Daniel Mondragón is a local photographer who grew up in the Mission. We asked him to select and photograph his 10 favorite Mission artists. In this installment of our series Young Mission Talent, Mondragón talks with Francis “Billy Lo” Sudaria, a rapper and skateboarder.
Francis “Billy Lo” Sudaria, 23, poet, skateboarder and rapper, has been been back and forth between the 24th street area and the outer Mission most of his life. He lived in the Excelsior for more than six years and began skateboarding and writing poetry at 15. His style – “Pure Hip Hop” with lyrics coming “straight from the heart.”
What inspires you about the Mission District?
Billy Lo: Coming from the Excelsior I wasn’t sure whether I’d be accepted, but I felt embraced by the locals in the Mission so that inspired and motivated me to continue to come out everyday. Being Filipino-American in the Mission meant I was very captivated by the Latino culture. Art is self-expression that is an extension of the mind. Skateboarding allows you to say what you can’t with words by creating and using energy. For example the movement of skateboarding is similar to dance and creating a vision through sounds and lyrics.
His favorite places: Mission Skateboard on 24th at Treat and Potrero del Sol a.k.a. La Raza’s Skatepark.
Billy Lo: You can create art and self-expression through skate tricks and various sorts of body movement. My main focus today is imagery through lyrics. I love to move and skate and dance but my favorite thing about art is when I paint pictures or tell stories through an open-mic poem or a rap over a beat.”
Billy Lo: There’s a new music video out on YouTube. I Dropped my first mixtape “Dirty Kicks & Fat Pockets” last November 13th. I am dropping my first single off my EP “Devils Market” on December 26th with my very own single “Tryna Make it Happen.”
If Billy is not skateboarding or writing lyrics for his next song, you can find him at open mics in places like Mamá Art Cafe.
Francis Billy Lo can be found and listened to via the links below.
www.soundcloud.com User BILLYLO1
www.BandCamp.com User BillyLo1
“Nigga.” Really? You have a “Nigga” pass Billy Lo? Though it’s been going on for many decades, as an African American I still find it offensive to see so many non African Americans poaching “our” culture, particularly when it’s done by folks who don’t like us (And that includes just about everybody, doesn’t it? Yo Billy, drop some lines about how Filipinos talk about Blacks.) Strip him, and a lot of other non-Blacks, of their obvious African American influences and what do you get? Who are they? What would they have to say and how would they say it? It’s “so” hard to be original.
I smoke weed and use lots of curse words to express myself. Please…. The beat was great and I can see his music working as his voice was pretty good as well. Just need to work on those lyrics as they are pretty childish…. He’s got lots of potential for sure. It will be great to see how he progresses going forward.
such beautiful shots. just beeeautiful. -erika