Rap Battling & Hip-Hop
What up MM. Back with another installment and today I wanna ask you guys about your views on rap battling and what it has brought to Hip-Hop. It’s a subject that will be discussed over and over again, but from what I’m seeing artists that freestyle / battle are becoming rare. This isn’t to say that there aren’t any out there.
So back in the day a lot of rappers used freestyling / battling as a tool to sharpen up their techniques. I use the word freestyling because even though some of the bars are written, some of their work is off the top of their head, in the spirit of the moment. I’m sure all of you know some of the well known names that have used battling to step their game up. Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Jurrasic 5 and many more. There’s way too many to mention. These greats used the rap battle scene to their advantage and make their way through the Hip-Hop game.
Now a days its almost as if the rap battle scene is separate from the industry. Like you get the odd Hip-Hop artist come through, but battling has become so big, it’s an industry in itself. I’m not seeing rappers use the battling scene to their advantage and sharpen their technique. Its either they’re in it to be the best battle rapper or they’re going to make it in the music industry. This isn’t to say that their’s not an underground artist out there who uses the battle scene to their advantage. I’m sure there is. Battle rapping is big and good enough to be its own industry, but I fear it could lead to fewer lyrical rappers.
KOTD, URL, Don’t Flop and others have become a worldwide scene. This is most likely to the Internet and the fact that we have so much information at our fingertips. If you haven’t already checked some of the battles out, do so, there are some seriously funny and dope battles. I’m a really big fan of battle raps and some of the bars these guys come up with are crazy. One battle rap that sticks in my mind is Calicoe vs. Loaded Lux. The battle was hard and in my opinion Lux ended up destroying the guy. He went deep. The whole setup was spot on. If you haven’t seen this battle I would highly recommend it.
One HUGE disappointment is the Canibus Vs. Dizaster. I’m not a Dizaster fan so I was hoping Canibus would kill him. Canibus definitely has bars and quite complex bars at that, but he kinda embarrassed himself. I hate to say it, but its true. Canibus is a very talented Hip-Hop artist, but he is far from talented when it comes to freestyling / battling. This makes me wonder how many artists can actually compete with top battlers. I suppose you could also flip it and ask how many of these battlers can actually make songs.
Anyway. Back to the point, I personally think rap battling sharpened up the artist’s skills, making the artist more lyrical with a street edge. Hip-Hop has definitely benefited from the battle rap scene, but as the profits increase in battle rapping, I fear that artists are more likely to concentrate on one and not the other. Making them less versatile.
I want you guys to let me know your thoughts on what rap battling brought to Hip-Hop? And what’s your opinion on the current industries? Until next time you can catch me at @UKAntSmith.