A cappella rapping in Oro cultivates youths’ self-esteem

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


A CAPELLA rap is an advantage to help the youth develop their interpersonal skills and increase their self-esteem.

According to the website of The Fliptop Battle League—the first Filipino rap battle league in the country—a cappella rap battles are sometimes described as a “modern day Balagtasan.”

In the rap battle, two rappers pitted each other through words and rhymes that could last up to three rounds of humiliation.

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The winner is determined by a panel of judges.

Lord Priest Heludo, also known as “War Lord” in the a cappella rapping community, said he was able to observe teenagers who used to be timid.

Heludo is the founder of Puerto Recanz—an organization of a cappella rappers in Barangay Puerto whose members are gradually increasing.

“But now those timid members who exposed themselves in rap battles have become more expressive of their ideas,” said Heludo.

He added even some parents noticed the change of their children in the classroom.

These once-shy students have become more participative during class discussions.

Jonar Arazo, a member of Puerto Recanz, said he used to be shy but because of the rap battles he participated in he was changed.

He added that rap battles can make one get tough and accept criticisms from others.

“Before, I am afraid to talk to people especially when applying a job. But because of a cappella rap battles, I realized that I can rebut and talk creatively using words,” he added.

Heludo said new members of a cappella rap battles used vernacular while the veterans in the rap community are inclined to use Filipino and English.

“But there are some parents that are also against a cappella rapping and I don’t know why,” said Heludo.

Heludo said rap competitions help the youth practice their freedom to express their opinions.

He added a cappella rapping can also develop the brain of the rappers because the competition is too high you have to be creative to defeat your opponent.

It hurts

Heludo said sometimes it really hurts deep inside, especially when your opponent does the “real talk” technique.

Real talk, he said, involves humiliating you through rhymes and words that involve your real life by which are used against you by your adversary.

However, he said a competitor should not be onion-skinned during the competition otherwise he will be defeated.

Mistah, not his real name, said they hold rap battles in front of the Provincial Capitol every Saturday.

Mistah is deemed to be one of the best a cappella rappers in the city who is also a member of Rap Batikos.

He said members of Rap Batikos in Cagayan de Oro are constantly increasing and they come from various universities and colleges in the city.

Misatah added there are many ways to outwit the opponent through words and rhymes and creativity.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 14, 2014.

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