How Shanti Dope's Amatz Ended Up on Marvel's The Falcon and Winter Soldier
After the surprise inclusion of a few Filipino words in the end credits of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Pinoy Marvel fans are once again losing their collective minds. By now it’s no secret that the third episode of the Disney+ show, which dropped in the US on Thursday night (April 1), features a song by local rap artist Shanti Dope (aka Sean Patrick Ramos).
We got in touch with Shanti Dope to ask how exactly the track ended up in reportedly the most-watched show on Disney+.
“Nag-email po ang Marvel Music Supervisor kay Ms. Thea (Gomez-Pollisco) sa (Asintada) management regarding the song, tapos nag-coordinate na sila kasama sila Ms. Kathleen (Dy-Go, managing director) ng UR (Universal Records),” Shanti Dope tells Esquire Philippines. “Pina-translate din po nila in English yung lyrics. Si Kuya Les (Lester Vaño), na Tito ko at manager ko rin at co-writer and producer (ng kanta) ang nag-translate.”
[“A Marvel Music Supervisor emailed Thea (Gomez-Pollisco) asking about the song, and they coordinated along with Kathleen (Dy-Go, managing director) of Universal Records. They also asked us to translate the song in English, and it was Kuya Leste, who is my uncle and manager, as well as the song’s co-writer and producer, who did so"].
The song can be heard during a scene in the fictional country of Madripoor, where our heroes Sam Wilson and James “Bucky” Buchanan Barnes (aka the Falcon and the Winter Soldier) travel to get more information about the super-soldier serum and the mysterious organization called the Flag Smashers. They were accompanied by villain Baron Helmut Zemo. In the Marvel universe, Madripoor is a country in the Indonesian archipelago, near Singapore.
Shanti Dope himself initially had no idea that this was happening and was surprised that his song made it to the show.
“Hindi po agad sinabi sa akin nila Ms. Thea and Kuya Les since waiting po sila sa confirmation, pero December pa nila pala kausap,” he says. “Masaya po ako na napili ang ‘Amatz.’ Nakakaalis ng lungkot sa panahon ngayon ng pandemya. Nakaka-good vibes po talaga.”
(“Ms. Thea and Kuya Les didn’t tell me right away since they were waiting for confirmation, but they’ve been talking since December. I’m very happy that they chose ‘Amatz.’ It helps ease the sadness brought by the pandemic. It really brings good vibes").
Shanti Dope admits that he hasn’t actually seen the show yet and only found out recently that it’s airing on Disney+, which is a relatively new streaming service that is not yet available in the Philippines. But he says he’s been a Marvel fan since he was much younger.
“Dati nung bata po kami binibilhan kami ni Kuya Les ng iba’t-ibang laruan sa Marvel kasi nakahiligan namin siya ni Krsna na isang Tito ko na kaedaran ko,” he says. “Nakita namin yung mga drawing ni Kuya Les na Marvel characters, mga Wolverine, Juggernaut, Magneto. Mga ganun yung hilig kong laruan nung bata, yung mga may helmet na characters hehe.”
(“When I was a kid, Kuya Les would buy Marvel toys for me and my Uncle Krsna, who is about my age. We also saw Kuya Les’s drawings of a few Marvel characters, like Wolverine, Juggernaut, Magneto. Those were the characters I liked when I was a kid, those with helmets hehe").
Of course, this isn’t the first time the song is making headlines. When it was first released in 2019, “Amatz” was targeted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for allegedly promoting drug use.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is scheduled to have only six episodes. We’ll have to wait to find out if there are more surprises in store for Filipino fans before the end of its run. (Also, here’s hoping Disney finally makes Disney+ available here ASAP).