On September 18, Faby of Lewisville, Zazo Wan of Dallas, and McBetho of Irving will compete against 36 freestyle rappers from the United States and Puerto Rico. The three rappers qualified for Red Bull Batalla, a global rap competition for the best lyricists in Spanish speaking countries.
The competition provides a space for the development of the Spanish rap sub-genre, which draws inspiration from traditional folk troubadours rather than the call-and-response tradition found in American hip-hop. In the history of Dallas hip-hop, Latinx musicians have played an integral part in the industry’s development, from DJ Baby G to George Lopez of T-Town Music, who helped the Dirty South Rydaz land one of the largest record deals for a Texas rap group in history.
Before the U.S. finals on September 18, the three rappers will participate in a one on one freestyle battle streamed on Twitch. The competitors are judged by a panel of established Spanish rap professionals: El B, the two-time Latin Grammy nominated rapper from Cuba; Tito Yang, the first rapper to represent Puerto Rico in the competition; and Kim MC, the first woman contestant from Venezuela to win a national championship. The judges will determine which 13 rappers advance out of the Twitch qualifiers, held in Austin, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York.
If the three rappers impress the judging panel with their freestyle ability, they will advance to the National Finals to compete against Yartzi, the 2020 Red Bull Batalla champion from Puerto Rico, El Dilemma, a 2020 finalist from New York, and Jordi, the third ranked rapper in last year’s competition. In L.A., the 16 rappers will compete one on one until one is crowned as the U.S. Champion.
The champion will then go up against global champions from Mexico , Spain, and Colombia for the 2021 World Red Bull Batalla World Championship title. The date and time for the world competition has yet to be announced.