Pete Cashmore looks at ten misconceptions that people have about Don’t Flop events…
1. THEY THINK THAT IT IS LAIRY. Seriously, it’s the first thing anybody ever says to me when i say I’m into rap battles, and I tell them all the same thing – it’s just not like that. I’ve never seen anything approaching trouble at a Don’t Flop event (although I admit that this is because I wasn’t at all of them).
2. THEY THINK THAT EVERYBODY WEARS HOODIES. You may see the occasional one, but that’s it, and the reason is simple and to the credit of the league – the events are now too rammed to permit the wearing of hoodies. Seriously, you just won’t need one, you’ll roast.
3. THAT THERE ARE NO WOMEN THERE. Okay, it’s still a predominantly male pastime but you will still find plenty of ladies in DF battles. And most of them want to meet Micky Worthless. And he is usually more than happy to meet them.
4. THERE ARE ONLY HIP-HOP FANS IN THERE. Amazingly, not a bit of it – look at the T-shirts that the crowd wear in a DF jam and you’ll see emo, punk, heavy metal… Alex who runs this blog is, he tells me, is straight edge, and when I started doing a fanzine, we had Dodgy as our first main interview. I probably shouldn’t admit to that.
5. EVERYONE IS IN THEIR TEENS OR EARLY TWENTIES. Well, as you probably know, not everyone is if I happen to be in attendance. But the age range is broad. I’m sure that Tony D and Enlish won’t mind me revealing that their ages begin with a number 3, likewise Mark Grist. I’m hoping that June 7 2013 is on a Saturday so I can battle on my 40th birthday.
6. THAT THE RHYMING IS OVER BEATS. A simple mistake to make, as most people’s perception of rap events will have been formed by 8 Mile, but 9 times out of 10 (at least) it’s strictly accapella. I hate to break it to people but we don’t all do last minute rehearsals in the toilet either.
7. THAT THE ATMOSPHERE IS QUITE OPPRESSIVE. Again, you can chalk this up to the 8 Mile effect, which shows everyone ice-grilling each other and half the crowd seems to have shot someone. At Don’t Flop events, the atmosphere is ribald and celebratory, and people don’t thug it out, they just hug it out.
8. THAT THERE’S CONSTANT MOTHER-DISSING. It’s not like it’s totally eradicated or anything – Lord only knows, I couldn’t resist it in my battle with Alex – but there seems to be a general consensus that mother jokes are getting pretty tired, and the best MCs don’t need them. That’s why I was forced to use some, obviously…
9. EVERYONE JUST SHOUTS AT EACH OTHER. There seems to be a perception that we all holler in each other’s faces, but there’s actually a multiplicity of styles. Softly-spoken MCs? Well, off the top of my head there would be JC, Olde English, my man Big J, Token, Enlish, Cruger, Tony D (who is the perfect example of a measured delivery), obviously Mark Grist, Two Can, Rikky Wiley… Basically, going in hard and shouting are two different things.
10. IT’S VERY HOMOEROTIC. Nah, just kidding. They don’t really think that, that’s just me ending on a gag.