Tory Lanez x Joyner Lucas


A Lesson in Battle Rap

Over the past week we’ve seen an aggressive back and forth between Tory Lanez and Joyner Lucas. But this article will not focus on the details of the battler, or even who won/lost. I’d like to focus on the difference between battle rap and rap beef and the importance of both sports in rap.

Battle Rap

Battle rapping is simply a sport of showmanship. It involves two or more rappers attempting to out rap one another, battling for the approval of the majority. It is a competition of wit, figurative language, skill, flow, etc. Usually, whatever is said in a rap battle isn’t going to cause offense outside of the battle. Of course some of the bars should hit close to home, this is usually the goal. But outside of the battle, the rappers usually have a mutual respect for one another.

Rap Beef

This involves rappers taking shots that are deliberately hurtful and painful toward one another. Rap beef usually goes hand in hand with personal issues that the rappers are choosing to air out in the public. Rap beefs often cause fans and other artists to choose sides forming a division in the culture that cannot be mended until the artists mend their own issues.


Both battle rapping and rap beefs are incredibly important for the culture of rap and hip hop because a lot of quality rap is created. It wouldn’t be fair that quality music is created during this time because battle rapping may not necessarily yield good music. Battle rapping focuses on each individual lyric rather than the song as a whole.