Red Bull Batalla, the world’s leading Spanish freestyle competition, has provided a foundational hub for the ever-expanding art form while advancing Hip-Hop from its traditional American and Caribbean roots to the global stage. This coming Saturday (September 18), over a dozen of the nation’s top competitors hopeful for an opportunity to take their skills to the world finals in December will verbally clash in Los Angeles for a chance to represent America against the world’s best.
A few weeks ago, Hip-Hop Wired had the pleasure of meeting Spanish freestyle artists Dilema, JAYCO, Jordi, Adonys, and 2020 U.S. Champion Yartzi, with each rapper graciously granting their time in explaining their various styles and angles of attack while in competition. Each of these battle-tested lyricists displayed both an overwhelming sense of humility but also the bravado one can expect from people who study and practice the craft.
Red Bull Batalla 2021 U.S. Finals will place over a dozen of the national qualifier winners in a one-on-one battle format with the winner going on to face the champion of upcoming events in Peru, Spain, Dominican Republic, Argentia, Ecuador in their respective countries’ championships, and then moving ahead for the World Finals in Chile.
Hip-Hop Wired was privileged to get quotes from the Spanish freestyle Red Bull Batalla competitors, and we’ll feature a handful of their comments below.
“It means a lot to me, as I’ve been watching Red Bull Batalla De Los Gallos since I was a kid. It feels good to be amongst the top freestylers in the USA. I have asked my other colleagues about the road that lies ahead, and they’ve said to enjoy it as much as possible,” shared Adoyns, who hails from New York.
The talented El Dilema shared a similar sentiment as his New York counterpart in Adoyns, adding that his goal is to “Superarme a mi mismo en cada batalla (surpass myself in every battle.”
Texas MC Cuban shared, “I know it’s a hard process and has a lot of ups and downs. There’s a lot of learning to do and mistakes that can’t be repeated. If we are all here, it’s because we have all earned it, and we are all equally looking forward to the big day. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and for someone with a background like mine, I can’t afford to miss my shot.”
Orlando, Fla.’s Eckonn also has that same laser focus as his fellow freestyle rappers stating, “It is an opportunity to raise my Venezuelan flag in the most important freestyle event in the world. Throughout this process, discipline has been by my side the entire time. Representing my country is an honor, so I will take it with the seriousness it deserves.”
The gruff-voiced JAYCO, also of New York, also comes with that same pride in his craft.
“I am very happy to have qualified. I see it as a serious commitment to the Latin freestyle movement in the USA,” JAYCO shared.
“The battles are the doors to the world of international music, for independent artists where rap is their main product,” said Puerto Rican competitor LinkOne. “Participating in Los Gallos is one of the most important forms of positioning within this industry worldwide. It has opened many doors to many of the artists who have participated in this event.”
Miami’s battle-tested OG Frases said, “It is a great accomplishment. I’ve been able to compete in all 3 Batalla nationals that have taken place in the U.S. and as they say in Spanish: ‘La Tercera es la vencida (“The third’s the charm”).’”
Houston’s G.I.O. clearly understands the assignment as he shared in his statement.
“For me, it is to improve the work that has been done in the hip-hop culture with these battles here in the USA. It’s very important to become part of the elite freestyle scene, to keep pushing until you can represent the scene where you’re from until you become one of the best in the world,” G.I.O. said.
Tune in this Saturday (September 18) at 4pm PT/7pm ET on Red Bull TV via redbullbatalla.com and hosted by Serko Fu and Jenn Morel. along with Frank “The Doctor” and Letty Set Go. Rocking the tunes for the event will be Del Alma.
The full list of competitors can be view below. Best of luck to all of them.
Photo: Red Bull