There are many ways to channel a message through art and one of its many forms is music. While there’s always room for catchy tunes to cure your heartbreak, other songs speak of social issues and calling out those who need to be held accountable — which is definitely needed in the current political climate.
Are you disappointed with the country’s pandemic response? Didn’t know your crush was a Marcos apologist? Or you’re sick and tired of victim blaming? Well, the following OPM songs might be able to translate your frustrations when you’re so done with the system.
After reading about the tracks and watching some of the music videos below, you can listen to everything in We The Pvblic‘s curated playlist.
Apo-Aplogist by Plagpul
The story of Apo-Apologist follows a beautiful kolehiyala who establishes her discourse through memes. To add fuel to the flame, she is apparently a Marcos supporter. The satirical song is a fun play on the scenario of being infatuated with someone with questionable political stances.
It was first heard during Plagpul’s live jam as a response to ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 2016. Two years after, the band released a music video that was described as a “collaboration by Plagpul and Marcos apologists and trolls.”
HEADSHOT by Bawal Clan
Most of the verses in Headshot revolve around the problematic impact of police brutality all over the world. It opened with a voice clip reporting the crime against Kian Lloyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old teenager shot dead by the police in 2017. Released in 2020, when the Black Lives Matter movement was reignited, some lines also covered the issue of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor. Bawal Clan surely didn’t waste any verses by using their platform to raise awareness.
Kapangyarihan by Ben&Ben feat. SB19
Ben&Ben released Kapangyarihan shortly after the news on Jonel Nuezca, a police officer who shot two innocent people a few days before Christmas 2020. The band also posted a statement calling justice for the victims Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank.
Together with P-pop group SB19, the song captures the collective rage of people who are fed up with the unjust actions of those in power. The opening lyrics alone already sends a bold question, ‘Akala niyo ba, ang kapangyarihan ay nasa inyo? Sino ba kayo?’
Dedma by Julie Anne San Jose & Abra
While the word dedma translates to “ignore” in English, it also describes the response of some people to the gruesome realities of others. If you want a visual representation, the track’s music video vividly shows it: an elderly woman was hit by a bat on the head, street children sniffing rugby, an innocent woman’s baby was stolen from her, and other scenarios that serve as a wake-up call.
Ayaw by Syd Hartha
No means no. It’s pretty simple, really. But sadly, there are times when some people don’t understand the basic meaning of consent. Ayaw is an anthem for victims and survivors who experienced any form of harassment. The striking lyrics paired with Syd Hartha’s commanding voice are a combo that encourages its listeners to take back their power. Bonus: watch We The Pvblic‘s exclusive interview of the singer explaining the meaning behind her MV when you click here.
Peklat Cream by Bita and the Botflies
Talking about domestic violence or an abusive relationship could be a heavy conversation to have. But Peklat Cream‘s straightforward lyrics paint a picture of what it’s like. Covering up scars and bruises can also be associated with the unrealistic beauty standards that society has imposed on women. Bita and the Botflies delivers an empowering song, especially for the younger audience.
Gatilyo by BLKD x UMPH
Rapper-activist BLKD and producer DJ Umph, who happens to be a son of martial law activists, released their nine-track album Gatilyo in 2015. It also pays homage to the revolutionary ideals of Andres Bonifacio, who advocated for the country’s independence.
In the title track, he spits bars that spark discourse on greed, individualistic culture, and other distractions that drive people away from recognizing the real situation of the country.
Sandata by KOLATERAL feat. Calix, Lanzeta, Because, Pure Mind Quiet Heart, Muro Ami, KIYO, Bang Boss, Promote Violence, BLKD
Nine of the well-known rappers in the local music scene join forces in Sandata. With zero intentions to sugarcoat what they want to convey, they explicitly mentioned “Duterte” several times on the track and opened strong with the line, ‘Pasistang regimen, buwagin!’
The song is part of their 2019 album Kolateral, which holds tracks that offer socio-political narratives of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs campaign.
Muerto Manila (Prod. Vamz Beatz) by Run Deliks, Kyle, Taycs
Rap duo Run Deliks released their debut EP Muerto Manila earlier in May with no holds barred on the themes they chose to tackle. It’s inspired by Kolateral, as their songs describe the city’s rampant cases of EJK and show the government’s criminalization of mass struggle.
The title track references real-life strifes you can see in the news like dead bodies found in a “bangketa”, starving people in the streets, and even the ‘Mañanita cop’ who celebrated his birthday despite the pandemic.
Sistema by Juan Karlos
Juan Karlos has gone a long way since people first saw him at The Voice Kids, and his first studio album Diwata was proof of his glow-up as an artist. While there are many notable songs from the record, Sistema sums up the general discontent that many people feel about societal ills. But despite all the toxicity, the chorus serves as a reminder for us to fight, ‘Pakinggan mo ang iyong puso, maniwala sa sarili mo.’
Banner edited by Justine De Vera