Look­ing at the devel­op­ment of beat­box bat­tles, I find that the bat­tling beat­box­ers are prepar­ing more thor­ough­ly for each bat­tle. Once you know the basics of how to win beat­box bat­tles, you will def­i­nite­ly stand a bet­ter chance. Regard­less of the lev­el of the bat­tle, be it a local bat­tle, nation­al cham­pi­onships or world cham­pi­onships, we need to pre­pare as we would for an Olympic lev­el sports event. Focus on your beats, but remem­ber about your oppo­nents, the crowd, jury pref­er­ences and the psy­chol­o­gy of it all. Check out these 5 tips and start prepar­ing for your next bat­tle.

 

If you know how to win beatbox battles, you prepare your beats carefully

1. Prepare your beats

Prac­tice your beats for months before the bat­tle. Nev­er freestyle all the way, be sure you have at least one rou­tine ready for each round. You need to be per­fect­ly sure of what you’re going to do dur­ing the elim­i­na­tion round and all the fol­low­ing rounds. That prepa­ra­tion may take months, but you will def­i­nite­ly lev­el-up dur­ing the process.

Pre­pare bits and pieces of your beat­box rou­tines, build-ups and drops, punch­lines (more on that lat­er) and audi­ence hooks. It’s good to do that on paper, e.g. sticky notes. Look at them, ana­lyze them, check if they work with an audi­ence (do some demo shows months before the bat­tle) and lat­er com­bine them to form rock-sol­id rou­tines. Accord­ing to vice-world champ Rox­or­loops, it’s good to have your rou­tines ready one or two months before the bat­tle, so that you can close the cre­ation process and just focus on the prac­tice.

A well-pre­pared beat­box­er radi­ates self-con­fi­dence, which is also very impor­tant (we will cov­er that lat­er).

Get to know your opponent if you how to win beatbox battles

2. Know your opponents

At some high­er-lev­el bat­tles you will prob­a­bly know which beat­box­ers are like­ly to pro­ceed to the Top 8. Get to know them — their strengths and weak­ness­es, what kind of beats they’re like­ly to use, how they work with the audi­ence, even their phys­i­cal appear­ance. Then work at beat­ing them. For exam­ple, if you encounter Reeps One as your oppo­nent, you know that he’s prob­a­bly going to drop some dub­step beats with fat bass, so pre­pare your own to counter that. A good counter move is often the essence of how to win beat­box bat­tles.

If you know how your oppo­nent looks and dress­es, so you might want to have a go at him with a punch­line or two.

If you want to know how to win beatbox battles you gotta prepare some punchlines

3. Prepare punchlines

A good punch­line is the cher­ry on your beat­box cake. It can make or break a bat­tle. A good punch­line is slight­ly offen­sive to your oppo­nent and the diss is pre­sent­ed in a fun­ny and play­ful way. If you’re too seri­ous or too offen­sive you might get your mes­sage across but come off as a cocky ass­hole. We don’t want that.

If your oppo­nent makes a mis­take dur­ing his/her round — be sure to point that out and use it! If they look at the tips of their shoes — you got­ta be the crowd pleas­er! See what they’re bad at and crush them in that cat­e­go­ry!

It’s good to have a lot of gener­ic bat­tle punch­lines, but also pre­pare a cou­ple of spe­cif­ic punch­lines for each oppo­nent from your Top 8 list. If a beat­box­er you know is short, make sure you have a nasty joke about midgets. If he has a beard, pre­pare a song about gay lum­ber­jacks. If he is more fem­i­nine in nature, make note of that. The list goes on. If you get per­son­al about your oppo­nent, be sure that they will return the favour! Get ready for all kinds of ver­bal attacks on your looks, clothes, behav­iour, fam­i­ly — some peo­ple will say all kinds of shit dur­ing a bat­tle just to intim­i­date you. Don’t let them.

For more inspi­ra­tion on good punch­lines take a look at a few top-lev­el rap bat­tles.

Get to know your opponents to know how to win beatbox battles

4. Get into battle mode

I know a lot of beat­box­ers that have had their beats pre­pared and got intim­i­dat­ed by a stronger-mind­ed oppo­nent. Get­ting into the right state of mind is (more often than not) the key to win­ning. Ask your­self — what is a strong beat­box­er? The like­ly answers:

  • knows his/her beats
  • is nev­er intim­i­dat­ed by oppo­nents
  • radi­ates demon­ic con­fi­dence
  • has that in-your-face atti­tude
  • audi­ence loves him/her

Now ask your­self how to work on these char­ac­ter­is­tics in your­self. Prac­tice in front of a mir­ror, record your­self, speak to your friends, prac­tice on the street. You def­i­nite­ly need to prac­tice this in real life as well as on stage. This is one of my favourite sub­jects and I will write a sep­a­rate post about this soon.

Win the audience, if the crowd loves you, you know how to win beatbox battles

5. Win the audience

Audi­ence is king. Of course the jury makes the final deci­sion, but they always take the crowd reac­tions into account. If you get a lot of applause, you know you’re on your way to the top.

Beat­box cov­ers are a good way to grab the audi­ence’s atten­tion. Peo­ple often like what they already know, so be sure to pre­pare a few not-that-obvi­ous cov­ers to please the crowd.

A good joke or punch­line can def­i­nite­ly score you some points with the audi­ence. If the crowd loves you, so does the jury.


 

The list is far from com­plete. I will pre­pare a larg­er set of mate­ri­als on this sub­ject, and con­stant­ly ask about win­ning bat­tles in my inte­views. What are your ideas for becom­ing a champ? If you know any good tips and tricks on how to win beat­box bat­tles, please share them in the com­ments below.

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