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PROTEGE: Pacific Ring Of Fire

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Johann 'Jon' Uriarte is better known by his alias Protege is a Filipino rapper and producer residing in Quezon City in the Philippines. He was a member of the hip hop groups Talksic Ways with Leymans Terms, Anygma, Liquid, Mic and Skarm and also Audible MCs who had been performing and putting out music for several years in the Filipino scene.

Officially entering the Filipino battle scene Protege first competed in the 'Blow Up the Spot' event in 2002 and went on to compete once again in both 'URGE Battle' and the Wave 89.1 Beatbox and Emcee Tag Team competition in 2004. The following year Protege took out both the RX 92.1 'Survival of the Illest' and 'Blazing Battle' in 2005 before taking a step back from battling to record and release the 'Undivided Attention' LP with Audible MCs in 2006. In 2007 Protege returned to the battle scene entering the AMPON 'Verses II' then the 2nd 'Sunugan Battle Royale' and in 2010 before stepping into the Fliptop Battle League and onwards to King Of The Dot in Toronto, Canada. Talksic Ways have an online album available which was released in 2011 and currently Protege is working on his first solo album to be released very soon.

Protege will be travelling to Melbourne to 1-Outs: Rampage event on Saturday March 16th and taking on Manaz Ill in the headline match. I caught up with Protege to talk about the Filipino scene, his music and his upcoming battle.

 

RAN MC: Could you tell the fans and readers more about the battle rap and hip hop scene in the Philippines? With a population of over 92 million people is it a large music scene?

PROTEGE: The Philippines is known to have had the first hip hop music scene in Asia, which started in the early 80s. There’s a whole history here, and there have been a lot of Filipino hip hop heads since way back. Actually, it’s not just hip hop—Philippine music in general runs really deep but isn’t properly recognized. Fliptop helped to revive the hip hop scene and now battle rap has a huge following since not just hip hop heads watch it.

 

RAN MC: When you started battle rapping at 'Blow Up the Spot' in 2002 did you ever think that 10 years later you would represent the Philippines in a worldwide battle rap event such as King Of The Dot: World Domination?

PROTEGE: No way. I was wack back then and got eliminated in the first battle of the first bracket of that tournament. Even until now I still got a lot to learn and improve on. I miss those non-acapella freestyle battles.

 

RAN MC: What does it mean for you personally to be known as an ambassador for the Filipino scene in countries such as Australia and Canada?

PROTEGE: I don't really see myself as an ambassador for the Filipino scene, but I know what you mean since a lot of people see it that way. I think it’s a misconception since I really only represent my own craft and style of hip hop, and not a whole country. Being one of the only ones from the Philippines to be invited to participate in battle leagues around the world is great though. I think my craft has evolved enough over the years with the work I’ve put into it, to deserve it.

 

RAN MC: Do you have any plans to keep travelling and battling in other leagues across the world?

PROTEGE: It depends. I’ve been battling on and off for quite a while now but my heart’s always been with making music. I know battling helps me get my music out there so we’ll see. There will come a day, though, when I’ll be done with battling for good and sticking purely to music.

 

RAN MC: Who are some battle rappers that you would like to battle in the future before that day comes?

PROTEGE: One of the guys I wanted to battle is Bender from King of the Dot because I have a lot of respect for that guy’s music and lyricism. That battle is actually about to happen in Fliptop a few months from now.

 

RAN MC: What else does the future hold for you creatively? More Music? Battles? Shows? Tours? Collaborations? Videos?

PROTEGE: I’m about to drop an album and as soon as that drops, I’m gonna start working on the next one right away. I’ll surely be doing videos and shows and trying to get my music out as much as possible. 

 

RAN MC: Here in Australia you are battling Manaz Ill, Have you seen many of Manaz battles? What do you think of his style as a performer compared to your own? 

PROTEGE: I think I’ve seen three Manaz Ill battles. His style is solid and he’s a tough dude to battle. I’m looking forward to it.

 

RAN MC: Are you excited to be making the trip to Australia to battle? Who are some of your favourite competitors from Australia and why?

PROTEGE: Yeah I’m definitely looking forward to this trip. I have to say that aside from Manaz Ill, 360, Anecdote and Justice, I haven’t really watched any other battlers from Australia except for a few others here and there that were involved in international matches. I remember back in around 2002-2004, there was this one Australian emcee on the internet who went by the name of Chincheck and I used to look up to him. I haven’t heard about him ever since though. 

 

RAN MC: Do you think more Australians or battle rappers in general should travel to compete and perform in other countries? What has it done for your music and battle career?

PROTEGE: Travelling to battle in other countries is definitely cool for the experience. Fliptop and King of the Dot got me a lot of supporters so that’s good. It’s like it gave me a voice and now I have people who want to hear my music and book me for shows.

 

RAN MC: Where can fans and readers get hold of some Protege, Talksic Ways and Audible MCs music?

PROTEGE: We’re no longer promoting the Audible MCs stuff, and the Talksic Ways music is out on YouTube. Both groups are no longer active though, so I usually encourage people to just wait for my upcoming solo releases. It’s taking me a while to finish this first one since I’m doing all the beats and recording and mixing it as well. I’m trying to make it well worth the wait, though.

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Ran MC is a battler from REAL TALK and a resident writer for battleREP.com
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Comments   

 
0 #1 Oxide 2013-05-01 09:05
Another dope interview from Ran! I'm enjoying these, keep them coming!
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