FlipTop Rap and Hiphop Battle League and Sunugan
FlipTop Battle League is the first and largest professional rap battle conference in the Philippines, founded by Alaric Riam Yuson (known as Anygma) and Romeo Borrondia (known as RYME B) in 2010. The league promotes Pinoy hip hop. FlipTop is heavily influenced by the original rap battle leagues in the West founded in 2008 – Grind Time Now, King of the Dot and Don’t Flop, which inspired the creation of FlipTop and other battle leagues around the world. The league also branched out into several divisions after its success
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In general, the contest consists of three rounds with a time limit for each contender set by the referee. Overtime is applied if the battle is a draw. The first turn is determined by a toss coin. Scripted or non-scripted bars are allowed. Profanities and insults are allowed in the battle provided that contenders must not take it seriously or personally. Both sides can also bring props for the event. Filipino language is the primary medium although other languages or dialects can be used. The winner is determined by the decision of the judges. The criteria for judging are the usage of words, audience impact and rapping style.
There are different conferences in FlipTop such as Filipino Conference, Bisaya Conference, English Conference, etc.
Concerts and Performances
Aside from battle rap, the league also hosts concerts and seminars about hiphop culture, commonly named as Mindfields.
Quantum Cafe, Makati City, Metro Manila
B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila
FlipTop has three different battle formats which sometimes combined with Freestyle:
- Written – Now the most common in all FlipTop tournaments, it has no background music. The bars have no measure but it has a rhyme.
- Freestyle – At first the most common in all FlipTop tournaments, there’s still freestyle battle but not so often as the written format. Sometimes it has background music and sometimes it doesn’t have. The bars have no measure but it has a rhyme.
- Old School – Commonly used on tryouts. It has background music, and sometimes combined with Freestyle.
There are different variations of rap competition in FlipTop:
- Dos por Dos – Tag-team freestyle rap contest. Emcee or Femcee. It can be Freestyle or Written.
- Five on Five – Five-member team freestyle rap contest. Emcee or Femcee. It can be Freestyle or Written.
- Femcee Battle – All-female rap battle. It can be Freestyle or Written.
- Intergender Battle – Male vs. Female battle.
- Royal Rumble – A rap battle consists of more than two emcees randomly attack or bash each other.
- Secret Battle – Same as the other battles but with limited audience.
List of Events
|Grain Assault||February 6, 2010||Quantum Cafe, Makati City|
|Second Sight||March 20, 2010||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Ahon||May 15, 2010||Guerrilla Radio, Pasig City|
|Process of Illumination||June 25, 2010||Freedom Bar, Anonas, Quezon City|
|Bwelta Balentong||July 17, 2010||Freedom Bar, Anonas, Quezon City|
|Down N South||September 25, 2010||Friday’s Super Club, Las Pinas City|
|2 on 2||October 16, 2010||Tanza, Cavite|
|Gapo de Gulat||October 29, 2010||Music Jam, Olongapo City|
|Sabong Sumulong||November 12, 2010||Texas Cockpit Arena, Marikina City|
|Tectonics||December 4, 2010||Katips Bar and Grillery, Katipunan Extension, Quezon City|
|Grain Assault 2||February 5, 2011||Quantum Cafe, Bagtikan corner Kamagong St. Makati City|
|Ahon 2||July 1–2, 2011||Hades Bar, 99 Timog Avenue, Quezon City|
|Mindfields||September 23, 2011||Quimpo Boulevard, Davao City|
|082 Magnitude||September 24, 2011||Quimpo Boulevard, Davao City|
|Gapo de Gulat 2||November 5, 2011||Jax Comedy Bar, Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo City|
|Ahon 3||December 10, 2011||Katip’s Bar, Katipunan Extension, Quezon City|
|Bara Ko Barako||December 27, 2011||Naic Covered Court, Cavite|
|Mindfields 2||February 16, 2012||Club Z, Sucat Parañaque|
|Grain Assault 3||February 25, 2012||Feron Bldg., Kamagong Corner Bagtigkan|
|Mindfields 3||March 1, 2012||Teno2 Bar, Timog Avenue, Quezon City|
|Hukuman||March 17, 2012||Orani Gym, Orani, Bataan|
|Mindfields 4||March 30, 2012||Teno2 Bar, Timog Avenue, Quezon City|
|Mindfields 5||April 21, 2012||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Mindfields 6||April 26, 2012||Skarlet Jazz Kticher Bar, Timog Avenue, Quezon City|
|Zoning||May 5, 2012||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Mindfields Mindanao||May 17–18, 2012||Tagum City, Davao del Norte|
|Different Ways 2||May 19, 2012||Tagum City, Davao del Norte|
|Boom Bap Friday||July 6, 2012||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Unibersikulo||August 31, 2012||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Kataga||September 8, 2012||Kamalig Bar, Rosario, Cavite|
|Aspakan||October 6, 2012||Party Piknikan, Lazatin Blvd., Villa Victoria, San Fernando City, Pampanga|
|Ahon 4||November 9–10, 2012||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Mindfields 7||December 7, 2012||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Grain Assault 4||February 8, 2013||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Pakusganay||March 2, 2013||GSP Gym, Davao City|
|Tectonics 2||April 27, 2013||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Zoning 2||May 17, 2013||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Tournament Round 2||July 19–20, 2013||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Tournament Semis||September 27, 2013||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|082 Magnitude 2||November 9, 2013||Brgy. Buhangin, Davao City|
|Unibersikulo 2||December 21, 2013||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Grain Assault 5||February 7, 2014||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Ubec Mindfields||February 16, 2014||Gorordo Street, Cebu City|
|Second Sight 2||April 11, 2014||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Gubat||April 25, 2014||Cap Center, Osmeña Blvd. Cebu City|
|Oromata||May 9, 2014||Cagayan De Oro|
|Kataga 2||June 28, 2014||Imus, Cavite|
|Aspakan 2||July 19, 2014||Angeles, Pampanga|
|Zoning 3||August 30, 2014||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Gubat 2||October 18, 2014||Cap Center, Osmeña Blvd. Cebu City|
|Mindfields x Rapollo||October 19, 2014||C Cuperclub, Cebu City|
|Zoning 4||November 8, 2014||Club Z/Barbaric Bar, Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Paranaque City|
|Ahon 5||December 19–20, 2014||San Juan Gym, San Juan City|
|Grain Assault 6||February 7, 2015||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Second Sight 3||March 13, 2015||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Bwelta Balentong 2||May 30, 2015||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Mindfields Cebu||June 3, 2015||Lahug, Cebu City|
|Gubat 3||July 4, 2015||Cap Center, Osmeña Blvd. Cebu City|
|Process of Illumination 2||August 22, 2015||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Unibersikulo 3||September 12, 2015||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Aspakan 3||October 10, 2015||Angeles, Pampanga|
|Process of Illumination 3||October 23, 2015||Dasmariñas, Cavite|
|082 Magnitude 3||November 27, 2015||Davao City|
|Process of Illumination 4||November 28, 2015||Davao City|
|Ahon 6||December 11–13, 2015||San Juan Gym, San Juan City|
|Grain Assault 7||February 6, 2016||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Kataga 3||February 20, 2016||Rosario, Cavite|
|Process of Illumination 5||March 11, 2016||Cebu City|
|Gubat 4||March 12, 2016||Cap Center, Osmeña Blvd. Cebu City|
|Second Sight 4||May 7, 2016||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Aspakan 4||June 11, 2016||Mabalacat, Pampanga|
|Mindfields 8||July 15, 2016||Davao City|
|Pakusganay 2||July 16, 2016||Davao City|
|Bwelta Balentong 3||September 17, 2016||B-Side, Malugay Street, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Mindfields x Rapollo 2||September 23, 2016||Bikeyard Cafe, Cebu City|
|Gubat 5||September 24, 2016||Cap Center, Osmeña Blvd. Cebu City|
|Mindfields 9||October 24, 2016||Mow’s Matalino St., Quezon City|
|Unibersikulo 4||October 29, 2016||Quantum Cafe, Makati City|
|Ahon 7||December 16–17, 2016||San Juan Gym, San Juan City|
|Name||Personal Name||Hometown||Affiliations||Signature Style|
|2khelle||Olongapo City||Alpha Taktikah, G.R.S 047, G-Town, Singko Brothers, A-Syan Recordz||Freestyle|
|Abra||Raymond Abracosa||Pasig City||Lyrically Deranged Poets, FlipMusic, Team Sunday, Artifice||Speed Rapping and Multi|
|Aklas||Philip Ching||Quezon City||Batch1, True Death, AKLAS Ltd., LUMA||Comedy, Intergalactic Bars, Alien Bars|
|Andy G||Andy Jamolin||Parañaque||DC Clan, Double Cross, The Real South Pride Production||Comedy|
|Apekz||Mark Anthony Cadiente||Valenzuela City||Rhym Minister, Deepflowmahgik, Hustlin Records||Comedy, Freestyle|
|Apoc||Ralph Dela Fuente||Pasig City||Raw, Dukes, Bilog Writer’s Block, Sabertooth Academy||Bars and Wordplay|
|Asero||Olongapo City||True Pinoy Playaz, G.R.S., A-Syan Recordz|
|Asser||Asser Ace Dilao||Cebu City||NevaNevaNevaLand, 3GS, Outbox, Rapollo||Multi and Personals|
|Badang||Darwin Ferianeza||Marikina||Tuesday Troop, Hahay Entertainment||Comedy, Freestyle|
|Bassilyo||Lordivino Ignacio||Marikina||CrazyAsPinoy, Crazy Family, Badboys||Comedy|
|Batang Rebelde||Marvin Arias||Tanza, Cavite||Baredibu, Ulikbangon, Zone 457, Exodus, AKZ||Serious bars|
|Batas||Mark Rodriguez||Tahanan, Paranaque||Wild Ones Tatttoo, Illustrado, Upsiring, Barangay Tibay, Sultan of Snap, Tha TVC Black||Serious Bars, Unorthodox Rhythm, Wordplay, Hardcore, Aggressive|
|BLKD||Allen Enriquez||Naic, Cavite||The Pharm, Batch 1, 3LC||Heavy and Deep Bars, Wordplay, Poetic|
|Cameltoe||Paranaque||AMPON||Sexual Humour, Comedy|
|Cool Kidd||Davao City||K-Records, Karabineros|
|CrazyMix||Romarico Superable||Quezon City||Crazy Familym Blind Rhyme Productions||Speed Rapping, Part comedy|
|Daddy Joe D||San Pedro, Laguna||Elegante / P3TRecords, RS Production, Bigkasang San Pedro||Comedy|
|Damsa||Raymond Abrenica||San Pedro, Laguna||Via Records, MusicPharm, Black Cat Pro, Inked Hustlaz, S.N.S||Speed Rapping, Flow|
|Datu||Freestyle, Battle Veteran, Rebuttals, Part Comedy.|
|Dello||Wendell de Jesus Gatmaitan||Tondo, Manila||Skwaterhaws, Mongol Unit||Rebuttals, Part comedy, Freestyle|
|Dopee||Raymond Escurzon||Davao City||Speech, Kalawakan Crew||Comedy|
|Elbiz||John Elvis Narisma||Quezon City||The Green House||Comedy|
|EJ Power||Ejay Florentino||Balanga, Bataan||Danger Zone, Outbox, Troop A||Poetic, Comedy, Freestyle|
|Flict-G||Raymond Rivera||Mandaluyong, Manila||Repablikan Syndicate, Shockra||Wordplay, Comedy|
|Fongger||Cebu City||7Kings Production, Crazy Family, Shongkoi, 504 Records, Team Porkchop||Comedy|
|Frooz||Federico Hidalgo||Binangonan, Rizal||Crazy Family Badboys, BlindRhyme Productions, Alyansa ng Tugmang Bulag, Puyat Records||Comedy|
|Fuego||Paco, Manila||Mack-Town, Taft-Love, Vito Crew||Bars|
|Gap||Vito Cruz||Vito Crew, TL, LD, People’s Future, Yo Momma|
|Ghandi||Quezon City||Kalayaan, Moment Squad|
|G-Clown||Kevin Dela Cruz||Tanay, Rizal||Lego Music, BTR Pro, KOK Clothing||Serious bars|
|Harlem||Harlem Ty||Pasig City||Team Watawat, Schizophrenia, Street Team||Freestyle|
|Hearty Tha Bomb||Irene Ciriaco||Baesa, Quezon City||Martial Camp Records, Tuesday Troop, Konektado, X-Deal Vigilantes, Rap Divas|
|Icaruz||Michael Cania||Noveleta, Cavite||Themsent, El Grande Records|
|J-King||Julius Cenon||Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija||Word War, 3GS, Nueva Ecija TV48, CMPRO, Devil Rhyme||Freestyle, Poetic, and Rebuttals|
|J-Skeelz||Jason Rodriguez||Tondo, Manila||187 Mobstaz||Comedy, Freestyle|
|Japormz||Olongapo, Zambales||Kosa Familia||Offensive Bars, Comedy|
|Josh G.||Joshua Gurango||Quezon City||SNL Crew, Edub||Comedy|
|Jonas||Jonas Dichoso||Bulihan, Cavite||Breezy Music, Beats by Foe, Anak ng Madre, 3GS||Wordplay, Poetic, Comedy|
|Juan Lazy||Christian Quiapon||Paranaque/Makati City||Southern Villains/ Meks Familia||Comedy, Freestyle|
|Kahir||Quezon City||Them Sent, Batch-1, 3LC||Poetic, Comedy|
|Kamandag||Olongapo City||Bloodline Productions, Suwail na Anak ng Gapo, A.Y.A.D|
|Kial||Marco Alkadama||Tondo / Bulacan||187 Mobstaz, Blind Rhyme Productions||Poetic|
|LilJohn||Johnross Delos Santos||Parañaque City||Parañaque Rebels, All-Star Pro, 3GS||Rebuttals, Multi, Comedy|
|Lil Sisa||Jhayann Parreño||Antipolo City||Crazy Family|
|Loonie||Marlon Peroramas||Cebu City||Stick Figgas, Konektado, Barangay Tibay, Watawat||Poetic, Multi, Comedy|
|M Zhayt||Christian Paolo Gabriola||Rosario, Pasig City||3GS, All Star, Rapskallion, Poema, Cursebox, 13 Kabalyero||Rebuttals, Freestyle|
|Nikki||Jonathan Vibas||Digos City||Supreme Blood, Heneral Luna, Digos Rap Project, PSB Records, Slickboats Prodz||Comedy|
|Nico||Nico Nachor||Olongapo City||Arma Letra, The Firing Squad, Bara Suwail, Rep The Hood Ent., Take Eat Out||Misdirecting bars Bano Bars|
|Notorious||Billy Lizano||Anonas, Quezon City||Kampo Teroritmo, Proyekto Dos Tres, P2 Hood, King G||Serious Bars|
|Pricetagg||Jomari Espiritu||San Fernando, La Union/Sta. Mesa, Manila||Rep The Hood Ent., Shots Fired, Black Rose Tattoo||Serious Bars, Part Comedy, Heavy and Deep Bars|
|Pistolero||Christian Carlo Cañares||Tondo, Manila||Hush Musik, Jmekwar, Delubyong Anghel, 3GS, AllStar Production||Rebuttals, Freestyle|
|Plazma||Paulo Calangan||Quezon City||MDK, TCMF, Writer’s Block, Sabretooth Academy||Wordplay, Horrorcore, Hardcore, Aggressive|
|Rapido||Rafael Guerrero||Rosario, Cavite||Elements||Speed Rapping, Offensive Bars|
|Romano||Romano Trinidad||Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija||Rappscab Music, 3GS, Cursebox Production, Mark Beats||Freestyle, Rebuttals, Aggressive|
|Rudic||Joshua Lingating||Quezon City||DC Clan, Mindanao’s Illest, Simbagsik|
|Sak Maestro||Hansel Cabo||Davao City||Cot Crew, The Takeover, K-Records||Serious Bars, Multilingual, Poetic, Wordplays|
|Sayadd||Ralph Lizano||Anonas, Quezon City||Illustrado, Oyog International||Bars|
|Shehyee||Christopher John Ongkiko||Mandaluyong||BMG, Flipmusic, Flee Entertainment, Watawat||Part Comedy, Medium Bars|
|Shernan||Shernan Roy Gaite||Muntilupa City||Muntilupas Most Wanted, 3GS, Senyor Mafias, AllStar Production||Comedy, Rebuttals, Gimmick|
|Silencer||Ric Laurino||Parañaque City||Familia De Calibre, DC Clan Music, The Real South Pride Production||Comedy, Flow|
|Sinio||Joseph Martin Cagasan||Mabalacat, Pampanga||Pampanga’s Finest, 45 Battalion, Real Jokes, Copy Right||Comedy, Rebuttals|
|Skarm||Philip Pacheco||Pasig City||Ampon, Talksic Ways|
|Smugglaz||Bryan Lao||Tondo||187 Mobstaz, Blind Rhyme Productions, Shockra||Speed Rapping, Part Comedy, Flow|
|Spade||Quezon City||Illustrado, Uprising|
|Righteous One||Joshua Berenguer||Meycauayan, Bulacan||Brown Radio, FMCC, Souljahs||Serious Bars, Freestyle|
|Target||Renie Boy Palma||Las Pinas City||Double Cross, DC Clan Music, The Real South Pride Production||Poetic, Deep Bars, Freestyle|
|Tipsy D||Mark Kevin Andrade||Balanga,Bataan||Bataan Hiphop Movement, Abakadaz||Wordplays, Part Comedy, Deep and heavy bars.|
|Tweng||Bohol / Cagayan De Oro||Six3Hundred Crew, Palma Doggz, Bohol Bee Farm, Leadership Frienship Service Zeta Beta Chapter||Gimmick, Comedy|
|Zaito||Predo Canon Jr.||Las Pinas City / Cavite||Vigilante Family, South Radical Production, Uprising||Comedy, Freestyle|
Cultural impact and criticism
In its early days, FlipTop initially gained criticism for its use of strong language, mockery and bullying, prompting the city government of Makati to ban rap battles in the area. As time passed, the events gained acceptance, with the official FlipTop YouTube channel gaining more than one million subscribers which they received Golden Play Button Award, and two million likes on its Facebook fanpage. After it gained success and reputation via social media, many amateur and other rap battles arose such as Sunugan, Word War, Bolero Rap Battles, Versus Verses, Bahay Katay, Flipshop, Flipcap etc. Due to its freestyle and rhymed content, some academics considered it as modern-day “balagtasan” although some rap artists discourage the idea. It caught media attention in that some emcees involved in FlipTop have gained commercial success like Abra, Loonie, Smugglaz, Shehyee, and others.
Many Sureño gangs have rivalries with one another and the only time this rivalry is set aside is when they enter the prison system. Thus, fighting is common among different Sureño gangs even though they share the same common identity. Sureños have emerged as a national gang in the United States.
The Mexican Mafia (Spanish: Mafia Mexicana), also known as La eMe (Spanish for “the M”), is a highly organized Mexican American criminal organization in the United States. Despite its name, the Mexican Mafia did not originate in Mexico and is entirely a U.S. criminal prison organization. Sureños, including MS-13 and Florencia 13, use the number 13 to show allegiance to the Mexican Mafia.
M is the 13th letter of the alphabet. Law enforcement officials report that La eMe is the most powerful gang within the California prison system. Government officials state that there are currently 155–300 official members of the Mexican Mafia with around 990 associates who assist La eMe in carrying out its illegal activities in the hopes of becoming full members.
Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)
Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is an international criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles, California. It has spread to other parts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. The majority of the gang is ethnically composed of Central Americans (mostly Salvadorans) and active in urban and suburban areas.
In the U.S., the MS-13 has an especially heavy presence in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California; the Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas of Fairfax County, Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Prince George’s County, Maryland; Queens, New York; Long Island, New York; Newark, New Jersey, Plainfield, New Jersey; Jersey City, New Jersey; Elizabeth, New Jersey; the Boston, Massachusetts area; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Houston, Texas. There is also a presence of MS-13 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Members of MS distinguish themselves by tattoos covering the body and also often the face, as well as the use of their own sign language. They are notorious for their use of violence and a subcultural moral code that predominantly consists of merciless revenge and cruel retributions. This cruelty of the distinguished members of the “Maras” or “Mareros” earned them a path to be recruited by the Sinaloa Cartel battling against Los Zetas in an ongoing drug war south of the United States border. Their wide-ranging activities have drawn the attention of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who have initiated wide-scale raids against known and suspected gang members – netting hundreds of arrests across the country.
The Sinaloa Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Sinaloa or CDS) is an international drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime syndicate. Established during the mid-1980s, the Sinaloa Cartel is based primarily in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, with operations in the Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Sonora, and Chihuahua. The cartel is also known as the Guzmán-Loera Organization and the Pacific Cartel, the latter due to the coast of Mexico from which it originated. The cartel has also been called the Federation and the Blood Alliance. The ‘Federation’ was partially splintered when the Beltrán-Leyva brothers broke apart from the Sinaloa Cartel.
The United States Intelligence Community considers the Sinaloa Cartel “the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world” and in 2011, the Los Angeles Times called it “Mexico’s most powerful organized crime group.” The Sinaloa Cartel is associated with the label “Golden Triangle”, which refers to the states of Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua. The region is a major producer of Mexican opium and marijuana. According to the U.S. Attorney General, the Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for importing into the United States and distributing nearly 200 tons of cocaine and large amounts of heroin between 1990 and 2008. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, within the U.S. the Sinaloa Cartel is primarily involved in the distribution of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and MDMA.
As of 2015, the Sinaloa Cartel is the most active drug cartel involved in smuggling illicit drugs into the United States and trafficking them throughout the United States.