“Mawalay man ang panget, hindi ka iiyak.”

“Humanap Ka Ng Panget” by Andrew E. | The early 90s saw two rappers with a parallel rise in fame, although they took two different paths. One is the late Francis Magalona, who took himself seriously (for good reason). The other is Andrew E., who didn’t. But that carefree attitude – that ability to speak to the common man about common experiences – gave him some degree of street cred, and a string of popular hits. “Humanap Ka Ng Panget”, released in 1990, was his first single, and set the template, somewhat: a no-frills track that focused on the story. His later hits played with the class divide (so many references to Alabang, particularly on this one) and the typical male’s, um, romantic adventures – not much machismo, just a bit of bravado, and a healthy dose of cheekiness. (YouTube comments on “Banyo Queen” suggest impressionable kids sang to the song not knowing what it really is about.) That’s what he did well. He was so self-assured, and yet he wasn’t throwaway. Interestingly his stuff feels very much stuck to its time period – perhaps it’s in how Andrew has mostly shied away from making music in recent years? He still releases the occasional album but he’s spent more time producing (he discovered Salbakuta, for one). Perhaps you notice his billboards selling socks now. I will always remember him buying a hotdog at an NBA exhibition game here. [NB]

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