Archives

Mac Miller’s 2013 Off The Top Freestyle Shows His True Love For Hip-Hop (Video)

The 26-year-old Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania MC/producer Mac Miller passed away on Friday (September 7), leaving a handful of essential albums behind, and the Hip-Hop community in total mourning. Born Malcolm James McCormick, Miller had recently released his fifth studio album, Swimming, and was about to kick off a national tour on... Read more

Jay Rock’s Freestyle Shows What A Migos Beat Sounds Like With Some G-Funk (Video)

Jay Rock's sound seems to be evolving. In 2018, the Watts, California MC linked with producers Boi-1da, Vinylz, and CT for "Win." Working with some technicians known for a hand in Drake's discography (along with many other chart-toppers), the move showed some new range for an MC with a raspy... Read more

Mistah F.A.B. May Be The Greatest Off The Top Freestyler EVER. This Will Sway You (Video)

Few MCs have bodied Sway In The Morning's "5 Fingers Of Death" challenge as many times as Mistah Fab. Given Sway's Oakland, California roots, it's only natural that he champions the former Mac Dre pupil. However, make no mistake — Fabby Davis earned his spot as a proven serial killer... Read more

Young M.A. Puts Her Skills Where All Can See As She Busts Rhymes On A Hard Freestyle (Video)

Young M.A. is having a nice 2018. She heated up the summer with her "PettyWap" and "Car Confessions" singles, not to mention sparking the season off with a mean Funkmaster Flex freestyle. Following last year's seven-song Herstory, the Planet Brooklyn resident has been performing around the world, as well as seguing... Read more

Mickey Factz Serves Up A Next Level Freestyle Over 1 Of DJ Premier’s Best Beats (Video)

Mickey Factz is renowned for his freestyle skills. The Bronx, New Yorker seems to just get better with these kind of bars with age—in addition to releasing some quality projects that show a different gift from the veteran MC. He battles beats like so many opponents left duffed out in... Read more

J. Cole Says He Has The Best Flow Since Biggie On A Devastating New Freestyle (Video)

J. Cole is about to embark on his KOD Tour, hitting 36 cities across North America, and has been strategically building anticipation as the days get closer to the kickoff in Miami (August 9, 2018). Having previously tweeted out "Feed me beats. Everything gettin murdered.," Cole has now dropped a... Read more

Russ Buries A Generation Of Lil SoundCloud Rappers With A Fiery Freestyle (Video)

Like many artists who will be sure to come into the fold of the music industry in a similar wake, Russ' career ultimately began on the Internet. Between 2011 and 2014, Russ released 11 albums for free on Soundcloud. In 2016, Russ' single, "What They Want," hit the Billboard Hot... Read more

Mac Miller Rocks The Mic On The Spot To A Thundercat Beat (Video)

Mac Miller is set to release his fifth solo studio album Swimming tomorrow (August 3), but he's giving fans a little something extra and early. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native MC/producer dropped a video titled "Inertia," which shows him spitting some heat to a fast-paced beat that is produced by Thundercat... Read more

One Of Biggie’s Final Radio Appearances Is A Moment That Can Never Be Tuned Out (Video)

In today’s Hip-Hop landscape, Sway Calloway is most synonymous with hosting both established and budding MCs at the Shade 45 studios in New York, providing them a globally esteemed platform to showcase their verbal readiness. A successful Sway In The Morning appearance has become somewhat of a seal of approval for... Read more

Mysonne Says He’s Today’s Tupac & Nas On The Best Freestyle Of The Year (Video)

Mysonne is far from a new artist. The Bronx, New York MC has made his impression felt for years, on major platforms like his show-stopping performance at last year's BET Hip Hop Awards cypher stage. However, awareness surrounding the MC who appeared on Ma$e's Double Up and Ruff Ryders' Ryde... Read more

H-Town MCs Freestyle Their Way. Lil Keke’s Off The Top Rap Is Far From Screwed Up (Video)

Houston, Texas veteran Lil Keke recently appeared on Sway In The Morning. A onetime protege of DJ Screw, this Southside MC has more than 20 years of stock in the game. A member of the Screwed Up Click, Keke made many of his cult-lauded singles like "Pimp Tha Pen," DJ... Read more

J.I.D. Makes J. Cole Proud By Demolishing This XXL Cypher (Video)

It has been a busy 2018 for Dreamville Records. J. Cole's K.O.D. set new streaming records upon release, in addition to garnering critical acclaim (including appearing on Ambrosia For Heads' midyear best-of list). Cozz released a strong sophomore in Effected, which features Kendrick Lamar, Curren$y, and Cole. Meanwhile, EarthGang released... Read more

Big Daddy Kane Freestyles Raw, Uncut & With A Chip On His Legendary Shoulders (Video)

This Wednesday (June 20), Big Daddy Kane is performing a free concert in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. The living legend of the microphone is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his debut album, Long Live The Kane. In an era when records are shorter and appear to be more... Read more

Big Daddy Kane Details Recording This 1988 Mixtape Collabo With JAY-Z (Video)

Big Daddy Kane and DJ Mister Cee have been performing and recording together for more than 30 years. The two Brooklyn, New York natives appear together on Funkmaster Flex's I Got A Story To Tell series. For more than an hour, one of the greatest MCs of all time revisits... Read more

Black Thought Discusses His New Album, Epic Freestyle & Years Of Putting In Work (Video)

This past weekend (June 2), The Roots hosted their 11th annual picnic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sadly, just moments into their headlining jam session, hosted by Dave Chappelle, rain, flooding, and lightning storms halted a highly-anticipated affair. However, one day before (June 1), Black Thought showered Hip-Hop Heads with Streams Of... Read more

Chris Rivers Snatches Royce & Eminem’s Beat And Rips It Just As Hard (Audio)

Chris Rivers may be the son of one of Hip-Hop’s all-time great lyricists, but with a string of solid releases over the last five years he has stepped out of Pops’ shadow to have his work judged on its own merits. At the same time, the younger Rios does not... Read more

Freeway’s New Freestyle Shows He Is 100% Back & At Peak Powers (Video)

Compared to his mid-2000s run, Freeway has been out of the spotlight lately. From health concerns to label shifts, he has his reasons. However, the Roc Nation MC snatched it right back the best way he knew how. The Philly spitter, accompanied by fellow Roc-A-Fell Records alum Pain In Da... Read more

Saba Confronts His Demons & Mortality With A Bleak Certainty In Life (Video)

As listeners have learned with the unfolding of Saba’s new album Care For Me, beginning with the release of the project’s first video single (“Busy”) last month, it’s has been quite a disheartening and dreary recent stretch of life for the 23-year-old Chicago-based MC. The culmination of that bleakness coming... Read more

Chris Rivers Is Man Enough To Take A Kanye Classic & Make It His Own (Audio)

Still in his early twenties, Chris Rivers often makes vivid and powerful records about growing into manhood and taking on responsibility. The Bronx, New Yorker who was just entering grade school when his famous father Big Pun passed away, had a lot of navigating to do on his own. He... Read more

Mickey Factz Teaches Financial Responsibility Through Taxing Bars (Video)

Bronx, New York native Mickey Factz is the latest guest on Funkmaster Flex's freestyle platform. With his barrage of bars, the veteran lyricist kicked knowledge about something often overlooked in Rap: financial responsibility. After warming up his chops and getting his metaphorical ducks in a row, Factz began spitting facts... Read more

Nick Grant Spits A Freestyle That Confirms He’s 1 Of The Best MCs In His Generation (Video)

Even as a major label artist with an acclaimed album under his belt, South Carolina's Nick Grant is committed to building an audience the old fashioned way: through hustle. Over the last three years, the MC co-signed by André 3000, Nas, Bun B, and others made a name for himself... Read more

Can You Hear Me Now? Lil Yachty Freestyles With Clear Intent (Video)

Lil Yachty has become one of the most recognized rappers under the legal drinking age. He has endorsement deals, a video approaching 120 million plays, a Top 5 charting album, a Grammy nomination, and platinum singles alongside D.R.A.M. and Kyle. The Quality Control/Capitol Records artist is not without his critics.... Read more

Tory Lanez Delivers The Best Freestyle Of The Year, So Far (Video)

Tory Lanez capped off 2017 with one of the most notable live, on-air freestyles of the year when he went off for eight minutes on Funkmaster Flex's HOT 97 series. Now in early 2018, Lanez appears on Sway In The Morning and topped that showing—not only by spitting for one... Read more

Keith Murray Kills This Freestyle Over A Classic Cypress Hill Instrumental (Audio)

Keith Murray seems to be up to something. The Def Squad MC has released a few freestyles in 2018. With DJ Gumba beside him, Keith did a rendition of Eric B. & Rakim's "I Ain't No Joke." After tackling one of Hip-Hop's most beloved 1980s records, Murray and Gumba go... Read more

Black Thought Clarifies Whether His 10-Minute Freestyle Was Written Or Off The Top

Nearly two weeks ago, Black Thought set the Hip-Hop world on fire, with a 10-minute freestyle that many considered the best of the year. In fact, Puff Daddy went as far as to say the verse was the greatest freestyle in Hip-Hop history. The video quickly went viral and, to... Read more

Black Thought Can’t Let The Year End Without Spitting Its Best Freestyle (Video)

Black Thought did not release an album in 2017, nor did The Roots. However, Tariq Trotter spent the year at the top of the MC class. He sizzled the mic on albums by Logic, Rapsody, and David Banner. There was a surprise MF DOOM collaboration released, and a deeply meaningful... Read more

Big K.R.I.T. Flips Nas’ 1996 Message Into A Freestyle For The Ages (Video)

Big K.R.I.T. appeared on Sway In The Morning this week to promote his new double-album 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time. After discussing the Multi Alumni release with Sway, Heather B, and Tracy G, the acclaimed Mississippi artist could not leave without dropping some freestyle flavor. And boy, did he... Read more

The Game Releases A Grown Man Freestyle On His 38th Birthday (Audio)

Eleven years ago, The Game scored one of the most circulated hits of his career with "It's Okay (One Blood)." Featuring Junior Reid, the song cleared the table on a number of issues surrounding Jayceon Taylor's mid-2000s standing. He addressed his newfound distance with mentor Dr. Dre after just one... Read more

Tory Lanez Shows Why Drake Might NEVER Want To Battle Him With Bars (Video)

Tory Lanez is one of Canada's biggest global Hip-Hop stars. His full-length debut, 2016's I Told You was a confident wake-up call from the Toronto representative. The album was Top 5 debut in the United States proving that "the 6" is dominating the mainstream consciousness at a new high. Since... Read more

Stalley Has Left MMG & His Sway Freestyle Shows He’s Self-Made (Video)

Ohio MC Stalley has spent much of his career attached to movements. Most notably, in his days with Rick Ross' MMG squad, he was part of three Top 5 Maybach Music Group Self-Made compilations in the early 2010s. The MC followed with his own Top 40 debut Ohio in 2014.... Read more

Sway Makes His 5 Fingers Of Death Freestyle Challenge Harder But Dee-1 Keeps The Faith (Video)

Sway & King Tech's Wake Up Show made the freestyle a mandatory calling card for any MC who wanted to promote something. That tradition goes back to the '90s. In the 2010s, Sway In The Morning's 5 Fingers Of Death challenge is what keeps some MCs up at night. The stage has... Read more

Iman Shumpert’s Freestyle Can’t Be Faded. Dame Lillard Has Company (Video)

Almost 25 years after B-Ball's Best Kept Secret, there's a whole host of new hoopers with Hip-Hop hops. For several years now, Portland Trailblazers' all-star Damian "Dame Dolla" Lillard has become the NBA's apparent rapper laureate with albums, and a fair share of standout freestyles. Now, Iman Shumpert wants in.... Read more

CyHi The Prynce Bodies 5 Fingers Of Death. Sway Says He “May Be The Best Rapper Out” (Video)

UPDATE: Hours after his exceptional Sway In The Morning "5 Fingers Of Death" freestyle (below), CyHi The Prynce's pre-album campaign continues. The Sony Records artist dropped second No Dope On Sundays single "I'm Fine." This one features fellow G.O.O.D. Music family member Travis Scott. The song features heavy organs, Scott handling... Read more

This 11-Year Old Raps Harder Than Most Grown Men (Video)

For decades, Hip-Hop has often overlooked the relationship between age and subject matters. A genre that often reflects poverty, crime, and innocence lost is a product of those experiences. The same rules used in other art forms may not apply. Nas recorded his verse for Main Source's "Live At The... Read more

Talib Kweli Details How He And Mos Def Became Family Before They Were Black Star (Video)

This week, Talib Kweli appeared on Desus & Mero to promote November 17's Radio Silence album. That LP reunites Kweli with Jay Electronica and Anderson .Paak, as well as features a range of guests, from Waka Flocka Flame to Freestyle Fellowship's Myka 9 to Rick Ross. In making his return... Read more

IDK’s Freestyle Delivers Knowledge With Some Humor & Ignorance Too (Video)

IDK (formerly Jay IDK) is one of 2017's more exciting voices. This month, the artist whose acronym means "Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge" released IWASVERYBAD, a 12-track-album that features luminaries such as DOOM, Del The Funky Homosapien, and Swizz Beatz. Following in Logic's path, the MC born Jason Mills intends to re-brand... Read more

Eminem Was A Political Rapper Years Before The BET Cypher. Here’s The Proof (Video)

Tuesday night (October 10), Eminem spit what already appears to be the most talked about freestyle verse of all-time. At Detroit's First Street Parking with Shady Records artists and friends looking on (some would later get their turn to rap), Marshall Mathers went off the rails on an a capella... Read more

Large Professor Speaks On The Targets Of “Fakin’ The Funk” & Why He Attacked The Wack

It goes without saying that 1992 was a turning point year for Hip-Hop. The hardcore and underground Rap scenes from the East, West, Midwest, and South each boasted a myriad of artists with memorable singles and albums to define their respective region's sound. Simultaneously, this period was when Pop music... Read more

Papoose Takes A Ratchet Freestyle Challenge & Makes It Regal (Video)

Papoose kept it both real and regal as he freestyled for nearly seven minutes, during an appearance on Hot 97, this week. The Brooklyn wordsmith didn't skip a beat as he lyrically juggled his way through a medley of current events, including the government's possible involvement with Hurricane Harvey and... Read more

When Loaded Lux Freestyles, You Gon’ Get That Work! (Video)

While in the last few years he has begun to lay his rhymes to wax, Loaded Lux was forged in the art of freestyling and battle rap. After an unforgettable stint in the 2000s where he won 7 consecutive weeks on 106 & Park's "Freestyle Friday," Lux went on to... Read more

An Argument For Why Snoop Is The Greatest MC Of All-Time (Video)

Despite the fact that he is one of Rap music's most widely recognized faces, voices, and outright brands, somehow many overlook the lyrical merits of Snoop Dogg. For 25 years, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. has given Hip-Hop Heads different looks within one of the genre's most sprawling and versatile catalogs.... Read more

Fred The Godson Delivers One Of The Year’s Best Freestyles & Makes It Look Easy (Video)

Late last month, The Bronx, New York Rap veteran Fred The Godson released his Gordo album. Fat with features, the nickname-eponymous LP includes Joell Ortiz, Dave East, and Vado, among others. Part of what put Fred on the map is his voracious freestyle skills. Appearing alongside Funkmaster Flex (a longtime purveyor... Read more

Vic Mensa’s Explosive Freestyle May Be Banned From TV Like Kaepernick (Video)

Vic Mensa is a gifted rarity. The Save Money star makes compelling, highly personal albums. That's evident in July's The Autobiography, Mensa's Roc Nation full-length debut. However, so many MCs who are conceptual and vulnerable on wax can be a bit restrained in the freestyle. That's never been the case... Read more

See The Full Historic Conversation & Cypher Between Mos Def, Big Pun, Canibus & DMX (Video)

Twenty years ago, Hip-Hop was in crosswinds. Microphones were grabbed by emerging voices from across the landscape, geographically, stylistically, and regarding content. As the genre collected itself following the sudden and tragic killings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, it wanted new sounds, messages, and conversations. Mos Def & Dave... Read more

This Run-D.M.C. Beatboxing & Rapping Session Is Tougher Than Leather (Video)

It was 1988, and Run-D.M.C. were already four albums into a genre-defining discography. In May of that year, the Kings of Rock (who were previously raising hell on airwaves across the world) dropped what would become the platinum-selling Tougher Than Leather, home to fan favorites like "Mary, Mary" and "Run's House."... Read more

Sadat X Drops A Freestyle Filled With The Grown Man Rap He’s Made For Years (Video)

Debates about a so-called "generation gap" in Rap music will likely be a perennial characteristic of the genre. As recently as the June release of JAY-Z's 4:44, vociferous fans and critics engaged in discussions about "grown-man Rap" and how a 47-year-old MC was able to drop one of the best albums... Read more

Redman, Erick Sermon & Keith Murray Freestyle To The Def Over “Who Shot Ya” (Audio)

1998 was arguably the strongest year of the East Coast's resurgence during the West Coast Gangsta Rap-dominated decade. Radio stations across the map, and music video channels BET and MTV, were putting a diverse mix of music from New York City representatives DMX, N.O.R.E., Nas, Big Pun, Cam'ron, Ma$e, Biggie... Read more

J.U.I.C.E. Once Beat Eminem In A Battle. Now He Bodies Hulk Hogan In A Freestyle (Video)

In February of this year, famed freestyle and battle MC J.U.I.C.E called out Eminem for a rematch. Before Em' would sign with Aftermath Entertainment and quickly go on to super-stardom, he lost to the Chicago, Illinois MC in a controversial 1997 Scribble Jam final round battle. Proud of his title,... Read more

Vic Mensa Once Again Shows He’s 1 Of Today’s Best MCs With A Punishing Freestyle (Video)

Yesterday (July 28), Vic Mensa released his debut album, The Autobiography, but Mensa is far from new on the scene. The Chicago MC first made waves in 2009, as part of the group Kids These Days. In 2013, Vic began his solo career and once again turned heads with his... Read more

In 1995, Redman Reloaded Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya?” With A Machine Gun Funk Freestyle (Audio)

At least once a week, heralded British DJ Tim Westwood opens up his vaults and shares goodies from his 30 years in the Hip-Hop game. Today's (July 27), it's a time travel back to 1995. The Notorious B.I.G. had just released "Who Shot Ya?" a B-side single that even apart... Read more