Nuesa is an inspiring ode to the "noble struggle" of trying to ascend as a hip hop performer in the Philippines, and the beauty, heart, and love pumped into the soul of the movement. In a nation that doesn't understand and appreciate hip hop as much as the States or many other nations, that marginalization in the Philippines feeds these Filipino artists' creativity, as Turbulence founder and producer B-Roc notes. As you will find out, the output is always a quality product that won't disappoint.
Perhaps veteran performers will testify to the complacency produced by a certain amount of success, and the inspiration otherwise felt from pure hunger and determination.
What also is apparent in "Beyond, Beyond" is intergenerational interweaving between the more "seasoned" heads and the younger generation of hip hop performers. Don't get it twisted, hip hop is not new in the Philippines. Francis M, Andrew E, Mastaplann, Sly Kane, Mista Blaze, Sun Valley Crew, Dash, the list goes on...many of these rappers have been in the game since the 1980s. Ill J, who started making music in the early 1990s with the Sun Valley Crew, makes a cameo in "Beyond, Beyond" (emerging from the soundbooth at the "Chop Shop" to the applause of his wife and boy) and illustrates the critical intergenerational dialogue that molds the independent hip hop community in the Philippines.
In closing, peep the words of Chrizo, respected producer of Turbulence, who describes to B-Roc in SoulFiesta the significance of the poem "Beyond, Beyond":
"What struck me the most about the piece is that you can literally close your eyes and grasp what resides in the souls of hiphop enthusiasts and patrons just by listening to the words. The metaphors, and well placed analogies will show the world that what we are doing in this business is noble and well worth the every day fight. This piece should inspire the fighting spirit in you each time you hear it or each time you falter and remind you to truly reach beyond your wildest day dreams." Continue reading...