One of the prize alumni from the emcee battle culture is Philadelphia rapper, Meek Mill. But recently, Mill has spoken out to dispell that rumor.
On an interview, entitled, Charlamagne Tha God and Meek Mill: A Conversation Between Champions, the Grammy-nominated artist distanced himself from the rap contest culture.
He kept all the way tall.
He said, “I been doing his sh*t for a long time. I am a real vet in this sh*t. came from the Philly era of having to stand on the corner… I am not a battle rapper… when people say that it makes me mad a little bit… I was only battling people… when you seen me on corners because that’s what was going on… People were rapping on the corners…. and once we got to studios… you ain’t seen me rapping on the corners no more.”
After joining the battle crew The Goonies, battler Ace Amin seems to be the voice of a new class of artists that are contributing substantially to the advance of battle rap as its own profitable industry and has exploded on the battle rap scene over the last year. He feels like there is nothing wrong if someone calls him a battle rapper.
“He doesn’t want the label, so I get that,” Amin shares. “I just don’t understand the stigma that comes from the label.”
Crossover battle rapper Tsu Surf understands Meek’s position.
“It’s just a bad term, in the commercial Hip-Hop world. Its been so boxed in.” He offers. “Like if you a bttle rapper that’s all you are good for. Nobody likes the term. Especially since it has been a painted narrative that battle rappers can’t make music.”
He would know. Even as he has had a successful release of his Seven 25 album and Blood Cuzzins mixtape, people are hardpressed to include him in the mainstream conversation, being shocked that his art has garnered over 5 million streams in a month on Spotify, Apple and YouTube according to label/ distributors Empire Records.
But Math Hoffa, battle rapper and host of the web series and podcast, Math Hoffa’s Expert Opinion, understands also stating, “It’s natural for him to feel like that since his success came from making music.”
Math continues by comparing the Philly rap star to an athletic phenomenon, “That’s like calling Jordan a baseball player. Yeah, he did it but that’s not what he’s known for.”
Amin ultimately agrees with the vets. “If its not something he wants to be know as then that’s his right.”
Guess battlers will have to point to others as their shining glory.