While such isn’t a big deal for The Pinoy Hip-Hop community as a whole, I’ve always have issue with this term especially when promoting our country’s hip-hop in the global scene.
And there are many hip-hop heads around the country who prefer using the term, OPM Hip-Hop / OPM Rap instead of Pinoy Hip-Hop / Pinoy Rap or Filipino Hip-Hop / Filipino Rap when describing hip-hop music and culture in The Philippines.
Most if not all Filipinos know that OPM stands for Original Pilipino Music. And OPM Hip-Hop is short of Original Pinoy Music Hip-Hop. But again, try to describe that to a non-Filipino and you will get response such as, “what the fuck is OPM?”
That’s why I still prefer the term, Pinoy Hip-Hop or Filipino Hip-Hop as the people of The Philippines are called Filipinos and that the colloquial term for Filipino is Pinoy. Hip-Hop is a street / urban culture so Pinoy Hip-Hop is a more suitable and acceptable.
The second studio album released by the hip-hop duo, Stick Figgas. Both Loonie and Ron Henley are still present, but are joined by musicians of different genres such as singer, Kat Kat Agarrado of both Passage and SinoSiKat, Tuts Calinawan on bass guitar and many others.
As with the addition of new members, the group evolved from pure hip-hop to a more full fledged “fusion” band.
On the personal side, reviewing this album will be somewhat of a challenge as I have been used to the usual “hip-hop” albums and this one will be different as the entire tracklist is heavy on live instrumentals, something that I’m not that familiar with.
A review of the tracks
Realistick has a total of nine tracks of hip-hop fusion. The entire album contain live instrumentals, providing the background music for both Loonie and Ron Henley. Here’s a breakdown,
“4:19”: The introductory track and this one is all instrumental, introducing listeners to the group’s latest style of music which is more fusion.
“Lamanloob”: A “spoken word” track dealing with the will of self-action, thought and decisions. And both the risk and consequences of such.
“Mukha Ng Pera”: An interesting track about the usual subject of money being the root of all evil plus social status.
“Ubasan”: Another “spoken word” track with a romantic theme. Also one of the most known track in this album as I often hear this every time in Wave 89.1 FM’s The Flow.
“Parisukat”: This is my favorite track in the album especially the melodic feel of the music plus its “spoken word” theme and lyrics.
“Hiram”: A “spoken word” track dealing with life and the decisions people choose while living.
“Bara Bara”: More a “freestyle track” of self expression accompanied by a live band of the group’s additional members.
“Sinungaling”: A “spoken word” track about credibility, trust and lies committed by people and society.
“Nandito Lang Ako”: The final track and also a remix of the same track in their previous 2007 album, Critical Condition. It contains the “knight in shining armor” theme with a twisted plot.
“Di na pwede yung tulad ng dating puro na lang oo; Uulitin lang kung ano itinuro parang loro”
Stick Figgas – Lamanloob
Pinoy Hip-Hop heads will have mixed reactions with both Stick Figgas’ second studio album and its evolution to a fusion band. Some accept the change while others still prefer the usual hip-hop music with beats containing samples of various tracks.
Honestly, I still find it a welcoming development that despite the presence of live instruments, the hip-hop element is still there. Both MCs, Loonie and Ron Henley still expressed strong lyrics, thought and subject matter.
Overall, Realistick delivered and is an example of how various genres are fused to create some good music.
Strong lyrical flow and delivery
Retaining the “hip-hop” element despite the use of live instruments.
For those who can’t accept such fusion, many look at this album as more rock oriented than hip-hop.