by Rachelle Cruz, ABS-CBN News
In Toronto, a group of local artists collaborated to launch the city’s first ever Pinoy hip-hop festival — and its organizers were more than surprised when they doubled their expected attendees.
About 200 people attended Selda Fest — Toronto’s first annual Filipino hip-hop festival.
The crowd — made up mostly of young Filipinos — gathered at Bathurst and Wilson, considered the hub of the Filipino community in Toronto.
“We didn’t expect this to happen. We just wanted all the emcees, all our talents to get together and to just share our talents to the community,” said Francis “Franchizze” Fabie from Southeast Cartel. “We also wanted to build a hip-hop community, a Filipino hip-hop community, out here in Toronto.”
From rap battles to Bunutan freestyle, more than 15 artists showed off their lyrical talents and improv skills.
“It’s really amazing because we have people coming from Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Saskatoon; they’re all here to support this event, which is pretty amazing,” said Kim Trisha “Rydeen” Briones.
Group Southeast Cartel was the headliner for the event.
The group was formed about six years ago, and they’re coming out with their first album this summer, called “Blacksheep.”
“In the album, we talk about being different. We talk about being who we are,” said Fabie.
Long-time supporters and fans of Pinoy hip-hop showed their love to the artists.
“Gusto naming buhayin ang rap dito. Kasi back in the Philippines malaki na ang hip-hop satin so, we wanna do the same thing here,” said David Manalo, isang tribo and rap-rap from Winnipeg.