Break it down: Abra explains the art of rap battling | Inquirer Entertainment

Break it down: Abra explains the art of rap battling

/ 01:57 PM April 13, 2018

Abra. Instagram photo/@abraofficial

Rap battling is surely one of the most celebrated internet craze of recent history. With its on-point, hard-hitting and cleverly spontaneous exchanges, battle emcees have managed to capture an audience that get hooked on their knockout assaults.

Among the most successful underground rap battle platforms is the FlipTop Battle League. Here, emcees engage in lyrical, poetic battles in front of a live energetic audience. They can do anything from insults, sex talk, to hardcore cursing – but still done in an artistic way.


In freestyle rap, hurling the insult back at your opponent is called a “flip.”


Hip-hop artist Abra, one of the most celebrated battle emcees, spilled the beans about the true science of a rap battle in his recent guesting on Inquirer ShowbizLive last Wednesday, April 11.

“Yung original format kasi ng battling is may beat; talagang organic siya, freestyle siya; doon mo lang makikita. Whereas itong bagong format na mas acapella, naka-video; bibigyan ka ng siguro one month or the least is 2 weeks para paghandaan o makilala ‘yung opponent mo at lubos mong mapaghandaan ‘yung mga bara mo na hindi lang siya pure freestyle. Kumbaga controlled ‘yung content na mailalabas mo,” he said.

While they are given time for preparation, the highlight of battling would have to be the emcee’s ability to adapt to the current situation. Such episodes usually require witty, on-point and knockout freestyle counterslam.

“Dapat parehas siya, andun ka nang handa at andun ka nang wala kang handa, pero handa mong ibuga, parang ganon,” he said.

Abra also said that rap battle is already considered a lyrical sport.

“Phenomenon siya sa buong mundo. Sa Russia, sobrang lakas ng rap battle; sa Canada, North America, Europe. Grabe, tapos sobrang dedicated lahat ng mga battle emcees, ngayon talagang respectful sila kung ano dapat ‘yung art form at paano talaga dapat bumattle,” he said.


He also added that appreciation for the sport is highest in the Philippines where it has grown significantly from how it was before.

“Dati walang may paki. Galing sa era na parang walang pumapansin, parang ang baba ng tingin sa rap, ang baba ng tingin sa hip-hop; parang madali lang daw gawin.

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“Tapos nu’ng lumabas ‘yung rap battle, ‘yung FlipTop, nagkaroon ng bagong wave ng music, nagkaron ng ibang appreciation at pananaw sa rap na something na pwede mong irespeto na hindi ‘to basta-basta. Hindi ‘to parang ‘Gagawin ko ‘yan at gagawin ko ‘yon at ‘pag nag-rap ako’y isang leon,’” he said. /je

TAGS: Abra, Entertainment, Hip hop, Music, rap, rap battle

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