Thursday’s U.S. Qualifiers livestream event will be bracket-style for one night only where 36 of the best battle rappers from across the country — representing Los Angeles to Miami; Puerto Rico to Austin — to qualify for a chance to nab on the 16 spots to then advance to compete in the U.S. National Finals taking place in L.A. September.
The largest Spanish-speaking freestyle rap battle in the world, Red Bull Batalla will hold its Qualifier Battles where viewers can tune-in via Twitch to watch as 36 of the country’s most dynamic lyricists will go face-to-face in battles captured in Austin, Los Angeles, Miami and New York to compete for 16 coveted slots that allow them to advance to the National Finals next month, 9/18 in Los Angeles. These one-on-one battles will be reviewed by an expert panel of judges during this special live event on Red Bull Batalla’s Twitch channel beginning at 4pm PT/7pm ET.
- Yartzi as a Local Hero
- Miami is a home-away-from-home for Puerto Rican rapper Yartzi, the back-to-back champion of the Red Bull Batalla USA National Final that took place in Miami in 2019 and 2020. After winning the 2020 title, Yartzi stayed in Miami, where he worked in studio with artists like Major Lazer and Randy, among others, as he honed his craft and spent more time working in studio recording, in addition to his successes as a freestyle battle rapper.
- Miami’s Place in Hip Hop
- Long lauded as a hot bed for hip hop, Miami birthed the booty bass movement in the 1990s and grew to be celebrated by hometown stars like Trick Daddy, Rick Ross and Flo Rida, as well as street heroes like Denzel Curry and Ski Mask the Slump God. Miami and Florida also serve as a hotbed for Spanish-language freestyle rap talent like OG Frases and Pich1to, among others. In the two years since Red Bull Batalla returned to the USA, many applicants have come from South Florida, highlighting the strength of the local Spanish rap scene.
- Red Bull Batalla’s Return to the USA
- Red Bull Batalla got it’s start about 1,000 miles Southwest of Miami on the island of Puerto Rico in 2005. As one of the first top-quality freestyle rap battles in the Spanish speaking world, the event drew international attention before being won by an Argentinian rapper, Frescolate. The event grew and eventually the USA hosted a National Final YEARS before the country stopped hosting the event. But in 2019, the Red Bull Batalla USA National Final returned in Miami, where Yartzi claimed his first of back-to-back titles in the Magic City. While a rapper from the USA is yet to win the World Final – Yartzi finished in the top 8 in both 2019 and 2020, respectively – but the North American continent has produced three World Champions: Link One from Puerto Rico in 2007; Hadrián from Mexico in 2008; and Azcinco from Mexico in 2017.
Following a record-breaking 2020 season, the 15th season of Red Bull Batalla now enters a crucial stage for its 36 U.S. competitors, all handpicked by judges and experts as the top Spanish-freestyle MCs representing every pocket of the U.S. Each MC submitted a freestyle video flexing their lyrical skills during an April application phase and these submissions were used to determine the U.S. competitors battling it out in the qualifier phase. All details and how to tune in to all the action live from the 2021 Red Bull Batalla U.S. Qualifier Battles can be found below.
RED BULL BATALLA US QUALIFIER BATTLES
Thursday, 8/12 – 4pm PT / 7pm PT
Tune in live via Twitch – twitch.com/redbullbatalla
Commentary: Frank “el medico” Rodriguez and Letty
Hosts: Serko, Jenn Morel and DJ Del’Alma
Find a complete list of the U.S. competitors below:
1. Adonys: New York, NY IG: @adonys_ys
2. Animal: Miami, FL IG: @animalFL
3. Boss: Los Angeles, CA IG: @bossmtc
4. Chester: San Diego, CA IG: @clapchester
5. Cuban: McAllen, TX IG: @cuban.mc
6. Eckonn: Orlando, FL IG: @eckonn
7. El Poeta: Phoenix, AZ IG: @pots.poeta
8. Faby: Lewisville, TX IG: @faby.mg01
9. Freites: Orlando, FL IG: @freites_hc
10. G.I.O.: Houston, TX IG: @gio.vsc
11. Heavy Bars: Miami, FL IG: @heavybarsoficial
12. J Luna: Las Cruces, NM IG: IG: @jluna.nm
13. Jahn Alenó: Ponce, PR IG: @jahnaleno
14. JAYCO: Yonkers, NY IG: @yosoyjco_official
15. Kcique: Miami, FL IG: @kcique24
16. Klaze: Miami, FL IG: @klaze_sr
17. Levi Kun: Miami, FL IG: @levikunnn_
18. LinkOne: Puerto Rico IG: @link_one
19. Luis Alenó: Ponce, PR IG: @luisaleno
20. Magimbri: San Antonio, TX IG: @juanpablort27
21. Maluque: Oxnard, CA IG: @lemaluque
22. MAU: West New York, NY IG: @Mau_d1az
23. McBetho: Irving, TX IG: @mcbethomx
24. Nico B: Miami, FL IG: @nicob.bka
25. OG Frases: Miami, FL IG: @ogfrases
26. OneR: Tamarac, FL IG: @onerodriguez
27. Pazy: Miami, FL IG: @pazyy
28. Pharaon: Las Vegas, NV IG: @pharaon_lv
29. Pich1to: Miami, FL IG: @pich1to
30. PIWIE: Puerto Rico IG: @diegopiwinskii
31. Reverse: Orlando, FL IG: @reverse_mc7
32. RuRa: Las Vegas IG: @rura.mc
33. Snow: Denver, CO IG: @snowqlq_
34. Stu: Los Angeles, CA IG: @stu.mentendes
35. Zazo Wan: Dallas, TX IG: @kush.hashman
36. Zeu: North Bergen, NJ IG: @eduzeu
© 2021, Seth Barmash. All rights reserved.