Understanding the Obscene: Discourse Analysis of FlipTop Battles
This qualitative research is a discourse analysis of selected flip-top battles. This study aimed to analyze the discourse of selected FlipTop battles by analyzing the different strategies used by the emcees/rappers in constructing/delivering their lines and by understanding the linguistic features of the FlipTop lines delivered, particularly their phonological and morphological features. Analysis of data reveals that emcees/rappers mainly make use of eight strategies in the construction/delivery of their lines, (Mental Inadequacy, Attack on Physical Attributes, Assertion of Dominance, Comparison to Notable Personalities, Allusion to Fictional Characters, Threats, Sexual Innuendos, and Attacks on Close Relatives and Relationships). As regards phonological features, it is revealed that emcees mainly make use of (1) assonance, (2) consonance, and (3) rhyming. Furthermore, the main morphological features used by the emcees are (1) deletion, (2) compounding, and (3) code switching and code mixing. Based on the aforementioned analysis, the following conclusions are drawn: (1) The emcees share common characteristics when it comes to employing strategies for attacking their opponents in FlipTop battle; (2) the structure of FlipTop lines is different from other forms of poetry as it does not follow proper format but it creates an artistic transition of words; (3) emcees have the freedom to insult with no boundaries on the use of words and terms; either negative or positive in the sense of alluding the opponent to certain traits of creatures or people; (4) the FlipTop lines embody linguistic features used by the emcees to improve and create an impact in delivery; (5) FlipTop lines may be viewed or understood in different ways; however, some insults have reliable references depending on where they are employed; and (6) emcees’ chances to win the battle largely depend on the delivery of lines.