Gloc-9, Bugoy Drilon’s ‘Ahon’ Takes Listeners on an Uplifting Ride
Jul 17, 2020
Despite a pandemic taking over the world just a few months after he went back to being indie, Gloc-9 is still on a roll. Since the lockdown began, the multi-awarded rapper has had a variety of content and projects to offer his fans — from his entries to viral rap challenges to his own Zoom-hosted songwriting classes to his fresh collaborations with fellow OPM artists.
In an unexpected team-up with R&B singer Bugoy Drilon, Gloc-9 recently dropped “Ahon” — his own contribution to the influx of spirit-raising quarantine-produced releases.
“Ahon” is a song that is socially aware. Though it’s certainly not the first track to use the bicycle as a metaphor for life, the current context from where it draws inspiration makes it a relevant and timely piece during this era of Covid-19.
During the past months, bicycles have found their way back to the consciousness of the public as people were forced to look for a safer mode of transportation and an alternative means of exercising. In fact, there’s now a higher demand for this product due to the pandemic compared to the holiday season, wherein its sales are usually at its peak.
In “Ahon,” this antiquated invention is on the spotlight as Gloc-9 uses it to serve up a poignant reality (that rings true with or without Covid) while ultimately taking his listeners on an uplifting ride.
“Buhay ay parang bisikleta lang/ Pumidal kung di na kaya pang humakbang/ Patag o malubak man ang daan/ Kahit na malayong pupuntahan/ Umahon ahon ahon ka/ Bumangon bangon bumangon ka,” Gloc-9 writes as the focal point of his latest work.
The track still sees the rapper utilize one of his trademark lyrical styles — which is following his impoverished-to-middle-class protagonists in the different phases of their lives — only this time, it is condensed in the first two stanzas.
Near midway, he swerves to the more moralizing side of the road as he starts to give pieces of advice about life one after the other. The switch from the second-person to first-person perspectives makes for an effective dialogue-like rap part — which can be taken as the narrator talking to his father (who first appears in the first stanza), or to himself, or to his listeners.
The lines “Kapag ikaw ay natumba/ Pagpagin bangon ulit/ Di ka dapat mahiyang/ Matalsikan putik putik/ Kahit na gumulong ka/ Tiisin mo ang sakit/ Pagsikad sa kaliwa/ Sa kanan naman ulit” particularly speak of what’s happening during these hard times. With workers losing their jobs — including those who are in the music and live events industries — the pandemic’s economic consequences have prompted many people to look for other ways to survive and get by, even if it means getting out of their comfort zones. Though it’s something that entails a lot of sacrifices, it’s a bold act that is honorable and worthy to be celebrated.
Drilon’s soulful singing in the chorus, though shades subtler than what’s heard in the ballad-laden repertoire he is known for, is still powerful; it offers the needed breather as the song tackles a rather serious subject.
In the track, the artists showcase their starkly contrasting vocal styles over a steady melody with a minimal guitar- and keyboard-driven arrangement. The beats — which bear hints of traditional music — are placed just sparsely enough to make the audience groove lightly while putting the cleverly assembled lyrics to the fore.
“Ahon” is metaphorical in nature but it doesn’t meander when it comes to delivering what needs to be delivered: Life’s a journey, and no matter which kind of bicycle — or vehicle — we are on, we ought to continue until we reach our destination.