From prison to the peak of success
If you take the jeepney daily, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Bassilyo’s hit, “Lord, Patawad.”
It is a catchy, reggae-flavored hip-hop song which, the rapper admitted, is an enumeration of his past transgressions, and a plea for forgiveness.
“About 90 percent is based on my life; the rest on observations,” Bassilyo, Lordivino Ignacio in real life, said in an interview at the launch of his debut EP, “Klasik” (MCA Music).
Bassilyo, discovered by the late Francis Magalona as part of the group Crazy as Pinoy in the 2002 “Eat Bulaga!” contest “Rap Public of the Philippines,” said he wrote the song during one of his most trying times.
After some hesitation, he revealed that he served time in prison two years ago. He didn’t elaborate, apart from saying that writing the song was “helpful.”
The official music video of “Lord, Patawad” on YouTube has notched over 13 million views. Now, Bassilyo said, “Kailangan kong pangatawanan.”
He related that, when he and his group were new to the rap scene in the 1990s, they paid bars to get a spot. With the success of his single, things have certainly turned around.
“I’ve been very busy,” said Bassilyo, who also credits local rap battle league FlipTop for his comeback. “I’ve done only about three battles since joining in 2012, but all [the videos] have gone viral.”
He titled his EP “Klasik,” Bassilyo said, because he believes the songs—“some written eight to 10 years ago”—can stand the test of time.
He lists Andrew E, Gloc-9, Chito Miranda, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and, of course, Francis M as his influences.
“Sir Francis taught me to create melodies, produce content, create wordplay … his death was hard on me,” Bassilyo said.
Asked what he thought made his rap style distinctive, Bassilyo was stumped. “I’m not sure,” he replied. “Perhaps it’s the delivery, or how I put myself in other people’s shoes.”
He is sure of one thing: “I see to it that my music has heart, so the listeners can relate to it.”
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