Hailing from an 18,000 person town outside the North Carolina capital city of Raleigh comes one of the most talked about rising stars in battle rap. During his run in the ring, T-Top has taken out other recent Proving Grounds standouts Th3 Saga, Chess, and Sno. His past record of competitors also includes top tier talents John John Da Don and Charlie Clips.
In 2014, Top faced off against his N.C. brethren Brizz Rawsteen in the final round of BET/URL’s Ultimate Freestyle Friday tournament. After the three rounds of back-and-forth bars, guest judges Kid Capri, Pete Rock, and Prodigy of Mobb Deep crowned T the champion. Last year also saw the release of Top Bizzy’s 11-track Bear Witness mixtape which featured appearances by battlers JJDD and Lotta Zay.
AllHipHop.com spoke with T-Top for the latest installment in the “Profiles In Battle Rap” series. The Dirty South ambassador touches on his friendly fire shots at Brizz, the next set of emcees in his verbal crosshairs, and more.
[ALSO READ: Profiles In Battle Rap: Xcel]
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
About 7 years.
Style Known For (aggression, wordplay, punchlines, freestyle)
I would say aggression and reality rap.
Park Lyfe, that’s my label.
Leagues Competed In
I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been to URL, UW, RBC, Spit Dat Heat, 7 Cities Sharks, and Goonie Battlegoundz.
Favorite Battle (Participant)
T-Top versus Th3 Saga. It tested my pen in different ways. I never had to battle nobody like a Christian rapper, so I tried to break him down without being too disrespectful.
Favorite Battle (Non-Participant)
One of my favorite battles to watch is B Magic versus John John Da Don. I think that’s the very first Proving Grounds [battle] ever. It was crazy. Both of them were hungry. That’s my favorite Proving Ground.
One Of Your All Time Hottest Lines
“My smart ass. I even learned how to stretch a needle hit. B*tch, I was stepping on water like Jesus did.”
Your Battle Rap Mount Rushmore
Lux, Mook, Arsonal, and Dizaster.
One Mainstream Rapper You’d Like To Battle
Beanie Sigel. He comes from that era where Hip Hop was giving that grimy feel. He was one of those artists that spit reality rap like how I do. I think that would be a crazy ass battle.
Which New Battler Is The Most Serious Threat When They’re On Their A-Game
Brizz Rawsteen. That’s my brother, so it was definitely very awkward [battling him in BET/URL’s Ultimate Freestyle Friday final]. We just wanted to show bars instead of being on that personal sh*t. We both held back a little bit.
What Two Battlers Would You Most Like To See Face Off
I would probably want to see Brizz Rawsteen versus Tech-9.
Your Battle Rap Hit List
Eventually, I want to see Calicoe, Hitman, and Arsonal. Maybe a Big T, but definitely Calicoe, Hitman, and Arsonal.
Top 5 Emcees DOA
Not in order: Jadakiss, Lil Wayne, Drake, Biggie, and Pac.
Do You Prefer To Participate In A Debatable Battle Or A Clear Victory?
As far as viewer wise, everybody watches debatables. More of their fans are going to watch it and more of my fans are going to watch it. A debatable battle makes good for views, but as far as my record, I want bodies.
What Has Been The Hardest Part Of Succeeding In Battle Rap?
It’s been the politics. Everybody knows me as a new face, but I’ve been battling for years now. When I started it was just a bunch of hungry cats, but when money gets involved comes politics. So I would say the politics have been the crazy part.
It could be one situation where an artist might be cool with a league owner, and they don’t want to book you. Or they try to shortchange you or hold your footage.
The money [in the entire culture of battle rap] might be getting better, but that doesn’t take away from the f*ck n*ggas. Just because the money’s better doesn’t mean the character of the people is better.
Where Do You See Your Career Five Years From Now?
Five years from now I’m trying to have a deal with a label situation, so my team can be eating and this music can be pushed. I want to be in a position where I got my music in rotation, and I’m making a way for my team Park Lyfe to eat. I’m not trying to be too much in the battle sh*t five years from now. I just want to make my mark and then get this music out.
[ALSO READ: Profiles In Battle Rap: Brizz Rawsteen]
Read other “Profiles In Battle Rap” articles here.
Stream/Download T Top’s Bear Witness mixtape below.
What other new battle rappers would you like to see featured in AHH’s “Profiles In Battle Rap” series? Hit them up on Twitter and share your picks in the comments section below.