Cover Photo / Art by Alex Chiu
After a year that saw a record 92 homicides in the Rose City and the tragic loss of one of his 18-year-old mentees at the dawn of 2022, Talilo Marfil’s latest record “122nd” takes on a sense of urgency. The track acts as a candle for those lost and a light to those continuing to hold on. He details it all with stunning clarity in his signature delivery known as “chopping,” In the song, he raps:
“Hard to be looking out past those steel bars / And seen how art can heal hearts / And that ain’t even the ill part. These circles brought me healing, I built a life on a street that could have killed me.”
This street, 122nd Avenue, is the backbone to a side of Portland often described as “forgotten.” As he walks the listener down his memories of this storied street, on this soSpecial-produced track featuring vocals by Olawale, he recounts the turbulence, generational traumas, and handcuffs that have come to define this place that once could
have engulfed him.
However, the ‘Filipino-Typhoon’s’ hope for his block remains evident in his works to transform it. The video for the single, directed by Aeon Visual, takes the viewer on a first-person journey down 122nd to a mural that features Talilo and tells a story of the people that make this place. We are led to another building — a beacon — Ascending Flow, an award-winning youth center he co-founded with his fiancé to aid youth aging out of the foster care system through art and life skills education.
Watch the visual below.