Should booing be banned in Battle Rap?

URL crowds have gotten a lot of heat for the past couple years due to the excessive booing at events. And to be honest I’ve always hated it too. I come to events to hear everybody. Of course certain battles and emcees make you buy the ticket and plan the trip, but once I’m there, I want to hear what every MC gotta say. If they lose let it be because they aint bring it like they were suppose to, not because the crowd didn’t rock with em. In recent times it seems like with every big event the people become more and more upset with crowds. But the Summer Madness 5 crowd has been criticized more than any. And it’s not hard to understand. I’ve never seen a crowd boo a rapper for two rounds then turn around and chant 3-0 for him. It’s definitely becoming increasingly frustrating…
Here’s my thing. Hip Hop has always been the genre of being raw, uncut and most importantly honest. And I understand fans who feel if a battler is wack, they deserve to be booed. But in todays time fans are OD. And they don’t only boo if a rapper isn’t doing their thing. They boo if they simply don’t like them, they boo if they want the other battler to win, they boo if they don’t catch a bar immediately, they boo even if a battler is doing good but not living up to their own personal expectation. Which makes the event bad for the people who came to hear everything, and the viewers at home.
If fans REALLY have the need to boo (which I‘m totally against), then why not wait until the rappers round is over? This way you won’t mess up any performance but still show your disappointment in the artist. AND not for nothing, when people boo, it takes so much longer to get through the battle. Battlers have to stop, wait for the crowd, stop again, wait for the crowd etc. I remember being at Summer Madness 2, and I swear DNA Vs E Ness felt like the longest battle ever. All because fans wouldn’t let Ness finish. But if they had been quiet and let him get through the bullshit, the quicker it would’ve been over, and the quicker we could’ve got to the next battle.
Not for nothing. There have been a few MC’s who have said not getting a reaction at all is worse then booing. Just saying….
CAN booing be stopped?
So I was listening to TheWarReport with Aye Verb giving his recap of Lux vs. Clips and the rest of SM5. Later on during the show it became a debate about crowd control, and whether or not booing should be, or better yet can be banned from events. One of the co host said that it was unrealistic for SMACK to be able to control or stop booing. Well, not only is it realistic, but at one point in time it was a reality….
Quick question for all you battle fans. Do you remember the first time a rapper was boo’d on URL? (Gives yall a second to think about it….) The correct answer is Arsonal, at the beginning of his third round against Hitman Holla. In one of battle raps biggest grudge matches ever, Hitman Holla was clearly having his greatest performance at the time. And to many, Ars wasn’t keeping up with the pace. So by the bottom of the third when it was time for Ars to close it out a couple fans were so displeased with his performance they started to boo. And what happened? At 23:40 (when the booing started to be exact) other fans in the crowd yelled “show respect, have respect” and SMACK himself stepped towards the front of the stage and said “we not doing that.” And hence, within seconds the booing stopped. The next time someone was booed was a year later during Hollow Da Don Vs Goodz, at the first annual Night Of Main Events. At the beginning of Goodz second round he told Hollow to “take this sweat.” He got 2-3 people give him light boo’s, again that only lasted a couple seconds until others in the crowd shhhh’d them. The first time boo’s were allowed without anyone coming to the defense of the battlers was, (take a guess) Summer Madness 1.…
Note: Aye Verb made a point that booing may not be 100% on emcees having a bad game or bias fans. He suggested that due to the fans being tired, fatigued and hungry from URL events lasting too long (anyone that’s been to one knows how exactly long they can be) it causes fans to become a bit unruly. And he may have a point….
So on the day of Summer Madness 1, I remember getting to the event at about 2:15pm. Doors were scheduled to open at 4 but I wanted to get a good spot. And I wasn’t the first one on line either. The doors opened 4:45 -5:00 if memory serves me correct, and the battles didn’t begin until around 7. The crowd was getting restless, waiting for the best card in battle rap at that point to get started. And it seemed as soon as the short documentary of SMACK and URL came on the fans forget how long the wait had been and the energy in the room was explosive. The first battle started, X-Factor vs. DNA and it went over well. Then it was time for the second battle, Tech-9 vs. Midwest Miles. Miles starts the battle off slow and it never picks up. The bars weren’t terrible, but nothing to cheer about. It’s then on Tech-9 who delivers a building shaking round which is clearly the best of his career. With the crowd completely going crazy for Tech, it’s back on Miles, who has another round like his first. Even though they weren’t amused, the crowd was still respectful during the round. But when it was over, it was the first time on URL you heard a sea of boo’s. Tech has another crowd pleasing round, and again it’s back on Miles. This time, the crowd wasn’t so patient. After about the first minute of realizing Miles just wasn’t coming with the shit, you hear some people in the crowd boo, but not enough to hinder his performance. But a few bars later, he got the kind of boo treatment we see today. There were no fans trying to stop it, and no one on stage took the mic to try to control it….
Now I wanna make this clear. As someone who has been to MANY URL events and has never boo’d, it’s NEVER everyone in the crowd that’s booing. But if it’s an event that holds 1000, you still have to understand even if it’s a quarter of the crowd (250 people) booing at the top of their lungs and heckling the battler that’s still enough to be heard loud and clear on cam, and fuck up the battlers performance….
What’s the solution?
Easy. SMACK comes out before the first battle kicks off and says “Yo we need the battles to come out good on footage nah sayin like we paid these battlers a lot of money and they been writing for months nah sayin so let these niggas get they shit off nah mean. If we catch you booing we kicking you out the venue real shit we on real nigga time.” Just like he does when he let’s the crowd know they won’t condone any recording of the battles. If fans feel there will be repercussions for booing, I’m sure they’ll think twice about it.
What yall think???
Twitter: @NewJerseyChange
IG: @TrevOnChill




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