Last night, I participated in a book release party for Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America, hosted by the folks behind Libre.

I have an essay in the anthology based on my research on Filipino American mobile DJ crews of the 1980s (not exactly excerpted from my book but rather, a reflection on the research process itself and what I learned). As my man DJ Phatrick is one half of the Libre crew, I asked to do a set at the party and while most of it was based around classic early ’80s freestyle hits (think Debbie Deb and Shannon) that the mobile crews would have rocked back in the day, I did open with a few songs by Filipino/Filipino American artists, including this little 7″-only track:

Dakila: Language Lesson
From 7″ (Epic, 1972)

Dakila was a Filipino American band from the Bay Area (I want to say Sacramento) who had a post-Santana Latin rock album on Epic in ’72. Prior to releasing the LP, Epic decided to put out a tongue-in-cheek single about how to speak Tagalog, with the flipside being the group’s debut track. Looking back, I think the song is funny (and it’s meant to be) but it also risks coming off a little condescending (I have no idea if the band participated in the making of “Language Lesson” but one would hope this was their idea and not some A&R’s). In any case, I kicked off last night’s set with it (before hitting the crowd with a little Pinoy Beatles).