Battle Rappers Break Out from the Hip Hop UndergroundBattle rappers have long been a focus of the hip hop community at large and often are considered more credible than mainstream artists who have commercial success. One of the key measurements of a music movement’s growth and importance, is when mainstream awards or monitoring organizations such as the Grammy Awards, begin posting articles about an artist or sub-genre. One such measuring stick is the Grammy.com “First Look”
On September 10, 2012, Grammy.com “First Look” profiled one of hip hop’s most prolific underground figures, Iron Solomon. In the site’s review of Iron Solomon’s “Get On My Level,” music video from the mixtape titled “Monster,” the project’s featured artists list included Recording Academy Trustee Paul Wall on the song “Follow Me.” (Grammy.com)
Recently several battle leagues have been visited by major music industry powerhouse personalities for instance, “SMACK/ URL recently held “Summer Madness 2, ” their marquee event for the second year in a row. Thousands attended to see the worlds best battle MC’s go against one another for three rounds of verbal combat. The sold out event brought out celebrities and music legends such as P. Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Llloyd Banks and more,” according to Shot97.com, a major underground hip hop site.
Female battle leagues also tend to draw a huge crowd and can bring in hip hop legends to co-host events. Monie Love, one of the first female hip hop superstars, known for her song “Ladies First,” co-hosted a female battle put on by the “Grind Time Battle League” which featured femcees Young Gattas and QB.
This sub-genre called battle rap is not new within the music industry, nor are rap battles a new phenomenon amongst the shining stars of hip hop. LL Cool J and Big Daddy Kane had an ongoing public battle on wax (records) that played out over the airwaves in most major cities having an urban radio station. Battle anthems like LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” and Big Daddy Kane’s “How You Like Me Now” were epic releases, which drove the hip hop music genre forward in a rapid fashion. There is no mentioning battle rap without bringing up the legendary Notorious B.I.G. who began his rap career going head-to-head with other rappers on the street corners of Brooklyn, during the days of the Boom Box!
My experience says battle rap may not make a major radio resurgence, however renewed interest in the sub-genre means we could see new stars in the near future. Hip hop legend Chuck D in a recent interview with The Hype Magazine, called battle rap “Cute” however, Grammy.com seems to differ with Chuck and is taking it very serious! Will we see a “battle rap” Grammy Award? What do YOU think?
References: GRAMMY.com Exclusive First Look: Iron Solomon retrieved from: http://www.grammy.com/news/grammycom-exclusive-first-look-iron-solomon September 11, 2012
P Diddy @ the URL Rap Battles retrieved from: September 11, 2012
Hip Hop Legend Monie Love co-host female rap battle retrieved from: September 11, 2012
SMACK / URL PRESENTS LOADED LUX VS CALICOE (P. Diddy present) retrieved from: September 11, 2012
Published by Jerry Doby – Featured Contributor in Arts & Entertainment
Jerry is Executive Editor of The Hype Magazine and a member of the Recording Academy (Grammy s), as well as a freelance publicist with more than 10 years experience in the urban music field. Key to his mu… View profile
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