When it comes to rap in the Philippines, Manila reigns supreme. The capital plays an outsized role in the scene, but there are artists emerging from all over the island nation. In Davao City, the main city on the southern island of Mindanao, Delinquent Society is making the most noise. Their diverse beats and bouncy delivery have captured the mood of the new generation, and they’re bringing their sound to the rest of the country.
说到菲律宾说唱文化，马尼拉是你绝对绕不开的城市。作为首都，这里无疑是当地的说唱重镇；但与此同时，在菲律宾其他城市，有越来越多的说唱歌手开始崭露头角。在棉兰老岛南岸的达沃市，Delinquent Society 就是当下声名狼藉的说唱团队，他们善用丰富的节奏与律动俘获大批新生代乐迷的芳心。而现在，他们正努力用自己的说唱音乐征服世界。
Listen to selects track from the Delinquent Society below:
“When we started, everyone in Davao was on the gangsta rap tip, all that tough stuff,” says Audible Lecter, the group’s founder. “It wasn’t as diverse as it is now.” Some of those artists were actual gangsters, so they just stuck to the style through the years. But it left an opening for a younger sound to come up and Delinquent Society seized the opportunity. “We were the first ones who didn’t really have that background when we started. A few were already rapping over trap beats, but we were the ones who really went with it and made it popular.” He says that the boom-bap style also had a foothold, like most other places in the world, but they were able to fully break the mold.
团队创始人 Audible Lecter 说：“最早的时候，达沃几乎所有人都在做匪帮说唱。那时候的嘻哈圈子可不像现在这样多元。” 当时一部分说唱歌手本身就是黑帮成员，所以多年来一直坚守在匪帮说唱阵营。不过这也为当地年轻人营造了施展才华的空间，Delinquent Society 则抓住了这个机会。“和老一辈说唱歌手不一样，我们是第一批没有黑帮背景的说唱歌手。虽然当时达沃已有人在做 ‘陷阱说唱 (Trap)’，但我们是真正专注这一种风格、并将其在本地发扬光大的人。” 他还认为，虽然 “蹦啪说唱 (boom-bap)” 风潮在世界和当地早已占据一席之地，但是他们正在为这种风格带来创新与突破。
These days, their sound has found a foothold in the local rap scene and crowds have grown. In Davao City, they mainly perform in small bars to mixed crowds that lean towards younger kids. “There aren’t many festivals here and at first there were only one or two venues,” says Fusr, another crew member. “In the beginning, the crowds would just nod their heads because they were used to the boom-bap thing. But now they’re all moshing. They go crazy!” (Just take a look at the guest performer from one of their recent shows.)
如今，他们已在当地的说唱圈子里站稳脚跟，粉丝基数正在进一步壮大。在达沃市，他们的活动主要在小酒吧里进行，观众大多由年轻人构成。团队另一名成员 Fusr 说：“这里的音乐活动很少举办，起初仅有一两个可供演出的场所。最早的一批观众也只是跟着音乐点头，因为他们是最早听老派说唱的过来人。到后来，大伙儿会随着音乐跳动，整个现场很躁！” 只要随便去一场他们最近的演出，现场的气氛都能令你炸翻天。
Delinquent Society is a crew of four rappers, including Audible Lecter, Fusr, Contemplate, and Mellow Marc. Everyone is 21 or 22 years old and they all met each other through graffiti. Aud worked in Japan for a year to save up for recording equipment, and when he came back they got together to make music. The entire crew, including their producers, DJ, and videographer, are all born and raised in Davao.
Being based in Davao has its challenges. The city implemented a harsh liquor ban a couple of years ago, so venues have to close by 2 a.m.. And because the island has been under martial law since 2017, it hasn’t gotten much easier. (Martial law has since been lifted, starting from January 2020) It’s also difficult getting known since they’re so far from the capital, but they’ve been working hard to bridge that gap. “Manila is where everything happens, and people don’t know much about Davao,” says Aud. “We have to go there to show them we exist. We have the internet, but it’s really different when you’re not face to face with people.” Since the crew has four rappers, traveling to Manila can be expensive, but they’ve visited a couple of times and collaborated with popular Manila acts like Katell’em and Rjay Ty from Bawal Clan.
Delinquent Society 由四名说唱歌手组成，分别是 Audible Lecter、Fusr、Contemplate 和 Mellow Marc。成员的年龄都在 21、22 岁左右，他们通过街头涂鸦相识。Aud 之前为了存钱买录音设备，在日本打了一年工。回国后，四人为了音乐又聚在了一起。整个团队，包括制作人、DJ和摄像师，全都是土生土长的达沃人。
在达沃做音乐也带有一定挑战。几年前当地实施了严厉的禁酒令，规定所有场所必须在凌晨 2 点前结束营业。加上 2017 年后，菲律宾就开始实施军事管制，情况一直没有好转。更何况，达沃离首都城市较远，想要提高知名度也并非易事，但他们一直在努力弥补这些差距。Aud 说：“马尼拉是说唱文化的中心，人们对达沃并不太了解。我们需要偶尔在马尼拉做做活动，向大家证明 Delinquent Society 的存在。尽管网络发达，但线上的交流还是无法与面对面的表演相提并论。” 由于团队有四位说唱歌手，出去一趟的花费不能算少；目前，他们已经去了几次，也跟很多著名的马尼拉歌手合作过，包括 Katell’em 和 Bawal Clan 团体的 Rjay Ty。
Part of the reason the crew raps in English is because their native language, Bisaya (officially called Cebauno), isn’t widely spoken in the North, where Manila is located. English is understood by 75 percent of the country and 85 percent of people in Manila, so it acts as a middle ground for them since they’re not comfortable rapping in Tagalog, which is the country’s main language. Aud actually got his start in the battle-rap circuit while in Japan, competing with other foreigners who spoke English, so he’s most comfortable rapping in English. And Fusr’s parents are American immigrants, so they taught him the language to prepare him for the States.
达沃市的本地语言是 Bisaya（官方名为 Cebauno），该语种在首都马尼拉所在的北方地区并不常用。而菲律宾 75％ 的人口、马尼拉 85％ 的人口都能听得懂英语，加上他们不擅长用菲律宾的官方语言加禄语（Wikang Tagalog）说唱，所以英语就成为了他们的折中选择。
Aud 个人的说唱事业起步于日本地下的说唱 battle，当时他经常需要用英文与外国选手对决，所以英文说唱对于他来说已经游刃有余。而 Fusr 的父母都是美国移民，从小便接触英语，以便他日后在美国的生活。
The team also says that rappers from Manila rarely do nationwide tours, so they don’t often come to Davao, furthering the divide. And radio in Davao tends to only play pop music from Davao, not much local rap. The crew recently signed to Sony Philippines, which they say has been a big help; they can be found on many Spotify playlists now for example. And collaborating with filmmaker Murphy Caballero has also had a big impact, helping them to create compelling visuals to make their work even more accessible. “He’s got a background in dancing, so he understands hip hop,” Aud says. There’s still a lot of ways to go, but the crew has been making serious progress. As the crew says, “#DavaoUp!”
团队还表示，目前马尼拉的说唱歌手很少在国内巡演，所以很少造访达沃，这使得两地说唱文化的鸿沟被拉大。更何况，当地电台通畅喜欢播送流行歌，让本地的说唱音乐的发展进程举步维艰。最近，团队与 Sony Philippines 签约，给予了他们很大的鼓舞与帮助，人们可以在 Spotify 的播放列表中找到他们的歌。另外，团队与电影制片人 Murphy Caballero 的合作也掀起了一些波浪，帮助他们打造了更抢眼的视觉效果，吸引了更多人关注他们的作品。“Murphy 有舞蹈背景，也比较懂嘻哈，所以我们合作起来非常顺利。”Aud 说道。而对于团队 Delinquent Society 来说，前方的道路还有很多险阻，但他们已经取得了不错的进展，随之呐喊的，是一声响亮的口号：“#DavaoUp！”