Hip-hop has become an undeniable force within the vibrant landscape of the Filipino music scene –– weaving its rhythm and poetry into the cultural fabric of the nation. 

Its influence transcends mere entertainment, embodying the struggles, triumphs, and aspirations of Filipino youth. From the bustling streets of Manila to the rural landscapes of the provinces, the genre of hip-hop resonates with a generation seeking a voice to express their realities and dreams. As such, it has evolved beyond being merely a musical genre, morphing itself into a platform for social commentary and cultural expression.

The proliferation of hip-hop in the Philippines has not only transformed the musical landscape but has also given rise to a burgeoning independent music scene. Through the emergence of independent hip-hop labels, Filipino artists have found a platform to amplify their voices and share their stories with the world. These labels serve as incubators for talent, providing opportunities for aspiring musicians to hone their craft and build a loyal fanbase. Moreover, they have also become crucial pillars of support for the local hip-hop community, fostering a space for collaboration and innovation among artists.

The significance of these independent hip-hop labels cannot be overstated, as they continue to serve as the epicenter of creativity and experimentation within the Filipino music scene. With each new release, they push the boundaries of the genre, redefining what it means to be a hip-hop artist in the Philippines. As they pave the way for the next generation of talent, Billboard Philippines shines the light on the labels that stand as a testament to the enduring power of hip-hop to inspire, provoke, and unite communities across the archipelago. 

With these labels, they represent not only a reflection of the present state of Filipino hip-hop –– but also a beacon of hope for its future evolution.


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Courtesy of WAYBETTR

WAYBETTR, the brainchild of musician Naki and producer NexxFriday, emerged onto the Manila music scene in 2020 as an independent label with a mission to spotlight regional and global talent. Through their collaborative efforts, the label has become a pivotal platform for emerging hip-hop acts, propelling them into the limelight and garnering a dedicated following. Spearheaded by the success of prominent artists like R&B sensation DENY and viral hip-hop phenomena the Tu$ Brother$, both boasting over a million monthly listeners on the platform, WAYBETTR has solidified its reputation as a trailblazer in the industry.

The label’s commitment to nurturing creative talent extends beyond its established acts, as rising stars like Jae K and FTD have also found a home under its banner. By providing resources, mentorship, and invaluable industry connections, WAYBETTR prides itself as a home for innovation and opportunity, elevating not only individual artists, but also impacting society and culture at large. With its cross-disciplinary approach and dedication to pushing creative boundaries, WAYBETTR continues to pave the way for the next generation of Filipino artists to thrive on both regional and global stages.

Music Colony Records


Courtesy of Music Colony Records

Founded in 2012 as a sub-label of Warner Music Philippines, Music Colony Records has emerged as a pivotal force in the independent music scene, particularly in the realm of Hip-Hop. Embracing the ethos of hip-hop as its core identity, the label has meticulously curated a roster of artists who not only embody the essence of the genre but also contribute to its evolution. Central to its mission are the pillars of Hip-hop, Culture, and Knowledge, which serve as guiding principles in every endeavor undertaken by the label.

At the forefront of Music Colony Records’ success stories stands JRLDM, whose journey from an emerging artist to a household name exemplifies the label’s commitment to nurturing talent. With the label’s support, JRLDM has skyrocketed to prominence, amassing a staggering 1.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify and millions of streams on his tracks. Moreover, Music Colony Records has provided a platform for rising acts like Nicole Anjela, OwFuck, and Meek & Chill to flourish, enabling them to find their audience and carve out their place in the industry. 

Not content with merely establishing itself within the confines of hip-hop, the label has boldly ventured into uncharted territory, embracing the experimental sounds of the rock genre with artists like Party Pace. Through its dedication to fostering creativity and pushing boundaries, Music Colony Records continues to leave an indelible mark on the music landscape, shaping the future of both Hip-Hop and beyond.

Young God Records

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Courtesy of Young God Records

Established in 2020, Young God Records quickly rose to prominence as an independent hip-hop label dedicated to fostering raw talent and elevating the craft ‘without succumbing to the drama’ often associated with the scene. At its core, Young God is a collective of handpicked artists, showcasing a commitment to authenticity and skill over superficiality. Among its ranks stand burgeoning names like HELLMERRY, Daarth, and Eyy Sling, each contributing a unique flavor to the label’s sonic landscape.

As a co-founder and integral figure within Young God Records, HELLMERRY has emerged as one of the most promising and skilled artists in the hip-hop scene. With close to 2 million monthly listeners and consistently garnering over a million streams on each of his tracks, HELLMERRY’s ascent solidifies him as a force to be reckoned with. His contributions not only highlight his lyrical prowess but also exemplify the ethos of Young God Records: a dedication to the craft, a commitment to authenticity, and a relentless pursuit of artistic excellence.

LIAB Studios

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Courtesy of LIAB Studios

Lightning in a Bottle Studios Ltd. Co., affectionately known as LIAB Studios, emerged as a beacon of innovation in the vibrant landscape of Filipino hip-hop. Established in 2020 by WAIIAN and Misha Salud, the label quickly became synonymous with groundbreaking musical talent and uncompromising artistic expression. At the helm of LIAB Studios, WAIIAN and Salud curated a roster of rising stars, including SHNTI and RuiijiKun, who have since carved their mark in the industry.

Among LIAB Studios’ success stories are WAIIAN and SHNTI, whose meteoric rise on platforms like Spotify has captivated audiences worldwide. With a plethora of tracks boasting millions of streams, they stand as testaments to the label’s unwavering commitment to nurturing raw talent and pushing creative boundaries. Despite their youth, the artists under LIAB Studios’ wing exude a maturity and prowess that belies their years, leaving no doubt about the promise that the label and its roster hold for the future of Filipino hip-hop. As LIAB Studios continues to evolve, it remains a driving force in shaping the cultural landscape of Philippine music, elevating emerging acts to new heights of recognition and acclaim.



Courtesy of UPRISING

UPRISING is an independent record label rooted in the vibrant HipHop scene of the Philippines. Founded by ANYGMA, renowned for his leadership in FlipTop Battle League and his role as Co-founder and (semi-retired) solo emcee of Uprising Records Philippines, the label has forged its path without the support of major industry backing. Championing over 30 of the nation’s most distinguished and diverse Hip-hop talents, the label prides itself in orchestrating grassroots events, tours, and album launches, while also making waves in the fiercely competitive realm of modern battle rap. Renowned for its commitment to authenticity over fleeting trends, the label has garnered acclaim for its unwavering dedication to quality and artistic vision.

Since its inception in 2015, UPRISING has unleashed a prolific output, boasting a catalog of 20 albums to date. These releases –– spanning Filipino, Bisaya, and English languages –– are the fruits of meticulous collaborations among a multifaceted roster of solo emcees, producers, turntablists, graphic designers, directors, video editors, and sound engineers. Over the years, UPRISING has delivered three major releases and pioneering Live Online Album Launches that ingeniously showcased its talents, even those from remote regions. With an unwavering commitment to crafting timeless Filipino hip-hop, Uprising Music remains steadfast in its mission to set the standard for the genre.

Downtown Q Entertainment

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Courtesy of Downtown Q Entertainment

Taking its name to heart, Downtown Q Entertainment is an independent hip-hop label based at the heart of downtown Quezon City –– mainly in the 1103 area. Being one of the youngest labels on this list, Downtown Q prides itself as the home for Hev Abi, who stands as the most streamed Filipino artist today, with numerous chart-topping hits all across various charts all over the country.  It’s also spotlighted several rising talents such as the one and only Kristina Dawn, whose music has found its way to over 4 million monthly listeners, as well as Gins&Melodies –– who has reached close to 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone. 

With such powerhouse acts under one roof, Downtown Q has established itself as one of the most promising hip-hop labels to keep an eye out for, especially with their ability to successfully nurture and establish its acts to become some of the most well-known names in a crowded industry. With rising names like Unotheone and Simmo also under their belt, there’s no doubt about how far Downtown Q will be able to push their careers forward as time will tell.