On the internet people become stars so fast they’re sometimes caught by surprise. In November 2019, When Zae Zacarias dropped “Pantsu“—a racy music video accompanied by empowering lyrics for women—she had no idea it would blow up.
“I had only been working on music seriously for four months,” says the Filipina rapper and singer. “I went from making videos for my friends to people wanting to take pictures with me at shows. It was all so sudden! I’m still not used to it.” Sometimes a song just hits at the right moment and people respond passionately.
Listen to some of our favorite tracks by Zae:
试听 Zae 的一些精选歌曲:
Only 19 years old and standing just under five feet tall, Zae is diminutive in stature and speaks shyly. But “Pantsu” couldn’t be any louder. The song takes misogynists on directly, putting them on the spot for their hypocrisy. “I see, you been thirstin’ on big booty videos / But the audacity to call us out when we show / Our body, it’s majestic, hypnotizing, we know / This power ain’t from your attention / Just so you know.” And walking her walk, she dresses proudly in revealing clothing, reclaiming the power of her body for her own devices.
“I’m tired,” Zae says, explaining her motivation for making the song. “I’m tired of these people. It’s every day. I just felt like I needed to do it.” A #MeToo protest in Ireland inspired her, providing her a framework to express herself and giving birth to the song’s refrain, “Ilabas ang mga panty,” which translates roughly into “panties out.”
“Revealing clothes are not consent,” she emphasizes.
Zae 年仅 19 岁，身高不到 1 米 6，身材娇小，说话害羞。但是在《Pantsu》中，她的歌声悭锵有力。这首歌直接抨击了社会的厌女者，揭露他们的虚伪：“一边喜欢看性感视频/一边转过头又对我指手划脚/我身材好，令人着迷，这我知道/但我的力量不来自你的关注/你要有自知之明。”(I see, you been thirstin’ on big booty videos /But the audacity to call us out when we show / Our body, it’s majestic, hypnotizing, we know / This power ain’t from your attention / Just so you know.) 在生活中的她也喜欢性感打扮，无所畏惧地展示自己的身体。
Zae 解释了自己创作这首歌的动机，说：“我真是受够了这些人。每天都会遇到这样的人。所以我觉得有必要站出来。”爱尔兰的 #MeToo 运动给了她灵感，让她找到了表达自我的框架，并催生了这首歌的副歌“Ilabas ang mga panty”，大意为“panties out”。
In the track, Zae singles out local rapper Nik Makino for sexist lyrics in the song “Neneng B,” but she stresses that her song isn’t a diss track. It’s something she just needed to get out there and his lyrics happened to come up during her writing process. “I hope that one day rap music will not be entirely about women being sexual objects, women being accessories, more bitches. Women got shit to do and space to take.”
在这首歌里，Zae 指出了菲律宾说唱歌手 Nik Makino 的歌曲《Neneng B》中带有性别歧视的歌词，但她强调自己这首歌不是为了 diss，纯粹是想表达自己的一些想法，只是在创作的过程中，正好听到他的歌词。“我希望有一天说唱音乐不会再把女性当成性玩物、陪衬，用婊子这些带侮辱性的词语来称呼女性。女性也可以大有作为，占有一席之地。
Her song was particularly timely. A month before “Pantsu” dropped, the Philippines passed a law prohibiting the harassment of women in public spaces. Called the Bawal Bastos Law, it outlaws sexual harassment, stalking, and catcalling; but Zae has personally seen zero difference. “I don’t want to generalize, but ask any girl here what it’s like to pass by construction workers,” Zae says. “There’s still a lot of work to be done. I get touched by a stranger in public every day. I’m objectified every day. I hate that it’s just normal.”
她的歌来得很及时。在《Pantsu》发布的一个月前，菲律宾通过了一项法律，禁止在公共场所骚扰妇女。这条法律被称为“巴瓦尔巴斯托斯法”（Bawal Bastos Law），它禁止性骚扰、跟踪和对女性吹嘘叫嚷，但 Zae 个人认为这条律令的存在有无本质上没有带来任何区别。“我不想一概而论，但问问这里的任何一个女孩，经过建筑工人会是什么感觉。” Zae 说，“我们还有太多要做的。我每天在公共场合都会被‘咸猪手’，我每天都被物化。我厌恶这种被视作‘正常的’日常。”
The same month as her release, one of the biggest and earliest names in Filipino streetwear, Jerick Robleza, was indirectly accused of sexual assault by a popular underground rapper named Peaceful Gemini. The incident sent a shockwave throughout the scene, which had never publicly dealt with similar circumstances before, and led a number of prominent musicians and artists to back out of the annual Maka Festival, which was spearheaded by Robleza. “I wrote my song in September, I didn’t know about any of that,” she says. “But it’s fitting for the situation. It’s normal—that’s every day.”
在她这首歌推出的同一个月，菲律宾著名的街头时尚品牌创始人 Jerick Robleza 被地下说唱歌手 Peaceful Gemini 指控性骚扰。这惊动了整个说唱圈，也成为说唱圈子首次公开处理这样的事件。许多音乐人和艺术家纷纷退出由 Robleza 牵头的年度 Maka 音乐节。她说：“这首歌是我在 9 月份写的，当时我还不知道有这件事。但这首歌很适合这次的事件。会发生这样的事情我并不意外，毕竟这样的事情每天都在发生。
A lot of women are active in the Filipino rap scene, but they don’t get nearly the same exposure as their male counterparts. The song began outperforming many of her more established peers almost immediately and she’s since released other tracks that are just as popular or moreso. “Femcees don’t get enough attention,” Zae says. “There are a lot of meaningful songs that need to be heard.” Her newfound fame has introduced her to the Weman collective, a group dedicated to creating opportunities for female rappers. “I love them, they’re amazing. We need more ears for them.” Based on Spotify numbers, Zae says it’s 90 percent her fellow girls that are following her rise.
Surrounding herself with other women is definitely on her agenda. As a former dancer with the well-respected UPeepz street dance company, Zae says she was often on stage with other women. “I liked that. Now I want to rap with lots of girls on stage, too.“
菲律宾说唱圈也有很多女性说唱歌手，但她们所获得的曝光度远远不及男性说唱歌手。这首歌一经推出，就获得了超越许多著名说唱歌手的成绩，从那之后，她还发表了多首同样受欢迎的曲目。Zae 说：“女说唱歌手值得被更多人关注，人们应该多关注一下那些有意义的歌曲。”这首歌走红后，也让致力于为女性说唱歌手创造机会的 Weman 团队注意到了她。“我爱 Weman，他们真是太棒了。我们需要更多地支持这样的团体。”根据 Spotify 上的数据，Zae 说关注她的粉丝里 90% 都是女孩。
Zae 表示希望能多与其他女性一起合作。她之前曾是著名的 UPeepz 街舞公司里的一名舞者，经常和其他女性一起登台表演。“我喜欢那种感觉。现在我也想在舞台上和其他女孩一起说唱。”