The Famous Battling Styles in FlipTop (Part 2)

Here’s part two of the battle rap techniques commonly used in FlipTop.

Jake Tan
March 19, 2024

Since 2010, FlipTop has been introducing various styles of rapping to a wider audience. Many thought battle rap was just about ridiculing your opponent, but thanks to the diverse pen game of the emcees, they eventually learned more about the technical aspects of writing and the importance of stage presence. Now, for the new fans of this art form, let us enlighten you on the various beloved styles in the league.

This is already the second part, so if you haven’t read the previous edition, then you can check it out here. Make sure you also share this with fellow new supporters who may still be unfamiliar with the individual techniques of the rappers. Let’s start! 

The name says it all. It’s where an emcee aims for the personal life of their opponent, often with a relentless approach. Whether it’s about family, friends, or a significant other, as long as there’s something worth bringing up, it will certainly be included in a verse. Keep in mind that while most personal concepts are based on reality, some are also greatly exaggerated or even totally made up. It’s up to the creativity of the lyricist.  

“Selfie” bars
It’s a way of attacking your opponent using your own achievements. You’re destroying your adversary more with braggadocio and less with straight dissing. “Selfie” bars usually work for emcees who are either veterans in the league and/or achieved massive success outside of battle rap. It’s called “selfie” because the content focuses more on yourself instead of the rapper you’re facing.

Style / Line mocking
It’s arguably the most popular battling style today. Style or line mocking focuses on the opponent’s weaknesses in their material. It could be from flaws in their writing or certain lines from previous battles. After exposing the defects, the emcee will then school their competition about how to do it right. Much like personals, style/line mocking requires creativity and a strong delivery for it to be convincing enough.

While the modern format of battle rap is written, there are still emcees that preserve the art of freestyling. The majority of them are still armed with effective written material, but when opportunity knocks, they will make sure to showcase their off-the-top skills, whether in the form of rebuttals or a whole new scheme. It’s always a good thing to be a freestyler so you can avoid choking or stumbling in a match.  

Some rappers represent one style but others prefer to stay unpredictable. A well-rounded battle emcee can switch up techniques, depending on the situation. They can spit technical bars, witty jokes, or leftfield rhymes and can even balance them all in a single performance. It’s perhaps the most effective approach in a battle. If you compare it to MMA, a well-rounded fighter is someone who has mastered several martial arts disciplines, giving them an instant advantage in a match.

So which is your preferred style? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section. In the coming years, expect to see more new battling techniques that will amaze the crowd and inspire a new generation of emcees. That’s the beauty of rap in general. It’s constantly evolving. Thanks for taking the time to read this piece and watch out for part three!