FlipTop 2021: Still Alive And Kicking

One year since the pandemic and FlipTop is still making big moves. Let’s relive the events of 2021.

Dante Romero
August 18, 2022

   2020 was a very crazy year, but like previous obstacles, FlipTop was able to power through and survive. When 2021 came, the league vowed to continue keeping the movement alive. COVID was still around and new variants started to wreak havoc, causing many to fear that we may face another series of hard lockdowns. However, thanks to the availability of vaccines, we finally had a slight advantage over the virus. FlipTop, just like any other organization at that time, was optimistic for the coming year. 

   Crowded events were still prohibited, so to start off the league’s 11th anniversary (Grain Assault), Anygma and the rest of the staff decided to hold an online concert featuring some of the most memorable performances from the 2020 FlipTop Festival. A few weeks after, the battle season officially began. The second half of Grain Assault 11 consisted of three battles and a surprise 2-on-2 freestyle match between the team of M Zhayt and Jonas and One Lie Ace and SlockOne. Things were looking good for the battle rap scene as each match delivered! The setup was the same as last year, wherein the bouts took place at FlipTop’s headquarters and only the emcees, staff, and judges were allowed. Anygma also announced the return of the Process of Illumination tryouts. The plan was to have online auditions through video submissions first followed by actual events. Unfortunately, the threat of the Delta variant forced the government to postpone the return of huge public gatherings, so FlipTop put Process of Illumination 7 on hold. It will definitely be back. Stay tuned for updates regarding this.

   2021 saw the loosening of domestic flight restrictions, which meant one thing: Isabuhay! Finally, the 2020 edition of the tournament resumed, and we certainly got plenty of memorable matches. Apart from that, the 2021 Isabuhay also took place, and it was just as action-packed as the previous one. Obviously, it was also great to see the emcees from the Visayas and Mindanao Divisions making their comeback after a year-long hiatus. As for their performances, they didn’t lose a step at all. They all showed why they belong in the league.

   The finals of the 2020 and 2021 Isabuhay took place on Ahon 12; an event many believed marked the end of the quarantine battles era. For the 2020 finals, M Zhayt faced fellow 3GS member Lhipkram in a very close fight. Both of them showcased their brilliant mixture of technical and comedic lines with an intense stage presence. It will certainly go down as one of the best encounters in FlipTop. The same can be said about the 2021 finals, which saw J-Blaque going against Goriong Talas. Both went all out with their aggression while maintaining their top-notch lyricism. After three rounds, it all came down to the preference of the judges. Congratulations to M Zhayt and J Blaque for winning the 2020 and 2021 Isabuhay Championships respectively. The other battles were also certified classics and are proof of the continuous growth of FlipTop emcees. We saw unforgettable comedy matchups, heated duels, back-and-forth style clashes, and many others.

   Ahon 12 was a two-day event, and it happened at a resort somewhere in Batangas. The whole area was reserved for the league, so more emcees and battles were allowed. Unlike the quarantine era videos, Ahon 12 saw the return of crowd shots. It still consisted of emcees, but it was still refreshing to see more people getting hyped up for the matches. It’s an occasion that will forever be remembered not only for the amazing battles but also for the beginning of the slow return to normalcy. Fast forward to the present, FlipTop has already organized three events so far in front of a full crowd. Yes, the league is still alive and kicking and it has no plans of slowing down! Let’s just hope that this pandemic will officially end soon.

   Unfortunately, it wasn’t all great in 2021. In the middle of October, we lost one of Pinoy hip-hop’s most respected emcees D-Coy. We won’t go further into detail about his death. We just want to take this opportunity to thank him. Sir D-Coy, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your music and for influencing many of our local artists. You are a certified rap legend and your work will never be forgotten. Rest in peace!