Ex B is no overnight success. It took the group some years before the first hit, Need You, in 2016. But then fate made up for lost time by giving the guys a series of big sellers that brought the group into the Top 10 of the Philippine hit charts.
Ex Battalion now in the movies
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - June 6, 2018 - 12:00am

What happens to music artists who are able to create extraordinarily successful hit songs that make them a byword among the public? They get asked to be in the movies.

That was what happened to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, to John Legend and Taylor Swift. Hereabouts the best example is Nora Aunor who turned into the country’s greatest actress. You want to go far back? There was Diomedes Maturan. From more recent times? Why even the Eraserheads appeared in a movie. 

So the news that pop stars are prone to invade filmmaking is not really surprising. Still, there were many who took in with raised eyebrows the news that the hip-hop collective Ex Battalion of the big hit Hayaan Mo Sila X OC Dawgs, has joined Viva Films and will soon be appearing in a movie. Now, now, before anybody starts complaining let me say that having hip-hop stars in films is nothing new. 

Check out Eminem or Ludacris. Ice-T and Ice-Cube are both big movie and TV stars. And no need really to venture overseas because for many years rapper-turned-comedian Andrew E turned in one huge box-office hit after another for Viva. Who knows, one or two or more of Ex Battalion can turn out to be this generation’s Andrew E.

Ex Battalion or Ex B as the group has now come to be called was formed by rapper Mark Maglasang, renamed Bossx1ne or Bos One, six years ago. It now includes the following rappers: John Maren Mangabang or Emcee Rhenn, Jon Gutierrez a.k.a. King Badger, Daryl Ruiz a.k.a. Skusta Clee, James Samonte as James Brando and Archie de la Cruz as Flow G. They all started rapping while in their early teens honing their art by joining barangay rap contests or simply hip-hopping on the streets where the rap genre was actually born.

Ai-Ai delas Alas is the group’s manager.

Ex B is no overnight success. It took the group some years before it got its first hit, Need You, in 2016. But then fate made up for lost time by giving the guys a series of big sellers like Tell Me, and then No Games featuring King Badger and Skusta Clee, which brought the group into the Top 10 of the Philippine hit charts.

This was followed by other singles that also instantly went big or viral upon release. Sana Ikaw Na Nga feat. Bryan Chong; Come With Me feat. Bosx1ne; Flow-G, King Badger and Jroa; and Kakaiba feat. Jroa and Skusta Clee. Then it was in November, late in 2017, when Ex Battalion came out with what would become its biggest hit to date, Hayaan Mo Sila. 

Hayaan Mo Sila is a slow, engaging rumination on living while surrounded by meddlers. It became a No. 1 seller and turned out to be the millennial kid’s theme song. It has since then dominated airplay, social media, streaming and downloading sites and turned the members of Ex Battalion into stars. A new single release titled SouthBoys is also doing very well.

No title has been announced for the Ex B movie but the group already has a ready co-star in the country’s leading comedienne, Ai-Ai de las Alas, star of the Tanging Ina series. This is not the first time that they will be working together. Ex B met the screen and television star a few years ago when they collaborated in the song Walang Pinipili for Ai-Ai’s album of novelty tunes. Then early this year, there came the announcement that Ai-Ai is now Ex Battalion’s manager. 

Now when an arrangement like that already exists, it is no far cry to suppose that a movie deal will soon enter the picture. And it has happened. The still untitled movie, which I presume will be a comedy is set to start shooting in July and has an October playdate. It is now being written by Mel del Rosario and will be directed by Dado Lomibao. 

The movie is not all that Ex Battalion is looking forward to these days. There is also the group’s first major concert, details of which will be announced soon and other shows. Big things indeed are ahead for Ex Battalion.

AI-AI DELAS ALAS EX BATTALION
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