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How to diss in battle rap

Updated on April 23, 2016

My Guide to rap dissing:

Rap disses are quite different from normal everyday insults. Anyone can diss but few can create rap disses with extraordinary lyrical craftsmanship. To make a great diss, it must be solid and hard hitting. It must have credibility. I can't tell you exactly how to write your disses but i can give you tips on what to do and what NOT to do.

Common mistakes in battles:

Writing generic bars - The first mistake people make when dissing in rap is making generic bars. Bars such as “Your raps are utter trash and you suck with no luck” can apply to anyone. Rap disses should be directly applied to the person your battling.

Using words just because they rhyme – The second mistake people make is thinking rap battling is a rhyming contest. This is only part of battle rap. If you write bars just because they rhyme, your going to get boring very fast. You don't always have to rhyme. In fact, rhyming too much restricts what you want to say. Your bars should keep a balance of disses and rhymes.

Confusing battles with songs – Battle lyrics are not the same as general song lyrics. When your battling, your not writing a song. Your not rapping about how talented you are, how much money you have, how special you are, etc. Battle verses are intended to attack your opponent so if your not doing that, your not battle rapping.


That being said, here are several tips to constructing a diss.

* Master your observations – Look at your opponent. What is he/she wearing? Who does he/she look like? Who does he/she sound like? How do they walk, talk, dress, act, etc.? How old are they? What have they done in the past? What flaws do they have? Master the art of observations.

* Admit your weaknesses and counter-attack – Admitting your flaws gives your opponent less things to talk about and reduces the effectiveness of their disses. Now what do you have that your opponent doesn't? To take advantage of your round, counter-attack your opponent by exposing their flaws. For those who are obese, you might want to admit it but also point out how skinny your foe's bank account is.

* Think of something insulting – Take your observations and construct a clever diss. For example, don't just rap “your bars suck..” explain why they suck. Is their voice audible? Do they stumble alot? Do they whine too much?

* Make your disses direct - The aim is to attack the person's character or appearance. Attacking your opponent's weaknesses or humiliating them with past mistakes is key to success. The more direct you make your disses, the more chances you have of getting the crowd on your side.

* Make popular references – Make references to current events and/or nouns that everyone is likely familiar with. Personally i like to research my opponent and figure out what movies they've watched, what games they played, what shows they tune into, anything i can use to my advantage.

* Keep it simple – Don't try to add too many syllables or complex words. This restricts the power of your disses and your audience probably won't understand it.

Most of all, keep practicing these principles. I would advise you to check out these helpful resources for more on battling. Leave all questions and comments in the box below.

Arsonal (Left) against Shotty Hoorah (Right).
Arsonal (Left) against Shotty Hoorah (Right).

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