Flip Top

Topics: Rapping, Freestyle rap, Indie rock Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: February 28, 2012
MANILA, Philippines - Someone once asked Julius and I if we were finally calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend. Julius knew that I didn’t want to be called a girlfriend (even if I totally was) because the title came with so much pressure. He saved me the panic attack and answered sarcastically, “We don’t believe in labels; we’re indie.” Remember when indie simply meant doing it yourself? Now indie music no longer means that an artist isn’t good enough to be signed. Instead, it’s “too good” to be played on the radio or to be shared with everyone else. Maybe I’ve been to one too many gigs feeling judging eyes on me or maybe I’m just a self-absorbed newbie who feels out of place at times. Either way, I feel indie rock is getting a little overplayed. Not that too much rock music is bad but a breather from it can be good, too. Fortunately, Manila’s indie hip-hop scene is “straight blowin’ up.” When Julius asked me if I wanted to watch a rap battle, I thought he meant one of the videos he usually watches online. Imagine my horror when he explained it was a local rap battle league, the only Filipino one. The first FlipTop Battle was held at the start of the year. I was surprised to see so many people at the event since the only marketing they did was an online poster. FlipTop has English and Filipino conferences and contrary to what most think rap battles should be,the battles aren’t strictly Freestyle. Emcees are encouraged to do research on their ooponents and pre-write their rhymes. Of course it’s more impressive when one refutes the other’s attacks on the spot but it’s also about the style and the word they choose which are emphasized by the lack of beat to ride on--- every battle is a capella. The brains behind the FlipTop Battle League is 22 year-old Aric Yuson. “With all sorts of clutter in the hip-hop world, people will hear one emcee/group and think that that’s all there is to (it),” he says about the current state of hip-hop, “I admittedly don’t know...
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