Rap battles raises alarms

By Vatapuia Maiava 26 February 2016, 12:00AM

Rap battles have become a new hype among young Samoans overseas, especially in Australia.

The battles feature different groups representing their state (or themselves) and they use social media to showcase their talent.

But some Samoans in Australia are getting carried away, creating social problems where they live. 

Many Samoan adults say it’s a waste of time as their energy could be better spent.

In some cases, the battles are quite demeaning and disrespectful when cuss words are used.

A picture was shared on a popular Facebook page ‘Australian Hip-Hop Network’ showing the type of future these youths will have if they continue on this track.

The picture shows a man who is dying and there is no doctor around because everyone is a ‘rapper’.

The youths showed no interest and just laughed at the image with comments such as “just rap him back to life.”

Stallone Vaiaoga Ioasa, the Director of the recently released movie “Three Wise Cousins” says the trend is sad.

As someone who has dedicated his work to promote Samoan culture in a positive way, the film maker spoke about the issue during a press conference in Apia earlier this week.

 “I have actually heard a bit about this,” he said. “Those sorts of situations stem from the local scenes over there (Australia).”

 According to Mr. Ioasa, some of the Samoans involved have lost their identities.

“I wouldn’t say it’s something that stems from being Samoan,” Mr. Ioasa said, “but rather it stems from the fact that they’re trying to find their root, their identity and trying to stand-out.”

“And if they don’t know the paths taken back home (Samoa) then they will try making their own paths.”

But Mr. Ioasa doesn’t blame the youths for acting in such a way.

“It’s disappointing but at the same time it’s understandable and I know what it’s like to be in that situation,” Mr. Ioasa said.

 “A lot of Samoans, Tongans and other Islanders around the world are involved in such events because they don’t really know their culture.

“Because if they knew what their culture was then they wouldn’t take those sorts of approaches in life so it’s mostly got to do with lack of knowledge and understanding (of culture).”

By Vatapuia Maiava 26 February 2016, 12:00AM

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