Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Koponang Kulapo

Bay Area Pinoy hiphop group Koponang Kulapo started in November of 2004 by founding members Markus 'David Marcos' Madewell and Joel 'GSE' Gonzales along with Sonny De La Cruz. Growing up Pinoy in the Bay Area rap city, Vallejo CA, Markus And Joel thought of bringing the Pinoy experience out to many through the medium of Hiphop music. Straight from Gonzales' bedroom the Kulapo trio recorded the 4-song EP, 'Ito Yon, Ang Bangis!' which chronicled the trio's experiences with juvenile life in the title track, violent ultimatum in 'Pitong Diyablo' and 'Humanda Na Kayo' and a Hennessy-fueled, Juan De La Cruz-sampled love sonnet in 'Nasaan Ka Na'. The EP is now out of print with one surviving copy. It was during that time when the group first tasted exposure in the music site Soundclick.

Six months later in June 2005, Madewell's older brother Karlo 'KBR' Belarmino signed on with the group following De La Cruz's inactivity due to fatherhood. After performing at a few house parties Kulapo then released its first 16-song LP 'Live From Vallejo' through their own label, SMS Entertainment. The album tackled more social topics in songs such as the cop-bashing 'Kapkap' , 'easy' women in 'Chikababe' and the harsh reality of life in 'Bawat Ikot Ng Mundo'. After constant touring including opening for the Introvoys in San Leandro. In November 2005 Gonzales left for the Philippines to spend time with family, with the other members taking a long 7-month break.

Upon Gonzales' return Madewell, along with Belarmino took in the group's newest addition, James 'JG' Gumiran. The now-quartet Kulapo recorded 'Bwelta!' the first track in what would eventually be 'The BlaK Album'. With new blood, better production and a much more aggressive sound. After a long, grueling songwriting process 'The BlaK Album was released in December 2006 which the group currently supports in tour.

At present, the group consists of Madewell, Gonzales and Belarmino. Future projects include production work with other Bay Area Pinoy hiphop artists, a mixtape and the third LP code named 'Ang Pruweba' with tracks that will alter perceptions of OPM Hiphop.




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