Los Angeles — It’s not just any party, it’s the 10 year anniversary of Beatrock music.
The California-founded Beatrock Music celebrated their milestone with a music festival in Historic Filipinotown.
The record company first started by Dave Araquel as a clothing brand, eventually it added a musical arm started by Eric Strand– it has since become a major underground label, and is home to Pinoy powered hip hops acts like Bambu, Ruby Ibarra, Prometheus Brown, Rocky Rivera, and Power Struggle.
“We’re trying to keep this space safe, we’re trying to change the culture of hip hop shows, trying to be inclusive instead of exclusive. It’s all about the love. That’s what we’re here for. Celebrating 10 years, we really appreciate y’all being here,” said BRM president Bambu.
“10 years of independent, militant, unapologetic hip hop — I really appreciate the love.”
BRM celebrated its decade of accomplishments with a full day of B-Boy and emcee battles, a community art wall, and a full-on concert at the Bootleg Theater.
“It may take the form of what some people may call a label, but more, it’s a collective, it’s a collab, it’s an idea. It’s a community of light-minded west coast based artists who use their art and use their platform to further the causes of their community and their peoples,” said Prometheus Brown.
In its 10 years of existence, Beatrock is more than just music, it’s also become a stage for Filipinos to share their experiences and hardships, both in the US and in the Philippines.
From lyrics about extrajudicial killings, to raising funds for Philippine-based Chinese American activist Brandon Lee who is believed be the victim of a politically motivated shooting, these artists — many of whom hold day jobs working for community organizations — make sure to raise their voices on social issues.
“Just different media outlets, they’re not giving us that space to share our narrative, our stories, our politics and so we really have to create our own lane,” said Nomi.
While most of the roster consists of Pinoy Pride, the BeatRock family also grew bigger, adding Japanese American G Yamazawa, a National Poetry Slam Champion.
“Growing up in the South, I never felt any type of connection to the Asian experience, I think this camp and collective really reflects that history both beautifully, powerfully, and in a way that’s aligned with my beliefs as an artist as well,” said G Yamazawa.
There’s no slowing down Beatrock Music, they also announced that in 2020, their artists will be dropping a major project.