Home News Opinion [READ] The Positive Influence Of Battle Rap
[READ] The Positive Influence Of Battle Rap

[READ] The Positive Influence Of Battle Rap

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WRITTEN BY: BRANDON THOMAS

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Early beginnings

I’ve listened to hip hop since I was in elementary school and I have seen firsthand how music

changed my thinking and even my worldview. When you’re part of the culture of hip hop you get

introduced to everything that comes with it. MC’ing was my favorite, but what caught my eye

even more was the dueling of words, yes the exhibition matches of verbal dominance, i.e. battle

rap. Being teased in school was the normal, but I did have one weapon in my arsenal. I loved

rhyming and at a young age I could do it well. So instead of stressing the night before school

about what comeback to think of I simply wrote 16 bar verses (sometimes 34 or more) before I

went to school. I understood that most people in my age range didn’t practice battling. Most kids

just liked the music, but didn’t create anything of their own. I used that to my advantage. You’re

probably thinking, so you worked hard at slandering kids? It’s not the act of slander you should

focus on, but what it stirred up in me as a shy boy who was too scared to stand up for himself.

The first time I confronted my bullies I was very nervous, but I still rapped nonetheless and

everyone exploded in an uproar of excitement. It was unfair because most of them didn’t know

how to rhyme well, but I used that to my advantage. It was a unique way of making fun of them

and it put me in a class by myself. Battle rap helped me to face my fears and to accept

confrontation when it was necessary. I only used this in self defense and for sport, but I never

used this to become a bully.

One of my early influences of this new found love occurred when I saw the classic match

between Cassidy and Freeway.

Screenshot 2016-07-11 13.58.53

 

I was in complete awe of seeing Cassidy decimate the Roc-a-fella

artist. He was this young guy from Philly who knocked out a more well known artist with his

creative metaphors, expressive wit, and excellent display of punchlines. Cassidy said some harsh

things, but that’s the nature of the beast. It was after that battle that I knew for sure I wouldn’t go

back. The conviction that it built in me even changed my daily life. I was no longer hesitant to

stand up for myself in normal circumstances because of how brutal the battling sport was. I was

inspired to speak loudly about what inspired me or irritated me. Battle rap freed my thoughts and

helped me to communicate in a special way. It didn’t corrupt me or make me use my talent to

hurt others, but it did save me from impending embarrassment in middle and high school. Hip

hop has also had its negative effects on my worldview, but a thing called maturity and common

sense kicked in and I was able to reap the full benefits of the battle rap culture.

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