Kolateral damage: Rap album takes on the war on drugs

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KOLATERAL album art

BACKED BY two years of research into the Philippines’ ongoing drug war led by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Kolateral is a 12-track rap album that includes the numbers, the stories, and the effects of the war on drugs.

The album is created by Sandata — an artist’s collective which includes activist rappers BLKD and Calix, playwright and screenwriter Mixkaela Villalon, and researchers Nastassja Quijano, Abbey Pangilinan, and Ica Fernandez.

Isasabuhay, mga salitang pumapaslang / Nakatago sa mata ng publiko ang makinarya ng pagtokhang,” says the album’s first single, “Makinarya.” The album not only lays bare the effects of the drug war but also force the listener to listen to the people whose relatives were killed in the ongoing war on drugs.

Kolateral is a 12-track album featuring various Filipino artists, where each track is backed by real data and narratives on the Philippines Drug War. It is the product of two years’ worth of research and artistic collaboration. The data that informs the songs have been gathered from media reports and key informant interview at the front lines of the Drug War,” Ms. Quijano said in a Facebook post on June 13.

The tracks are not only poignant but stingingly visceral as in several songs, like “Makinarya,” one can hear gunshots and cries of grief. In “Papag” one hears a child talking about the death of his father at the hands of the police. “Distansya,” meanwhile, tells the real-life story of a domestic worker in Kuwait whose sick son was shot dead after being named a drug dealer.

“Sometimes they forget that we’re also humans,” Ms. Quijano noted in her Facebook post about the track, “Giyera na Bulag.”




“Real ‘numbers’ your face. ‘One corpse is already too many!’” she said about the track “Pagsusuma,” quoting a line from the song.

Kolateral is available for streaming and download on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. The album is also available on Spotify. — ZBC