Remember when we wrote, rap battle ain’t dead, these rappers just scared. Well, someone was listening. And to our credit, I think the sports analogy of the most well known basketball players don’t participate in the NBA dunk contest, still applies. But what we didn’t add is that battle rappers have broken through, be it Serious Jones, Cassidy, and of course there’s the Eminem’s and the Chocolate Drops. And who could leave out the biggest of them all Supa Hot Fire. OK. Not the last two, but you get the just of it. Battle rappers can make quality music that the masses will support. One person looking to make their mark in both the battle rap industry as well as the music industry is the up-and-coming artist Elo. So we had to ask Elo a few questions to see just who, is the new kid on the block.
How did you get your name? So I actually got my name from playing chess. I wasn’t the greatest player but I always compete, in anything I do. So I like to gauge myself vs others. The ranking system in chess is Elo. That is also true for most match making games/ competition. So really off the back off me being a competitive individual and always wanting to be better than the next guy up, so Elo was fitting. I am the standard. I set the bar. If someone else sets it. I wanna clear it.
What inspired you to get into music? My whole life has been Music. My father was a big rap head and living with a single dad most of my life that’s what we had in common. Music. So through him I was exposed to a lot of different genres. I’ve been in metal bands / pop punk bands/ but my roots are hip hop, my dad was a rap head more than anything so that’s what I latched to. My dad was a street dude so we were always outside with him and his homies and watching them do dumb shit lol. I’ve just been around the block and hip hop my whole life. But as a musician I do enjoy almost every genre of music. I can find positive qualities in all of it.
My debut single will be released as of April 23rd [TBD] with a full video and all. Mixtape coming early summertime. Self-titled as of now.
What was the first album you bought? D12’s “Devil Night” and Chingy’s “Jackpot” were the first 2 albums I ever purchased lol. I’m actually bout to run them both hang on. (a big smile comes over Elo’s face). Been to long.
What got you into battle rap? So before December I had only ever watched battle rap with a homie of mine because he battled and was into the shit. I didn’t care much for it at the time but it was Ight to watch. But when he told me I should give it a shot and I just started writing and being more bar focused. I could feel my skill set developing and boom. Addicted. So I’m still very new to the culture. I don’t see myself as a battle rapper as much as others do though. Yes I do battle but my main love is music. I know the battle rap tag will get thrown on me but the truth is my music is my number one focus. Just I was able to skyrocket into some crazy situations in my 4 months in battle rap. Now I’m battling s-drop in my debut with KsharkTV, which is a wild opportunity. This is my debut on beat so to get a name like that is definitely un heard of. I also will be debuting on Verbal Warzone which is the URL of on beat battling inlay 27th in Baltimore. So that’s huge!
Where do you see the future of battle rap? Being so new to the culture I’m not qualified to guess tbh. I do see on beat battling being on the rise. It’s more digestible and anyone and everyone can enjoy it. Same level of bars, just added measurements. Anyone can pop on a verbal warzone battle and enjoy it. Can’t say the same for accepella.
How do prepare for a battle? Write my ass off. That’s really it lol. Write and spar. Peep game. Take criticism. Learn from mistakes. Battle rap can be toxic, only a few are really built to handle it. I don’t get lost in that though. I focus on me and what I can handle. If I do that I’m a problem for anyone.
Tell us about the event happening on April 29th. I’m the co-main event in my debut vs S-Drop on KsharkTV. Ksharktv is well known for there, cyphers and all the artist that have blessed the platform from NYC. Respect to NYC and KsharkTV for allowing me to come do my thing. Ima put on for my city state and give NYC a show.
What are you going to be doing in Harlem
Outside of battling? Networking. Tap in with anyone and everyone I can. Hopefully get a chance to go to the iBattleTV event and see the homie Jay-R do his thing. The kid is nice nice. Even being so young compared to me he’s got a lot to offer when it comes to the battle side of shit. He’s ranked in the top 10 in iBattle with 2 battles for a reason. He’s a problem for sure so hopefully I get to tap in with iBattleTV and them.
I think it's important to restate that Elo is not just a battle rapper, he's a real artist. Elo is proving this with the release of his debut track called "Track 1" that will feature none other than Benny The Butcher. This track will be apart of a mixtape called "North Gate Vol. That's a hell of a feature for a debut track. It's also a dope move seeing that the Griselda artist also has ties to battle rap legend Eminem, as the group was signed to his label Shady Records. So who knows, maybe this will also mean an Elo and Eminem collab. Who knows how the universe will align. But make sure to look out for "Track 1", it's a promise that you won't be disappointed. I expect bars so cold that the purest of hip-hop aficionados will shed a tear. THIS WILL BE HIP-HOP!!!
Checkout Elo's Oochie Wally Cypher Verse video below.