Dead Silence: A Q&A About Battle Rap
Q&A By Lucky Smith
Introduce yourself for us. Where are you from?
I’m Dead Silence. I’m a battle rapper, artist and film scorer from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Explain your thought process behind the name.
The thought process behind Dead Silence came from enduring pain and producing creativity with that same energy. Dead Silence also comes from how I move as an individual. I don’t talk as much as people expect and I observe everything possible.
Did you start out as a battle rapper?
I started out as a songwriter and eventually developed into a professional artist. I came into the rap game September 2017, given an opportunity by B. Jones (starting his rap battle League). He saw me in numerous cyphers and invited me to battle due to another battler dropping out at the last second. I dominated my first battle and have been in the game since.
Does Indianapolis actually have a battle rap scene?
Indianapolis has 2 battle rap scenes that I know of personally. The inner city’s main battle rap scene consists of 8-10 battlers in a league called “CCBL” which was started by B. Jones. The other league involved Andrew Hunt who hosts battles as well. I haven’t been to their battles yet but I’ve heard of a good select few who will be battling against “CCBL” on December 1st.
How do you feel the city measures up to the other cities in the Midwest, in reference to battle rap talent?
I feel as if Indianapolis is new to battle rap in a major way but the grind has been there for a couple of years. Not until this year has battle rap blown up. In my opinion, I can see a solid 3-5 battlers representing Indianapolis on a major platform against the other Midwest cities.
How many battles have you been in? What is your record?
I’ve been in four solo battles and one 2 vs 2 Match-Up. My solo record is 3-1 and took the L on the 2 vs 2 matchup.
Who would you say was your most competitive battle against? How did you handle it?
My most competitive will be against Huruhkain, which will take place on December 1st. I’m approaching the battle with constant schemes followed by unique punches. We both have similar unorthodox styles so it will be a classic for the city.
If you could pick anyone in the world to battle, who would it be and why?
I’d battle Rum Nitty (from Phoenix) due to the fact he’s the so called “Punchline King”. Also, I like a challenge that will push my pen. The better the challenge, the more I’ll push.
Who are your “Top 5” battle rappers of all time?
Loaded Lux, Rum Nitty, Danny Myers, Tay Roc and the old Aye Verb.
Have you come across a lot of women who battle rap?
I don’t come across a lot of women who battle rap. That’s rare.
Is there such thing as “going too far” in a battle?
You can’t go to far in battle rap. Battle rap is the proving ground for Hip-Hop, lyrically. When a battle rapper decides to battle, he/she has to understand what they are signing up for. Everything from social media to real life information can be used against them at anytime during a battle. Live more privately.
Can anyone who can rap well be successful at battling?
You can be a great battle rapper and an artist at the same time. The format for battle rap is more free as far as word-space and there is no tempo for battle rap. Even with a tempo, battle rap is more loose, delivery-wise. As an artist, you have to understand the structure of music.
Music has a restraint on tempo. 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, along with many other measurements used is the backbone of other sounds creating a record. Most artists develop their material by deciding what is best for the audience to listen to based off of the tempo given.
What do you say about the theory that battle rappers can’t make real records?
It’s less common for battle rappers to make likable music catered to the average listener due to their familiarity with battle rap structure and not song structure. A battle rapper can easily make a record if they understand song structure though.
Have you released any music projects?
I’ve released 6 official records and I’ll be dropping one more record for the year in December along with 2 more in January and February of 2019.
What would you say separates you from the rest?
What separates me from most would be my ability to adapt to battle rap and being an artist (songwriter). I understand the structure of both and have been able to consistently give great final product in both areas of entertainment.
Have you had a chance to see Joseph Khan’s battle rap film, “Bodied”? If so, what do you think?
I just saw the trailer a month ago. I’m mad I’m so late on the movie but I’ll watch it this weekend.
Do you think battle rappers get the respect they deserve from the industry?
I feel as if battle rappers will only get respect to a certain audience. When it comes to music, the average listeners goes along with a certain vibe instrumental-wise before really tuning into lyricism. Battle Rap fans have a tendency to gravitate towards certain battlers due to favoritism, material and lack open-mindedness sometimes.
The industry is too in-tune with commercialism. Honestly, outside of Smack/URL, no other battle league is promoted/shown as much unless its a league from over seas. Even when it comes to over seas rap battle leagues, most will not get as much attention as the league “Don’t Flop”.
What was one of the best battles ever to you and why?
One of the best battles to me would be Loaded Lux vs Calicoe. It’s amazing because it shows you who the real battle rap listeners are when it comes to breaking down the battle. Loaded lux did not target calico as much as Calico targeted Loaded Lux, material wise. Loaded Lux is so much of a mogul that he got praised for choking in a verse.
Battle Rap regulations, when it comes to choking, you lose that round. Most commercial fans will say Loaded Lux 3-0’d Calicoe because of his third round, but you have to give Calico the 1st round due to Loaded Lux’s choke and you have to give Loaded Lux the 3rd round due to how he broke down Calico’s existence. Personally, I have Calicoe 2-1 but the 2nd round is a great toss up because it can go either way.
Who won these battles on wax and why?
Remy Ma vs Nicki Minaj
Remy Ma. She aimed for more personals, unlike Nicki Minaj who tried to barely throw personals and make a commercial pop record at the same time.
Joyner Lucas vs Tory Lanez
Joyner Lucas. His first record was fire and was consistent on throwing personals along with using his great flow and changing deliveries at the same time. Tory’s first diss record was purely commercial and no material was aimed toward Joyner. He said a whole lot of nothing.
Tory’s second record was impressive. I feel like nobody expected that from him. More personals were aimed at Joyner but he had to copy Joyner’s style. Joyner finished the beef with his 2nd record clapping back at Tory’s 2nd diss track by being consistent and demolishing him with more personals along with maintaining his delivery and changing flows constantly.
Jay Z vs Nas
Nas, even though Jay Z’s disses were slept on. In my opinion, Nas made one of the popular well known, “Top 5” disses of all time. Nas made the “Ether” instrumental so well known because of how much that diss track destroyed Jay Z, globally.
Drake vs Pusha T
Pusha T. He lyrically murdered Drake to the point where an O.G. had to come in and advise Pusha T to stop. Drake even made a record on his album to explain all of the hidden info Pusha T put on wax.
Eminem vs Machine Gun Kelly
Eminem. Respect to MGK for coming at Eminem because of Em’s ego, disrespect and narcissistic ways towards other artists. Nobody would ever think of coming at Eminem in general so respect to MGK period but Eminem lyrically demolished MGK. I haven’t heard of MGK’s name after Eminem’s last diss record. Rest In Peace.
Photo of Dead Silence By The Promo Goddess.