The Boston emcee speaks on industry rappers stepping into the game, the mainstreaming of the culture and more.
Chilla Jones’ rise to popularity in battle rap parallels the macrocosm of the scene’s ascension into the mainstream arena over the past six years. Over the course of his career, the Boston-bred emcee has been able to dutifully straddle both realms as a recording artist in the mixtape circuit, and onstage backing up his words against opponents.
In an exclusive interview with BattleRap.com, Chilla Jones spoke about how he sees the scene’s evolution through 2015, the effect of the “Cassidy vs. Dizaster” hype in the mainstream, why he decries commercial rappers now entering the battle rap scene, where battle rappers need to improve on their skill set in this era, and what he believes battle rap fans look for in contenders to pick their favorites.
BattleRap.com: What do you see next for battle rap in 2015?
Chilla Jones: Well, it’s only going to the next level. You can kinda see that with that Cassidy and Dizaster battle, which I think could have definitely elevated battle rap to a more mainstream level. A more commercial level. I think we’ll see a lot more music industry involvement. Whether it’s throwing events, whether it’s industry rappers deciding to step in the ring. More money is going to funneled into the culture. For those of us who have followed the culture and been involved in it for a long time, I think a lot of us are afraid that it’s getting too watered down and soft. You know what I mean?
We don’t want it too commercialized to the point where it is battles bleeping out the swears. That’s kinda not where we want it to go. But at the same time we do want to see its growth. We do want to see it get bigger for everybody involved. I definitely think it’s going to reach more people than it’s ever reached. Whether that’s the demise of battle rap or not is something that remains to be seen.