Rap battles are an underground phenomenon that have been around since the 1970s and they are a big part of the hip hop culture.
These battles usually involve two “Emcees” (rappers) dissing one another using improvised “bars” (lyrics). Freestyling is not so common as each Emcee usually writes their bars and practices their performance ahead of time.
The rules are simple, each Emcee takes 3 turns going against each other. The winner is based on crowd reaction.
Not every Emcee is built to handle a rap battle. It is usually a tough venue filled with rough crowds and battles are known to get extremely personal. The few contenders that can stand their ground get acknowledged for good “sportsmanship”.
Today, there are many rap battle leagues around the world. The most well known and respected leagues are “Ultimate Rap League” from NYC and “King of the Dot (KOTD)” out of Canada.
106 & Park’s “Freestyle Friday” is worth mentioning as they helped discover “Hollow Da Don”, a prominent battle rapper.
Some other famous battle emcees are “Murda Mook” and “Loaded Lux”.
There are even comedy based battles out there, such as “Nick Cannon’s Wild’n Out” and “Epic Rap Battles of History” on YouTube.
Rap battles are definitely here to stay and are becoming more and more popular.
Notable Up & Coming leagues:
- Eminem’s Total Slaughter
- Enter The Dungeon (ETD)
- Spittaz Battle League