Radio show freestyles used to be a pivotal moment for rappers, a lot of times acting as a make-or-break moment for certain careers. Hip-hop is still a relatively young genre, so with all of the changes that have come with the style of music being made and released, the nature of freestyles has naturally morphed as well. With lyricism not being the only way or even the most popular way that artists reach success today, freestyles have taken a backseat for some.
Certain artists being asked to freestyle–and completely flunking their exam–have sparked conversations about whether or not radio personalities should even ask certain acts to flaunt their skills (or lack thereof). Some popular music just doesn’t tap into some crazy, creative bars as one of the components for its success, so why should we expect those artists to be able to freestyle?
With the always evolving state of hip-hop, it’s important to remember that things have changed drastically, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes a hard beat and some turnt up adlibs are all somebody needs to enjoy some music–but some of us still want to hear some bars, and there’s not a shortage of that, either. Sway In The Morning is one of the radio players that continues to put a focus on making our favorite artists freestyle, and they all come in knowing they gotta be on their best behavior.
Here’s some of the best freestyles brought to us by Sway if you need a reminder that lyricism is anything but dead! Most of these definitely aren’t slept on, but if you’ve already seen them, watch ’em again.
- Method Man & Black Thought
2. CyHi The Prynce
3. Nitty Scott
4. Childish Gambino
6. Schoolboy Q
7. Earl Sweatshirt
8. Vince Staples
9. A$AP Rocky
10. Pusha T
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