Freestyle Friday

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Freestyle Friday was a segment on BET's popular show 106 & Park[1] where two aspiring rappers compete in a freestyle battle before the studio audience and the cypher (from 2006) and three celebrity judges (the DJ sometimes acts as the 3rd judge). Each competitor alternates freestyling for 30 seconds in each of the two rounds (originally only 1 round when the segment first began). The rappers are not allowed to use profanities or sexually suggestive lyrics, punishable by disqualification (notable street-oriented rappers such as Reed Dollaz from Philadelphia and most recently Pop De Neero from North Trenton who have violated this rule, disqualifying themselves from otherwise-competitive battles).[2] After the battle, the judges decide the winner, per majority vote. The rapper who wins each week wins a prize and returns the following Friday to defend their Champion title. After seven consecutive wins, however, the rapper is retired and inducted into the Freestyle Friday Hall of Fame, but if the Challenger card is picked by either two or three of the Judges, then the Champion automatically loses the Champion title.

History of the Show[edit]

On Friday, September 21, 2007, DJ Prostyle announced that Freestyle Friday would return to 106 and Park on October 26, 2007, which was ultimately pushed back to January 2008. The segment was previously in danger of cancellation due to the contestants regularly breaking or ignoring the contest's rules, including swearing and using inappropriate phrases and rap verses.[3] BET also had the challenge of finding MC's comparable to crowd-favorites such as Lethal and 2007 Hall of Famers Nickel-US F & Johnny Ka$h.

Many of the "Freestyle Friday" champions have gone on to sign with major record labels, go on tour with major artists and one champ (Jin) was cast in the blockbuster hit, 2 Fast 2 Furious.[4]

When Freestyle Friday returned on February 22 of 2008, it debuted with a new format. Unsigned rappers were then able to compete with the chance to enter in the Freestyle Friday All-Star Bracket. The winner of the bracket would then win a single record deal with KOCH records. Rapper Fatigue was crowned the winner and 106 & Park Freestyle Friday Champion with 16 weeks of consecutive wins. The Freestyle rap section of the battle was removed from the segment because of the previous issues with the content rules, with mixed reviews from contestants. Viewers were upset that this format did not come back the following season.[5]

In late 2008, Freestyle Friday returned to its old format, having two emcees freestyle rap for 2 30 second rounds and then a decision by the judges. However, they did change one thing. when an MC reaches 5 wins, they are put into an All-star bracket, and later on, a tournament featuring the MCs who have reached the 5 wins will be held. For the 2008-2009 season, there was a tournament held in March. 3 MC's won 5 matches, however only 2 were in the tournament, the reason for that is unknown. To fill the space, they brought back all the MCs who have reached at least one win. They still had one spot left, so they had the fans vote on the best challengers who lost. They four that received the most votes competed to see who would earn the "Wild Card" spot. Apollo Speed, Rugar Rico, Brian Dawson, and ZZ Topzz were the four that competed. Rugar Rico beat Apollo Speed and ZZ Topzz beat Brian Dawson and the two battled to see who would enter the tournament. ZZ Topzz beat Rugar Rico to earn the spot.

The tournament lasted six weeks. With two battles each week for the first two weeks. The first week, MC's Buddy Lo and Kiotti faced each other to see who would advance to the next round and R.A.P. Phenomenal faced wild card ZZ Topzz. R.A.P. Phenomenal and Kiotti made it to the second round. The next week, MC's Kay M and Brixs faced off along with Syah Boy and Hydro. Kay M and Hydro advanced to the next round, although many thought that Syah Boy defeated Hydro. The next week, R.A.P. Phenomenal faced off against Kiotti and made it to the finals. Kay M defeated Hydro to make it to the finals. There was no battle the next week because they wanted to cause more hype for the final battle.

The final battle consisted of two New Jersey MCs. R.A.P. Phenomenal, from Newark, and Kay M, from Rahway. This battle was held differently, consisting of three 30 second rounds. After the three rounds, the judges could not decide who won and they asked for a fourth round. after four rounds of battling, Kay M was named the winner.

Ottawa rapper Charron won the 2013 March Mayhem All-Star Tournament, which guaranteed him a spot in the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards cypher. However, once it came time to shoot the freestyle videos, Charron was excluded from them, due to not having the image BET was looking for. Charron responded with the "BET Cypher Verse" where he disses Black Entertainment Television, Murda Mook, Gucci Mane, Soulja Boy, Lil Twist, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar and Chief Keef, among others.[6]

List of Hall of Famers (in order of year)[edit]

The Hall of Fame contains rappers that have won 7x in a row and other notable rappers.

2001 2002 2003 2004
Poster Boy Jin Shivere
2005 2006 2007 2008
Big Will R.A.P. Phenomenal
Streetz Da Block Loaded Lux West Philly Blake Fatigue 2008 Champion (old format)
Ja$ Hollow Da Don Nickelus F
C. Fashion
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Kay M Bones Brigante Blind Fury Relly
Agent Orange G$Baby AR-16 Voss
SamIam The Mc Yung Nut (Yung N' 223)
2B Announced

List of 6x Winning Champions

  • Nova (considered a winner by first round but still defeated by Hason on another round after a camera problem)
  • Hason (defeated by Jin)
  • Red Dott (defeated by LaJune)
  • Vocab (Signed in final week)
  • K.S. (puts the mic down on the second round...Choked)

List of 5x Winners

  • Bo Deal (disqualified for saying "nigga")
  • King V "V" (defeated by P.L.)

List Of 4x Winners

  • Legend (defeated by Poynt Blanc)
  • P.S. (disqualified for saying "nigga")
  • Orbit (defeated by Shelliano)
  • China Black (defeated by Dreams)
  • Qashqai (defeated by Amadeus)
  • Arsenal (defeated by Future)
  • P.L. (defeated by Madison)
  • Jaha (defeated by Hollow)
  • Lotta-Zay (defeated by J-Focus)
  • Young Butta (the judges picked C. Fashion instead of Yung Butta)
  • Goodz "Da Carolina Boy" (defeated by Hatch)
  • Artisan (defeated by Priceless Da Roc)
  • Misery (defeated by J. Cruz)
  • J.Cruz (defeated by Payne Da Squad Boy)
  • Mahogany Jones (left undefeated)
  • Buddy Lo (defeated by Diggs)

List of March Mayhem All-Star Tournament Winners

  • Kay M (2009)
  • Mr. Bones Brigante (2010)
  • Blind Fury (2011)
  • Relly (2012)
  • Charron (2013)


External links[edit]