LOCAL VOCAL: ‘Terrorist’ by Yohi

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Today, we commemorate the anniversary of Proclamation No. 1081, better known as the Martial Law declaration of September 21, 1972. And we’re reminded by a track called ‘Terrorist’ by Yohi.

 

‘Terrorist’ by Yohi was released last May on Spotify and iTunes, and we think today is the best day for you to play it on repeat.

Listen to it now here.

 

LYRICS

I
Empty threats ain’t so empty when it’s said by the empty head of the state
Heading the empty-heads with badges,
The empty-handed suffer
We all get plenty dead,
Rustic blend of cherry red
flooding in shanties and alley-ends

 

Backstreets and every bend
Boulevards, avenues
Check the news
Every channel sees the blood on the cement
Lives expendable, lies contemptible
Snip off the tentacle
And leave the head
To grow it back again

 

Power trip on a boy with his knees bent
Pleaded for his dignity left
They hand a gun to his right
Before the lead gets expelled to his head
Pack of meth, evidence, over the pool he has bled
Quota met

 

Everybody’s dead ’til proven innocent
President high on guiltless violence
Try speak, you can guess in what
street they firing next
Or maybe who they’d file against
You’re either red or yellow or peddlin’ meth
Now tell us who’s the terrorist

 

II
Empty threats ain’t so empty when it’s said by the empty head of the state,
heading the empty-heads with M16s
Threats to hover
SF-260s
Blitzkrieg machines
Over the schools
And the golden fields

 

Sweep the born of the earth
From soil they tilled
Get ’em killed for the school they built
When the state wouldn’t reach
And what taught ’em to rebel is greed
Of those who wanna sell their gold and green

 

If it doesn’t feed
You bite the hand if it steals your freedom
If it keeps you from your home for seasons
Kills your leaders
Kills your teachers
Kills believers
Tells it’s treason
To seek dreams and
Weave ambition

 

A caesar on seizures
About to throw another fit
Using leverage
Foolish rhetoric
Food beleaguerment
By soldiers picketed
Belligerence
Bathing the land
In bullets, billows and
blood of the innocent
Now tell us who’s the terrorist

 

III
Empty threats ain’t so empty when
It’s said by the empty head of the state
Heading the empty heads that already set
For bounty hunting at the boss’s behest
Pressing charge at the press and pressing a gun
against the lips of protest

 

Popping gats to oppress
Pistol clap in pretense
It’s self-defense or it’s resisting arrest
Watch ’em surfing their crest
Do the task and get the dividend
Dispatch for the tip
Power-basking and drenched

 

When the badge represents
More threat and fear than to serve and protect
They serve to protect padrino’s interest
Private armies on the payroll of the prime syndicate
Profiteering, politicking, and policing remixed

 

Shit ain’t empty threats
If the past is what the present presents
Only it’s bare and undressed
So we know it’s damn explicit
Boss rule manifest
Domination entrenched
Now if you think of it
How can we forget?

 

This reminds me of Tibo Mijares and Archimedes Trajano
And Lean Alejandro and Dacer and Corbito
Sherlyn Cadapan, Alay-ay, and Olalia
Tullo Favali, Jonas Burgos, and Eden Marcellana

 

It reminds me of the three thousand two hundred fifty seven and counting
Disappeared and tortured victims of salvage
It reminds me of the threat and fear and terror that’s been there ever since
And ever since we all been asking ’em this
tell us who’s the terrorist

 

We know that the track talks about the current administration, and we’re talking about 1972. But if you listen to the last two verses, you’ll see that Yohi also talks about how everything happening now, that he’s reminded of Tibo Mijares and Archimedes Trajano, and Lean Alejandro and Dacer and Corbito, Sherlyn Cadapan, Alay-ay, and Olalia, Tullo Favali, Jonas Burgos, and Eden Marcellana.

 

Yohi continues with the list of victims and desaparacidos talking about “the three thousand two hundred fifty seven and counting, disappeared and tortured victims of salvage. It reminds me of the threat and fear and terror that’s been there ever since.And ever since we all been asking ’em this. Tell us who’s the terrorist.

 

This track really makes you think, and that’s what we love about it. It makes you think about everything happening now and how it feels similar to what happened 46 years ago. It makes you think and empathize with the artist’s sentiments, whether you agree with him or not. It makes you think, feel, and maybe even act—and we think that that’s what art really is about.

 

 

More about the artist

Yohi is a Southern Tagalog born and bred hiphop artist. Originally from Lucena City in Quezon Province, he is now based in Laguna.

 

And if you want to learn more about the artist, we’ve got an EXCLUSIVE interview with him for you right here!

 

How did you get started with music?

Yohi: My parents are both musicians—both are members of the music group Kalantog. But I grew up mostly with just my mom around, [’cause my parents are] separated, so she’s really the one who nurtured me and my love for music.

 

Since when have you been writing music?

Yohi: I’ve always loved writing poetry and sharing stories since I was a kid. But I only started turning them into songs about 5 years ago. The first melodies I made were for a musical play my [organization, an NGO,] mounted. After that, I never stopped making songs.

 

Who are your musical influences?

Yohi: My mom. I also like listening to a lot of Eminem, Outkast, Mos Def, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. And a ton of jazz.

 

What inspired you to come up with this single, ‘Terrorist’?

Yohi: I don’t know, really. I just felt the need to write something like this. The issue of human rights vilolations and state terror has always been there, it’s just now that it’s bare for everyone to see.

 

What’s your song-writing process?

Yohi: I’m still exploring different take-off points in my songwriting, but what really matters to me is that I know the main idea or the message that I want to convey from the very start. Learn first the whats before the hows.

 

Are there other artists/songs you think people can listen to (that have the same theme as Terrorist)?

Yohi: Just right off the bat: BLKD, Calix, Bambu, Ruby Ibarra.

 

What else can we expect from you?

Yohi: … thank you to the people who listen to my music. I promise more will be out soon. I’ll keep you guys posted through my social media accounts—Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

 

We’re definitely very excited for this artist, and we hope to hear of more from him soon! How ’bout you? What do you think about ‘Terrorist’ by Yohi? Let us know in the comments, or hit us up on Facebook and Twitter @UDoUPh. We’d love to hear what you think!

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