Bridging generational gap: Def Jam Recordings Philippines unites Filipino hip-hop community in all-star ‘Rekognize’ EP project

April 16, 2021 - 6:06 PM
Def Jam PH Artists - (L-R) VVS Collective, JMara, DonWilson, Scye Eurieka, Fateeha, Tommie King, J-Nina, Tiffany Lhei (MCA Music/Released)

Def Jam, one of hip-hop’s most revered record labels globally, on Friday officially launched its massive Rekognize project that brought together the Filipino hip-hop community.

Rekognize is a historic hip-hop celebration that gathers 129 artists and 14 music producers from the old and new schools of hip-hop for an all-star four-EP series that is set to roll out this year.

Uniting the community

Allan Mitchell “Daddy A” Silonga, A&R senior manager of Def Jam Philippines said this project will not only introduce Def Jam Philippines’ young, stellar roster to Pinoy hip-hop fans but also to shine the spotlight on the rich and diverse Filipino hip-hop and R&B movements on the global stage.

“I truly believe that if you have that love for the culture, it can work and I really feel it in my gut, hoping that the same heart, passion, and energy will be shared. This won’t be Def Jam Philippines’ success alone but also the whole Pinoy hip-hop and R&B communities, too,” Daddy A said.

Daddy A furthered that Rekognize project was initiated to unite the Filipino hip-hop community as one.

Twenty-one years ago, Daddy A shared there was also a similarly named album with the goal of merging English and Tagalog rap songs.

“Now, we get it on a wider scale and get united as a Filipino hip-hop community,” he said during a listening party and press conference on Thursday.

“So, we initiated this project because mainly we need to bridge that generational gap, artistic gap. You know, that division somewhere on the side by making them collab with each other and make them have great [a] relationship with fellow artists,” Daddy A said.

“So, instead of making them diss each other and hate each other, why not somehow unite them through songs? And somehow they may realize that it’s possible to be united as one community,” he furthered.

To achieve this, Rekognize brings not just past and current generations of Filipino emcees in a sonically monumental event but also through compelling visual narratives.

The first to be released was the star-studded Nite N’ Day EP, which brings together some of the most exciting names in hip-hop and R&B in the country.

Nite N’ Day features lead singles “Beautiful Day” by Mike Swift, D-Coy, Alisson Shore, kiyo, and Mark Beats, which dropped earlier this year and followed by “Atin Ang Gabi” by Al James, Legit Misfitz, K24/7, and Calvin De Leon.

Three more tracks are in the EP: “H247”, “Solitaryo,” and “Pusuan Mo,” which showcases the powerhouse talent of Def Jam Philippines’ roster of emerging hip-hop and R&B artists.

Def Jam is a sub-label of MCA Music.

The initial roster is composed of emerging artists from all over the country, most of whom are at the beginning of their careers.

“I chose to look for raw talents, develop and mold them and have that chemistry and bond with each other until they ‘make it’ and have that superstar status and create monster hits. We look for artists that are creatively genuine, amazingly talented, world-class and have a great character and good working attitude, humble but confident, and can have a long-lasting and fruitful relationship together with our team,” Daddy A explained.

Here is Def Jam Philippines’ upcoming roster:

  • VVS Collective – A rap group consisting of four talented guys who write and produce their own songs. They’re best known for their melodic trap and mumble rap style. VVS Collective also takes the distinction of being the first act signed under the label.
  • Tiffany Lhei – A 13-year-old rapper from Cavite who gives off a genuine swag and confidence with her varied rhyming styles.
  • SCYE – A lyrical rapper from Bulacan. With a growing collection of demos under his belt already, he caught the attention of Def Jam Philippines with his rhymes and intense, passionate delivery.
  • DonWilson – A 20-year-old R&B singer-songwriter from Batangas whose music exudes sexuality and romance.
  • Eurieka – A 17-year-old rapper and songwriter from Caloocan. With a combination of charm and innocence, he delivers impeccable rhymes and flows with a unique tone.
  • Tommie King –  Arapper and songwriter originally from Atlanta and currently based in Manila with a star quality that rivals that of local celebrities.
  • J-Nine – A young R&B singer that exudes a similar vibe as Ariana Grande but has her own way of charming people with her looks and singing ability.
  • Fateeha: A 17-year-old rapper and singer-songwriter with a fantastic attitude and superstar aura—a potential international star in the making.
  • JMara: A rapper and singer-songwriter from Quezon who will surely stun the audience with his unique style and strong delivery and songwriting.

Daddy A also said Def Jam still has a lot of upcoming initiatives and projects for the hip-hop community that will be announced soon.

He added that the team is looking into staging an event that would showcase the Filipino hip-hop talents hopefully in person once the pandemic situation gets better.