Artists Spotlight: Deep Foundation

Wsup wsup, yall! So this week, I’m comin at you guys with an interview with ILL Poetik, also known as Mark Malacapay, of Deep foundation. He’s givin us a lil feedback on what happened last time they performed at our Open Mic and what’sto come this Thursday! So…ch-ch-checkkkk it out!

Me: So, give me a brief introduction/history of Deep Foundation. [Where did you guys start off? Why? How? What does your name mean?]

ILL Poetik:

Deep Foundation started in 2001. We were just a group of friends who shared the common love for hip hop & emceeing specifically. Proseed was one of the people who started the group. He gathered some of his friends in New Jersey who rapped and that’s where it started. Proseed & I (illpoetik) knew each other because our moms went to the same school in the Philippines. Eventually he asked me to join DF. They met Mugshot at the Filipino day parade that year & also asked him to join the group. Our first show as a full group was October or November of 2001 at Rutgers University.

The name Deep Foundation refers to the foundation of hip hop & our Filipino heritage and how both are deeply rooted in our lives.

Me: So your guys’ names are really creative…What do your names mean?!

ILL Poetik:

Proseed – proseed/proceed is to move forward. That’s what we are about. Constantly moving forward, progressing & not letting obstacles impede our movement. it’s also short for “proceed with caution” which is a warning to emcees who want to test him/us.

ILL Poetik – There’s no really cool meaning behind it. ill is an east coast slang for hot, dope, good and poetik (poetic) is self-explanatory. I came up with it while listening to “Super Lyrical” by Big Pun featuring Black Thought. Black Thought had a line that said “immerse on some ol’ next shit, ill poetic” and i thought it sounded so fresh so I took it. I was in high school. Sue me. haha.

Mugshot – It’s actually an acronym. MisUnderstood Genius Spittin Hot Over Tracks. He chose it because the name is misleading. That sort of defines Mugshot. To the untrained eye, he seems like a hooligan (hahaha), but he’s actually a very intelligent individual.

CJ – Because his parents named him Christopher Jay….so yeah. CJ. Hahahaha

Me: So, you guys got a new album out, “The First Draft.” Tell me about it!

ILL Poetik:

We released our debut album, “The First Draft” on October 21st and we are extremely proud of it. It is 7 years in the making and for it was, it was worth the wait. We’ve always wanted to make an album and have talked about it seriously the past 2 years. We finally made the move this year and all the pieces fell in place.

We chose the title “The First Draft” because most of our songs have a story-telling approach to it. We viewed the songs as a series of stories and since this was our first album, this would serve as the first draft of our stories. The stories aren’t just about us though. It’s our story, our people’s story, the story of people in the hood, the story of people who are dying to be heard but with nobody listening to them…etc.

This is our first full-length album. The old one was just a compilation of songs we did. That means that this time around, we actually shopped for beats, got it mixed & mastered professionally (peace to DJ Phillee Blunt of the Illvibe collective for that). The album features our good friend, MC/Producer Hydroponikz. He will be joining us for the open mic. He is an unbelievable artist & a talented produer. It also features San Diego’s own Ashley Robles, singer/songwriter Jay Legaspi, and talented emcees Koba, Nomi of Power Struggle, Encite, Gifted & Kiwi. It also features production by Incise, J Chen, AM Kidd and G-Unit in-house producer, ILLMind.

It’s hard to pick a favorite song. In fact, our “favorite songs” change depending on the day. If I have to pick one that “means the most”, then I’d say it’s the song, “Children of the Sun”. We sampled a Filipino folk song by Heber Bartolome and he actually gave us permission to use the sample. It meant a lot because he entrusted us with the responsibility of promoting Filipino pride to Filipinos around the world, just like he did in the 80s. We took that responsibility seriously and the fact that he liked what we did with the song meant a whole lot to us.

Me: Outside of group obligations and responsibilities, what else do you guys do?

ILL Poetik:

We joke on each other A LOT. Although we are a rap group, we are still a group of friends. In fact, most of our rehearsals, recordings & meetings are spent cracking jokes on each other about any & everything. Other than that, we do research to cure ashy knuckles, and rescue injured bunnies in the wild. Not really..but yea, we do like clownin on each other.

Me: Define hip hop. Do you think its content/quality has improved or worsened over the years (Give examples of good artists now vs. artists back then)? So what do you think about Filipinos’ place in hip hop culture?

ILL Poetik:

Hip Hop is a way of life to us. Besides the usual answer of the 4 elements (emceeing, deejaying, graff & breaking), we view it as a way of life. It’s the way we think, talk, walk, dress. We even eat sinigang, hip-hop. word. hahaha. As far as the state of hip hop, I don’t think it’s “dead” or as bad as people make it out to be. I think the only problem with hip hop is what’s on the radio. There’s no variety anymore. That’s really it. However, there are still some great hip hop in both the underground & mainstream.

I think Hip Hop is for everybody. I think Filipinos have the right to partake in hip hop all they like. I just think that we need to be more supportive of each other. We’ve often come across fellow Filipinos who say we are “acting black” just because we rap. I really think Filipinos belong & can be an even greater presence in hip hop. We just have to learn to support one another more.

Me: So……………… did you guys find out about maganda?

ILL Poetik:

We found out through our friend Adriel Luis of ILL-Literacy. He knew we were going to the Bay Area last year and told us about your organization. I speak for the rest of the group when I say that we loved your organization almost instantly. You exemplify the kind of people that other Filipinos should model themselves after. You are all progressive minded as well as extremely hospitable. It was our first show in the Bay Area and we felt like we knew everyone for years. Also, everyone was very attentive and showed so much love & support after. It is why you were one of only 2 organizations that we made sure we shouted out on our album. Real talk.

Me: You guys had an AWESOME performance last time at our open mic….did you guys feel the same? what made it so great? And…would you guys do it again?

ILL Poetik:

As stated on the previous question, we had a great time. We aren’t really the best people to assess our performance. The best judge is the audience, and the love we received indicated that we did well. We had a great time because you don’t often find crowds who really listen to your music & what you’re saying. It’s a rewarding feeling when you know that someone took the time to listen, process & appreciate what you’re saying. Simply put, it ranks as one of our favorite shows ever.

Me: Talk about your tour — where you guys are playing, features, etc…

ILL Poetik:

We have a mini-tour in Cali. Our trip serves three purposes. 1)Promote our album, “The First Draft. 2)Shoot part of our video for the song ,”Children Of The Sun”. 3) Go on a hard earned vacation. Making the album was fun, but also very tiring and at times stressful. We needed to reward ourselves. The beautiful women in Cali and eating the chicken joy meal at Jollibees will do that and more.

As of right now, we are doing the {M}aganda open mic. We are also doing University of San Francisco’s “Underrated” show that USF’s Kasamahan is throwing. We are then capping the night with an after party/ our Bay Area album release party at the Poleng Lounge in SF. It will be 18 and over that night, so please try to make it to the party. We will be joined by our friend Hydroponikz & Nomi of Power Struggle. Not only will you see us rap some more, but you’ll also see us NYC/NJ dudes get hyphy hahahaha. watch out for thizz faces, son!

Friday, we’re most likely gonna use that day to shoot our video. We’ll know more details soon, but if you’re interested, please talk to us at the open mic and we’ll let you know about our plans for the video shoot.

Then we are going to San Diego. We are still finalizing all our shows there, but right now we have an in-store event at Access Music in San Diego. People can come to meet us and we’ll have a live performance with Hydro & our friend Ashley Robles. For more info, please go to our myspace at

Me: Are you guys excited about performing at the upcoming open mic? What can we expect to see/hear?

ILL Poetik:

We are “mad” excited as we say out here in the east coast. Expect to hear better material than last time. We plan to make you laugh, cry and smile….at the same time.

Again, for more info, please visit us at You can also search for us on Facebook. After our show there last year, we felt the need to join “the Book”.

See you soon!

Well, folks. There you have it. An exclusive interview with one of the East Coast’s finest. For more info on Deep can check out these sites too:

– Itunes –

A BIG THANKS goes out to Deep Foundation, especially ILL Poetik, for taking the time out to answer these questions for Maganda!

Check them out this THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH, 2008, at our OPEN MIC!!!


See ya’ll there!

{Elaine Legaspi / Events Coordinator}


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