Battle rap scene is by far the most sought of event on the underground hip hop scene nowadays. Yes you might see hiphop in a single basic form as a music but for most hiphop enthusiast, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is played by two opossing performers, most of the time singles match, sometimes doubles. There are mainly two types of battle; freestyle, an impromptu performance or the most common nowadays the written battle. It’s a showcase between lyricism thrown with each other with the presence of the audience. A major thing that causes to catch people’s attention is that they diss each other in an artistic way. Some did it in a funny way, some in a deep meaningful thoughts, some uses references, some did it in a hard hitting punchlines. Most mediocre would interpret this as a bad thing but for those people who know about battle rap, it’s a one way of art. Yes it might seem absurd and radical but come to think of it, why do we see movies where which actors are programmed to portray and talk about a life that he/she isn’t. Then you’ll feel real about it’s character on the movie but not in the “actor’s real life”? If you’ll look closely enough, these people are genius. They do it the same way. They are poets. They make art in a battle form and showcase their talents in making writings together with the delivery and presentation even though there are aspects of the battle that their reputation are at stake. Yes it’s also true that sometimes they uses “real talk” (a term that they use to describe real events). It is a recipe of their work that highlights a point and stretches clearer details of the verse they use and technically they do it with art.
The game perse is simple. Emcees are given 3rounds each to perform alternately. They will perform their prepared verses or to freestyle. There are five judges. Each and every judge has to vote for who he think wins. The majority votes of these five judges are the one who’s going to proclaim winner. The judging criteria depends on each perspective of judges but basically these are delivery, flow, rhyme scheme, bars, punchlines, methapors, wordplay, nameflips, rebuttal. Sometimes they judge more than these criteria but these are most commonly used. Delivery is the way he spoke, tone of the voice and crowd presence. Flow is the speed rate of each words spoken. The faster and clearer the flow the more plus factor the judges gave. Rhyme scheme is the framework the emcee used in constructing his verses. For ex. “You have too much facial hair, looks like you can build 5 forest in there”. The two lines used had ended up with the same syllabic sound. The more complex the rhyme scheme, the more props they give. Bars and punchlines are used to highlight a line. This may be incorporated from deep thoughts to jokes. Methapor is phrase or a sentence with a dual meaning or more. Ex. (Quoted from dizaster) “you are like a welder hinding behind the mask for every bars you steel/steal”. Wordplay and nameplay are the same aside from nameplay it uses a name as the topic. In this they give the word and the name another meaning. Sometimes they jumble the letters to make another word and meaning and sometimes they put meaning to each letters of the subject. Rebuttal is the way to counterfeit what the oponent’s lines against you in a freestyle way. Most of the time it gets a huge crowd reaction because in here you will feel the rivalry of words between the two.
To sum it up, battle rapping is not as bad as it shows in fact this is a modern staged art. These are actors. Hooking themselves to be a living art. Starving artist who do not call for everyone’s attention yet they continue to progress their craft. Most of battlers don’t get an income that can provide a man’s need but they still gave effort and time for it.