Single Review: “Dedma” by Abra and Julie Anne San Jose
Nine times platinum recording artist Julie Anne San Jose, and Abra who is one of the finest rappers to have emerged from the local hip-hop scene in a very long time, have released a collaboration that showcases their strengths as young and talented artists.
As a music aficionado, reading the names of Julie Anne San Jose and Abra put together in one sentence immediately got my attention. The name recall that these two exemplary artists have is significant among the general public, especially with the youth. Not only do they belong in the same generation, they have also each established a huge and loyal following. I see the fan base that both artists have can be attributed to how effective they are in what they do. To have them come together in a joint effort in “Dedma” not only got people talking, but more so, had occasional listeners checking this one out, too.
What is the overall meaning of “Dedma”?
This single revolves around an important social issue that rarely gets heard in the radio airwaves these days–and that is the alarming increase of crime happening every single day in our country. This said growing concern was brilliantly addressed in “Dedma.” Anyone can relate with the topic discussed in this single as it would seem that criminals have become so brazen that it does not matter if you are young or old, rich or poor, they just don’t give a damn. For them everyone is fair game as long as they get what they want.
As citizens of the Philippines, we are all “witness” to these heinous criminal acts happening at a disturbing rate each time we tune in to the news, whether it is by watching television, scanning websites, and reading broadsheets. In fact, it has become so bad that almost every single one of us knows someone or is related to a person who has become a victim of crime in one way or another.
It is worth mentioning that Julie Anne San Jose and Abra composed “Dedma.” I can tell this joint effort was planned out in a relatively short amount of time given their own busy schedules. However, that they themselves were the songwriters for “Dedma” impressed me the most because as a music aficionado, I rely most on my sense of hearing. And when a song can get my full attention throughout its entire running time, then it is definitely well worth listening to.
Now when it comes to the music video, it is as authentic as they come–the footage was deliberately made to appear grainy and thus, it effectively envelopes the viewers into the seedy underbelly of the society we live in. The antagonist in the “Dedma” music video which is the black laden “dark figure” riding a motorcycle wielding a baseball bat, hitting every person in sight, has become a source of controversy. That villain shown represents the ever growing danger that “evil people” do exist everywhere.
On the one hand, I do appreciate the fact that the way the music video was presented does not deviate at all from the overall meaning of “Dedma”–it accurately portrays the seriousness of the lyrics as also its utmost relevance for everyone to take immediate notice of.
I know there are some sensitivity issues that have been raised regarding the amount of blood and violence depicted in the music video. But seriously and realistically speaking, not everything should be all about the “sunny and bright things” in life. When a music video like this comes along that truly has something of importance to say, no matter how unnecessary some people think it might be, I can only praise the team behind this music video for putting out this masterpiece of short film work as envisioned by Julie Anne San Jose and Abra in this single “Dedma.”
I have always believed that a great and memorable music video should reflect the message being conveyed by the artist, and should not deflect away from it. The music video for “Dedma” accomplishes that objective with flying colors, all because the integrity of the song was kept intact.
From the director to the editor and everyone else who helped put together the music video for “Dedma,” my hat goes off to you, guys, for going against the grain, getting people’s attention where it matters most, and putting out one of the best socially relevant local music videos in years. This single is already a winner but combine that with the music video, then what you have here is a rare winning combination that works both ways.
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