When Did Rap Battles Start

When Did Rap Battles Start
When Did Rap Battles Start

Boxers, Professional Wrestlers and Many a professional athlete has spouted off words talking trash before fights, foretelling victory and glory. Their personalities were often larger than life as they sought to intimidate their opponent, break their focus, get them rattled.  Their fans loved their big ego and intensity! 

They wore extra layers of personality, their bravado and showmanship part of their appeal, they dressed to fit the image they had created, painted their faces and had signature hairdos. 

Sometimes all of this was beefed up to sell more tickets, but these Titans wanted to rally the crowd while fans cheered on their Chosen Gladiator!

Rap has transcended many musical genres as it brings to life the Rappers in a way that creates competition for bragging rights and authenticity.

Busy Bee Starki and Kool Moe Dee changed rap forever in 1981.  Busy Bee Starki was performing in Harlem and spouting off his brand of comedic lyrics when he dropped a line dissing Kool Moe Dee. It just so happens Dee was in the house and wasn’t having it. The freestyle origins of Rap led to these Man facing off in the first Rap Battle! As reported by RapTv Busy bee lost the battle and Rap as we would know it was forever changed

Roxanne Shante was a 14-year-old girl living in the projects when U.T.F.O canceled on Radio Promo show with Malley Mahl. He lived in the Housing complex with Shante, already known for her wicked rhymes. The same complex that NAS would later come from. They dropped a vicious response in the form of a single, ‘Roxanne’s Revenge.’  It blew up and sold 250,000 copies!

A couple of years later Kool Moe Dee accused LL COOL J of ripping his lines. And it started a new feud with each dropping song after song in response to the other. Rappers would get together and practice their craft in underground clubs, battling back and forth to see who would be victorious. Prizes were even offered as more and more aspiring Rappers would show up. Who would take the title, the prestige, the bragging rights and the respect!?

Some Rappers rose out of obscurity from the rhymes they dropped including Eminem.  A video of him got in front of Dr. Dre who would become his Mentor, producer and collaborator.

The battles raged on and became more heated.  The most famous beef was between Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls A.K.A The Notorious BIG during the height of the East Coast vs. West Coast Rivalry. The counter slams ‘Hit em Up’ and ‘who shot ya’ are perhaps the most famous of these public tongue lashings. Both men were gun downed in the same year and remained unsolved. It is widely thought that their animosity played a part in both their deaths.

A conflict between the Game and 50 Cent also ended up in a shooting outside a New York Radio Station after 50 Cent kicked him out.  Over the years Jay Z and NAS carried on a long time quarrel as did 50 Cent and Eminem with, well, pretty much everyone else. They have been willing to call anyone out for not being up to par or ‘putting out an album that didn’t have any beats.’  It was just the men that were in a stick measuring contest though.  The ladies have played their part with Cardi B recently hurling her shoe at Nicki Minaj. The struggle is real!

The culture of Rap extends beyond the music.  That is just the beginning! Attitude, strength, skill, style, bravado and prestige are BLING are all part of it. Who will wear the crown? Who will sell the most records?  Whose fans are loyal? The drive and intensity to be the best has pushed the whole genre to grow faster than any other. Artists are not only focussing on their own authenticity but for the more is at stake!
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