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This is Battle Rap bitches!

Was asked this quite high brow question recently “why does a slam poet like you follow battle rap?”. This is my response –

Slam poets often get dissed on the battle rap scene, but that is part of the game. After all this is battle rap bitches! Most art forms whether low or high brow can become parodies of themselves. Battle rap does have an element of this. And cheesy delivery, bling and over played gun bars have increased ten fold in the scene. Just like rap itself being nothing like the roots set in hip-hop in the New York Bronks. There are not many contemporary arts scenes that could be attempting to be more macho if they tried.

However, for delivery , humour, lyrisicm and word play there is nothing more diverse out there right now then Don’t Flop.

For those not in the know this slam poet trend in battle rap kinda started in the UK with the Mark Grist v Blizzard (teacher v student ) battle that still is one of the most viewed battles. And there is no arrogance in me saying that Grist dragged the scene a bit into the mainstream. He may have moved on, and I do not know if he even battles anymore, to a successful collaboration with Mixy and their Dead Poets shows, but the scene has changed and broadened for, in my opinion, the better.

I really like Shotty and the current Don’t Flop champ Soul, so not just slam poets are my favourites. The latter could also make it on the slam scene I reckon, as his word play, schemes, lyricism and pen game are rarely surpassed these days.

Here are my top three battles starring slam poets, starting of course with Grist-

killer bars “To those who are at home sitting watching youtube, don’t start clicking, I know this might look like some extreme kind of baby sitting.  It is actually battle rap, two grown men bitching, but one of us is not legally old enough to  drink inside the building”.

killer bars – “you keep pretending it is gender that is holding you back, in the hope that they won’t know that your whack. What is ironic is that without gender politics and policies involved, you would have been told NO for quality control. But it is a nifty game you play. You abuse misogyny to hide your rhyming. But it is like fifty shades of grey, you had to use controversy to hide poor writing”

killer bars -“it is the supermarket battle rapper, he’ll fuckin shag your wife, then offer you a bag for life. Andl let ya pat ya Nans arse twice and tell her it is Asda Price. You are the master of coming up with random shite, but to be a decent writer you have to write. That is why your pen rhymes will never get them Don De Marcos, coz red lines only come up when you scan the bar code”.

To go back to the beginning point, I really get annoyed with this puritan attitude as to what is good or a higher form of arts. In good varied battle rap you can see not just great pen game but delivery, cadence, and a lot more punch lines then you may find in normal slam poetry. As you can see from the last few years I am not the only slam poet to know there ain’t nought wrong with battle rap bitches.

 

 

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