Contact Us

The Curious Case of Battle MCs

The battle MC is an interesting character. While freestyle battles are a good way to get your name out there, more often that not, these rappers don’t break much ground. The careers of some of the more recent battle artists have gone nowhere fast – Jin, Poster Boy, Murder Mook, Serius Jones (who I really think just talks, not raps, in his battles)… And did someone win the 106 & Park Freestyle Tournament yet? I stopped watching.

I thought Jin had great potential and while he did make a little splash, “Learn Chinese” didn’t exactly top the charts. When he accepted that Ruff Ryders chain on 106, that was pretty much the height of his career. “At the end of the day,” he didn’t have the right formula and I’m not sure he was capable of making great songs even with Swizz Beatz production. Sometimes it’s hard for the battle rapper to break out of their tit-for-tat style of rhyming, but there are some success stories. Guys like Cassidy and Eminem (maybe the biggest success story) were able to make it big after breaking in on the underground battling circuit. But it’s hard to find an artist who can diss you and then turn around and make a great radio record and then turn around and also make a solid album.

Serius was signed to Disturbing Tha Peace for a while before that deal fell through. I’m sure the labels just don’t know how to market these guys. The main problem/argument is that just because you can spar on the streets doesn’t mean you can make a song with the right arrangements, production, hook, melodies, etc, so many battle rappers tend to be one-trick ponies. Is battling still what it used to be? Can new rappers still break in this way? -clovito

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for XXL Mag quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!