Critically-acclaimed Filipino-American hip hop sensation Guapdad 4000 has been making noise for his rather diverse musical style that gets his listeners hooked from start to finish. But did you know that there’s more to his music than just one to listen to and jam to?
Despite achieving global success, the Olongapo-born artist still managed to keep his feet on the ground as he looked back at his Filipino roots in an exclusive interview with FreebieMNL.
There’s no question why he creates good music as both sides of his family have always been drawn to music — citing his grandmother from his Filipino side of the family as among one of his earliest musical influences growing up.
“I got musicians on my father’s side, my black side. There’s a lot of people who do music. My auntie is a rapper-producer. My uncle is a singer and composer and guitar player. With my grandma and my Filipino side, she can obviously sing hella f***ing good and I’ve seen her in church like caroling. As a kid, music has always been around,” he said.
Describing his music as both honest and personal, Guadpad said being an artist of color has allowed him to celebrate the little wins in his life.
“When it comes to comparing myself as a person of color and not just a biracial individual ‘cause from the Filipino side as well, I try to wear my wins and be proud of my little accomplishments as they come and try not to think about the wide presence in hip hop because it’s not a lot but they obviously do the best ‘cause they’re white,” he said.
He added: “I just look at it like that’s going to happen and people like me are gonna continue to be at the forefront talking about what’s important to me and yeah, it’s bigger than music. I don’t need to give a f**k what you do, whatever your category.”
With more Asian artists getting a much-deserved spotlight, Guadpad also talked about Asian representation in the global scene.
“I think it needs a necessary light and that’s why I’m trying to go as hard as I am with the outreach to the Asian community and to the Asian consumers in this genre and in this culture because as one of them, I feel understated and underheard as an American-Asian from the rest of Asia,” he said.
Talking about Filipinos in particular, he described Pinoy artists as power players in the hip hop scene.
“And also, the genre as a whole — I feel like people like me can set the foundation to build a bridge for other people to cross and come through normally ‘cause we’ve always been present especially Filipinos. We’ve always been present in all the pillars of hip hop — from DJ-ing to B-boying, MC-ing, rapping, graffiti, there’s a Filipino power player in each one of those f*c**ng categories. And people don’t know that. And I think that’s something that I’d like to bring attention to so I try to do that myself in my own career,” he said.
On being part of PARADISE RISING, Guapdad said: “It feels super tight. I feel cool to connect with people who think I’m cool but also whose values align when it comes to my brand, my ethnicity, and my cultural upbringing. I think it’s cool to be with people who are like me.”
Guapdad also shared which Filipino artists he wants to collaborate with in the future, saying: “I really like H.E.R. I wanna work with H.E.R. ‘cause she’s also from the Bay. I wanna reach out to Bruno Mars. I think it’s really tight. I actually know people who work with him a lot. So that’s cool. I think Steve Lacey is Filipino, too. I wanna work with him.”
Teasing what fans can expect from his upcoming album, he said: “I love every song. I think people will too. I don’t think there’s a project that is easy to skip through. You have to sit down and listen. You know everybody has favorites and like I picked really good singles so those would be people’s favorites anyway. I’m excited to roll out the rest of the videos and to see where the music takes people. But you can expect a full journey from start to finish.”
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