TIL The concept of the “Rap battle” has existed since the 5th century, where poets would engage in “Flyting”, a...

TIL The concept of the “Rap battle” has existed since the 5th century, where poets would engage in “Flyting”, a spoken word event where poets would insult one another in verse

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  • “Your assaults revile me like no other, yet pale to how I defile your mother.”

  • The romans kinda did something similar in the early 1st century, but it was more equivalent to poets making diss tracks on each other.

  • Back in the day, two poets named Aurelius and Furius were giving Catullus a hard time about being too feminine in his poems. So Catullus struck back with Catullus 16 – the first lines in Latin translate to “I will sodomize and face-fuck you”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catullus_16.

  • In the not too distant future there will be a professor at harvard who teaches “historical rap battles of the 20th-21st century” and it’ll be glorious.

  • I wrote a paper in an English class last year about the ritual boasting in *Beowulf* and compared it to modern rapping and rap battles. Both groups engage in trying to one-up the other, bragging about how cool or tough they are, and referencing other more famous people for their prowess. There are *a lot* of similarities between old Germanic/Anglo-Saxon ritualized boasting and modern rapping. It’s really fascinating.

  • You peasants are weak, dirty and starved by hunger,
    I would have plowed your mother If she were fourty years younger!

  • Anybody else think of Sokka and the haikus?

  • [Don’t call it a comeback.](https://i.imgur.com/5J1PTB4.jpg)

  • I bet Shakespeare would have performed excellently.

  • Anyone interested should check out perhaps the most famous tale of flyting, [the Lokasenna](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lokasenna), a piece of Norse mythology in which Loki systematically goes through all the gods and goddesses, mocking them and basically calling them all whores and cowards. By the time he’s done, everyone hates him, and it leads to Loki’s binding beneath the earth, and the eventual coming of Ragnarok.

  • In bedouin culture, it is still and very highly regarded to this day! Sometimes its spur of the moment and sometimes its friends, also sometimes it’s hostile and set as a huge event as well! Countless fights and shootings happen even..

  • “Verily, thine mother ist so rotund that when she doth sit around the castle, she doth circumscribe the castle.”

  • Eminem is a time traveler confirmed

  • “Flyting” can be translated to flowing.
    I might be stupid for posting this, but i thought this might be somthing not everyone knows.

    Sauce: im Norwegian

  • You mean Eminem didn’t invent it in 8 mile? /s

  • 4:10 English teacher from the dead poets society still flyting and beating his rapping ex-student opponent…https://youtu.be/tp4wEewrQdU

  • Das a pretty fly ting.

  • Virgil “Eclogues” in early first century AD – Rap battle. It’s based on a classical motif of two people spouting poetic verse at each other and peppering in references. It had probably existed for several hundred years already by that point.

  • Dost thou not have bars?

  • [“But I’m not a flyter”](https://i.imgur.com/nXPruDN.gif)

  • /r/chaphop

  • I guess Epic Rap Battles of history were on to something.

  • The original OGs

  • Is this what they were doing in the beginning of “The Life of David Gale”?

  • They also had these kinds of competitions in ancient China. Poets would freestyle a verse (usually based on the scenery) and another poet would do a freestyle of another verse. Sometimes they would have to match the rhyming scheme that the other person used.

    I think often it was done between friends for enjoyment, but also sometimes competition.

  • Today I also learned that using the word fly as cool, or hip has been around since the 14th century. Here’s an actual excerpt from a book written in 1811: “The rattling cove is fly; the coachman knows what we are about.” The main theory on the origin is in reference to being in the know, like a fly on the wall.

  • Several thousand years before that there was a literary genre in Mesopotamian culture ca. middle to late 3rd millennium BC, in which two inanimate objects would discuss with each other who was best. For example, a discussion between winter and summer about who was better.
    So the (very) raw concept of talking to each other and trying to prove who was better is actually very, very old, going back more than 5.000 years.

    *Schneider, T. J. 2011, Ancient Mesopotamian Religion, Michigan/Cambridge*

  • Only know this because of the Witcher 3 BaW… your mom joke

  • Madting flyting

  • Reminds me of this: https://youtu.be/R6H0i1RAdHk

  • Only but a single shot, doth thy receiveth!

    Edit:Ye olde spelling

  • “Thy mommath is big as thy ox cart”

  • Would pay to watch this. Wouldn’t pay to watch current

  • The poetry in this comment section will be studied by future historians and they will be amazed and horrified at the same time.

  • Polwart yee peip like a mouse amongst thornes

  • It’s fLIT! …I’ll see myself out.

  • Actually, this goes back to the Greeks but they already have enough things accredited to them

  • Damn whites, reappropriation happened way back then even

  • Oh yeah, well your mom is so big that, um, so big that… I mean to say, about your mother..
    Fuck it.

  • That’s why I fucked thou bitch, ye fat motherfucker

  • Just curious. At what point is it cultural appropriation? Everything we do and have is essentially just and invention/idea by humans. Whether it be a certain pattern of clothing or a hair style or a type of music or a dance. It’s all a human creation. If you believe in cultural appropriation at what point does it stop? Are we all limited to what our identifying race/culture creates? I just get confused by it all. Life would be boring if we didn’t copy and add our own personnel flair to things.

  • Saw an excellent example while watching the show “Will.”

  • Rap song, rap song

    I make my raps and the crowd goes wild

  • The Inferno was basically a whole rap battle story.

  • Regular show is my favorite, Pops is my favorite.

  • Invented by whites? This may change everything…

  • Epic rap battles of histooooory! Who won? Who’s next?

  • It goes further then that actually, greek poets used to do this already. And it was childish then as it is now.

  • The Reddit version of the movie Ridicule.

  • I am picturing something from Blackadder except with real swords and lots of spilled wine and blood by the end.

  • Many countries have this concept of lyrical or “rapping” battles in their native cultures. E.g. contrapuntear in Venezuela/Colombia and repentistas in Brazil.

  • Epic Rap battles of history!!!

  • But AJP said he was the one who invented it

  • Is anyone else reminded of the pirates in Monkey Island?

  • My music teacher from college would probably throw a fit over this. We were taught that rap is exclusively African. But then, lots of social science classes teach the rhetoric that Black = good, White = bad.

  • Scrolling past this on mobile and thought it said rape battle.

  • Thou Vomit thy mothers spaghetti

  • I still find it funny when people call rap poetry

  • And it was so culturally meaningless that nobody gave a fuck about it, to the point I only learned of it today.

  • Well let me tell you, dreadlocks have existed in many cultures from the dawn of time yet these days they’re strongly associated with Black American culture. Wearing them outside of that context would be considered by many to be cultural appropriation.

    Similarly rap battles, although ancient in nature, owe 99.8% of their modern popularity to Black American culture. So if you and your white middle school friends are rap battling and happen to offend somebody who is culturally sensitive, don’t expect a trite: “it’s cool bro, Olde English poets used to do it” to mollify them.

  • Careful, you may trigger someone.

  • I think in those days it was called a debate.

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