The late 2000s and early 2010s: The Golden Era of Fil-Am/Asian/Pacific Music & Dance

Remember when YouTube was actually good, the days when the highest quality of video was 480p and the subscribe button was gold? A landscape full of Nigahiga, Smosh, iJustine, and Timothy Delaghetto videos. Content that was not full of low quality garbage people (Paul Brothers) and 30 minute videos of a dude playing Fortnite. Remember when MTV previewed America’s best dance crews? I can’t even tell ya what is the most current culture of today’s YouTube because I don’t even think there is even a culture anymore and I can’t even associate MTV with “music” anymore, I mean “Floribama Shore?”, tf? It’s all desensitize, just basic ass stuff, mass culture. I love history, was my top subject all throughout school. With that I could say I’m pretty reflective on the past. To honor October as Filipino-American history month I analysis and reflect on the golden era of YouTube music and MTV dance, the late 2000s and early 2010s, a time when happy music and gigs prevailed. When quantity < quality. When you could go into video wormholes and get out after hours. When actual content ruled. But it’s 2018 now, that means quantity > quality, the shorter the video the better, the more likes the better?…?! In some cases yeah, in this case, hell no. She’s my sunshine in the rain, my tylenol when I’m in pain. I really hope you sang that in your head. YouTube was exactly what I needed, especially during the time of my existential crisis at age 14, ha ha? The time when I really questioned who I was and how people who looked like me in my generation vibed. Not a lot of Fil-Ams went to my hs, I was one of like 4? in my class? Half of them being half. And I didn’t have a lot of cousins at the time to grow up with to the culture. So I got lonely, very lonely. I know I’m not alone on this for the ones that grew up similarly in predominantly White-American communities. I mean yeah you have your white friends, your black friends and everyone in between. Your race friends, family, but my ethnicity friends didn’t exist. Sucks to be me right, but it was honestly fine because I had basketball, soccer, school, and music = YouTube. The music scene of YouTube at the time was my domain. My solace. The names Jeremy Passion, AJ Rafael, JR Aquino, were my friends, my kaibigans. Names that looked similar to my name, faces that looked similar to my face, but voices that didn’t match my atrocious voice :(. With Fil-Ams you either get the singing gene or dancing gene or depressingly NOTA (I’m so sorry for you). Growing up I really wished I had the voices of these guys, but don’t worry because I was compensated with the dancing gene and idc what anybody says but I got the moves. With dancing I also had role models to look up to and emulate. This was also the time when dance competitions were big on national networks like NBC, ABC, and especially MTV. A bright eyed 11 year old was really tryin’ do the motions of the Jabbawockeez, tryin’ do all the flips and freezes like D-Trix, and tryin’ be as smooth as Andrew Baterina. ABDC on MTV was monumental because season after season there was representation. SoReal Cru, Super Cr3w, Quest Crew, Kaba Modern, Mos Wanted Crew, our native Seattleites Massive Monkees, etc. Not lying to ya but all these guys kept me from ending it all, (not literally obviously), but to have people that resembled me to have the talent, to have the popularity, to have the success on platforms like this that the majority of the globe saw made me feel proud to be who I am. You really gotta remember, before 2018 with the box office blockbuster ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and the Netflix hit ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ Asian/Pacific Americans DID NOT get regular screen time and absolutely DID NOT get respect in the entertainment/media/music industries. Actors/actresses were either portrayed as stereotypical roles like a kung fu ninja warrior or some shit, exoticized babes, that nerdy sidekick, or just plain extras and backups, never the main lead. There was no coverage of an up-and-coming U.S. Asian rapper or singer on Billboard Hot 100. So YouTube and MTV became that center stage to shine, and man did my people ever rise up. Not saying that to provoke triggers but the proof is in the puddin, the influence has been solidified. You got today’s best new singers like Daniel Caesar and Mac Ayres covering “Lemonade”! You got dancers like Brian Puspos, Keone and Mari Madrid, and the Kinjaz killin’ it with sensational choreo vids and being featured in music videos for the likes of Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and many more. It not only showcased the natural singing and dancing abilities, but it broadcasted our personalities. I’m introverted, ever since back to my preteen years. Back then I never thought we could have this type of energy. I didn’t know we could be that loud both literally and metaphorically. So this was a fire to my life because that charisma represented my community, my home, my domain. That aura helped me get through the tough times. The success of these pioneers holds true, even to this very day. You got people like Jessica Sanchez and Charice (now Jake Zyrus) making headlines on bigger music stages like American Idol, got Kina Grannis being featured in showtime films for her angelic voice, and Bruno Mars being one of our generations best entertainers that has performed for not only one but TWO Superbowls. They all broke the mold from the stereotype of us solely being known for academics and being professionals, we’re more than that. So to cut my take on FAHM I just wanna say maraming salamat because all of them inspired many to pick up a guitar or ukulele, to take up dance lessons, and to be 2 > 1, especially to be much more than just our typical stereotypes. View this post on Instagram A post shared by MAC AYRES (@mmacayres) on May 27, 2018 at 8:42pm PDT
– Lyle Lasala