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Fliptop: Another adopted culture of Hip-Hop

Everybody make some noise - A famous line in the beginning of the battle from Anigma, host of Fliptop
Rap Battle League in the Philippines. A rap battle league (also known as Battle Rapping or Battle Rhyming) that
puts two wit people (usually a gentleman) in a competition that includes a lot of braggadocio bragging and
boasting, and insult each other with witty put-downs, punch lines, and friendly offenses thru words with powerful

Elements of the Battle League
There are four elements in Fliptop. First element is the emcees or the contestants. This is the body of the
competition consisting of two competing emcees in the battle. The two wits will compete in three rounds having a
minute for each round. Each emcee must use his rebuttal expertise, skill, unique talent in insulting and lyrical
ability to not only put down his opponent into shame, but also to encourage the audience that he is better rapper
than his opponent. The emcees have different styles and way of techniques in battling, in this sport, the emcee
should maintain his cool head in order to answer back his opponent in the form of rhyming rap.
In the beginning of the rap battle, the referee (second element) will toss a coin, and one of the emcees
calls it in the air. If he calls it right, then, he chooses who goes first. Aric Anygma Yuson serves as the official
referee and host of Fliptop. He serves as the umpire of the game, and stops the emcees if they reached the one
minute time limit in each round. He also once joined the battle league versus Ditbag Dan last New Year and won
the battle.
Selected judges (third element) have been invited in formal battles of Fliptop. Sometimes the judges are
also Fliptoppers (emcees) of the tournament. They are the evaluator in the contest. There are only two decisions in
judging, one is, each judge will only favor one contestant and the other is to decide to have an OT (overtime) if
they are having a hard time in judging. An OT is an extension of a 3-round battle of competition; each contestant is
given another minute for his final round and this time the second in the official rounds of Fliptop will comes first.
Final decision will reveal by the judges after the two wits are done with their battle raps.
The fourth element is the hot and loud crowd composed of fans of the contestants, audiences and other
supporters of Fliptop. But nonetheless, its a great place where teens and hang outers could come together for a
fun and oozing entertainment of lyrical wits and skills. Audience participation is usually required as to the fact that
most of the battles held are judged by the crowd of listeners since they're the ones who are listening and enjoying
the raps of the contestants. Sometimes an emcee will win the battle because of his supporters cheering in favor of
Another Adopted Culture
From hip hop dance, fashion and now, even in language delivery. Battling is a prominent part of our hip-
hop culture. It is believed that battle rapping was originated in the East Coast hip-hop scene in the late 1970s. The
earliest battle rapping was in December 1982 between Kool Moe Dee and Busy Bee Starski. Busy Bee Starski was
defeated and suppressed by the more complex rap of Kool Moe Dee who is no longer an emcee but a crowd-
pleasing comedian with a slick tongue.
Locally, we are fond of adopting somebodys culture, Grind Time - the American league that started
freestyle battle rap in America was adopted here in the Philippines. And now, we have our own version of battle
rapping called Fliptop. This is just like modern balagtasan, consisting of two rappers instead of poets and recites
the rhyming words in a capella. The rap battle league was established by the founder, production crew and rap
battle judge/referee Anygma.
The earliest battle according to the description in YouTube happened on Grain Assault event Quantum
Cafe, Makati City, Philippines. It was started on the middle of February. Fuego, Protege, Datu and Cameltoe are the
first contestants who battled in the rap arena. The tournament was uploaded in the YouTube and hits a million of
Loonie versus Zaito, the most viewed battle in YouTube. With a whooping 8 million plus of views, it
received also comments with spiky rhymes, feeling like an emcee joining the two of them in a tournament.
In addition, their style was similar to the movie of Eminem 8 Mile where a referee assists rap battles
between two contestants who destroy verbally his opponent through amusing rap verses in a given time span. The
audience will help in deciding the winner by cheering for the better battler so that the judges will motivate to favor
their bet.
After the battle, shaking hands are shown in the end of it. Explaining that the game was clear and done in
a professional way, simply a contest or a sport wherein no line was intended to hit below the belt. That shows a
sportsmanship after those insulting words and put-downs.
Natures of Fracas
There are also two styles in battling in the match, the freestyle and the so called preparado. A freestyle
battle is a contest in which the contestant will perform freestyle spontaneously with rhyme and tempo while
preparado is a style where the contestant will throw or answer back your insults and offending statements thru his
rhyming rap.
In the same way, there have been few contestants delivering their lines in English and sometimes in
Spanish like Target in their battle with Dello, but the majority of the battles are in Tagalog because of its
universality in us.

Here are the samples:
sapatos mo ok, pants mo ok, damit mo ok, pag dating sa mukah, kamuka mu na si kokey
sabi ni Villar lahat tayo pantay - pantay, taas mo kili-kili mo lahat tayo patay
sabi ng nanay mo hulog ka ng langit, ang tanga naman ng langit naghulog pa ng pangit

Behind the Rap
Nelia Rivera from the BS Information Technology said that the friendly insults are funny but its adult terms
should be left for matured ones. Maganda siyang panoorin at pakinggan, pero kasi iyong ibang salita eh masakit
sa tenga, iyong hindi na masyadong nakakatuwa kasi mga bastos na yung iba.

Mark Allan Mananggit of BA Psychology expresses his negative insights about Fliptop. Wala, di ko feel
eh, nakakadegrade kasi minsan yung message ng rap, Mananggit said.

They are full-grown enough for these matters but there are myriad of videos spreading online and a
growing numbers of cross-over audiences on the different social media. Everybody are no longer censored to these
vulgar and sometimes earthy lines of the rap battles as seen in YouTube, but what happens if a kid watched a
video containing these not-so-appropriate-words-for-kids? Will these words help this kid or influence him into an
early adult world? College students and young adults are responsible enough in determining the rights from
wrongs, notices what to like and what not to like, but a kid do not know yet this matter. Be efficient in coping
these trends, bear in mind that an effective person is far better than an efficient one.