1st.One Makes History With “Shout Out”
You might ask... What’s the deal with 1st.One? Well, let me give you a rundown. They won first place at the 28th Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival. They were grand winners of the Seoul Music Awards: PH Dance To Your Seoul 2019. And they became the first-ever Filipino artists to perform as the opening act for the Seoul Music Awards 2020.
We’ve wept with them through their pre-debut track One Dream, a sentimental ballad about the hardships and triumphs to reach your dreams. We’ve jammed alongside them in You Are The One (Ttak Maja Nuh), a catchy EDM track that showcased their dance prowess and boyish charm. And then came Oh, the emo R&B and hip hop song that had us on a chokehold for its sensuality as it inspired people to break their chains and take a leap of faith.
It’s been a while since 1st.One’s comeback—four months, in fact. And since then, ForOne has been patiently anticipating the beloved members, Ace, Alpha, J, Jayson, Max, and Joker. But, finally, they’re back! With images from an era long lost, they dropped their first teaser, “Legacy” The History Teaser at the start of 2022. It’s a completely different vibe from what you would’ve expected from the group. At the same time, it speaks of their range and artistry to push the boundary. So, what’s more, to say? Let’s dive into Shout Out.
Upon initial glance, Shout Out is a powerful hip-hop anthem that captures the intensity of the battlefield. It speaks of passion and putting your heart out for what you stand for. Combining elements of hip hop, EDM, and pop, it’s not unheard of for 1st.One’s discography, who tends to gravitate for that style. But, just to note: Unheard of does not mean unwelcome as for this comeback, we saw a more aggressive, powerful 1st.One. The track contains striking vocals and vicious raps through a layered instrumental of sharp electronic notes and loud clattering beats. It’s catchy, motivational, and trendy to the P-Pop soundscape.
But, if you look closely at the music, it’s actually a profound homage to Philippine-Korean relations. As noted in many interviews from 1st.One, Shout Out is a tribute to the Filipino soldiers who served as members of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) during the Korean War. At the time, up to 7,420 Filipino soldiers helped the South Korean forces in battle, including in The Battle of Yultong.
And I know what you’re thinking. Why capture this moment in time? Well, simply, it’s because this is the group’s way of asking us to remember our history and the value of camaraderie. This is their way of paying respects to unheard voices, unsung heroes, and connectedness across different cultures and nationalities—a value we need more than ever. Shout Out is 1st.One’s way of defining a legacy.
Directed by Raymond Fabian, the cinematic music video features the boys clad in a trendy style of camouflage print. They’re accessorized with a range of chains, dog tags, and fingerless gloves to bulletproof vests and protective gear. They start off the MV with strong dance choreography in a military base or hangar. The footage goes from close-up shots of each member to group shots of the performance. This is where we really get a feel for 1st.One’s stage presence and amazing dance performance. The group has always been strong dancers, given their start in dance crews. But, here, it’s such a visual treat to witness.
The next scenes go by quickly to keep the momentum going. It goes from multiple settings in a forest, military offices to even inside a tank. Here, we see the boys in varying outfits from one-piece flight suits, olive overcoats typically worn by military generals to full white dress uniforms with matching sailor hats—a testament to the homage they’re paying to different types of heroes of the time.
At one point, the MV cuts midway for a short interlude. We see old footage from the Second World War to the background of inspired narration to commemorate the era. It then cuts to a dance break set in concrete and nature. With an army of backup dancers, 1st.One dances to their heart’s content with the grit and passion expected from these boys. The MV ends with text detailing, “We salute the sacrifice, valor, and heart of our Filipino soldiers. Battle of Yultong: 1951. Korean War: 1950-1953.”
Starting at the end and going up to be the first, Ace, Alpha, J, Jayson, Max, and Joker have a long way to go for their dream. But, one thing’s for sure, they’re not stopping anytime soon. Each comeback gets bigger, bolder, and brighter in concept to performance. And through Shout Out, it looks like they’ve done it again.
For all the ForOne and P-Pop fans out there, watch this be the start of 1st.One’s rise to domination—For this is the start of their legacy.