Rapper EZ Mil apologizes for twisting truth about Lapu-Lapu in viral song

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Rapper EZ Mil apologizes for twisting truth about Lapu-Lapu in viral song
Rapper EZ Mil
EZ Mil via Instagram, screenshot

MANILA, Philippines — EZ Mil says he is sorry to those who got "offended" with the lyrics in his viral song "Panalo (Trap Carinosa)." 

Released last year as part of his "Act 1" album, the singer's performance at the Wish Bus USA has now racked up 14 million views after being uploaded four days ago.

Many of the fans and reactors were generally pleased with the song that sampled the Filipino folk dance "Carinosa," which EZ Mil shared was an idea of his mother, Hazel. EZ Mil is the son of Rockstar lead guitarist and vocalist Paul Sapiera. The band is behind the '90s hits "Parting Time" and "Mahal Pa Rin Kita."

The rapper, who is also known as Ezekiel Miller on Instagram, set the record straight on some of the controversial parts of his song on a YouTube reaction video by Hbom Segovia.

First, he apologized for the historical inaccuracy on what transpired between Lapu-Lapu and Magellan. He shared it was a ploy to draw traffic.

"Why I chose the term, 'pinugutan si Lapu sa Mactan.' Because in terms of the rhyming pattern, I always go to this dilemma or doubt in my head in closing out a song. Am I gonna close it out with absolute truth or am I gonna make people talk about it? It's like me weighing off the options," he explained.  

He continued and reiterated that Lapu-Lapu was never beheaded.

"That's me putting an exaggerated term in a ploy to drive traffic and talk. It's inaccurate but he still died. He's dead right now. It's not overall factual in a way but still like... The thing that is factual is that whenever he did die, people were still saddened. That's just me twisting how things were. And I'm sorry to anybody who was offended with the fact that me being putting inaccurate sources in our history as Filipinos. That's why the song is what it is right now. The way I wrote that got people talking. Got people agreeing to it. Got people disagreeing, got people in the in-betweens. The way it is now, people are talking about it. I got to be smart about it."

Second, he expressed shock after being labeled as a DDS (Duterte Diehard Supporter) and addressed those who said he is fostering "toxic positivity."

One of this lyrics goes, "Wag nang pag-usapan ang mga negatibo." And some people said it was "toxic positivism."

"DDS, are you kidding me?" he asked, looking in disbelief.  

He continued, "I discuss problems. That's just to being on a positive note sometimes. We don't have to always discuss problems, bro. 'Wag nang pag-usapan ang negatibo.' That means let's not discuss the problems just for the time being. Let's just have a good time, right now, in the song. But of course, I'm gonna talk about problems."

He revealed he was discriminated while he was growing up "white" in the Philippines. It is contrary to the belief that being fair is advantageous.

One of the most talked about and picked up line in the songs goes: "Ever since bata ako I've been kinda / Discriminated in my own home country / Sure, some would be like: 'LuH AmPuTi pUTi mO .. tiSoY'. / I ain't tisoy /I'M PINOY."

"I think it's different aspects of how people view it. At first like, the general people, mostly most people back home, kayumanggi ang balat ninyo. Tinutudya nila kasi yun yung pino-portray sa media. Kailangan para maganda ka, maputi ka. That's how they're fed, how they see that. They might say that if you're called tisoy, you might be lucky. But it's different in my perspective because my growing up as this you know this thing they call tisoy. In terms of being not like a general tisoy Pinoy, I look like a Caucasian Pinoy. What I experienced from when I was a kid, kids didn't talk to me just because of the fact that they think that they have to speak English and, most of the fact, in the Philippines, madalas they're shy to speak English," EZ revealed.

He continued, "I don't know... but I didn't get to fit in right away as quick as the other kids. Me saying that line is like it's extensive. It's exaggerated to a point because I'm exaggerating this bad feeling when I was a kid, which of course I'm supposed to be a grown up to understand that it was just what it was back then. I'm just speaking of facts from what I felt before. And I just put that right there."

He's also got words for the naysayers.

One of the verses said, "Ain't got no love for the people / Who talk over songs when they / Claimin' they listen (listen listen)."

"It's a generalization of some people who are non-listeners who just go off like playing critic right away. But of course it goes to show that I don't necassarily let it affect me but it's just something to address people who are quick on their whim to critique right away instead of actually listening," he remarked.

Simlarly, EZ Mil discussed about the controversial "pusang sinaing" part. Hbom offered the explanation.

"Kasi ako noong tumira ako sa Pilipinas, '90s pa yun. So alam na alam ko yung sinabi mong sinaing na pusa. Yung mga new school na hindi nakakaintindi, sabihin ko lang sa inyo ha. 'Pag nagpunta ka ng probinsya, naghahanap sila ng mga pusa, aso. 'Yun ang kinakain nila. Tama ba ako?" Hbom related.

EZ confirmed and added that he had a similar story while he was a little boy in Urdaneta. "Tama ka, tol. That's why I took that line kasi doon sa probinsya ko sa Pangasinan, sa Urdaneta, doon ako tumitira sa lola ko. I witnessed ... I see this one of the stray cats that I adored would come to our house. I witnessed one night, mayroon isang lalake, karga-karga niya yung pusa. Patay na. Like literally dead."

He didn't mean to leave out any other language in the country. In the song, he mentioned Tagalog, Bisaya and Ilokano. He even rapped some parts in Tagalog and Ilokano together with English.

"Those are the three major languages inside the Philippines. I didn't mean to leave any other other languages or dialects. I didn't mean to leave anybody out but that was the initial top," he said.

He also explained why he is fluent in English. "I grew up listenig to American media that was what my parents fed me. I don't know if its the right word to use but it's the type of media that they would have me consume. Sometimes, of course, parang yung mga shows like 'Super Inggo', pag 'yun sumampa na sa TV," he shared then proceeded on singing the theme song of the 2006 fantasy show starring Makisig Morales.

EZ Mil said that he has only been in the United States for five years, and that he used to reside in Urdaneta, Pangasinan and Olangapo, thus, his reference to 2200 in his lyrics. The number is the zip code of Olongapo City.

His facial expressions came naturally. Some reactors noted how angry he looked in certain parts of the performance.

"It comes from the emotions but also me being a fan of the music that I am a fan of, I would listen to it in front of the mirror and imagine myself as those artists performing on stage or in a MV," he shared.

"Panalo" mentioned rappers like Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky and Eminem.

"I do it in a way that I feel like conveying a certain word or the way it's supposed to be felt or how the eyes are looking towards the camera. How your mouth is moving, how your head is placed and to look like the attitude your trying to convey. It's like directing. I learned it all subtlety. I didn't go intentionally like focusing on directing and acting. It just came with it," he shared.

Likewise, he shed some light on the Ilokano part of his verse.

EZ translated the verse, "Even though I told yall screw or fuck yall, or for being sensitive, I'll be right here waiting on you to pull up. Even you telling me all off... giving me dumbass advice, crying to me, 'Oi, shouldnt this and that'."

Hbom remarked that basically it was EZ "straight up talking shit in Ilokano."

EZ Mil then closed his interview by sharing that he welcomes all.

"I love all of y'all -- the haters, the in-betweens, especially the fans. Every single one of y'all are here to see what's happening in terms of my career and how to propel it forward. And yeah, I can't wait to deliver more content and material. Whatever it may be."


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