My introduction to the broader hip-hop world came via participating in freestyle cyphers in my middle school cafeteria. With Eminem acting as my sherpa, I tentatively began to scale the imposing mountain that is the genre of rap. Consequently, given the background and proclivities of my tour guide, one of my first footholds on the climb was "battle rap." The fusion of music and comedy roasts inherent in any rap battle captivated me so thoroughly that I still frame the entire rap genre as a competition. Truthfully, I live for the feuds in rap. Not in the "let's both wind up dead before our 30s" type of feud, but rather a gentlemanly sparring match between two top-tier MCs.
However, as a fan of the warrior sect within the rap fraternity, I also love it when rappers, in a grand display of honor, laud the lyrics of a fellow swordsman. In this case, it's the mighty Mos Def gushing about his love for the enigmatic MF DOOM.