Though he's only been battling for a short time, Christian battle rapper A. Ward has gathered a ton of buzz and has already made an appearance in the top spot of our battles of the month list. His battle with Saint Mic is already a dark horse candidate for battle of the year, and he has another strong battle with Franchise in his KOTD/GZ debut. Get to know him a little better with our latest 20 question interview.
Who are you?
Aaron Ward, aka A.Ward. A Child of God and a Member of Vol Nation. I start my day's with Prayer, and my rounds with Rebuttals. (Rebuttal Game Crazy)
How old are you?
The oldest "rookie" in battle rap. I'm willing to bet on it. HA!
Why do you live where you live?
Kansas City is a GREAT City. I moved here from Knoxville, TN "Rocky Top" in 2005 and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Best BBQ in the WORLD!
How long have you been battling/rapping?
I have been battling for almost 1 year now, and I've been rapping for close to a decade. Crazy how time flies.
What made you start?
My older brother Cannon, who also Battles/Raps, was a huge influence to me in my younger years. His influence paired with the fact I felt God could use me in this lane with the ability I have to perform and write gave me the confidence to hit up The Connects (Our KC Battle League) and set up a Debut.
How did you get your battle rap name?
Hours and hours of deliberation. lol Nah, it's probably the least creative thing about me. Toughest choice was whether to go with a hyphen or period.
How would you describe your style in three words?
RUN THAT BACK!!! (I hide a LOT of dope stuff in my set ups)
What makes you different from other battle rappers?
I can do it all. I'm very versatile and difficult to attack. I also have an "in your face" bully type mentality without the demoralizing character or using derogatory content.
What’s your best battle? (and why?)
A.Ward vs Saint Mic - This battle was awarded (pun intended) battle of the Month in July, and is probably Top 10 Battles of the Year thus far in 2016. The back & forth, content, angles, rebuttals, and crowd all created an instant classic. Mic was the first opponent that really had me against the ropes and that in turn brought out another level of intensity and performance from me. To have a High-Level battle with a pen of his caliber was Crazy!
What was your worst? (and why?)
I've gotten better every battle in some way. So, I'd consider my first battle against Charlie Atlas as the worst thus far (Ironically it's the highest viewed though). There were nerves and I rushed the delivery on a few things.
What did you learn from them?
God is good ALL THE TIME! - Seriously though. At the end of every 3rd round, Great Battle or Not, It's a blessing to be able to stand in front of that camera and perform. Also, solid preparation will set you apart from other Battlers.
What’s surprised you the most since you started battling?
At World Domination 6 I walked in the building on Day 1 and decided to casually walk around and introduce myself to some of the battlers that I've been a fan of for YEARS. I remember shaking Head I.C.E hand and he looked at me and said, "You're A.Ward right?! bro! You are the Truth! I'm a Fan of you." - I was so shocked at how many of the Legends actually pay attention to us "little guys." It was quite flattering.
What’s your favorite battle of all time?
Yikes. Tough choice. I have all kinds of weird favorites. Chilla vs JC; Frank Stacks vs O'Shea. Bill Collector vs JJDD, Diz vs DNA. Cannon vs ShineDope & Carter Deems vs ... anyone.
Who’s in your current Top 5?
Hollow Da Don, Pat Stay, Dizaster, Arsonal, Daylyt
Which battle rapper annoys you? (and why?)
Bigg K. I'd say this is a popular answer, but yeah. I think he's kind of one dimensional (very good at that dimension though) and is way too visibly emotional during battles.
Who would you battle if you could choose anyone?
Hollow would be the bucket list battle. But I'd also love a shot at the KOTD Chain.
What’s the biggest problem in battle rap?
GASSSSSSSSSSSSSS! - Stop rewarding lack of creativity. Your friend will NOT get better and he can't take all of you with him on the Road.
How would you fix it?
You really can't. But Top Level battlers didn't get to where they are now off Gas. (Except for anyone from WGH)
What do you do when you’re not battling?
I'm a sports fanatic. I co host a Sports Podcast called "It's a Black and White Thing." I spend time with my Girlfriend, and I drink a lot of Mr. Pibb. (Shout out to Mr. Pibb btw)
How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who loved God and loved People and wasn't ashamed of it. Col. 3:23 "Whatsoever ye do, do heartily as unto God and not unto man." I gave it my all for HIM and during the process I impacted a generation. Oh yeah... and I had BARS!