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I Got Bars Contest Vol. 2

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Rules

You can only write 8 bars (8 lines). Submissions over 8 lines will not be looked at. It must be WRITTEN only, but can use an instrumental.

How To Enter

You can submit by leaving a comment below with a link to your rap, or you can write your eight bars in the comment itself.

Winners

I'll be choosing the winners. I'll be looking for creativity, originality, and rhyme structure.

The winning entry will be posted on RapPad's Twitter and Facebook accounts, and you'll receive a trophy on your profile.

Deadline: February 24 2016


I Got Bars Vol. 2 Winners

Ladies and gentleman, thank you so much for attending the second I Got Bars award ceremony. Tonight, we have three brand new finalists with three strikingly different verses all competing for the same prize, and it's my job to determine a winner.

After perusing each of the seventy submissions to the contest, I've managed to narrow it down to the three best choices. Before I reveal them, I'd like to remind everyone of my judiciary process in the interest of full transperency. Just like last time I used four objective measures to evaluate each verse:

  • Coherence -- did the verse make sense from beginning to end?
  • Rhymes -- how intricate and complex is the rhyme scheme?
  • Wordplay -- how clever are the lines and how heavy are the punches?
  • Originality -- is the verse a bunch of cliches, or is it innovative and different?

With those criteria firmly in my mind, I began to examine the verses. In order to keep any personal bias out of my judgement, I copied all of the bars into a blank document and excluded all of the names. Then, through a lengthy process of elimination, I managed to limit the field to our three finalists.

Now, with that housekeeping out of the way, let's get to the real stars of the show.

First up, NAC with some clever lines:

Watching offspring's growing turf wars astounds me

Some murderous youths, all tumbling "proudly"

Throughout the four seasons, you can call me Vivaldi

Because I'm composing myself unlike the orchestra around me

But when my heads up in the clouds, that’s when bad seems to surround me

That's why I let my star burn bright, to protect myself when it’s cloudy

But I could use a parent figure who can hold me down, ground me

And I can be your son, your world will gravitate ‘round me

This one took me a number of reads to really fall in love with, but the more I studied it, the more I liked it. Starting with the four seasons ("spring," "-wing tur-," "some mur-," and "all tum-"), throwing in a reference to a classical composition, and then building on the seasons theme by steadily moving upward and outward all the way to the "son" shows the genius of this verse. It is flawlessly put together. My only mark against it is that the story it tells suffers a little bit from the heavy wordplay. It can make it a little hard to follow. Nonetheless, easily one of the best verses I've seen in either competition, and more than worthy of a spot here this evening.

Up next, ReallyRaheem with a profound and insightful verse:

Rock a Jesus piece, the only jewelry to bear his name

Deny all your beliefs for a claim to fame that's only vain

Destruction came to those who wait, the weight is only chains

But the suffering of ignorance can weigh a thousand shames

What would it take, to accept a fate or faith in turn you never change

Waste your days away, a fading grace no longer makes

A difference, dead is a mission when the greats are turning graves

And Fates of most are slaves to rumination of God betrayed

Much like NAC's verse, this takes a number of reads to fully grasp. Unlike NAC's verse, however, it relies on its meaning and profundity to capture its reader, rather than clever wordplay. In many ways, this reads more like spoken word than rap, but some of the lines are just heavy: "But the suffering of ignorance can weigh a thousand shames" is probably my favorite. Additionally, Raheem does a lot with the long 'a' sound, playing with a variety of different rhymes without leaving that vowel sound. All in all, this is just a great verse, even though it doesn't incorporate a ton of wordplay.

Finally, Ayepext713 brought some hard bars to the competition.

You lame ducks get 8 up like 2 hands with thumbs missing

I’m straight pimping 16s, leave that mind blown, Abe Lincoln

Face me? Please! We face off, I leave that face twitching

You fake clowns my mind is an 8 laying down infinite wisdom

You spit bars. Me? I'm raising it. Hip hop? Been raised in it

Let see which one of you Mortals can Kombat my Raiden spits

Kick them amazing scripts leave you dazed a bit

The Minotaur of metaphors welcome to my maze of wits

After NAC and Raheem came with the some deep lines and messages, this feels like it belongs in a battle. With references to everything from Greek mythology, to US history and classic video games, this kept me entertained at every bar. Paired with some nice rhymes, this verse stood out to me from the start. It lacked some of the coherence that I want to see, but it still stood out to me as one of the best I saw.

Now we get down to the final decision. It's not an easy one to make, but I think I have to give it NAC. While the other two have their strengths, NAC's verse is the best rounded by the four measures I outlined at the beginning. So now, please welcome your new champion, NAC! No doubt about it, this man has bars.

Watching offspring's growing turf wars astounds me

Some murderous youths, all tumbling "proudly"

Throughout the four seasons, you can call me Vivaldi

Because I'm composing myself unlike the orchestra around me

But when my heads up in the clouds, that’s when bad seems to surround me

That's why I let my star burn bright, to protect myself when it’s cloudy

But I could use a parent figure who can hold me down, ground me

And I can be your son, your world will gravitate ‘round me

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this edition of "I Got Bars!" I've enjoyed reading through all of the really good verse you've put together. We'll have another competition sometime next month, so get to work on those bars so you can take the crown from NAC!


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