Music

Gloc-9 and Skusta Clee's Latest Collaboration Is a 'Confession' That's Years in The Making

It's the second collab between the two hip-hop stars.
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Kumpisal, or confession in Filipino, is a theme that’s been running for many years in hip-hop, both local and international. In 2004, Usher even released his chart-breaking album named “Confessions,” the cover art of which shows him sitting next to a confessional booth at church. 

Whether you’ve asked for forgiveness for the sins you made along the way or confess your true love for someone, acknowledging or owning up to something can be an endearing, albeit emotional exercise for many music listeners. Even the praise and worship genre has used confessions in ways that conveyed not just a powerful message but delivered a powerful sonic experience as well.

Which leads us to “Kumpisal,” the second and latest collaboration between Aristotle Pollisco–a.k.a Makata sa Pinas, or more famously known as Gloc-9–and local hip-hop superstar Daryl Ruiz or better known as Skusta Clee.

Before this collaboration became a reality, Gloc-9 was first introduced to Skusta Clee through the song “Dami Mong Alam.” Constant shilling from industry veterans led Ruiz to join forces with the hip-hop icon at the time, and what started during a flight back home became a collaboration that would last a lifetime. Gloc-9 says he envisioned what the next generation of music, with the likes of Ruiz, would look like in the coming years.  

Pakinggan niyo to, pakinggan niyo ‘tong tao na ‘to” he reveals, “Nagawa nila through music, sa akin, sumasabog ang utak ko. Ten years ago, di mo iniisip na kaya yan.” 

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Ruiz’s ability to craft melodies unheard of was informed by his youthful exuberance, his almost braggadocious flows translating into something catchier; more of an earworm, less of an impactful verse. Gloc-9 knew what he was gunning for: a younger and more versatile member of the industry whose talent he could see lasting for generations. 

This isn’t the first time the two have worked together on a single. That would be “Karma,” which was released on All Soul’s Day 2021. From the get-go, chemistry-wise, both Skusta and Gloc-9 sounded like they had a lot in common, and the music video, which was shot at San Ildefenso church in Gloc-9’s hometown of Tanay, Rizal, paid tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” with zombies breakdancing on the dance floor. 

Isa yan sa mga gusto ko talagang gawin before pa, di ko mahanapan ng tamang reason and yung oras para gawin yun and siyempre parang pagkaganong kanta parang ang hirap,” Gloc-9 says about the video. “Pero masayang-masaya ako sa outcome”  

Gloc-9 then came out with Pilak, an album that celebrates his 25th anniversary in the music industry and which serves as testimony of all of his musings and determination as a true Filipino hip-hop icon. And now, Gloc-9 says it was only natural that he’s working for the second time around with Ruiz, who serves as an honorary guest in his silver anniversary album. Not only did Gloc-9 compose “Kumpisal” himself, but he enlisted the talents of R&B mainstay and singer-producer Thyro Alfaro, who helped provide Bryan Adams-esque Latin Pop guitar licks in the track. 

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Nung pinasa na sakin yung demo na meron nang hook,” Gloc-9 explains, “sabi ko ‘eto na to’, wala na ‘kong gusto idagdag sa lyrics. Wala nang gusto kong bawasin, babaguhin ko na lang yung variation kung pano ako gumawa ng melody. Eto na yun.”

Ruiz says he was already humbled by the opportunity to be a part of Gloc-9’s celebratory album, which is slated to come out later in the year. He revealed the motivations behind “Kumpisal” as it was being made. Music to him was always spiritual, embodying an otherworldly force that would push the artist to create more things with the guidance of a deity. 

“Sa akin kasi para siyang espirito talaga,” he said. “Iba talaga yung dala niya sa akin.” “Sobrang nakakatulong niya sakin sa lahat ng sitwasyon kung anumang klaseng nararamdaman ko. Tulad niyan nandito naman tayo sa ganitong klaseng ng kanta. Yung music parang ‘semi-god’ ko siya.”

As for the music video, the team behind it–YouMeUs Studios–revealed the religious imagery and other motifs that were made apparent. The director, Kirby Balagtas, shared a couple of elements that made the video vital for the single alone. 

“Doon nag-revolve yung (vision) ng music video,” he explains. “Nai-compare namin parang seven deadly sins, so nakita niyo siya sa music video talaga, kung ano yung hinahati-hati samin, kung saan siya doon. So parang hindi siya in-your-face.”

Watch the latest collaboration of Gloc-9 and Skusta Clee here: 




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Elijah Timothy Pareño
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