After recently admitting he does not spend time working on his freestyle skills, SOHH decided to hit up rap newcomer Don Trip to have him explain his decision to sway away from the traditional hip-hop pasttime.
While Don respects the craft, he said freestyling and battle rapping do not serve to financially benefit him.
“I’m not a battle rapper, I’m not a freestyle rapper,” Trip told SOHH. “I think every artist is different and the problem is, [people] try to put us all in one big box like we’re supposed to do it all and that ain’t necessarily how it go. … No matter how much artists say, ‘We do this because we love it,’ if we did this because we loved it, then we’d give away all of our music for free. … This is a music business and in this business, I can’t make no money off of freestyling and I can’t make no money off of battle rapping. My focus is never on either of those. That’s not even in my cards. I’m not even trying to do that. I care nothing about that” (SOHH)
The Memphis-bred emcee also went on to point out the misconception of freestyle and battle rapper’s emcee skills.
“That’s like a basketball ball player sparring but he’s not a boxer. So I’m going to do what I do and I’m going to be the best at what I do. At the end of the day, I can’t go play my freestyles at my concerts. I can’t get no spins off of a battle rap on the radio. So I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do. I’m a businessman at the end of the day. The average rapper’s career doesn’t last long enough for all of this to even take effect anyway. Nobody can really freestyle. If you’ve ever heard a true freestyle, half of what they’re saying doesn’t even make sense. If you’ve ever heard a battle rapper, all of the battle rappers were great but couldn’t make songs. I’d rather be able to make great records than be a battle rapper or be able to freestyle.” (SOHH)
A few months ago, Don revealed his disinterest in unwritten raps.
“Oh, no. I never freestyle. The way I work, I don’t write until I’m in the studio. I don’t like to write before it’s time because when it’s time to spit it, I don’t remember how I approached it. I don’t rap it like…if I can’t feel it, then I’m not doing it. I feel like that’s one of the few things I can offer that ain’t being offered all around the board. I can show you that I feel this. I love music, so I’m expressing it instead of just rapping.” (The FADER)
In 2009, Young Money’s Drake admitted his inability to freestyle.
“I’ll never forget how nervous I was,” Drake explained in an interview referencing a Funkmaster Flex interview. “It was such a rookie hip-hop moment — and, obviously, the controversy of me pulling out my phone and rapping off my phone because I just wasn’t prepared. A lot of people don’t know the difference between freestyle or off the top and coming to a radio show knowing you got to go there, so you got verses cued up in your head, whether they be off your upcoming album or verses just that you have laying around. A lot of artists get that preparation time…I’m a writer, man. I appreciate the elements of hip-hop. I appreciate a guy like Common who goes city to city and just spits at the crowd for 10 minutes about everything he sees. I admire talent like that, because that’s just not my creative process.” (MTV)
Check out a recent Don Trip interview below: