MANILA -- Local rap artist Young Vito, it seems, is determined in getting his song, "Awit," accused of being transphobic, out there.
Young Vito, or Erich Bongon, wrote a song which mocks trans women. He apologized for its lyrics, but released it anyway this past week.
The backlash was instant, and Viva Records, which signed Young Vito despite the many criticisms, promptly took the song down from all platforms. A day later, Young Vito uploaded it himself.
This newest move by Young Vito felt misguided, said the members of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), a group founded by National Artist for Films Lino Brocka, this Tuesday.
The group penned a letter to the aspiring rap artist and told him not to "sacrifice dignity and integrity in exchange for fame."
The lengthy letter, posted on Facebook, featured an explanation as to why the song was offensive ("these lyrics insinuate that trans women are an abomination"), similar to other "toxic" songs such as Nik Makino's "Neneng B," which "reinforces the idea that women exist to be fetishized for male pleasure."
CAP said that they believe that art "should be liberative, and not oppressive," and urged young musicians to avoid treading "this well-worn path of toxic and fragile masculinity."
The group also called out Viva Records for the decision to release "Awit," and reminded them of their social responsibility to promote inclusion and acceptance.
You can read the full letter by CAP below: