Here’s some footage I shot of the Native Guns reunion at the 20th Annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture (FPAC) last September. When it was announced that they’d be the headliners, I was happy to hear it, but also not as hyped as I thought I would be. I’ve seen them a bunch of times since ‘05 and have a lot of their songs memorized, so I figured it wouldn’t be anything new, but boy, was I wrong.
Once the intro started playing, it brought me back to when I was first exposed to their music, which was also when I started getting more politicized. Prior to them, the only other Filipino I knew about in hip hop was apl.de.ap from Black Eyed Peas, and he never really dove too deep. With Native Guns, they dropped so much knowledge about Fil-Am issues (like identity), our people’s history, and the country’s colonial relationship with the United States — it was mind blowing.
As an MC, who also happens to be Filipino, they had a major impact on my music and inspired me to document my own self-discovery via hip hop. Their music really started me on the path of toward a cultural (re)awakening that still continues to this day, which is why I always say that they’ve been the most influential hip hop group for me…hands down.