Rap Battle Controversy and results!
Published on March 25th, 2013 | by Frankie and Masoud
Although both Skywalker and BigMo came at the battle with all they had, there were some major hiccups. Intellect and wit were high, with some great disses, fantastic word plays and cultural references, great comebacks and a general professionalism to the whole thing. We also had some good engagement from commenters. All in all, it was our estimation that out of the 5 battles thus far, this was in the top 2 in terms of skill. So hats off to both of you!
However the first hiccup was that BigMo did not meet the standard 16 line length. Initially his submission was under length (which is permissible) but on being told he could extend it, he tried to squeeze far too much into too little a space. Some lines had about half the syllables of others for example, throwing off the whole structure.
Then the second hiccup – a bigger one - Skywalker used a reference that has been noted as appearing in at least 3 other places. BigMo provided a link to back up his claim of plagiarism. Oddly, BigMo got too caught up in using that accusation in his second retort – making it the weaker of his two write-ups.
However, after much deliberation and talking it over with both rappers, the judges have decided that BigMo has won this battle.
In terms of skill it would have been an incredibly difficult battle to judge. However in light of the ‘plagiarism’, Skywalker forfeited the victory and has bowed out, gracefully. He maintains that the plagiarism was not intentional and we believe him wholeheartedly.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Plagiarism in rap battles is a tricky issue. Rappers often pull real-world, pop culture and other references to INTENTIONALLY use in the battle and most of this is considered acceptable and necessary. To top it off, all musicians know that in the composition process, our minds often regurgitate material from our memories. Even the judges have composed what they thought to be original lyrics/melody only to realise a short while later that they had unintentionally committed plagiarism. It could happen to everyone and in rap battles where you are already referencing stuff intentionally, it’s even more likely to happen.
So although this round goes to Big Mo, and deservedly so, we welcome Skywalker back to all future rap battles, challenges etc. at The Snake Pit!
Live to fight another day! That’s our motto. Or it would be, if we had a motto!