Friday, October 28, 2011

Multigeneration Fil-Am Cipher at D-Cypher!

Witness this multigenerational cipher of Fil Am dancers from the D-Cypher event at the Liwanag Cultural Center! 


Big shout out to JDB Creativity for the dance footage. Please check out for more info.

D-Cypher was a discussion with some of the most influential Filipino Street dancers from the San Francisco Bay Area. The organizers bridged their personal histories, discussed how the scene was back in the day, and learned about Filipino contributions to street dance, Hip Hop, and Filipino/Fil-Am Kulture. Learn and hear stories about the local dance scene!


- Don Boogaloo
- OG Smurf (Master City Breakers)
- Finesse (Master City Breakers)
- J Krush (Star City Crew)
- Andre (Star City Crew)
- Gizmo (Renegade Rockers, Knuckle Neck Tribe)
- Chaz (GroovMekanex, Zulu Nation, Natural Elements Crew(DC))
- G Boogz (Knuckle Neck Tribe)
- wish1 (Jughead Tribe, Jedi Clan, Mindtricks, Groovaloos, Jabbawockeez, Sub Ren,
- Sha Boogie (Renegades, Mind Over Matter, MPM, Tribe)
- Dennis (GroovMekanex, MuthaFunkers)
- Delrokz (Break for Tots, Zulu Nation)
Moderated by Alan Mar David
Edited by Will Kong
Sponsored by Liwanag Kultural Center, Kalayaan School for Equity, North County Peninsula Partnerships, and Rock the School Bells

Monday, October 17, 2011

Empire of Funk: Filipino American in the Cipher of Hip Hop is taking submissions for publication on our website! Deadline for submissions is on Monday, November 28th.  This is an exciting project me and DJ Kuttin Kandi have been formulating for some time now.  Big ups to all our contributors (who include DJ Icy Ice, DJ Niel Armstrong, Kimmy Maniquis of Kaba Modern, DJ Nasty Nes, literary award winner Patrick Rosal, and many, many others!) and supporters for being with us the whole way. Can't wait to see everyone's submissions! Here we go!

Description of Empire of Funk:
Empire of Funk: Filipino Americans in the Cipher of Hip Hop is a project that seeks to highlight the history and talent of Filipino Americans in hip hop. Long overdue, this endeavor attempts to demonstrate the intimate and meaningful link between the Filipino American experience and hip hop. Sometimes seen as a culture separate from the Filipino American experience, Empire of Funk provides a forum to foreground the exact opposite: hip hop culture has been integral to the Filipino American community, functioning as a legitimate part of the Filipino American experience well before hip hop gained mainstream popularity.

Furthermore, we believe that rather than spreading negative "pathology," hip hop provides a cultural medium for spreading knowledge and exploring cultural consciousness.

Empire of Funk serves as an artistic and literary canvas, gathering the talent of multiple generations of artists, writers, performers, photographers, scholars, educators, and activists.

We want your talent! We will be reviewing visual art, photography, fiction, and poetry submissions to be published on our website.

The theme for submitting original work is: Knowledge of self. Priority will be given to work that relates to Filipino American experiences in hip hop.

Submission procedure:

1. Email a jpg (less than 5MB) sample of your piece or a word document of your writing to EmpireofFunk [at]
2.Type Art Submission and your name in the Subject of line of your email.
3. Include your name, email, location, and website (if available) in the body of your email.
4. Submit your work by Monday, November 28th.

Although we are eager to review all submissions, we cannot guarantee acceptance of your work on our website or in future publications. Please note that artists whose work we accept and publish will retain ownership of their material.

In addition, we are looking for eager and talented minds to join us in the planning and growth of Empire of Funk, including web designers, print designers, and publication liaisons. Please contact us if you are interested.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Entry into "Official" Filipino American History?

It has always been history in the making.  On Thursday, October 13th--in observance of Filipino American History Month--the event Built from Skratch: Rediscovering the Pin@ay DJ Scene(s) in Daly City will be held at the Liwanag Kultural Center in Daly City (San Francisco area).  Once written (or even dismissed) as "contemporary" or "modern" Filipino American culture (and therefore supposedly less important than "real" history) Filipino American popular music culture (i.e. hip hop forms) is more and more being archived along with "official" Filipino American history.

At the same time that Filipino American hip hop performances are legitimized and historicized under the auspices of researchers (check out OW's article "Unlimited Creations" in the Atlantic), educators, and community institutions, a younger generation of Filipino American who seem to feel distant from the Filipino American hip hop experience of the 1980s and 1990s (up to the 2000s for the very young) are now afforded the opportunity to learn more about the cultural contributions of their kuyas, ates, titos, titas, and parents.   

Then, on Monday, October 17th, Liwanag is also hosting an event on Filipino American dancers called D-Cypher: Dialogue with Bay Area Filipino Street Dancers.

I'm hoping that these "cyphers" of knowledge will be constructive for "old school" practitioners and younger people alike so that the culture can continue building and expanding boundaries.  In addition, I hope that these sessions will avoid bashing the existing state of hip hop that young people may identify with while glorifying the "golden age" of so-and-so decade.  Whatever the case, this is a wonderful and promising start to future dialogues, hopefully in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond!