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Freestyle Friday was a segment on BET's popular show 106 & Park, in which two aspiring rappers compete in a freestyle battle before the studio audience and the cypher (from 2006) and three celebrity judges (the DJ sometimes acts as the third judge). Each competitor alternates freestyling for 30 seconds in each of the two rounds (originally only one round when the segment first began). The rappers are not allowed to use profanities or sexually suggestive lyrics, punishable by disqualification (notable street-oriented rappers such as Reed Dollaz from Philadelphia and most recently Pop De Neero from North Trenton who have violated this rule, disqualifying themselves from otherwise-competitive battles). After the battle, the judges decide the winner, per majority vote. The rapper who wins each week wins a prize and returns the following Friday to defend their Champion title. After seven consecutive wins, however, the rapper is retired and inducted into the Freestyle Friday Hall of Fame, but if the Challenger card is picked by either two or three of the Judges, then the Champion automatically loses the Champion title.
History of the showEdit
On Friday, September 21, 2007, DJ Prostyle announced that Freestyle Friday would return to 106 and Park on October 26, 2007, which was ultimately pushed back to January 2008. The segment was previously in danger of cancellation due to the contestants regularly breaking or ignoring the contest's rules, including swearing and using inappropriate phrases and rap verses. BET also had the challenge of finding MCs comparable to crowd-favorites such as Lethal and 2007 Hall of Famers Nickel-US F & Johnny Ka$h.
When Freestyle Friday returned on February 22, 2008, it debuted with a new format. Unsigned rappers were then able to compete with the chance to enter in the Freestyle Friday All-Star Bracket. The winner of the bracket would then win a single record deal with KOCH Records. Rapper Fatigue was crowned the winner and 106 & Park Freestyle Friday Champion with 16 weeks of consecutive wins. The Freestyle rap section of the battle was removed from the segment because of the previous issues with the content rules, with mixed reviews from contestants. Viewers were upset that this format did not come back the following season.
In late 2008, Freestyle Friday returned to its old format, having two emcees freestyle rap for two 30-second rounds and then a decision by the judges. However, they did change one thing: when an MC reaches five wins, they are put into an All-star bracket, and later on, a tournament featuring the MCs who have reached the five wins will be held. For the 2008–2009 season, there was a tournament held in March. Three MCs won five matches, however only two were in the tournament, the reason for that is unknown. To fill the space, they brought back all the MCs who have reached at least one win. They still had one spot left, so they had the fans vote on the best challengers who lost. They four that received the most votes competed to see who would earn the "Wild Card" spot. Apollo Speed, Rugar Rico, Brian Dawson, and ZZ Topzz were the four that competed. Rugar Rico beat Apollo Speed and ZZ Topzz beat Brian Dawson and the two battled to see who would enter the tournament. ZZ Topzz beat Rugar Rico to earn the spot.
The tournament lasted six weeks. With two battles each week for the first two weeks. The first week, MCs Buddy Lo and Kiotti faced each other to see who would advance to the next round and R.A.P. Phenomenal faced wild card ZZ Topzz. R.A.P. Phenomenal and Kiotti made it to the second round. The next week, MCs Kay M and Brixs faced off along with Syah Boy and Hydro. Kay M and Hydro advanced to the next round, although many thought that Syah Boy defeated Hydro. The next week, R.A.P. Phenomenal faced off against Kiotti and made it to the finals. Kay M defeated Hydro to make it to the finals. There was no battle the next week because they wanted to cause more hype for the final battle.
The final battle consisted of two New Jersey MCs. R.A.P. Phenomenal, from Newark, and Kay M, from Rahway. This battle was held differently, consisting of three 30-second rounds. After the three rounds, the judges could not decide on a winner and asked for a fourth round. After four rounds of battling, Kay M was named the winner.
In late 2011, early 2012, the energy of Freestyle Friday was shifted when Pennsylvania-born rapper Payne Da Squad Boy made his debut on the show. He defeated the current champ his first week & clashed with returning favorite Syah Boy in week 2. Payne slipped up in round 1 but returned better than ever round 2. Fans and viewers were expecting a 3rd round due to Payne's second round but the judges crowned Syah the new champion. BET's staff and security voted for Payne to make a return to the show, when he finally did in the Wild Card Season for the #8 seed. Payne Da Squad Boy defeated every battler in the Wild Card competition and which solidified his spot as the #8 seed.
Payne made it as a "Final Four" battler in the 2012 March Mayhem competition defeating J.Dose, Rio the Raptor and AR-16. Even though Relly was crowned the Grand Champion of the season, Payne Da Squad Boy had more aired battles than every other battler in the Final Four. "One thing for sure... Payne Da Squad Boy is one of the best to ever do it on Freestyle Friday" tweeted the creator of Freestyle Friday at BET.
Ottawa rapper Charron won the 2013 March Mayhem All-Star Tournament, which guaranteed him a spot in the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards cypher. However, once it came time to shoot the freestyle videos, Charron was excluded from them, due to not having the image BET was looking for. Charron responded with the "BET Cypher Verse" where he disses the network, Murda Mook, Gucci Mane, Soulja Boy, Lil Twist, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar and Chief Keef, among others.
List of Hall of Famers (in order of year)Edit
The Hall of Fame contains rappers that have won seven times in a row and other notable rappers.
|Poster Boy||Jin||Shivere||Sincere the Great|
|SUNN.Y.||Big Will||Johnny Ca$h||R.A.P. Phenomenal|
|Streetz Da Block||Twilight||Loaded Lux||West Philly Blake||Fatigue 2008 Champion (old format)|
|Ja$||Hollow Da Don||Nickelus F|
|Kay M||Bones Brigante||Blind Fury||Relly||Payne Da Squad Boy|
|SamIam The Mc||Yung Nut (Yung N' 223)|
List of 6x Winning Champions
- Nova (considered a winner by first round but still defeated by Hason on another round after a camera problem)
- Hason (defeated by Jin)
- Red Dott (defeated by LaJune)
- Vocab (Signed in final week)
- K.S. (puts the mic down on the second round...Choked)
List of 5x Winners
- Bo Deal (disqualified for saying "nigga")
- King V "V" (defeated by P.L.)
List Of 4x Winners
- Legend (defeated by Poynt Blanc)
- P.S. (disqualified for saying "nigga")
- Orbit (defeated by Shelliano)
- China Black (defeated by Dreams)
- Qashqai (defeated by Amadeus)
- Arsenal (defeated by Future)
- P.L. (defeated by Madison)
- Jaha (defeated by Hollow)
- Lotta-Zay (defeated by J-Focus)
- Young Butta (the judges picked C. Fashion instead of Yung Butta)
- Goodz "Da Carolina Boy" (defeated by Hatch)
- Artisan (defeated by Priceless Da Roc)
- Misery (defeated by J. Cruz)
- J.Cruz (defeated by Payne Da Squad Boy)
- Mahogany Jones (left undefeated)
- Buddy Lo (defeated by Diggs)
List of March Mayhem All-Star Tournament Winners
- Kay M (2009)
- Mr. Bones Brigante (2010)
- Blind Fury (2011)
- Relly (2012)
- Charron (2013)
List of all Freestyle Friday contestantsEdit
- 2B Announced
- Ace Kayo
- Agent Orange
- Ami Miller
- Big Will
- Bo Deal
- Bones Brigante
- Blind Fury
- Buddy Lo
- C. Fashion
- China Black
- Dangerous "The Rude Boy" Mynd
- Dee Dave
- Goodz "Da Carolina Boy"
- Hallow Da Don
- Interstate Fatz
- Jiggy John-O
- Kay M
- King V "V"
- Loaded Lux
- Mahogany Jones
- Mr. Bones Brigante
- Nickelus F
- Payne Da Squad Boy
- Poster Boy
- R.A.P Phenomenal
- Red Dott
- Samlam The MC
- Sincere The Great
- Streetz Da Block
- West Philly Blake
- Young Butta
- Yung Nut (Yung N' 223)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2009-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "106 & Park".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2009-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Excluded BET Cyphers Rapper, Charron, Fires Shots at Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, Chief Keef and Others - XXL".