Chicago rapper Common recently talked about the subject of rap battling and why he would be first in line to witness a lyrical standoff between Kanye West and Lil Wayne.
In Common’s eyes, Weezy and Yeezy’s witty emcee skills make them two big contenders.
“I think not at a real war, but just on an MC level battle, I think two emcees who would really be a good battle would be Kanye and Lil Wayne,” he said. “They both got them lines that you be like, ‘Dang, that line was cold. Some real lines!’ They both got style, too. I think it’d be a good battle.” (Ology)
Last year, Grammy-winning rapper Eminem explained wanting to spark a lyrical battle with Ye and Wayne.
“When I made the record, ‘Talkin’ To Myself,’ what I was basically talking about was the time period that I was away, I was kinda watching what was going on in the game and it was like, anything that was hot at that moment or anybody who was really killing sh*t at that moment, I felt so bad about myself and the music that I was creating that I felt like I was starting to turn into a hater,” Em told radio personality Big Boy. “It wasn’t just, singling Lil Wayne and Kanye West at that time period, they were the ones killing it the most, to me, and it hurt. And it was like, ‘F*ck man, I’m not doing it good’ I felt like I came really close, for me, it would have been career suicide. I felt like making a song just dissing everybody who’s doing it in the game right now. I just had the thoughts, walking around in the studio, I think deep down, I wasn’t happy with myself.” (Radio Big Boy)
Eminem previously unveiled some of his own personal battle rap secrets.
“I came up on the local Detroit scene and everything was about battling,” Em said in an interview. “If you wanted to make a name for yourself, the battle scene was so huge, it was battles every couple months where anybody who was anybody trying to make a name for themselves would come out. I think one of my greatest inspirations or things that I would feed off of was people not believing, the cloud of doubt I felt hanging over my head and I just wanted to prove everybody wrong. I wanted to make it and I was gonna make it regardless of what anybody said. I’m looking for somebody, one to stand out to be unique and also say the sickest, most ridiculous retarded sh*t you can say and think of that would make somebody quit. Emcees have competitive spirits, that’s why we’re in it and we do what we do. I would have written lines, I would have punchlines, that I would be prepared to say at anytime to kinda figure out on the spot what punchlines I would pick and choose for this person that was in my face but also be able to mix in freestyle with it. That would be the basic formula that I would follow, have my punchlines ready to go but also be able to say something spontaneous too.” (Real Talk NY)
With rappers like Paul Wall and Rah Digga recently launching their own personal battle rap phone applications, SOHH hit up emcee Locksmith for his take on the lyrical wars going commercial.
“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 the music 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 Common footage below: