Anyone familiar with the Manila gig circuit may have seen a poster with the header “Stay Useless” at one point. Its many iterations have been a staple in pushing the DIY spirit in local music, especially among college students. And if you know SU, chances are that you also know and revere The Flying Lugaw. The blog has established itself as an authority in critiquing local indie music and documenting shows. This year, the two forces come together for a gig to celebrate the beloved genre of hip-hop.
Stay Useless’ Raph Ang and The Flying Lugaw just happened to be in the same headspace while deciding to hold a hip-hop show. Raph recounts watching MTV’s Yo! featuring an unplugged performance by LL Cool J, and being inspired by how an intimate performance setting affected a rapper’s ferocity. Meanwhile, The Flying Lugaw has been a follower of local rap groups for half a decade.
The theme of Stay Useless & The Flying Lugaw 2019 is centered on hip-hop, as seen through its garishly humorous poster, however, a number of electronic acts were also included. There’s a natural connection existing between the two genres, The Flying Lugaw explains, as electronic acts are ever-present in local hip-hop shows. There was a concerted effort to represent the different sides of underground rap and electronic music — the artists in the lineup range from chill house beats, to noisy, left-field rap.
Before you set off to Mow’s Bar, get to know the artists who’ll be performing on July 6.
Hailing from Makati, rapper Pablo Santos, known as Waiian of the hip-hop group Kartell’em, doesn’t let the boundaries of his city define his limitations. He’s performed in venues all over the Philippines to showcase his natural, laid-back flow and classic sensibilities.
You can listen to his latest single, 12 AM, on major music streaming platforms.
Representing 12-man rap supergroup 727Clique, Ralph Juachon, known as Illicit, is a rapper’s rapper. You can characterize his rapping for its succinctness and finesse. He recently released an EP called DAZED on Soundcloud, with beats all produced by Mark Celera.
He recently released his music video for Ang Gara ng Mundo on YouTube.
This rapper-producer duo consists of 1Kiao of Olangapo City, and Mocksmile, who hails from Baguio. 1Kiao was recently featured on the highly political album Kolateral, a joint effort by BLKD and Calix, and Mocksmile is a known member of the roster of NOFACE RECORD$. Together they create a heavy brand of glitchy, industrial hip-hop.
You can hear their collaborative track, Diyamanteng Magaspang, on Soundcloud.
Coming from the hip-hop collective WEMAN, DB Tha Girl is a graphic artist and emcee that stands out for her hard-hitting style. She isn’t one to shy away from experimentation, working with a number of producers such as Serena DC and Alisson Shore.
Her recent EP, Aether, is now for sale on Bandcamp.
Student-beatmaker extraordinaire Ahjussi (stylized as Ahju$$i) fancies himself as the “AEGYO TRAP CHILD OF BUWANBUWAN COLLECTIVE”. He employs a sample-heavy, maximalist style evocative of bubblegum pop and PC music.
His work can be accessed primarily through his Soundcloud.
YS covergirl Pamcy Fernandez, along with her best Juday, Dani Lim, bring a unique blend of the analog and digital with a combined live/DJ set accompanied by live drums. Pamcy brings mellow, house-influenced electronic music that contrasts to Dani’s bright and dynamic drumming.
Pamcy recently released her single Beauty Parlor, as part of her upcoming LP.
Using an unconventional means of songwriting by generating lyrics on the fly, Kristo Baal fully embraces her oddball persona in each one of her tracks. Her songs are short and esoteric, using minimalist means on her DAW to get her message across.
Her EP, A Hidden Script, can be streamed on Bandcamp.
EJAC x Buddah Beads
Rap fixtures EJAC and Buddah Beads cemented their working chemistry since releasing their highly-celebrated mixtape, Balanse, in 2016. The duo finds their bliss with spiritually-driven lyrics over Nujabes-type beats.
You can listen to their mixtape here on Soundcloud.