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10 Reasons Why Battle Rap Is the Next Big Thing

Hip-hop has always been fiercely competitive. Its history contains numerous heated (yet highly entertaining) on-stage, on-mic battles that are still debated to this day. Nods to Kool Moe Dee and Busy Bee Starski’s battle in 1981 at the industry-famous Harlem World that is cited by many as being one of the first emcee battles, as well as KRS-One’s back-and-forth with MC Shan. Contemporary examples include Jay Z and Nas’s infamous war of words at the turn of the new century, and of course, The Game and 50 Cent’s fiery enduring feud.

Despite the string of classic and omnipresent lyrical clashes, the competitive emceeing element of hip-hop has recently taken more of a backseat, leading to the birth of a new subculture: battle rap. Today, the contemporary format of battling is more popular than ever. There are numerous platforms that have been established to promote the “sport,” including the United States’ leading stage SMACK/Ultimate Rap League, and Canada’s premier platform, King Of The Dot. Moreover, the sub-culture is a recognized breeding ground for top emcees. Here are 10 reasons why this sub-culture is hip-hop’s next big thing.

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