MANILA -- Latest Pinoy rap sensation Ez Mil continues to ride on the crest of the phenomenal success of his rap song “Panalo (Trap Cariñosa)” with over 20 million views on YouTube as of Thursday afternoon.
Blending the dance beat of the cariñosa folk dance and lyrics echoing issues about Pinoy life, the rap piece was uploaded just six days ago.
“It’s more that I imagine I can dream of. Thank God Jesus for giving me this opportunity, maraming maraming salamat!" Mil said in a virtual conference set up by Wish TV and his production team from his home and work base in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the basis of the viral success of “Panalo,” the 22-year-old native of Olongapo City and Pangasinan is being touted as the next king of rap of the Philippines, in the level of Francis M and Gloc-9.
But Ez Mil, Ezekiel Miller in real life, downplays the comparison. “Sa tingin ko po it’s an honor, it’s awesome to be put with people with such heavy names who made their own impact but ultimately I want to be in my own lane because I have something different!” Mil told ABS-CBN News.
"It’s great to breathe the same air in their hemisphere of greatness. But I want to be me! I will continue to forge my way through my music.”
Beyond “Panalo,” Ez Mil has created other works, notably the much-awaited music video “Kultura,” a collaboration with another Pinoy rapper songwriter PJ Segovia (aka HBOM). He calls it a movie with the hard work he and HBOMB put into it.
Returning to the Philippines is also a top priority with the hoped-for easing if quarantine restrictions. An advocate for respecting artists in all platforms, Ez Mil also hopes for more fruitful collaborations.
“Competition is always there but we should all be coming together,"he said. “I feel that competition can be turned into us against the world, not us against us. Let’s bring everyone up not down!”
But Ez Mil’s early success seemingly came at a price with critics questioning why he supposedly twisted historical facts with his line about the beheading of Lapu-Lapu in “Panalo.” Ez Mil apologized for the error earlier this week, saying it was his choice as an artist to use the line "pinugutan si Lapu sa Mactan."
“Because in terms of the rhyming pattern, I always go to this dilemma or doubt in my head in terms of when I’m closing out a song. Am I gonna close it out with absolute truth or am I gonna make people talk about it? That’s like me weighing the options,” he explained, stressing he knows that Lapu-Lapu was never beheaded.
“That's me putting an exaggerated term in a ploy to drive traffic and talk, he said.
“I'm sorry to anybody who was offended wit me putting inaccurate sources in our history as Filipinos. That's why the song is what it is right now.”
Ez Mil has maintained that he will not alter the lines. “I do not intend to have a corrected version of the song because I feel like that will ruin the integrity of the recording, ” he told ABS-CBN News. “It blew up because it made people talk and I will let it stay that way.”
Despite the flap, Ez Mil stands proudly on the lyrics of “Panalo” which reflects his own way of loving his native land:
“Tayo ay Pilipino
Kahit anong kulay ng balat
Isa sa puso
Mapa-Tagalog, Bisaya, o Ilokano
Walang tatalo sa bagsik
Ng ating dugo
Isigaw ng malakas ang
'Wag nang pag-usapan
Ang mga negatibong pangyayari
Sa'n mang panig ka
Kinabukasan na natin 'to
Ez Mil had a simple answer to a rhetorical question why “Panalo” became a massive viral hit.
“The main recipe is because I am a proud Filipino, “ he said. “That shows in every nook and cranny that you could find in 'Panalo.'”