Vhouying King. Sayken Snipes. Conboy Ilonggo. Backs Tregah.
Rare names for a new breed of singers-cum-rappers in Iloilo City. They make up the SYK Unit (Share Your Knowledge) which is responsible for songs that are played over the radio and You Tube lately – “Boho” and “Kadako sang Moon”.
The members of SYK Unit are fanatics of hiphop and they love local and international rappers like Andrew E, the late Francis M, Dcoy, Denmark and Ill Pride to name a few.
“We used to revive songs because we didn’t have any original beat and had no studio to record our compositions,” said 27-year-old Vhouying King or Eduardo Llanera in real life. “We only used a tape recorder to record our rap songs.”
But every good work pays off. The group became popular when it won as champion in a rap competition held in Brgy. San Nicolas, Oton, Iloilo in 2003.
After that, SYK Unit met Mouth 3, the founder of Southsyd Souljaz. “We became members of his rap group. We collaborated songs. Mouth 3 encouraged me to make a unique song, and that gave birth to one that has captured the hearts of Ilonggos and Bacolenos, ‘Boho’. This song has a double meaning,” he said smiling. “The chorus goes like this, ‘Ano ang gusto mo? Buho! Tungod sa buho kita nagdamu,” he added, laughing.
But seriously, Vhouying King said that he is thankful that many people appreciate their music. “Thank God for the talent He gave us,” he said.
Their big break came in October 2010 when they performed in Bacolod City and introduced their new song “Kadako sang Moon”. “It captured the hearts of the Negrenses, making it number one for several weeks in Ifm Bacolod,” Vhouying King said.
This happy-go-luck group may be having fun but that’s coupled with challenges, admitted Vhouying. “The new generation does not know that we strive hard in order to be SYK Unit. We just want to be respected. We want people to be proud of us. And we put both of our feet on the ground and many people know that,” he said.
“We are rappers who make use of the microphone in order to be good leaders. We want to show younger rappers the importance of talent and we also want to change the image of hiphop which has become synonymous to the word ‘gangster’,” he said.
Vhouying King, in behalf of SYK Unit has this advice for the younger rappers and hiphop fanatics: “Don’t let popularity get to your head.”*