Young Money star Drake recently divulged into his love for the battle rap scene and why despite his confidence as an emcee, he could never see himself going head-to-head in a cypher.
Along with co-signing battle rapping, Drizzy named a few of his favorite rhyme spitters.
“I’m a huge fan of the battle scene. I’ve always been a fan of Hollow Da Don. Obviously The-Saurus is nasty; Iron Solomon is nasty. I always watch the URL TV battles even though I was really mad at the last one they did because the sound was so bad. But yeah, it gets me excited in the studio, to watch these rappers, to see them rap for a whole different cause. I rap to make albums; I rap to make radio records. But these guys prep for these competitions where my heart would be beating out of my chest if I ever stepped to another guy and I had to battle him [for] three rounds, long-ass rounds with so many raps to remember. So I get very inspired by that, seeing other people doing the same thing but doing it so differently.” (Village Voice)
Houston’s Paul Wall hit up SOHH this week and talked about his new battle rap iPhone game, “Battle Rap Stars.”
“I guess the first reason [you should buy it] is because this is the first app of its kind. There’s no other app that’s like this. When the opportunity came about, I didn’t really understand how it was possible to do it. I thought, “How can you judge a battle rap?” It’s got the same kind of concept as those karoake games on the Playstation and Nintendo Wii. It’s got the same type of concept. When they approached me about it, I was excited. I was a little skeptical about how it was going to be. It’s crazy because I’m not known for battle rapping, [yet] I felt that was an even bigger reason for me to be involved. It goes to show you that this is for anybody. It’s not just for battle rappers. Mistah F.A.B.‘s [featured] on there and he’s an incredible battle rapper. I’ve never really done a battle rap before, so this was really my first time getting to throw it down [trying it out] and it was a lot of fun.” (SOHH 5 Reasons)
In September, Rah Digga hit up SOHH and gave five reasons why fans should purchase her own battle rap mobile game, “Straight Spittin.”
“The biggest reason is because you can download it for free. So that’s the top reason there because it’s free. There are Pay-For options but for the most part, you can get into it for free and test it out. You get free trials and are alotted a certain amount of free battles in the free version. You’re allowed to browse through it but I do believe those free trials do expire after so many times. You can go to the $1.99 version which allows you to communicate with everyone else. There’s a little chat community that we have. It also allows you to go to different beats. I believe there are different beat packages you can get if you get tired of rapping to the default beats on there. So you can actually go and purchase a beat from known producers. I believe the $4.99 version allows you to practice in a rehearsal mode and you can store those onto a memory card. So whatever is going on in the App, you can store it on that version. The $1.99 version is a step below that. And with the free version, you get some trials.” (SOHH 5 Reasons)
In light of the underground culture going mainstream, SOHH reached out to renowned battle rapper Locksmith for his reaction.
“Hip-hop is a culture, first and foremost,” Lock told SOHH. “Battle rapping is something I’ve been able to get in and be succesful with, getting recognition and kind of getting that initial notoriety. It’s something that’s popular to a certain degree, especially with the underground. So anything that gets popular in hip-hop, you know we’re going to try to get money off of it. As hip-hop artists, we’re like, ‘If we can make money off of it, let’s try it.’ They’ll have video games and apps. That’s a check. I see why people do it because it’s a check but I don’t know how you can really do it by having a battle rap game or application. I don’t see how that would really be dope. To be honest. Even online, people would have online battles where you type out the words and to me, that’s something I never was interested in…I want to hear themusic and the lyrics. The whole idea of being in a battle rap is being surounded by a bunch of people. But if someone can do it and make money off of it, f*ck it, more power to them.” (SOHH)
Check out some recent Locksmith freestyle footage below: