The Rise of Ex-Battalion, Shanti Dope and the Evolution of Pinoy Hiphop

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You can literally hear their songs everywhere, from Ex-Battallion’s Hayaan Mo na Sila” to Shanti Dope’s “Nadarang” from your local tricycle and jeepney terminals, wet-markets and other well-populated areas. They surely took the radio by storm. And when I say by storm, I mean BY STORM.

Why Does It Work?

Some say, it’s corny, repetitive, and uninspired, but why do they took the masses by storm? That is the question that we need to ask. I’ll be analyzing their song with an unbiased point of view comparing it to old Pinoy mainstream hip-hop and it’s evolution, so fanboys and fangirls, hold your horses-off before saying something stupid in the comment section. Alright? Cool.

 

Ex-Battalion capitalized on the love rap trope. Kind of like Breezy Boys back in 2013-2014,

 

 

Gagong Rapper and ultimately Salbakuta way back early 2000’s it’s no surprise that their song was a hit. As we’ve been doing it for some time now, I bet you still remember the lyrics to Salbakuta’s “Stupid Love” until now.

 

 

Shanti Dope is a different kind of rapper, someone that I consider a kid who doesn’t have a solid path, yet. Dude, the boy is only 16 and has already hit 10 million views through his viral song “Nadarang” by his rampaging fans and an insatiable amount of hype by the big guys like Gloc-9 who supports him, so you need to give it to the guy. He has got great PR and Marketing skills But, still, Shanti Dope can be consider a rapper without an actual path or voice, he is just lucky enough to have an uncle Producer (Lester Klumcee Vano) to get him through the tides by having collaborations with the Pinoy Rap heavyweight royalty such as Gloc-9 and Loonie, which are by the way close personal friends of his uncle along with

 

 

other independent rappers as they create a sound that is mass-friendly with catchy lyrics and hooks, that doesn’t really mean squat.

 

 

Just “Overnight rappers”?

Ex-Battalion’s downfall can be surely seen in the next coming months as the Trap-soul movement have slowly been rising with artist such as Al James, Kris Delano, ACDMND$

and with that; everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, leaving Ex-Battalion, who is now managed by a prominent filipina actress, Ai-ai Delas Alas as they still hold their ground while they kept producing Hip-Pop music. Where pop meets hip-hop with catchy beats and quirks, but with a pretty bad lyricism, errr. Really bad.

 

 

As for Shanti Dope, this kid, considering his age, as he’s backed-up by prominent rappers has a lot of of room to grow. He has a wide-range of musicality in him such as, bangers, pop music with the inclusion of catchy lyrics such as “MAU” and his hit song “Nadarang”, but havig said that, I sense that this boy is not stopping anytime soon, so here’s to hoping quite a lot from Shanti Dope.

Evolution or de-volution?

This is actually the same old argument with all the mumble-rap argument right now.

 

 

Is it hip-hop? If it’s not hip-hop then, then is just another fad? Here’s the thing. Like language, music is constantly evolving. A lot of artist now, are trying different types as they try to differentiate themselves and it’s not an easy-feat to do. But here’s my two-cents, whether it’s low-bro hiphop such as Ex-Battalion and Shanti Dope, it is still music.

An evolution of a genre developed decades ago—It’d be one step backwards if we stop trying new things. We’ll just be stagnant if we continue creating and listening to what we’re used to.

 

 

These artists are continually curating and creating different kind of sound, and yes, let me say this, I’m not down with their music, I prefer the Trap-Soul movement, but hey, that doesn’t mean their music is shit, niezche, yes, but shit? No.

 

It’s not for everyone. Everyone has their own taste. If you like Ex-Batallion as it is with their love-rap or Shanti Dope with his “Nadarang” and “Mau”, go ahead and like it. You are your own person. Walang basagan ng trip, mga brad.

 

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Paul Vincent Evangelista, is a filmmaker, storyteller, and a poet. He finished his Bachelor's Degree in Arts, Major in Film and Communications. One-fourth of the group called "Retrobandido Productions". When not making films, he spends most of his time sitting on a wooden chair, with a book in his hand and a cigarette tucked on his lips; contemplating about his purpose and meaning in this absurd world. He also accepts laundries during weekends.

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