Bebot

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"Bebot"
Promotional single by The Black Eyed Peas from the album Monkey Business
Released August 4, 2006
Format Digital download
Genre Filipino hip-hop
Language Tagalog
Length 3:30
Label
Writer
Producer will.i.am

"Bebot" is a song from The Black Eyed Peas' fourth studio album, Monkey Business. The single was released in the Philippines, Asia and Australia on August 4, 2006. The title of the song is derived from a Filipino slang word analogous to "babe", playing the English slang term for "hot chick".[1] Two music videos for the song were broadcast in 2006.

Background[edit]

In a similar fashion to "The Apl Song", which appeared on the group's 2003 album Elephunk, the song is rapped solo by apl.de.ap as a tribute to his childhood upbringing in the Philippines. However, in contrast to the first song's somber tone, "Bebot" is an uptempo song designed to be played at parties and clubs. The term "Bebot" is Filipino slang for "pretty woman", "hot chick", "hottie", "baby", babe". The music video for Bebot features primarily Filipinos, and Filipino Americans. In 2006, Patricio Ginelsa (Kid Heroes Productions) and AJ Calomay (Xylophone Films), who also produced and directed the video for "The Apl Song", as well as the Filipino American action comedy movie Lumpia, were enlisted to make a music video for "Bebot". A bonus track on the group's 2009 album, The E.N.D., uses a similar format to "Bebot"; the song "Mare" also features prominent sections of lyrics sung in Tagalog.

"Bebot" also contains samples from a song by Filipino folk band Asin; the acoustic part in the beginning of "Bebot" is sampled from the song "Ang Bayan Kong Sinilangan".

Music videos[edit]

Two different music videos for "Bebot" were filmed in early July 2006 and premiered online on August 4, 2006. The "Generation One" video is based on first-generation Filipino Americans.[2] It is set in the 1930s and focuses on showing the life the early Filipino immigrants in Stockton, California as migrant farm workers. The video portrays the relationships between race and gender at the time, as Caucasian women (played by Fergie) are the objects of the Filipino men's affection. In the early days of Filipino American immigration, only men were allowed into the United States, thus accounting for a large gender disparity in the Filipino American community. Therefore, Filipino American men often courted Caucasian women. Historically, courtships and sexual relations between Filipino men and Caucasian women caused a backlash amongst Caucasian men, leading to hate crimes being committed and the eventual passing of anti-miscegenation laws.[3] The "Generation Two" video is included on The Black Eyed Peas' home release, "Live From Sydney To Vegas". Before the video was officially released online, it was played at The Black Eyed Peas concert at Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines while apl.de.ap performed the song. "Generation Two" portrays present day Filipino Americans. It was filmed in various locations in Los Angeles, California; including Kenneth Hahn Park, where Dr. Dre's "Nuthin' but a "G" Thang" video was also filmed. Ginelsa has said that his intention was to make a "Nuthin' but a "G" Thang" for the Filipino American community, only with a far lower budget and far less references to sex, drugs, and violence. "Generation Two" displays several modified import vehicles; or "rice rockets" that are prevalent in Filipino American youth culture. Filipino American street racing legend RJ de Vera, who hosted MTV's Trick It Out and also appeared in The Fast and the Furious, is seen alongside many of the vehicles.

The video begins with an introduction with Fergie and Taboo knocking on apl.de.ap's house which then his mom answers and starts to talk to them in a thick, heavy Filipino accent and then she asks Apl to come down and starts to embarrass him and then his baby sister Jasmine comes and Fergie tells his mom they're going to the park. The music begins and shows Apl, Fergie, will.i.am and Taboo in different color backgrounds singing. It then shows Apl, Fergie, will.i.am, Taboo and his little sister singing at the park with girls and cars having a good time. The video finishes with them at a house party singing in a group together.[4] In this video, American Idol finalist Jasmine Trias was featured playing apl.de.ap's sister. Other Filipino and Asian American celebrities appearing in either version of the video include DJ Rhettmatic of the Beat Junkies DJ crew, rap group Native Guns, mixed martial artist Brandon Vera, boxer Brian Viloria, singers Camile Velasco and Jose "Sway" Penala, and adult industry's Charmane Star and Kaylani Lei.

Setbacks[edit]

In October 2006, Ginelsa spoke about the music videos at the University of California, Irvine as a guest lecturer for a Filipino-American student organization and revealed some of the difficulties about shooting both versions of "Bebot" in just 2 days. He noted that the record label had originally recruited him to direct the "Bebot" video but was let go due to creative differences. A year later, apl.de.ap ended up financing both music videos himself without the label's supervision and with Ginelsa directing. Ginelsa admitted in his talk that he ended up using his own credit cards after going way over budget and was too embarrassed to tell Apl the true amount. He spent too much time shooting "Generation Two" that he never got to fully realize his script for "Generation One" as The Black Eyed Peas members will.i.am and Taboo only shot cameos for the filming of that video, and one member of the group whom he would not name was opposed to shooting the "Generation One" video altogether. In a personal Myspace blog entry dated August 30, 2006, Ginelsa also addresses an open letter written by a collective of Filipino and Filipino-American professors and other academics who criticized the video's hypersexualization of women and the perpetuation of negative stereotypes, particularly in "Generation Two." The letter was mass e-mailed throughout the Filipino-American community rather than delivered to Ginelsa and his staff directly.

In popular culture[edit]

Despite the music video being shot, "Bebot" was not released as a single in the U.S., but was released in the Philippines and several other Asian countries. The song featured on the Ugly Betty episode Swag, where Oshi, a famous Japanese modeling agent is seen with one of his escorts holding a boom box with the song playing. MTV ran a story about the video on their website, as well as a behind-the-scenes vignette on their MTV News television programming. Contrary to the claims made by Ginelsa, the story claims the video was funded by The Black Eyed Peas. Filipino American DJ E-Man, who serves as assistant program director and music director for radio station KPWR in Los Angeles, also details a conversation he had in passing with label executives regarding the video which was met with little enthusiasm.[1] In January 2007, the song was added to the BBC Radio 1 A-List Playlist. CPDRC dancing Inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center have also recorded a dance routine for the song. apl.de.ap sang the 1st verse during HBO's Marquez Vs. Pacquiao 2 countdown show, when he was featured alongside Manny Pacquiao and his group in a restaurant. Manny Pacquiao used the song as an entrance theme for his 2nd fight against Juan Manuel Márquez. Filipino-American UFC fighter Brandon Vera uses this as his entrance music to his fights. Fellow Filipino-American UFC Fighter Mark Munoz used this song at UFC 112 and UFC 138 for his entrance. Jonnis danced solo to "Bebot" for his elimination dance on season 1 of So You Think You Can Dance in 2005.

References[edit]

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