Today marks the beginning of a new regular series on BattleRap.com. Every Thursday, we'll post a classic battle and break down its historical significance to the culture. If you're just getting into battle rap, this series will help you catch up on what you've missed. If you've been watching since the start, it'll be a reminder of some battles that are worth revisting.
For the first installment of our Throwback Classics series, we have to begin at the very, very beginning with perhaps the most influential and important battle in hip-hop history.
Once upon a time, emcee competitions/battles were solely about who could rock the crowd the most in a rhyme display. One of the icons of the emerging medium was Chief Rocker Busy Bee. At the end of a competition, a young Kool Moe Dee was persuaded into entering at the last minute following Bee’s open-challenge boasting. While Bee himself had already left the room assuming he’d be victorious, Dee addressed his rapping directly, dissing him and pioneering a whole new style of rap that caused an evolutionary shift in how people could rhyme.
It became one of the fastest spreading tape-by-tape bootlegs in rap history. Listen to the clip above and keep in mind that this was still a year before Melle Mel’s “The Message” was recorded. The entire history of hip-hop from 1982 onward can all be traced back to this one battle.
Watch BattleRap.com's interview with Busy Bee here.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.