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All rise for Rapder, the undisputed king of freestyle
The Mexican overcame a strong line-up of the world’s best freestyle rappers to claim his first Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos International crown
Mexican rapper Rapder delivered the ultimate mic drop as he overcame some of the world’s very best Spanish-language freestylers to be crowned the Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos champion for the first time.
Showcasing his incredible flow and delivering a series of memorable lines, the rapper known as 'La Bestia de Occidente' (The Beast of the East) took the title after defeating former world champion Skone in the final.
“I'm really happy – it hasn't really hit me yet,” said Rapder. “I'm really proud to have won this. It's knowing everything I've gone through in my life, knowing you can make mistakes, fall down and keep going. I can't wait to be back in Mexico and celebrate with my family."
Taking place in the Dominican Republic and filmed in a virtual arena, the competition – which literally means ‘Battle of the Roosters’ – saw 16 freestylers represent their respective countries and battle it out for the crown.
To give the MCs added energy, screens with live projections of friends, family and fans were set up offstage, while the huge green-screen saw the competitors transported to snowy mountain tops and even a vast desert.
In the opening rounds there was a repeat of last year’s final, with Bnet once again overcoming Valles-T, while Spanish champion Skone showed his prowess on the mic to advance.
In the quarter-finals, Dominican newcomer Exodo Lirical defeated reigning international champion Bnet in a shock result, while fellow Mexican rappers Aczino and Skone also made it through to the last four.
The two former world champions then met in the semi-final, with Skone getting the decision over Aczino in a fiery battle and Rapder ended Exodo Lirical's dream run.
The final then started with an acapella battle, with both rappers tasked with rhyming about random objects in a trunk. After visiting two more virtual sets, Rapder delivered the knockout blow with a series of slick lines that showcased his incredible improvisation skills.
Discussing the success of the competition, event director Paulí Subira Claramunt added: "Last year's Red Bull International Final had 14,000 attendees and was the most livestreamed Spanish language music event of all time. It became clear that having fans on site wasn't going to be possible in 2020, but we wanted to still give the fans and MCs something spectacular."
Watch a replay of the Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos International Final 2020 below:
Red Bull Batalla International Final 2020