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Shanti Dope’s ‘Amatz’ featured in Marvel series

This marks the Filipino rapper’s second international collaboration

LiFTED | Elaine Chung | 6 Apr 2021

Filipino rapper Shanti Dope’s song ‘Amatz’ has gained international recognition by being featured on Disney+’s Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This marks the rapper’s second international collaboration with Disney after the company reached out regarding ‘Almost Love’ with American singer Sabrina Carpenter.

In December of 2020, Marvel Entertainment contacted Shanti Dope’s management asking for permission to use the song. It wasn’t until the April 2 episode that the song appeared in the series and in the end credits of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

While blowing up around the world, ‘Amatz’ has attracted a lot of controversy at home. ‘Amatz’ means getting high in Filipino slang, so it caught the attention of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), who claimed the song was promoting illegal drug use so it was censored from TV and radio play.

Shanti Dope’s management took issue with this and released a statement defending the song because it talks about the ill effects, violence, and dangers of drugs. The management had also called out the PDEA on trying to suppress the freedom to create. "This ban sets a dangerous precedent for creative and artistic freedom in the country, when a drug enforcement agency can unilaterally decide on what a song is about, and call for its complete ban because it is presumed to go against the government's war on illegal drugs," Shanti Dope’s management said in a press release.

"This is a brazen use of power and an affront to our right to think, write, create, and talk freely about the state of the nation."

Naturally, the censorship only made 'Amatz' more popular with the younger generation. It now has more than 17 million views on YouTube and is even being used on a big TV series in the US.

Check out Shanti Dope’s song ‘Amatz’ below.