Former child actor is now hit-making rapper

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star
Former child actor is now hit-making rapper
The rapper has released a new single titled BMW, a melodic slow jam featuring R&B artist Leslie. Produced by Because’s long-time collaborator, NEXXFRIDAY, it is doing great on the web with big numbers on YouTube, Spotify and TikTok.

As a 17-year-old newbie rapper, Bernard Jose Castillano or simply Because had simple dreams. Foremost among these was creating hits. That one came easily enough. Remember Marlboro Black from five years ago? That was his first release. The video is now inching towards the 50 million views bracket on YouTube and also streaming big on other platforms.

He proved to be a most consistent hitmaker with producing one biggie after another. Because has more views and streams for those other tracks that made up his debut album titled Heartbreak SZN. These are OTW, Gilid, Sandali, Van, HardToGet, Sabihin Mo Na, Halili, Puyat, Hanap, Unan, Isa Pa, Puyat and the title track.

And there are also some 50 million or so views for the sequel tune Marlboro Black 2 and the other tracks from his second album release one, Heartbreak SZN 2. These are Di Na, Pwedeng Ayusin Natin Ito featuring Skusta Clee; No Signal with John Roa; Silent Mode; Yuri Dope M$TRYO; Shortcut; Lagi (All the Time); 70; and Di Na Sana, also with John Roa.

Now back in those early days, Because like most teen-aged boys, was also looking forward to getting his drivers’ license and being able to go around in his own car by himself. As a former child actor, he used to lead a very sheltered life, so independence was a goal he was really looking forward to.

Fast forward to today. Because is now 21 years old, very grown-up and very successful as a rapper. As an adult, he cannot be described anymore as precocious because of the lovemaking scenes he rapped about early in his career. Think Silid and Unan, done in his trademark laconic baritone. It is also a sure thing that he has acquired his drivers’ license and with that his own car.

Check out his videos for his singles from a year ago, the melancholy ZOOM and DECEMBER. Both were directed by Because himself and both show him decked out in hip-hop hardware finery driving around neon-lit streets in the night time. It was, so to speak, another dream come true. Therefore, to come across a new single titled BMW, a melodic slow jam featuring R&B artist Leslie, was not so far-fetched.

I actually thought, since he is now into cars, Because is probably extolling the virtues of a magnificent machine like the Beamer in his new track. I was wrong. The chubby-cheeked hip-hop star is still pandering to his sexy adolescent fantasies. What he is rapping about in “sa loob ng aking BMW sedan,” is the convenience of having a BMW because “hindi na kailangang lumiko!!!” Naughty boy, this Because.

Produced by Because’s long-time collaborator, NEXXFRIDAY, BMW is doing great on the web with big numbers on YouTube, Spotify and other platforms including the one that matters most these days, TikTok.  Then showing very good promise is the recently released single SMS.  Now, check out how this one goes like this, “Tulala sa bed ko…” But I am wrong this time.  SMS is about missing a loved one.

Come to think of it, after being the music trend of the moment two years ago, interest in rap seems to have waned tremendously. Aside from Because and of course, that formidable collective Ex Battalion, occasionally ALLMO$T, and hip-hop pioneer act Andrew E, local rap artists seem to be on vacation from the hit charts these days. Or can it be because they are simply not making the grade. That means they are not selling as well as they did during the pre-pandemic period.

I say then that because of this situation, the success of Because is all the more cause for rejoicing. The kid despite the sexy bent of his mind is really keeping hip-hop out here alive.

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