Bambu is a Man of the People.


Just three days ago, Bambu released his album Sun of A Gun under Beatrock Music.

This album has the finesse and intention that only a Marine turned Activist turned Man of the People could attain. Under West Coast production by the likes of Rey Ressurection, Inphared, and Fatgums, and turntable masters like DJ Q-Bert and DJ Babu, this album turns Bambu’s activism into captivating sound. In the 15 track piece, Bambu ranges from topics like Sandy Hook and mental health in Walk on the Sun featuring Rachel Lastimosa of Dirty Boots:

The sun look different now in Newtown /
The ghosts of babies brought a thousand news crews out /
Then focused on the guns and the bullets /
But forgot that mental health was at the root of all this bullshit /
When your health needs insurance from a company /
It’s a problem when you call the health care industry an industry

to the prison industrial complex with hip-hop and how Jay-Z and hip-hop icons choose “Profit over People” in Like Jay-Z featuring Cwitch:

The son of the victim now party with his killer/
The son of the oppressed now hang with the oppressor/
White boy call you nigga? (say what?)
You be like it’s coo you my nigga.

But there is something refreshing in this work, which sets him apart in my eyes. Trust, there are several underground hip-hop artists who push messages and agendas that make the public open their eyes to the calamities around us, but what is refreshing about Bambu’s work is that it’s of that nature and not, at the same time. In his first track Walk on The Sun he continues to say:

But really I ain’t here to push agendas over beats /
I just came to spread the sun across the beach

Like I’m saying no agenda, G/
I came to spread the sun out to the streets/

Bambu proclaims that he is just a common man who just has knowledge and light he wants to spread to places that were never given this light. So to say the beaches speak to his Filipino community, and the streets to his Southern California Los Angeles community, he urges both sides to act as opposed to talking at them. There is a skill as to how he is so rooted in his truth and packs urgency to his people, to the point where it reflects on others to act without having to force feed the people with the ugly truth. His favor for folks to “start at the bottom” opposes a lot of messages mainstream hip-hop regurgitates about wealth and materialistic happiness. Bambu has no problem facing adversaries and oppressors, has no fear addressing issues as big and corrupt as tourism in the Philippines (Is You Saying), and has the artistry and bravery to face all of his communities with integrity, while simultaneously bringing them together. In this way his work speaks volumes upon the realization that it is up to the common man, and the working people to save this world from itself.

Sun of A Gun and Bambu are unapologetic-ally true to their message, community, and execution, and that alone is worth your time, donation, consideration, and support.

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 2.59.15 PM


About hanapdiwa

Hanap Diwa means Searching Spirit. This blog is an on going exploration of the Filipino American Identity, and what it means to tread between third world and first world but still feel like strangers to both. This is for all people. Isang Mahal.
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