This article originally appeared in the October 27, 2017 issue of the Vantage.
By Vlada Litvinova
On Oct.15 the American and Russian battle rap scenes collided in The City of Angels. The rap battle took place at Los Angeles club Los Globos in the framework of the international tournament.
World Domination that is a kind of world championship among rappers. The match between two brilliant rappers was discussed in April of 2015, over two years ago, which added fuel to the fire.
Dizaster, or Bashir Yag, is an American veteran battler with Lebanese roots. He is well-known in a rap world since the early 2000s. He has performed in dozens of battles and beaten such budding and successful rappers as IIImaculate, Arsenal, The Saurus, etc. He gained fame because of his offensive and aggressive lyrics, fast rapping style and explosive temper.
A citizen of the second capital of Russia, Saint-Petersburg, Oxxxymoron, or Miron Fedorov, is the most talented battler in his native country.Rap battles he performs in immediately become popular. His battle in 2015 against Johnyboy reached 1 million views in a day and now it has millions views on Youtube.
Oxxxymoron got an excellent education at the highly prestigious Oxford University, graduating with an English literature degree. He is famous in the Russian rap battle world because of his unusual flows, unique word choice and edgy rhymes.
One of the biggest names in the history of West Coast battle rap, Dizaster, discovered Oxxxymoron in the vastness of Youtube because of the videos’ popularity. He asked if they would meet one day and make a battle.
Discussions about a rap battle started in April of 2015. A battle between two rap legends from different countries attracted a lot of attention in all parts of the world.
Moreover, the fact the battle was in English, a first for a Russian rapper, poured oil on the fire, grabbing more and more attention of critics and people everywhere. Many Russians and of course the faithful base of Oxxxy arrived to support its countryman.
The verbal duel lasted over one hour and consisted of three rounds. Both artists used Russian language from time to time, which Russian audience greeted with a storm of applause.
Battle rap is a type of rapping that includes bragging, insults and boast.
The first round the participants were equal. The first quote of the Russian battler was an especially noteworthy moment in this round. He cited words of the main character in the movie “The Brother:” “Tell me, American, what is the power?” as if showing his fighting spirit and thirst for the battle. Dizaster got the joke with a sly grin.
The second round was much faster from both sides and it was still difficult to determine who was going to win. The viewers were excited and every punch was met by stormy applause and exclamations. In this round Dizaster and Oxxxymoron addressed many more punchlines to each other, which spiced things up.
Dizaster started the third round with a tasteless joke about dead soloist of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, which earned everyone’s disapproval. Dizaster later admitted his mistake. On the contrary, Oxymoron’s last performance was elaborate and meticulously assembled.
Despite the lack of judges, it was obvious for everyone who was the king in the battle. In the last round Oxxxymoron looked much better than his opponent. Diversity of punchlines and great preparation for the battle helped the Russian rapper to appear more dignified, proving to the whole world that there is rap culture and talented rappers in Russia as well as in the U.S.
It is worth noting, in the third round Oxxxymoron asked people to think about rap battles from another point of view. During the last performance, he said there are lots of misunderstandings between countries and nationalities. He also noted that people want to solve these issues forcefully. Oxxxymoron suggested people look at rap battles from another perspective. By discussing problems, people can avoid bloody fights.
I think that rap battles are mean and rude most of the time. But at these events rappers also raise important topics such as politics, poverty and more. These rap battles may really open somebody’s mind, change their opinion and even inspire to change the world.
Courtesy photo provided by UnSplash