Latin American Battle Rappers Says Red Bull Batalla Is The NBA For Spanish Freestyle Artists

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In the world of battle rap, names like Smack White and competitions like Ultimate Rap League and Queen of the Ring are just as common, household names as Jay-Z and Drake are to mainstream Hip Hop. In Latin American countries where Hip Hop music and rap battles occupy two distinguishable spaces, rappers like Yartzi and Adonis are recognized as Gods of the game and Red Bull Batalla is their Olympics. had a chance to sit down with the DR and PR natives during Batalla’s Dallas qualifier to discuss their origins in battle rap, the factors that separate freestyle from battle rap and the psychological preparation it takes to walk away with a win in Batalla. 

Rapper and songwriter Yartzi, who is a native of Puerto Rico, used the battle rap platform to assimilate himself into mainstream music where he has written songs for a myriad of artists and even gained a platinum plaque along the way. “This writing stuff, it was never in my mind,” says Yartzi.. “It was just something that happened and I got to that point because of battle rap.” He explains how he ended up writing songs for some oft he top reggaeton artists known, saying, “The second time I won the Red Bull title, there was some reggaeton artists that were following the movement and when they saw the news that a Puerto Rican won, they started sending me DMs and giving me their support. In one of those messages,” He continued, “I met a reggaeton artist named Randy. He’s in a duo called Joel Y Randy. They’re one of the biggest duos in the history of reggaeton worldwide. We became friends and one time we were in the studio, his song writer didn’t show up and he asked me if I could do it. The first song we recorded is actually the only one that’s been published to date called “23”. It topped every chart in reggaeton this year. It went double platinum and it’s the first song I have published.” 

Adonis, a Long Islander with Dominican roots who has been freestyling since he came to the U.S. at ten years old, explains that there is a difference between freestyling and battle rap, but the distinguishable factors are more mental and skill-based. “Battling is a little different because it takes a little more psychology”, says the Batalla veteran. “When you freestyle, you can rhyme about anything. When you’re battling, like with Red Bull Batalla, you have some sort of concepts, so you have to rhyme about that. And you have to make sure that you rhyme with attitude. Maybe not attitude, but you definitely have to be confident against your opponent. It’s more of a mental sport.”

Adonis says that competitions like Supremacia and Dioces De La Cities are great training grounds for the up and comers, but Batalla is like the world championships for Latin American freestyle artists. “It’s like if you’re dreaming of playing basketball. You can play in college, Europe, Mexico, but once you go into the NBA, that’s it”, says Adonis. “Red Bull is the NBA of freestyling. It’s the Mecca of freestyling for any Latin American artist. We all know that this is the biggest competition in the U.S., so that puts a lot on our shoulders, which makes us give more. You have to really be good and that’s because of the name that Red Bull has.” He goes onto say that battle rap has outgrew the Hip Hop music genre in Latin America, but the essence of the culture is still the same. “It’s like if you’re dreaming of playing basketball. You can play in college, Europe, Mexico, but once you go into the NBA, that’s it. Red Bull is the NBA of freestyling. It’s the Mecca of freestyling for any Latin American artist. We all know that this is the biggest competition in the U.S., so that puts a lot on our shoulders, which makes us give more. You have to really be good and that’s because of the name that Red Bull has.”

The Batalla U.S. Final is set for October 8th in Miami while the international finals will be held in Mexico City in December.

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Drake’s Son Adonis Adorably Discusses His Basketball Skills In A Video Drake Shared

There may not be a rapper who loves basketball (or at least is open and enthusiastic about their love of the game) as much as Drake. (Literal professional basketball player J. Cole may be an exception.) Drake is a courtside fixture at NBA games and he’s been an official “global ambassador” of the Toronto Raptors since 2013. Naturally, Drake has started passing that passion onto his son Adonis, who was recently seen adorably mimicking LeBron James’ mannerisms while shooting on Drake’s home court.

Speaking of cute Adonis videos, Drake recently offered up another one on his Instagram Story. In a selfie-style video, Drake asks his son, “Yo, where’d you learn to shoot like that?” Adonis shrugs and playfully replies, “I don’t know.” Drake then noted he just made four out of five shots and added, “You’re cash right now.” Drake again asked how Adonis became such a sharpshooter and the boy replied with an even bigger shrug, “I shoot at school!”

In other recent-Drake-Instagram-post news, he shared a photo of himself with the Haim sisters yesterday, writing, “Just met the Beatles.” The band re-shared and added, “We’re the Beatles.” The trio’s The One More Haim Tour brought them to Toronto last week, so that’s why the four were able to meet up and snap a pic.

Check out the video above.

Drake’s Son Adonis Mimics LeBron James On The Basketball Court In An Adorable Video

Drake is quite the basketball fan, which he’s made clear on several occasions. He’s been the global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors since 2013 and he can be found courtside at the NBA team’s home games. It was just a few weeks ago that Joel Embiid trash-talked Drake after the former’s Philadelphia 76ers beat the Raptors in a playoff game. He’s also placed bets in favor of the Golden State Warriors and Duke’s men’s basketball team. Drake’s love for basketball seems to be rubbing off on his son Adonis who was seen shooting some baskets at his dad’s basketball gym which is located in his Toronto mansion.

LeBron James Adonis Drake
Lebron James

What many may not have expected through the video is how Adonis is already catching on to the mannerisms of a certain active NBA great. After shooting a basket in a video that Drake shared on Instagram, Adonis can be seen tapping his chest a couple of times just like LeBron James has done in moments throughout his career. “Where is he getting the mannerisms from @kingjames (laughing emoji),” Drake captioned the video. LeBron reposted the video on his story and wrote, “My nephew really love the game!!”

While Adonis missed his first shot attempt, he absolutely sunk the second one for a total field goal percentage of 50% which should get him into the NBA Hall Of Fame if he keeps it up.

You can watch the adorable video of Adonis and see LeBron’s response above.

The Wife Of The Man Drake Trolled Speaks Out On Unwanted Attention

It appears the viral moment caused by a Drake follow and DM has become too much for Toni Bowen, who took to Instagram on Thursday to address the drama. In an Instagram Story, Bowen says despite receiving hate and unwanted attention, she and her husband Ceddy Bowen find the situation amusing and are very happy with one another. While some may use this opportunity to promote a clothing brand or new single, Bowen says she has no interest in being famous.

tonibowden.x instagram story

She found herself in Drake’s cross-hairs earlier this week after the rapper commented on Chris Matthews’ (aka @lethalshooter) Instagram post supporting and defending Ja Morant’s father, Tee. Drake said, “Imagine your son makes the league and he’s Ja or Melo or Lonzo, all you can do is be elated and competitive and over supportive, and it’s a right of passage to that the OG’s talk shit.”

Ceddy replied to Drake’s comment with a joke about ghostwriting and Adonis, to which Drake said he was going to follow Ceddy’s wife because she is probably miserable and needs some excitement in her life. The moment went viral, spawning endless laughs and conversations about what different men would do if The Boy DM’d their girls.

While the situation’s 15 minutes of fame have expired, this is just another example that one should be wary of crossing the “Petty King.”

Drake Was Given A $77,000 Ring Honoring His Son Adonis And The OVO Brand

Drake’s jewelry collection grew yet again but this time he didn’t pay a cent. TMZ reports that the latest addition to the rapper’s collection — which was partly designed as a tribute to his son Adonis — was given to the rapper by celebrity jeweler Alex Moss as a gift rather than a purchase.

The ring, consisting of 14 karat gold and 15.7 carats of diamonds, features a rendering of the OVO owl logo with the number “11” set behind it. October 11, of course, is Adonis’ birthday (just 13 days before his dad’s), highlighting the four-year-old’s importance to his famous pops. The overall value of the piece is reportedly $77,000 — a small price to pay for the publicity that seeing Drake wear such a piece would bring to the jeweler.

Of course, Drake’s been doing just fine showing public displays of affection for his son on his own. For Adonis’ most recent October 11, Drake threw a racing-themed birthday party and posted photos online; he’s also shared videos of his son learning the game of basketball (something else Drake takes pride in sharing with him), playing around on Christmas Eve, and giving him an impromptu French lesson, which the toddler used to troll his famous dad. Drake’s certainly come a long way from “hiding a child” as he was once taunted by Pusha T.

Fans Are Fawning Over Drake’s Video Of Adonis ‘Teaching’ Him French

Drake’s relationship with his son Adonis generates plenty of amusing, entertaining, and downright adorable content these days, especially as the three-year-old begins to develop more of his personality and understand what his dad does for a living. He’s also getting quite mischievous, as Drake’s latest video with Adonis shows.

Opening with a playful debate about whether or not Adonis will be “bigger” than Drake when he gets to be Drake’s age (there appears to be some confusion on whether that means physically or in terms of cultural impact), the video takes a slightly dark turn when Adonis asks whether his dad wants to learn some French. Adonis has likely been learning from his mom, Sophie Brussaux, a French painter and former model who shares custody with Drake (also, French is big in Canada, so Adonis being bilingual couldn’t hurt).

While teaching his dad some French words, Adonis also appears to be roasting his pops’ advancing years (kids always think everybody older than them is a dinosaur), reminding him that he’s inching closer to death every day — although, when he’s asked to translate, he puts it into much nicer terms. Drake seems pretty amused, though, catching Adonis’ prank and cracking up over it as the video ends. Check out the video below.

Drake Posted An Adorable Video Horsing Around With His Son Adonis On Christmas Eve

Drake’s relationship with his son, Adonis, has been well-documented at this point. As a single father, Drake shares custody of the toddler with Sophie Brussaux, although the couple aren’t together. Still, it isn’t every day we get to see Drizzy in full-on father mode, so a clip he shared of himself and Adonis horsing around on the floor on Christmas Eve is a sweet look into their dynamic. “I’m going to get up, I gotta get out of this,” Drake laughs, as Adonis and another child pin him to the floor, then climb up on his back as he tries to stand up.

“Merry Christmas From The Gang,” Drake captioned the post. Whatever else might be going on in Drake’s life, it seems like his 4-year-old son is having the time of his life giggling and playing with his dad during the holidays. Like plenty of other musicians, Drake has mostly been lying low during Covid-19 since touring is such a risky thing at the moment. He did emerge briefly to release his sixth full-length album, Certified Lover Boy this summer, and then again for a massive face off concert with Kanye earlier this month, but perhaps he’s been enjoying the chance to spend more time with his child like plenty of other parents are during the pandemic.

Drake Wishes His Son Adonis ‘More Life Kid’ At His Racing-Themed Fourth Birthday Party

Drake’s son Adonis turned four years old today and to celebrate, the rapper threw his kid a racing-themed birthday over the weekend. The space (which looks a lot like Legoland in a video Drake posted to his Instagram Story) was decorated in checkered flag balloons and racing stripes, while entertainment was provided by a Bugs Bunny mascot his Space Jam: A New Legacy jersey.

Drake also posted a pair of photos to his grid marking the occasion, captioning one “More life, kid,” a reference to Drake’s “playlist”/album of the same name.

Another photo looked like it came from one of those photo booths you hire for special occasions, with Drake grinning and holding up his son, who makes the “flying Superman” pose.

Drake has plenty of reasons to celebrate “more life” this month — which is also his birthday month — after releasing his long-awaited album Certified Lover Boy to a warm reception from fans, if not from critics. The album spent three weeks at No.1 on the Billboard albums chart, while he received praise from J. Cole on the “Heaven’s EP” freestyle. Drake returned the love at the opening night of J. Cole’s Off-Season Tour, calling him “one of the greatest rappers” out now.