West Side home to several aspiring rap groups
LAHAINA – “My love she speaks like silence, without ideas of violence. She doesn’t have to say she’s faithful, yet she’s true like ice, like fire,” from “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” were lyrics from the minstrel genius of a half-century ago, Bob Dylan.
And while this particular album cut was one of Dylan’s more melodic productions, most of his songs were poetic and lyrical breakthroughs of the folk music genre that represented the unorthodox technique of the era and social change.
Fast forward to the 21st century and 50 years later, and the eyebrow-raising musical style of the modern era has a similar edge, but with a definitive deeper beat.
New technology has broadened the scope, and rap music has stepped up to the forefront with hip hop to become a steadfast, Grammy classification expression of today.
Around the world the beat goes on, reaching from urban roots to European and Asian stages and beyond, manifesting the mix of social thought and expression to take hold in the deep corners of the planet.
Coming ashore to Maui, the rap has caught the cane fire and tradewinds to reach the West Side with several aspiring young groups.
Lava Squad Mafia, which includes Matt “Flacko Boy Thrilla” Barroga, Andrew “Gims” Curimao, Maui “Demigod Don” Tapii and Cedric “C Notes” Curimao, is one such group.
LSM got together about three years ago, and with the guidance of Tuulei Tapii of the Fayah Deep Deep West group, has developed a style of their own to represent the culture of the West Side.
“Growing up in Lahaina, I always wanted to do something with music and started to get into hip hop in the fourth or fifth grade,” explained Barroga, a senior at Lahainaluna High School, last week.
“I started collecting rhymes along the way, and when I reached the ninth grade, I got serious and got into it more.”
Today, Flacko Boy Thrilla and his mates are making performances island wide, have produced two pieces of their own and done remakes of several others, and will be part of an island-wide recording put together by Maui artists.
“We are honored to be a part of this,” said Barroga. “Hopefully, we can move forward with what we’re doing and do this professionally.”
Perhaps the most telling performance by LSM, and Barroga’s senior project at Lahainaluna, was a benefit concert for the group’s dear friend, Elmarie Dagupion, who was diagnosed with cancer last year.
A 16-year-old junior at Lahainaluna, Dagupion has since battled three bouts with the insidious disease and is currently recovering, being home-schooled.
“She’s a good friend, and we went to the Senior Ball together… she seems to be doing better and might be returning to school soon,” explained Barroga.
“Our benefit show at the school cafeteria raised about $1,500 for Elmarie, and we are grateful to the community for their help and support…”
One of LSM’s songs has the lyrics, “I’m so flowetic, my flow epic. My flow ethics, you killin’ this song. Somebody call the paramedics,” that Barroga says tell of inspiring him to overcome obstacles and go for his dreams. Check out his music at www.reverbnation.com/flackoboythrilla808lavasquadmafia.
“We’ll be performing at the Lahaina Car Wash (Lahaina Gateway) on March 30 as part of the Hip Hop Committee presentation.”
For more information on Lava Squad Mafia, go to reverbnation.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.