MANILA, Philippines -- Rap music has made its way behind bars.
Several inmates of the Olongapo District Jail have recently launched a rap album, featuring songs that they composed while in jail.
The group G-Town -- for ‘Gapo, slang for Olongapo – recently released an 18-track album, which includes two songs dedicated to the prison’s personnel: "BJMP, Liwanag ng Buhay" and "Salamat Sa."
It also includes four songs by another group of rapping inmates, who call themselves Disipulo.
An estimate 40 rap songs were composed and developed inside the Olongapo District Jail by the two groups.
"The story of G-Town and Disipulo is the story of how we rebuild lives inside our jails. One of our commitments is to make every jail an atelier for the limitless talents behind bars," Jail Chief Superintendent Diony D. Mamaril, OIC of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), said in a statement.
The rappers are not the only inmates who have found themselves in the entertainment spotlight. Cebu's famous "dancing inmates" have become an Internet sensation when they did a synchronized dance number to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in 2007.
The Cebu inmates recently released a new video, showing them performing the popular "Gangnam Style" rap.
According to the BJMP statement, the Olongapo rappers first performed at a BJMP program, where they impressed regional director Jail Senior Superintendent Arnulfo P. Obias, who then arranged for the inmates to do recording.
The album is almost sold out and even local FM stations like Bonggo and OK Radio have been playing the inmates' raps.
The four-man G-Town was formed in October 2010 with six original members. The group inspired other inmates such that two months later, the four-man Disipulo was created. The name was chosen to describe their being disciples of poetry in rap music.
“Our emotions and our life are embraced in each of our songs,” a G-Town rapper said.