Filipino rap battle to kickoff over Lunar New Year weekend in Taipei

Laklakan 1 rap battle will take take place on Feb. 17 in Taichung and Feb. 18 in Taipei

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Brown 101 members. (Image by Allan Viray)

Brown 101 members. (Image by Allan Viray)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Filipino hip hop artists and groups from both Taiwan and the Philippines will be busting rhymes at the Laklakan 1 rap battle in Taichung and Taipei over the coming Lunar New Year weekend, according to event organizer and head of Alpha Martial Eagles Production, Allan Viray. 

The rap battle will consist of three sets of battles lasting 90 minutes each, with a total of six rappers, and the event will be spread out over two days and two venues. The first will take place in Taichung starting at 1 p.m. on Feb. 17 at Super Club YYG on the sixth floor of First Square, Li Chuan West Street, while the Taipei battle will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 18 at Focus Disco at B1, No. 32 Jinzhou Street in Zhongshan District.

In the rap battle phase of the event, the following rappers will square off against each other: Aklas versus Jigsaw, Jking versus Decoy, and Mhot versus Romano.


Lineup of the rap battle. (Image from Brown101Music Facebook page)

To help boost the game of the local rappers, artists from the FlipTop Battle League, the first and largest rap battle conference in the Philippines, will join the competition. Among the list of FlipTop Battle League champions, is Brown 101 member Jigsaw, a two-time winner who left his rap career behind to come to Taiwan to work as a production and machine operator in order to provide for his family, according to Viray.

In addition to the rap battles, there will be live performances at the event including rap crew Brown 101, Diversity Crew, My Style Crew, and singers Leony Paredes and Marichris Salilong. 

The marquee group, Brown 101, is a locally-formed rap group founded in January of 2017 and consists entirely of Filipinos based in Taiwan, with members Jigsaw and Decoy also taking part in the rap battle. The group's name is a combination of the brown skin of Filipinos and Taiwan's tallest tower, Taipei 101, said a group spokesperson to CNA. 


Poster for Brown 101. (Image by Allan Viray)

The show is being organized by Alpha Martial Eagles Production, a entertainment company headed by Allan Viray that also includes Angelito Penuaga, Jefferson Candido, Bobby Clizel Valdez, Paul John Macapinlac and Jayson Suarez. 

The production team was founded by the 30-year-old Viray in December of last year with the goal of increasing entertainment outlets for Filipinos working and living in Taiwan. Viray, who originates from Pampanga Province in the Central Luzon region of the Philippines, has lived in Taiwan since 2014 and has already organized a number of events for his fellow countrymen in Taiwan. 

Prior to forming Apha Martial Eagles Production, Viray has produced and co-produced a number of successful events including PINOY in Taiwan Next Top Model, held on July 2 of last year in Tainan; the Eco-Runway Fashion Show, held last November in Hsinchu; and the King and Queen of Earth 2018, held on Jan. 7 in Tainan.  


Image from Allan Viray. 

This time, Viray decided to venture into organizing a rap battle for the first time to give fellow artists an opportunity to perform on stage. Viray says that he is not organizing these events to make a profit, but simply to give Filipinos working in Taiwan a chance to have some fun. In an interview with CNA, Viray said:

"If I make a profit, I win, but if I make a loss, no problem, I have given entertainment, I have created fun. For me, this is my achievement in Taiwan, we are living here in Taiwan."

Tickets for Laklakan 1 are NT$600, and sold on a first-come-first-served basis, with the first 400 to 500 persons only at the Taichung venue, while the Taipei venue will be limited to 300 persons. 

Some of the proceeds of the event will go towards the LITRO Foundation, which aids Filipino babies who are in a need of a liver transplant. 

For more information, call Allan Viray at +886978124061 or message him through his Facebook page.

Rap music video by Alpha Martial Eagles Production member Angelito Penuaga.