Southeast Cartel is a hip-hop group from Toronto and one of the groups pioneering FilCan Music movement has recently dropped their song in collaboration with Filipino hip-hop legend Gloc-9. Titled, “It Was All A Dream” a song that reflects their journey as musicians have recently reached 135,000 views on YouTube. We sat down and asked questions about their inspiration and here’s how it went:
Listening to the song “It Was All A Dream” it feels like it has a different meaning and story for each member of Southeast Cartel, is that true? If Yes, can you tell us the stories?
You are exactly right! In the verses, we wanted to show each of our journeys following our dreams. We felt like each person in Southeast Cartel has come from different walks of life as Filipino Canadian artists and as first-generation immigrants in general. For example, Raygee & Vzn immigrated to Canada at a fairly young age; Franchizze, Pipoy, and Keith were in their teens when they migrated, coming from different provinces/cities in the Philippines, and Biggz was already an adult when he moved to Canada. Each of us was raised in different situations, with a few not even supposed to be alive due to their gang involvement in the past. Yet all of us were able to come together through the love of music and worked as a family to reach our dreams. We believe this is the beauty not just of the song, but of SEC – whether you grew up in the Philippines or Canada, was a geek, goon, gangster or a ‘regular’ person, you can find someone in SEC that you can relate to.
The song sounds like a sampled Biggie track. Was that a choice or was it an inspiration that just flowed to you guys? Can You Tell Us How did you come up with the melody, hook And The Song Overall?
It was a choice and an inspiration at the same time. When Gloc-9 agreed to collaborate with us Biggz was searching for days for the perfect beat. All of a sudden he remembered a beat that he found 4 years ago that he wasn’t able to write on at the time. He kept the beat on the side thinking one day he would be able to find the perfect topic to go with it and at the same time pay homage to BIGGIE. When he played back the beat he started spitting biggie’s line from the song Juicy, “It was all a dream”. Once he came up with that one line, the rest was history! SEC has always been a big fan of Gloc-9 for over 10 years. We always dreamt and talked about one day being able to open up for him, not thinking 10 years later we would be on a song with him! To quote Raygee, “Life’s crazy ain’t it?” The rest of the team built upon the chorus and added their own personal journeys of hard work, frustrations and successes of being a Filipino artist living in Canada at each verse.
Is There A Story Behind Dedicating This Song to Filipino Hip-hop Legend Francis M?
There is no specific story behind the dedication. In the Canadian Filipino community, we have always recognized Francis M as someone who is more than a legend. To us, he is the King of Pinoy Hip Hop. The music he created, himself being a great artist and entertainer (even in multiple genres of music other than Hip Hop), and his influence to a lot of whom we consider as Pinoy Hip Hop legends, really touched us even though we are hundreds of miles away. For the song, we wanted to show our respects first and foremost to the King, Francis M, and to the legendary Gloc-9 and the rest of Pinoy rappers that we look up to.
Given with the situation we are in now, it seems like it takes a great feat to record, shoot a music video et al. What did it take to pull off the collaboration with Hip Hop legend Gloc-9?
We always believe that hard work and dedication gets recognized by those who work just as hard and are as dedicated. Instead of just real recognizing real, we believe in true hustlers recognize true hustlers. We never expected to collaborate with Kuya Aris (Gloc-9), but when we opened up for him last year we were able to sit down and hang out with him and develop a relationship. We were amazed at how humble and down to earth he is in person. It made us respect him more, and it made it easier to bond with him. We think he saw that we weren’t just rappers, but artists/listeners that had a love and respect for all genres of Hip Hop. Even though we are from Canada we still represent and push our culture and our roots, and we believe he saw that as well. After some time Biggz reached out to him – and from there you already know, it’s HISTORY!
What do you guys hope that people get out of this song?
We want people to see that through hard work, patience, and dedication you can make your dreams come true. It was just a dream for us to collaborate with Kuya Gloc, but look at what we were able to achieve because we never gave up or surrendered our values and vision.
We are no different from anyone else. We live normal lives and are normal people. The only thing that differentiates us is that we keep fighting for what we want and we are not afraid to reach for something that many people would believe is impossible. Never believe the nay-sayers or the haters. Bet on yourself! Change your mindset and your work ethic and you can reach your goals too!
Listen to “It Was All A Dream” by Southeast Cartel
What's Your Reaction?
Raphael Tigno is the Founder and Creative Director of the magazine website vibeant.com. VIBEANT is an online magazine bridging global culture in fashion, art, music, culinary, subcultures, and lifestyles across the world. Pronounced as "VIBE" + "ANT", a literal translation of "ANTS ENERGY" a reference to "BAYANIHAN" virtue of Filipinos.