Wadab Playaz turns 14

FOURTEEN years ago when most teens formed groups to boost their gangster image with gangsta sounds that promote crime and narcissism, some Davaoeño hip-hoppers decided to band together to inject some positivity to the rap game.

Since then, Wadab Playaz has become the most dominant hip-hop posse in Davao.

“Our main objective in forming Wadab Playaz was not for popularity, but to encourage members to finish studies and get a stable job in the future,” said founder Jay Lagnayo, aka Mista Silenza, half of the award-winning Thavawenyoz behind the hit Hubag. “We know that being a rapper is not a stable job in the country, so we’re asking them to make rap just a hobby.”

Most of the pioneering members, Lagnayo said, succeed not as professional rap artists.

“Gladly, most of them work with the government,” said Lagnayo who is a fire officer. Lagnayo’s Thavawenyoz’s partner in rhyme Boone Dennis Batuto, aka B.O.N., is also a police officer.

Wadab Playaz was riding high when 92.3 WILD FM launched RAPrapan in which local rap artists were given the opportunity to have their songs get radio play.

Wadab groups like Diplomatic Old School, Mapslan and Lagnayo’s Thavawenyoz were among those that got the much needed exposure with songs like Haller, Gusto Ko’g Drayber and Hubag.

In fact, Thavawenyoz eventually made it to the national radio with the song Hubag became an anthem. The group even won the best regional act in the 19th Awit Awards in 2006.

Despite local rap songs seldom get radio play nowadays, Wadab Playaz still exists to inspire aspiring Davaoeno hip-hop artists.

Currently, Wadab Playaz still has at least 20 active groups.

And tonight as celebration of their 14th anniversary, some pioneering and new members gather together for a gig.

With Thavawenyoz in the main bill, other Wadab Playaz in the performance list tonight include Chapter XIII, Life Linez, Slimm, D-Tribe, Daot Squad, Insane Krew, Makata Rungan, Makatribu, Killaveria Istillo, Dosage, KZK, NSUB, BHP, Diplomatic Old School, K1/13, CPKM 12, Raid, Victorious L.A., Whimsicidaz, JR Zero, Mezarlon Bone, Mapslan, and DJ Yuri.

A freestyle rap battle, open mic and hip-hop documentary are featured in the event that will be held at Business Bar in Toril.

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