Ham&High gets a shlewing from rap battling fans - but can you do better?
I was both amused and amazed to read your article on the rap battles taking place in Highgate School (World audience for Highgate School s foul-mouthed rappers, H&H January 11). I have been rap battling for about two years and have seen people from every
I was both amused and amazed to read your article on the rap battles taking place in Highgate School (World audience for Highgate School's foul-mouthed rappers, H&H January 11).
I have been rap battling for about two years and have seen people from every school and culture take part. I myself come from a private school. The battle scene in the UK is extremely established and has been given official sport status by the government body Sports England.
In a battle context it is generally acknowledged that anything about one's person can be targeted. The people who take part volunteer and are not just picked on. Battle lyrics are praised for their wit and people who use ''lewd sexual references'' are often mocked for doing so.
As for racism, the white people you accuse of racism are, in rap battles, probably at a disadvantage. Myself, as a battle artist, have often been mocked for being a white rapper. I too have gunned people for being, black, white, Asian and so forth. If you do not want to be insulted because of your race then don't take part. It is a level playing field.
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How is it thuggish? Is this not a more constructive way of dealing with teenage aggression than physical violence?
Rap battles allow people to vent aggression in a poetic and artistic way. I rap battle on a regular basis but will still stand up to give an elderly person a seat on the bus. I could name a good couple of Highgate students who would do the same.
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I will leave you with a rap battle verse I have contrived for you:
Dear editor, you portray the Highgate lot as bad boys,
because you can't think of stuff to put in your s****y tabloid,
If you don't like our sport and hobby, well then screw you,
You're just pissed off because we have better material than you do,
I don't want to hear your stupid right wing views,
Sorry Ham&High, you just got shlewed.
Nelson Road, N8
YOUR article completely and ignorantly misjudges the rapping which goes on quite regularly amongst Highgate School students.
Instead of highlighting the bad behaviour in public spaces, which I believe is almost non-existent, it highlights the boredom many teenagers face, even those wealthy ones in North London.
What the author of this article fails to understand is that these 'freestyle battles' that take place are completely laced with irony. No teenagers from private schools take rapping seriously.
It is probably better to make a mockery of hip-hop's aggressive lyrics than take them seriously, is it not?
Please consider these facts before accusing teenagers of declining behaviour in public.
Dublin Avenue, NW11
I agree that the behaviour of the boys from Highgate school was agressive and offensive however the extent of seriousness that the community have made about it is quite extreme. The only reason the situation was made into such a big deal was because they are from this 'reputable' and 'exclusive' school which is understandable however they are just school boys that the teachers are afraid are going to turn their school into a notorious place which is going a little too far. The school will continue to have a great reputation despite this 'disgrace' to it. With outstanding grades and a high level of teaching,the school has nothing to worry about.
Rathcolle Gardens, N8
EDITOR'S CHALLENGE: IT'S over to you, rappers. The Ham&High will offer four free cinema tickets to the best rap battle verse about the Ham&High. Keep it clean and we might even put your work on this website. Send entries to: firstname.lastname@example.org