Ever heard about the words flip-top? Well I didn’t bother to Google it at first. Then one night I heard someone playing this weird-odd-bizarre video. People gathered like they are up for a big treat. I thought it is some sort of UFC battle or another “Don’t back down” and “Fight Club” scenes. Well, it turned out to be something else. The two person weren’t really in contact, no bruises and blood. So why are people look so intense and hooting so loud?
Then the battle begins. They weren’t exactly wearing any battle gears. It is more like exchange of words. I must say that their seemingly impromptu-rhythmical-wistful exchanges somehow stirred an interest in me. So I took some time to Google for it and even see some videos in YouTube.
Well I learned that flip top is a battle known as the First Filipino Rap Battle League. So I guess that explains everything. But my inquisitive mind somehow didn’t end there. I try to look at it on a different light.
I guess this is the way of institutionalizing a rap society in the Philippines. Well, we can say that this may somehow placed the freestyle rapping into the mainstream. At first I thought that this form of entertainment is just “bal-bal” and another perversion to the Filipino discourse. Well, I can’t help myself from linking this activity to drugs, violence, delinquency and illiteracy. Well at least, that is how the media portrayed it. But with what I’ve seen so far, it’s quite far from the usual stereotype on them. They are no longer in the streets; they aren’t exactly playing with guns and daggers; and the people around them don’t look like illiterate. Plus, you could pick your side as well from the rosters of peculiar street-like gang names like Skwaterhaws Mongol Unit.
Although I give props on how they turned things into something less brutish image of freestyle rapping, I’m still taken aback on how inane the exchanges are. Well we can’t expect any depth in it. So it might be fun listening to them. It is cool to laugh with all the bashing and trash talking. But I think there is nothing more to it. It is just another way of amusing and entertaining ourselves.