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Monday, February 19, 2024



Taking great inspiration from his most recent visit to his motherland, Filipino-American rap artist MBNel released his latest single “JUST LIKE YOU” via US label EMPIRE (Tyga, Fireboy DML, Tink, Amber Liu, Alextbh, Afgan).

This new single puts MBNel’s artistry on full display with a unique beat and unapologetic lyrics that perfectly reflects life in Manila for the Filipino masses. In fact, the proud Fil-American rapper features everyday life in the Philippine urban jungle for the song’s official video which was filmed in Manila’s slums and old railways, with MBNel playfully chilling with Pinoy folks and kids in the streets as a proud tribute to his heritage.

JUST LIKE YOU’s music video shows a rather honest depiction of the hard life that Filipinos living below the poverty line have to deal with, which they resiliently overcome day after day by finding reasons to smile, survive, and thrive even amidst dire situations—a typical trademark that Filipinos are known for all over the world. It was a strategic choice by MBNel and his team to show this side of the Philippines instead of the country’s postcard-worthy locations. After all, this particular song is about coming to terms with one’s not-so-good side and dealing with it head-on instead of sweeping it under the rug.

With lyrics such as “It’s crazy I be praying, but I sin too”, the song shows MBNel’s unmistakable Filipino side—a man who prays (how often do we hear “praying” in a rap song?), but is well aware of his sins and makes no attempt to deny them. The line “You broken (tryin’ to) heal too” lets his Pinoy fans know that he empathizes with them, and the song further emphasizes this with the words “I know you damaged, well baby me too” in an honest admission by the rapper that he’s no different when it comes to having problems.

"I’m trying to show that I share some of the same problems that some of my fans might be going through or have been through. This video demonstrates that we are not that different regardless of fame, money or whatever”, shares MBNel. 

The celebrated rapper further shares, “I loved coming back to visit the Philippines; my culture is something I’d love to keep learning about and now I want to come back and stay longer.”

JUST LIKE YOU is out now on all digital streaming platforms. 


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