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Pinoy hip hop: up from the underground

Even with considerable mainstream success, the core of Pinoy hip hop remains largely underground.

What’s even more startling, the stars of the underground have a massive fan base. Abra’s award-winning “Gayuma” has had more than 20 million views on YouTube since it was published six months ago. Rap battles, where rappers compete by coming up improvised rhymes, are packed affairs.

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However, one thing has eluded these artists: a chance to perform in a venue as large as the 16,500-capacity Araneta Coliseum.

Finally, the big stage

On Tuesday, April 9, that dream comes true. In a concert appropriately titled Araneta Dreams, fans can finally see the artists they’ve loved and supported in a truly grand venue.

Set to perform are rap artists and other supporters including Abra, Gloc-9, Freddie Aguilar, Greyhoundz, Quest, Mike Swift, and Loonie, among many others.

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Pinoy rapper Loonie is set to do battle with emcee and freestyle rapper Dizaster from California, who won MTV’s Hiphop Championship. And Batas from Parañaque faces off Harlem-born Swayve Sevah.

Araneta Dreams (Concert poster)Three years in the making

It took three years for organizers Konektado.com to get the concert off the ground.

The group hopes to use whatever they raise from the concert to fund their charity work, which involves bringing music to the people who don’t normally hear it. They’ve helped street children, visited prisons and dealt with juvenile homes.

To help Konektado.com achieve its goal, a number of big artists featured in Araneta Dreams agreed to perform for free.

Platform for undiscovered artists

The group also hopes to make the concert a yearly affair and use it as a platform for undiscovered artists.

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Konektado.com has documented what they call “the road to Araneta” on their YouTube channel. They also tried to crowd source funds for the show via Kickstarter. To date, however, the fundraiser has just raised less than a thousand dollars against the USD5000 they were hoping for.

Araneta Dreams happens on April 9, Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Ticket prices are P530 (general admission) 905 (upper box A), 1325 (upper box B), 1700 (lower box) and 2120 (patron) are available at Ticketnet and all Araneta Center outlets. For more information follow Konektado.com on Facebook.

Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed.

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