Andrew E (the 'E' stands
for his last name, Espiritu) has been entertaining Filipinos with his own
special brand of music since 1991, when his first record "Humanap Ka Ng Panget"
was released. The combination of his catchy storytelling rap style, those
irresistible beats and the naughty and often hilarious lyrcs made Andrew
unique in Philippine pop culture, and his career took off like gangbusters.
course, he did have his detractors, the fuddy-duddies who complained about
his double-entendre lyrics. Radio stations edited out some of the words on
"Andrew Ford Medina." "Binibirocha" was another song that was criticized
for its allegedly suggestive lyrics. And what was Andrew's response to all
this ostracism? He wrote a song about it! "Bastos Daw" became another huge
Andrew E hit.
Andrew's career soon branched
out as he began to star in comedy films based on his songs. Most of these
movies also featured a beautiful female costar, and of course Andrew always
got the leading lady! He now has more than 25 films under his belt.
One very popular song of
Andrew's was "Ang Boyfriend Kong Gamol." During an
interview with Babette Samonte on WRMN radio in
New Jersey, he was asked the meaning of 'gamol.' "Ang gamol, yung lahat ng
bagay na negative," replied Andrew. "Yung mga magnanakaw, yung mga manloloko,
anything negative... yung untidy... yung mga manggagantso... lahat." He went
on to say that originally, 'gamol' was "salitang Parañaque" but now
that he uses it, it has become a national word, a household word.
Andrew spent some time in
Japan in the late 1990s, performing in clubs and eventually releasing a record
in the Nihongo language, a song about the misadventures of a tourist in Tokyo.
He carefully practiced correct Nihongo pronunciation to avoid sounding like
in the Philippines, he released a new album, "Wholesome: It's All in the
on Sony records. He commented, "I challenge everyone
who says my music is bastos when not a single 'bastos' word was ever mentioned
in my songs! The lyrics of my songs are playful, witty. Its up to the
listeners to interpret the meaning of what Im saying." One song on
the album, "Top of the World," was dedicated to all his critics. Also included
was "Banyo Queen," which became a blockbuster hit and was later made into
a movie starring Andrew and Rica Peralejo. Some of the tracks on "Wholesome,"
like "Rubber Dickie" and "Fax Me," were too risqué to get much radio
airplay. Nevertheless, the album was a major success, eventually going quadruple
platinum. The follow-up album, Much More Wholesome, was also a big seller.
In the mid 90s, Andrew founded
Dongalo Wreckords for the purpose
of discovering and producing new Philippine rap talents. One popular rap
group that got its start with Dongalo is Salbakuta, whose song S2pid Luv
became a big hit and was made into a popular movie in which the group starred
along with Andrew E and Blakdyak. Salbakuta are now three-time platinum awardees
and appear regularly on ABS-CBN's "Sarah the Teen Princess" with Sarah Geronimo.
Andrew also released an album of his own, "Porno Daw," on the Dongalo label
in 2001. One of Dongalo's latest projects is the release of the first-ever
all-Ilocano rap album, performed by Fuzbuzlow.
Andrew's newest album is
"Krispy Na, Kreamy Pa" on Viva records. It has already reached the platinum
mark. Unlike his previous records, the lyrics on this album are "all very
direct and straight to the point in their naughtiness," as he explained in
an interview with Showbizpinoy.com. Instead of the usual double-meaning lyrics,
the album features songs that won't leave listeners guessing as to their
meaning. One surprise on the album is a duet with Regine Velasquez, a love
song entitled "That's Why I Love You." It has gotten a lot of airplay, and
Andrew will be guesting on Regine's next album.
Although his lyrics may
be naughty, Andrew E does not have a bad-boy lifestyle. Nor does he have
the arrogant type of personality associated with many American rappers. As
an article in Balita.com put it, "A good heart, the ability to get along
with others, fine PR skills and a generous spirit - thats Andrew E.
for you." He is also a devoted husband and father. He ignored his own musical
advice ("Humanap ka ng pangit at ibigin mong tunay") in choosing a life mate,
marrying the beautiful Mylene Yap, who is 12 years his junior. The couple
lives in Parañaque with their son, Fordy.
Andrew E will be having
a series of shows in the US and Canada later this year. Watch our Carousel
Pinoy Events page
for the latest info.
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