Having fun transcribing from the Empire of Funk conference and interviews. Navy base pin@ys will resonate with many of these statements by Geo:"It wasn’t until high school that I started interacting with the greater Filipino community outside of the Filipinos who live or work around military bases. And found out that, yall some different muthafuckers. You don’t have I.D. cards, you know. You use different language, like jargon. Yall don’t know how to—if I say like 2100 hours right now, you won’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. You know, bagging groceries when you’re a teenager, things like that. Getting things tax-free at the Navy Exchange.”"Meaning, like, there was always a new student in class. I swear to God, like every week somebody just left, and somebody else—and it was always exciting like, “Ah shit, who is the new cute girl that’s over here. Oh she from Cali. Oh word? Yeah, yeah. Her brother’s a bboy.” And then next thing you know, we were like, “Oh shit, yo dude got mixtapes and VHS tapes of bboy battles that’s going on down in Cerritos and West Covina.”""This whole translocal thing is very much—if that wasn’t built into my community and my upbringing, I don’t know if I would even got to this point where I’m sitting in front of yall, or even had made an album. It was really like—I remember the—it was somebody that moved up from California in 1993 when I was in seventh grade who had a cassette tape—a Mastaplann cassette tape, and that was the first time I ever saw like, “Holy shit, there’s other Filipino dudes that’s actually rappin and putting out music like this?” That was crazy because until then it was just like something that we did in our house parties and garages and things like that. And that started opening my mind to like, wow, there’s really—there’s “us’s” in other places. " 

Having fun transcribing from the Empire of Funk conference and interviews. Navy base pin@ys will resonate with many of these statements by Geo:

"It wasn’t until high school that I started interacting with the greater Filipino community outside of the Filipinos who live or work around military bases. And found out that, yall some different muthafuckers. You don’t have I.D. cards, you know. You use different language, like jargon. Yall don’t know how to—if I say like 2100 hours right now, you won’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. You know, bagging groceries when you’re a teenager, things like that. Getting things tax-free at the Navy Exchange.”

"Meaning, like, there was always a new student in class. I swear to God, like every week somebody just left, and somebody else—and it was always exciting like, “Ah shit, who is the new cute girl that’s over here. Oh she from Cali. Oh word? Yeah, yeah. Her brother’s a bboy.” And then next thing you know, we were like, “Oh shit, yo dude got mixtapes and VHS tapes of bboy battles that’s going on down in Cerritos and West Covina.”"

"This whole translocal thing is very much—if that wasn’t built into my community and my upbringing, I don’t know if I would even got to this point where I’m sitting in front of yall, or even had made an album. It was really like—I remember the—it was somebody that moved up from California in 1993 when I was in seventh grade who had a cassette tape—a Mastaplann cassette tape, and that was the first time I ever saw like, “Holy shit, there’s other Filipino dudes that’s actually rappin and putting out music like this?” That was crazy because until then it was just like something that we did in our house parties and garages and things like that. And that started opening my mind to like, wow, there’s really—there’s “us’s” in other places. " 

The Empire of Funk conference convened last Friday in Humanities Gateway, drawing attendees from across the nation and across generations of Filipino-Americans involved in hip-hop.

Phuc Pham | New University

Phuc Pham | New University

“Hip-hop is integral to Filipino-American culture,” Mark Villegas, a current UC Irvine doctoral candidate in culture and theory, said.

He continued to say that the conversation surrounding Filipinos and hip-hop is one that’s often talked about informally, but seldom acknowledged as a legitimate phenomenon.

Photo by Kaba Modern founder, Arnel Calvario. These are many of the panelists who spoke at Empire of Funk Conference on May 23.  Back L to R: Bambu, John Castro, Sean Slusser, Geo, Mark V, Jeff Chang, Rhettmatic, Christine Balance, and Kuttin Kandi. Sitting: Mark Pulido, Rod Labrador, Cheryl Cambay, Arnel Calvario, and Donovan Demerin.

Photo by Kaba Modern founder, Arnel Calvario. These are many of the panelists who spoke at Empire of Funk Conference on May 23.  Back L to R: Bambu, John Castro, Sean Slusser, Geo, Mark V, Jeff Chang, Rhettmatic, Christine Balance, and Kuttin Kandi. Sitting: Mark Pulido, Rod Labrador, Cheryl Cambay, Arnel Calvario, and Donovan Demerin.











Empire of Funk Conference/Concert
May 23, 2014
UC Irvine

Visit our FB Event Page.

This nationwide conference will be the first academic gathering that examines the three decades long phenomenon of Filipino American hip hop cultural production. A joint partnership with The Humanities Collective, the Culture and Theory Graduate Student Association, the Department of Asian American Studies, Student Affairs, the Associated Students at UCI, Associated Graduate Students, Kababayan at UCI, and Hip Hop Congress’s Urban Arts Festival, this event promises to attract a community of students, performers, educators, and scholars from the Southern California region as well as from other regions around the nation. In light of the new anthology series Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America (Cognella Academic Publishing), the event will bring into conversation the editors of the anthology—Mark Redondo Villegas (PhD candidate, Culture and Theory, UCI), Candice Custodio-Tan aka DJ Kuttin Kandi (Program & Outreach Coordinator at Bay Area Girls Rock Camp), and Dr. Roderick Labrador (assistant professor, Ethnic Studies, University of Hawai`i, Manoa)—and a growing intellectual and artistic community who are taking seriously the cultural and political phenomenon of Filipino American involvement in hip hop. We will attempt to synthesize ongoing conversations about Filipino American cultural productions and performances, especially as they relate to the racial and sexual politics of this group’s involvement in hip hop. As UCI has a storied relationship to hip hop dance, this campus is the appropriate space to host the event. A day of academic panels will be topped off by a performance show featuring the same artists who will be speaking on these panels.Program—-8:30am- Coffee and light breakfast reception 9:30am - Opening Comments: Jeff Chang (executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts + Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford)9:45am- Empire of Funk Editors’ Symposium moderated by Jeff Chang featuring:> Mark Villegas (UC Irvine)> Kuttin Kandi (Bay Area Girls Rock Camp)> Rod Labrador (University of Hawai`i, Manoa)10:30am - Panel Discussion: “Regional Filipino American Hip Hop Scenes” moderated by Jeff Chang and Dr. Robyn Rodriguez (Asian American Studies, UC Davis) featuring:> Sean Slusser (UC Riverside)> Oliver Wang (Cal State Long Beach)> Mark Pulido (Mayor of Cerritos)> Bambu (The Bar)12 noon - Lunch provided1pm - Panel Discussion: “Translocal Cultural Flows” moderated by Dr. Christine Balance (Asian American Studies, UC Irvine) featuring:> Rod Labrador> Cheryl Cambay (Kaba Modern, Culture Shock LA)> Prometheus Brown (The Bar)2:30pm - Panel Discussion: “Filming the Funk” program moderated by Mark Villegas featuring:> Patricio Ginelsa (Kid Heroes Productions)> John Castro (The Debut)4pm - Dinner on your own6pm - Cross Cultural Center: Dance Cipher featuring Kaba Modern and B-Boys Anonymous members and Concert featuring Bambu and Prometheus Brown as “The Bar” and DJ Kuttin’ Kandi.
Empire of Funk Conference/Concert
May 23, 2014
UC Irvine
This nationwide conference will be the first academic gathering that examines the three decades long phenomenon of Filipino American hip hop cultural production. A joint partnership with The Humanities Collective, the Culture and Theory Graduate Student Association, the Department of Asian American Studies, Student Affairs, the Associated Students at UCI, Associated Graduate Students, Kababayan at UCI, and Hip Hop Congress’s Urban Arts Festival, this event promises to attract a community of students, performers, educators, and scholars from the Southern California region as well as from other regions around the nation. 

In light of the new anthology series Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America (Cognella Academic Publishing), the event will bring into conversation the editors of the anthology—Mark Redondo Villegas (PhD candidate, Culture and Theory, UCI), Candice Custodio-Tan aka DJ Kuttin Kandi (Program & Outreach Coordinator at Bay Area Girls Rock Camp), and Dr. Roderick Labrador (assistant professor, Ethnic Studies, University of Hawai`i, Manoa)—and a growing intellectual and artistic community who are taking seriously the cultural and political phenomenon of Filipino American involvement in hip hop. We will attempt to synthesize ongoing conversations about Filipino American cultural productions and performances, especially as they relate to the racial and sexual politics of this group’s involvement in hip hop. As UCI has a storied relationship to hip hop dance, this campus is the appropriate space to host the event. 

A day of academic panels will be topped off by a performance show featuring the same artists who will be speaking on these panels.

Program—-

8:30am- Coffee and light breakfast reception 

9:30am - Opening Comments: Jeff Chang (executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts + Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford)

9:45am- Empire of Funk Editors’ Symposium moderated by Jeff Chang featuring:
> Mark Villegas (UC Irvine)
> Kuttin Kandi (Bay Area Girls Rock Camp)
> Rod Labrador (University of Hawai`i, Manoa)

10:30am - Panel Discussion: “Regional Filipino American Hip Hop Scenes” moderated by Jeff Chang and Dr. Robyn Rodriguez (Asian American Studies, UC Davis) featuring:
> Sean Slusser (UC Riverside)
> Oliver Wang (Cal State Long Beach)
> Mark Pulido (Mayor of Cerritos)
> Bambu (The Bar)

12 noon - Lunch provided

1pm - Panel Discussion: “Translocal Cultural Flows” moderated by Dr. Christine Balance (Asian American Studies, UC Irvine) featuring:
> Rod Labrador
> Cheryl Cambay (Kaba Modern, Culture Shock LA)
> Prometheus Brown (The Bar)

2:30pm - Panel Discussion: “Filming the Funk” program moderated by Mark Villegas featuring:
> Patricio Ginelsa (Kid Heroes Productions)
> John Castro (The Debut)

4pm - Dinner on your own

6pm - Cross Cultural Center: Dance Cipher featuring Kaba Modern and B-Boys Anonymous members and Concert featuring Bambu and Prometheus Brown as “The Bar” and DJ Kuttin’ Kandi.