Al James is no stranger to success and his latest video “Latina” is on track to become one of his biggest yet, hitting 5 million views in less than two months. As his sound has spread throughout the Philippines, he’s switching up his style a bit to stay ahead of the imitators. And he’s also invested some more in the video since it was clearly going to be a hit. The updated flow, crisp animation, and cinematic views all come together for a true leveling up.
If you don’t pay close attention, there’s a lot of heat catching fire that you’ll miss. But we’ve got your back: ACDMND$ and Nahmean Namsayin‘s “Ice” turned out to be a sleeper hit, ratcheting up a steady number of fans since it dropped in June and breaking through the million man mark this week. The Antipolo squad brought together the perfect combo of earworm hooks and beats that make it hard to forget. (Skinny G‘s thug life glasses are worth noting, too.)
It’s not just a silver lining for MANILA GREY, their whole sky is silver. Even cloudy days gleam with a chrome sheen for these dudes. The Vancouver duo’s new cut “Silver Skies” shines with the glow of an ’80s night drive dipped in modern Canadian icy vibes. With a glossy beat by in-house producer azel north, Soliven and Neeko take lyrics about their jewelry and shorties and imbue them with depth and emotion. “We all just locked into a studio and made the record happen,” azel tells us. “We started the record with the drums, and synth chords I laid down.” It’s the lead single for their upcoming sophomore project No Saints On Knight Street.
The other day we were listening to a Filipino rapper flexing about his Lambo and my friend laughed, joking that there’s probably only one Lamborghini in the Philippines and there’s nowhere to drive it. So when “Jeepney” popped up in the feed the next day, it was a reminder that rappers could highlight more accessible local lifestyles. Cebuano rapper Suez and Japanese rapper Farmhouse of Sushiboys recently dropped the colorful visuals for the track, featuring a bright yellow jeep, a fully stocked ukay ukay store, and a few local island clothing brands.
Any kind of drop relating to toys or cartoons begs for nostalgia, and the video lookbook for DBTK‘s new collab with Sanrio is dripping with a yearning for the days of childhood. Directed by Chino Villagracia from The Visual Club, the video is shot in 16mm style, with a rainbow of bleeding pastel colors. Grainy textures and flickering effects drive the feel of times gone past, which is furthered by the old furniture, courtesy of someone’s grandparents. “We shot it at our production designer’s grandfather’s old house,” laughs Villagracia. “I based the whole thing off childhood memories, like watching Sanrio on my grandmother’s old TV and playing the video games on our family computer.” (The Visual Club did the magazine lookbook, too.)
It can be difficult to tell what’s going to blow up these days, but anyone who’s been paying attention to Filipino rap knew it was only a matter of time for Psychedelic Boyz. Their latest video “Rawstarr Til I Die” dropped back in April but just started to go viral this month. Earlier this week it broke a million views, according to director J. Estacio, and it’s already nearing two million. “I get tagged in a lot of videos from fans posting this song online, hanging out with their friends doing wild shit. Even babies and young kids be bumping to it. And there’s a parody video now too!”