Buenos Aires will host its very own Battleforce Buenos Aires this month, sponsored and organized by Nike. Applications opened on October 31, and will close on November 15th of (this Thursday, FYI) with anyone 15 years or older eligible for the competition by sending a two-minute video demonstrating their freestyle rap prowess in some way.
Eight aspiring stars will then be selected to go head-to-head and perform in live, improvised battles, which will be judged by a panel of three of the industry’s biggest names, who will whittle down the contestants to two talented gallos (“roosters,” as they’re known colloquially) that will face off to be crowned the ultimate champion. The finale will be held on November 23rd at Crobar in Buenos Aires. The prize? AR $20,000 worth of Nike merchandise for both the male and female winners.
In recent years, freestyle rap has been on the rise and is becoming a bigger trend in Argentina. Beyond Buenos Aires, different areas across the country are hosting their own events to facilitate the growing popularity for these talented wordsmiths, like Rosario’s Underfree and El Kingto Elemento in Formosa.
Freestyle rap originated in the 1980s in the more metropolitan areas of New York, and really took off during into the early 90s. It is mainly characterized by its spontaneous nature, and is often performed as a ‘battle’ to maximize adrenaline and make it more exciting for spectators. Many underground competitions take place in areas of Latin America and also in the United States, and it is this style of improvised, informal competition that has given rise to the current popularity of freestyle rap. Thousands of people flock to watch these battles, with the upcoming Red Bull’s Batalla de los Gallos, being without a doubt the largest and most famous competition around (more on that in a minute).
Meet the Judges: Battleforce Buenos Aires
One of the best known female rappers, her top hit Number One has over 7 million views on YouTube. Dakillah is also a huge icon for many aspiring female rappers. She was quoted in an interview once saying that “the rap space is for women and men; as long as you put the same dedication into your practice, and the way you brand yourself, that’s the space you have.”
Wos (Valentin Oliva)
A 2017 National Champion, and the 2017 International runner-up in the Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos in December. Wos is one of the most highly-regarded freestyle performers in the industry.
Frequently competing against the likes of Wos, Juancin is also a well-known rapper in the freestyle world in Argentina. He is also involved with the Quinto Escalón (The Fifth Step), a meeting of rappers in Parque Rivadavia every Sunday which invites freestylers from all over to join in and share their talents.
Besides freestyle, other competitions will be taking place in Nike’s Battleforce Buenos Aires, including a Batalla de 3×3 Basket (basketball battle) and Batalla de Baile Urbano (breakdance battle). These three B’s combine music, arts and sports, to provide the perfect stage for the battlers to demonstrate their skill set. This unique celebration of talents will take place on November 23rd and is open to the public.
Preparing for December’s Batalla de los Gallos Final
Battleforce Buenos Aires is quite the warmup to the biggest freestyle competition of them all, Red Bull’s Batalla de los Gallos, which will be hosted by Argentina next month. This quintessential event will take place on December 9th at the Club Hípico Argentina and promises to be a night to remember. The top 16 Spanish-speaking rappers, one from every country in Latin America and Spain, as well as those who placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the 2017 competition, will all compete against each other to be crowned king (or queen) gallo.
Batalla de los Gallos is a competition for Spanish-speaking MCs that started in 2005. The competition brings together some of the best hip hop improvisers and MCs in the world and gives these aspiring Eminem’s a chance to really test their freestyle skills in a high-pressure environment, combining the unpredictable and spontaneous nature of the battles, with the musically rooted heart of traditional hip-hop. This exciting combination allows the evening to employ a direction of its own, which is what makes this such a prodigious musical event and such an exciting spectacle for both the judges and the audience.
So make sure if your around to you head down to Crobar on the 23rd of this month and support these aspiring individuals, and be on the lookout for the December Batalla de los Gallos.
Battleforce Buenos Aires | 23/11/2018 | 18:00 Onwards | Crobar, Palermo | More Info
Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos| 09/12/2018 | 16:00 Gates Open, 18:00 Event Starts | Club Hípico Argentina| More Info