Rising hip-hop artist EZ Mil’s Panalo (Trap Cariñosa) song performance has gained a whopping 20 million views and over 1.3 million likes in less than a week.
The US-based Pinoy rapper’s fiery, trilingual song, which he performed on Wish USA’s YouTube channel on January 29, has been widely praised for its “patriotism.” However, it has also stirred controversy because of a “historical inaccuracy” in its lyrics.
Particularly in question is the part where he rapped that Lapu-Lapu or Lapulapu, regarded as the first national hero, was beheaded. There are no written records about how he died, according to historians. (Incidentally, the 500th anniversary of Lapulapu and his men’s victory at Mactan against Spanish invaders led by Magellan will be commemorated this year.)
But in Panalo, EZ Mil goes: “Nanalo na ako nung mula pa na/ Pinugutan si Lapu sa Mactan/ At lahat ang nasaktan na/ Nalaman nila na pinatay/ Ang kanilang bayani/ Sa karagatan ng bansa/ Na pag-aari ng Pilipino…”
In a virtual presscon on Wish’s YouTube channel on Thursday, February 4, the young rapper-singer whose real name is Ezekiel Miller was asked if he has any plans to release a “corrected” version of his song amid criticism.
“I do not intend to have a corrected version of the song, because I feel like that’s ruining the integrity that I had within recording it, but it was, you know… It blew up because it made people talk, and I will let it stay that way,” he explained.
EZ earlier offered his apologies to those who were offended by it as he sought to explain his lyrics in a YouTube interview with his now-manager Hbom Segovia.
“Why I chose the term, ‘Pinugutan si Lapu sa Mactan’ (is) 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 said.
EZ, who grew up in Olongapo and moved to the States roughly five years ago, readily admitted to “twisting how things were” in his song.
“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.”
EZ Mil then said, “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.”