Bay Area rapper performs at Game 1 halftime show of NBA Finals, highlights AAPI representation

"They got a Filipino kid performing halftime at the first-ever finals game at Chase Center, beyond grateful."

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Friday, June 3, 2022
Bay Area rapper's halftime performance highlights AAPI community
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Despite Thursday's loss to the Boston Celtics, Game 1 of the NBA Finals provided a lifetime opportunity for a Bay Area rapper P-Lo.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Despite Thursday's loss to the Boston Celtics, Game 1 of the NBA Finals provided a lifetime opportunity for a local rapper.

The Bay Area's own Filipino-American rapper, P-Lo, graced Golden State's home court on Thursday. He tweeted Wednesday, "They got a Filipino kid performing halftime at the first-ever finals game at Chase Center, beyond grateful."

Sports fans are likely familiar with the artist's song, 'Same Squad.' The track has grown to be somewhat of an anthem for local sports teams.

ABC7 News connected with P-Lo ahead of tipoff.

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He explained, "For them to stamp what I have going on as something that they would want to stand by is such an honor."

And during such an important game, no less. The invitation alone amplified the importance of AAPI visibility, according to Dr. Matthew Atencio with CSU East Bay's Center for Sport and Social Justice.

"I think it really is such a neat synergy between what he's doing through the hip-hop, but also what we're seeing in terms of basketball being truly a culturally inclusive and global in scope type of sport," Dr. Atencio said.

When it comes to AAPI representation, P-Lo said he recognizes his responsibility. The Pinole native has grown to be a public face for the Filipino-American community in the Bay Area.

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"The Warriors did a great job with, you know, showing the diversity here in the Bay Area and allowing me to have this opportunity," he told ABC7 News.

"Unbelievable, given the global scope of the NBA," Dr. Atencio weighed in. "But also, I think it's also really important to see that tie in between the sport of basketball- it's a healthy outlet for so many of our local urban communities, especially for our Filipino-Americans that are out there."

Dr. Atencio said P-Lo's presence in this type of environment really resonates with many Asian communities.

"Not just here in the Bay Area, but also when we think about the global prominence in Asia," he told ABC7 News. "Including the Philippines, which is a basketball-crazy nation."

For P-Lo, his halftime performance was an opportunity of a lifetime for the long-time Warriors fan.

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"It's just an honor just to, just to be able to represent for the AAPI community," the rapper said. "And to do it on such a big stage. You know... it's the NBA Finals."

Stay with ABC7, your home for the NBA Finals, for the latest on the Golden State Warriors' quest to become NBA champions yet again.

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