[img_assist|nid=2166|title=|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=150]Bambu came home to Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) Headquarters in the Historic Filipinotown district of Downtown Los Angeles this past Saturday, February 27th, for the release party of his …Paper Cuts… EP. Bambu had grown up in the Watts district of Los Angeles, and while many people associate him and his music with the “gangbanger” lifestyle, he was actually also involved with the student group Kabataang maka-Bayan (KmB) or Pro-People Youth; which aims to educate the youth about socio-economic issues in the United States, the Philippines, and the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, he credits SIPA as being the setting where he had released his very first album, which is why he was excited to bring his career full circle and hold the party there once again.
Although it was an unusually rainy day in Southern Cali, which is obviously a pretty big deal in LA and probably kept some folks from attending, people still packed the intimate setting of the SIPA community center to celebrate with Bambu. Faith Santilla got the party started, first by calling on local talent to perform in order to warm the crowd up, and then by presenting a riveting spoken word piece of her own. Once the crowd was sufficiently revved up, Bambu and DJ Phatrick then came out to a thunderous welcome, and they then proceeded to throw down.
Then, despite Bambu looking to quash any rumors of a Native Guns reunion, his former partner in rhyme Kiwi Illafonte came out and proceeded to party it up with his old crew. Much to the delight of the self-confessed “oldies” in the house, the erstwhile Native Guns then proceeded to play some of their old sets before bringing out Bambu’s fresh stuff. Bambu was also joined onstage by one of LA’s best up-and-coming rap groups, Inglewood’s U-N-I, who were able to take audience participation to a whole ‘nother level with their “left-side, right-side” performance.
The running theme of Bambu’s …Paper Cuts… is all on the title itself; Bambu intimated that it is all about the “paper”, a.k.a. money, and “cuts” signify some of the issues that the local community is faced with these days, including budget cuts and gentrification.
In the end, Bambu’s parting words to his fans were to Organize, because that’s the only way to get real and lasting Social Change.