Rent Money

Jonah Deocampo, also known as Bambu DePistola, 2012

The title of the album—One Rifle per Family—suggests that people need weapons in order to protect and provide for their families. Based on your reading of the lyrics, why do you think Bambu feels this way? Do you agree or disagree with this sentiment?

Who do you think is Bambu's intended audience?

According to Bambu, from whom and what do people in his community need to protect themselves?

What do you think is the message Bambu is trying to send to his intended audience?

"Rent Money" performed Bambu on One Rifle Per Family, © 2012. Available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

For more information about Bambu, visit Beatrock Music.

Rights have not been secured to reprint the words for this song. Please consult the following online resource for lyrics:

Explicity Lyrics

On his label's website, rap artist Bambu DePistola is described as a father, emcee, and community organizer ( Bambu is a second-generation Filipino American who was born in the Watts section of Los Angeles, which was the site of 1965 riots in which community members revolted against police brutality and systemic racial discrimination. In Bambu's youth, he was part of a street gang, and at sixteen he was sent to a juvenile detention center for armed robbery. He then joined the Marine Corps and later began his role as a community organizer and emcee. Bambu's rap music approaches issues of race and gender consciousness, exploitation of immigrant labor in the United States, police brutality, economic disparity, Filipino history and culture, and many other themes.

Bambu Depistola
Bambu Dipistola

"Rent Money," which features Bambu's wife, rapper Rocky Rivera, appears on the album One Rifle Per Family (2012). The rifle referenced in the title of the album is a symbol of protection. As Bambu puts it, "The gun is a symbol of defending ourselves from the police, protecting our communities, from things like corporations coming in" (quoted in Labrador, 254). In "Rent Money," Bambu and Rocky rap about their success and how they achieved it. Bambu did not resort to killing his own people (verse one) and sacrificing his morals (verse three), and Rocky stayed true to her beliefs and was not corrupted by money (verse two). At the same time, both rappers sympathize with community members who have engaged in criminal activity in order to acquire food, shelter, and other basic needs.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas



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