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Rap Battle Parodies are comedy skits that mimic the style of impromptu rap battles commonly seen on video-sharing websites and online hip hop communities. The parodies follow the basic setup and rules of a rap battle, but the rappers typically exchange offbeat freestyle verses and anti-jokes for humorous effect.
Battle rapping has been a traditional component of hip hop music since its emergence in the East Coast hip hop scene circa late 1970s. The format first became popular in the 1980s with active participation from commercially successful hip hop acts and saw a period of resurgence in the 2000s when it was adapted into mainstream music programs like BET’s 106 & Park Freestyle Friday and MTV’s Wild N’ Out, as well as Eminem’s 2002 hip hop drama film 8 Mile. On YouTube, freestyle rapping burgeoned into a popular video genre with the rise of YouTube Cipher Battles and All Hip Hop All the Time (AHAT) videos.
Supa Hot Fire
On May 25th, 2011, YouTuber MrDeshawnRaw, also known as Supa Hot Fire, posted a comedy video titled “The Rap Battle [Parody]”, which lampoons the highly confrontational aspects of rap battles. Much of the humor derived from the spectators’ exaggerated reactions in favoring one rapper over another, which is fairly common in AHAT battles where home advantage applies.
The video was met by positive reception on YouTube and in the following months, it made the rounds across hip hop news sites and blogs like WorldStarHipHop as well as Twitter and Facebook. As of March 2012, the video has accumulated over 9 million views.
The video clip was posted onto WorldStarHipHop on June 14th, 2011, receiving over 379,000 views. On June 17th, Huffington Post reblogged the original video in a post titled “Hilarious Rap Battle Parody Featuring Supa Hot Fire.” Throughout the rest of 2011, Mr.DeshawnRaw went on to publish additional parodies in the same style. In March 2012, the fourth episode of the series was released featuring Supa Hot Fire and Tremendous, a fictional rapper assumed by comedian Chris Rock.
On June 9th, 2011, Supa Hot Fire appeared in an interview-style comedy skit with NorthWood TV.
Other YouTubers soon followed up with similar parody videos, beginning with the Mexican Cholo parody uploaded on August 13th, 2011. Another parody titled “Future” was posted on October 13th. Hip hop artist T-Pain and comedian Kevin Hart also collaborated on a parody video and published it via YouTube on November 26th. The following year on January 5th, 2012, a battle rap skit involving characters from the anime series Dragon Ball was uploaded onto YouTube.
How to Shut Down a Ho
On March 8th, 2012, the footage of crowd’s reaction from the original parody video was featured in a recut Dragon Ball clip titled “How to Shut Down a Ho …As demonstrated by Goku,” along with the well-known reaction clip of Ice Cube and Chris Tucker saying “damn!” in the 1995 stoner comedy film Friday. The video has since spawned numerous derivatives known as “Black People React to X” featuring Supa Hot Fire and the crowd’s reaction from the original parody.