Tuesday, September 6, 2011

NO MONEY: The Untold Story - A Pinoy Hip hop Documentary

"...I have always believed in the artists that I used to interview and their heart for the hip hop culture" 
-Lani Dayupay Savellano

Something that I often hear from peers in and out of the hip hop industry here is that we lack documentation.  Many have an idea of key players that launched the original elements out here yet they don't know the whole story.  Shoot, I wouldn't even say that I know the whole story.  To this day, I'm still doing my homework and now we all have a lot of gray areas to consider since: a) not everyone back in the day had a spot in the limelight (yet they still made a huge impact within communities), b) so many fresh talents have spawned beyond the pinnacle of major labels, and c) we are now learning that there are, in fact, 9 elements of hip hop and therefore, more people with roles to credit for the same.
Source: www.djrebelslegacy.blogspot.com

Source: www.thehiphopchronicle.com
As per hip hop pioneer/educator/preacher, KRS-One, the complete list of elements include: 1) Breakdancing, 2) Rapping, 3) Graffiti, 4) DJing, 5) Beatboxing, 6) Street fashion, 7) Street language, 8) Street knowledge, and 9) Street Entrepreneurialism.  So despite years of thinking that you had to be a hip hop artist or performer in order to partake in an element, we now have to think back on past heads and re-evaluate current heads that dress the part, make it their business or simply just know their stuff and rep it.

An already evident lack in the original stories and timelines then you factor in all these new areas that are equally important and in need of ready information.  Quite daunting to think about right?  But this doesn't faze Lani Dayupay Savellano (aka "Ate Lani") executive producer and producer of the upcoming Pinoy Hip hop documentary titled "NO MONEY: The Untold Story".  Instead, she is driven to make this happen.  In fact, she is firm on the belief that "it is much needed".

"I have been told by some people that it's a huge undertaking on my part since I never claim to be a 'hip hop head', but ever since I used to produce Urban Myx back in the day, I have always believed in the artists and personalities that I used to interview and their heart for the hip hop culture. I also believe there is a need to document Pinoy hip hop because it is an influential and significant global phenomenon that our children are growing up into.  There's a need to educate our children, the young hip hop heads, and non-hip hop audiences to set the record straight for Pinoy hip hop", Ate Lani has said.

So where to begin? Well, the obvious choice of director for this project was the man behind Kulay and Vibestation (a few notables amongst a long line of achievements in Pinoy hip hop) and Ate Lani's beloved brother, Boom Dayupay.  Together, they came up with the overall concept and initial steps in the making of the documentary.

As thoroughly stated by Ate Lani: "The concept for the documentary is to feature the 9 Elements of Pinoy Hip hop featuring the old school, the new school, the culture in the Philippines and most significantly, the heart of the artists.  It will start with the brief history of the origination in the States, how it trickled down to the Philippines, then we'll discuss the Pioneers, the 90s, and the scene in the 2000s to present."

Source: www.birthplacemag.com
Having just filmed the birthplace of hip hop at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx as well as some of the legends around New York, they are now set to interview local artists.

Kuya Boom and Ate Lani with  old school crew Madd Poets for one of the interviews for the docu
Photo c/o Mizz Snapper

This is where you and I come in.  It is now up to us to gather not only our own material (for those that are artists) but that of others that are our peers or those that we know about or follow.  Ate Lani stresses that she would like the documentary to be "graphically driven and not boring" so we're talking quality photos, music, CD covers, video clips, etc.  as opposed to grainy or pixelated photos and videos or poorly recorded tracks.
An example of great content, but the need for better images
Source: www.pinoyrbhiphop.multiply.com

We are all needed in this mission to have the very best output for this visual compilation of the music and culture that we love so much and are so passionate about.  Let's not sleep on this.  This is, at last, the unity and support that many of us have spoken of and can actually turn into reality now.  For decades, hip hop did not have the support it needed.  From the get-go, it was born from innovators that couldn't afford to buy instruments and become musicians, yet they took their words and rhythm and made music anyway.  It is time for this story to be told once and for all.


If you have material to share, you can email ldsavellano@gmail.com


  1. Nice! Full documentation of the culture and its history from the beginning all the way to present should be done. .

  2. I really wish to be part of this... this is an incredible milestone (and an even more incredible undertaking) in the culture that loved, nurtured, and developed me as a person. Mad props to Lani Dayupay Savellano and everyone involved. Count me the fuck in!

  3. @One Makata - Yes! So we all need to do our part in providing the most complete info possible ;)

    @Darryle - Yeah, let's do this!