SHANTI DOPE Reveals Inspiration Behind Controversial Song "Amatz" In MYXclusive Interview
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is pushing for Shanti Dope's latest single "Amatz" to be banned from the airwaves all over the country.
According to PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino who first heard the track during Shanti's ASAP Natin 'To prod, the song promotes the use of marijuana and other illegal substances. "When I heard Amatz, alam ko 'yan eh that is referring to drugs, 'yung tama ng drugs," he told CNN Philippines. "Nung tiningnan ko 'yung lyrics, it was indeed something na pino-promote nila, 'yung kagandahan ng marijuana and other illegal drugs."
Fellow OPM artists immediately came to the teen rapper's defense. Urbandub's Gabby Alipe called the entire situation a "gag order on artistry". December Avenue frontman Zel Bautista later responded to Gab, saying the rapper's lyrics could be "a metaphor for all we know."
Then maybe, to be fair, we shouldn’t show action shows on tv as well, cuz it “promotes” violence. And elects actors into public office. Different but carries the same logic 🤔 #amatz #gagorderonartistry— Gabby Alipe (@udubGAB) May 23, 2019
Yeah weird. His lyrics could be a metaphor for all we know 🤷🏻♂️— Zel Bautista (@zelbautista) May 23, 2019
The MYX Music Awards 2019 winner's management expressed their dismay over the accusations in an official statement. "This ban sets a dangerous precedent for creative and artistic freedom in the country, when a drug enforcement agency can unilaterally decide on what a song is about, and call for its complete ban because it is presumed to go against government’s war on illegal drugs. This is a brazen use of power, and an affront to our right to think, write, create, and talk freely about the state of the nation," a part of the statement reads.
In a MYXclusive interview during his video shoot for "Amatz" last March, Shanti Dope revealed that the song is about getting a natural high from music. "Napapansin ko sa generation ngayon, maraming kabataan... naghahanap ng sagot sa iba't ibang klase ng amats sa labas ng bahay... may alak... so eto pino-promote ko iyong natural lang... iyong amats ng musika sa akin."
Watch his MYX Fullscreen performance of "Amatz" below: