Aczino celebrates after winning the Red Bull Batalla International Final in Mexico City, Mexico.
© Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool
MC Battle

Aczino crowned 3-time Red Bull Batalla International champion

The final battle between the Mexican rapper and his Spanish opponent, Gazir, sent the crowd wild at the Palacio de los Deportes, but only one star could lift the belt.
By Moisés T de la Peña
6 min readPublished on
Reality has once again exceeded expectations at the Red Bull Batalla International Final. This year, legendary Mexican MC Aczino was crowned the first-ever three-time Red Bull Batalla International Champion and first-ever back-to-back International Champion, after also taking the win last year.
The Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City welcomed more than 17,000 spectators to celebrate an unforgettable night for the Spanish-speaking freestyle scene.
Serko Fu kicked off the night with a bang: "The Red Bull Batalla International Grand Final is back in the great Tenochtitlán!” Arci immediately jumped up on stage to welcome the stacked jury made up of Piezas, Blazzt, Marithea, Stick and Klan.
To complete the line-up, Peruvian beatmaker DJ DMANDADO joined the event for the first time, his chopped-up beats and samples laying the foundation for the clashes featuring the MCs:
Skone (International Runner-Up), Gazir (third place in the 2021 International Final), Rapder (fourth place in the 2021 International Final), Yoiker (Mexico), Blon (Spain), Carpediem (Colombia), Índico (Panama), Choque (Peru), Mecha (Argentina), Jokker (Chile), Spektro (Uruguay), Teorema (Chile), Wolf (Argentina), Skiper (Mexico), Valles-T (Colombia) and the reigning International Champion: Aczino.

The Round of 16

The first round of battles saw clashes worthy of the final showdown. Comprising of two parts, the first saw the rappers freestyling around a specific theme, with the second being a straight up head-to-head freestyle.
  • First Battle: Indico vs Skone. Theme: States.
  • Second Battle: Choque vs Rapder. Theme: Search.
  • Third Battle: Carpediem vs Yoiker. Theme: Seasonal.
  • Fourth Battle: Gazir vs Teorema. Theme: Rules.
  • Fifth Battle: Wolf vs Jokker. Theme: Changes.
  • Sixth Battle: Mecha vs Skiper. Theme: Senses.
  • Seventh Battle: Valles-T vs Spektro. Theme: Figures.
  • Eighth Battle: Blon vs Aczino. Theme: Signs.

The Open Rooms

An intense battle between Gazir and Carpediem also created something of a debate between the fans in the Palais and the judges.
Carpediem appeared to have the upper hand after a momentous one-two response – however the judges disagreed with the public.
“I'm telling you parce / for the whole Palace / three times Carpe won / I swear I don't understand / what the f**k happened here / that's just the way it is / amidst a lot of booing / the jury saw Gazir.”
The battle between Argentinians Wolf and Mecha brought the heat with colloquial references to their country, but, after a passionate exchange, Mecha advanced to the semi-finals to face the winner of the match between Spektro and Aczino.

The Semis – a capella

As is tradition, the semi-final format brought two big trunks of props on stage, which provided a visual backdrop for  Gazir and Aczino’s lyrical excellence.
In his battle against Rapder, Gazir took the opportunity to bite back once more, and he sent Rapder to face the loser of the other semi-final battle – this time without controversy.
In the semi-final battle against Aczino, Mecha unleashed a few tepid rhymes that barely fazed the champion – and it was certainly not enough to defeat him.
"But look, you talked to me about basketball, mate / but here I'm the king, I'm the one who dominates the board," said Aczino.

Third place: Mecha vs Rapder

A battle so heated that both MCs ended up ripping off their shirts, symbolically pumping their chests at each other in a theatrical display of bravado. However, at the end of the sixth inning, Mecha came out on top and walked away with a ticket to the next year's Red Bull Batalla International Final, to be held in Colombia.

The Final Battle

Aczino and Gazzir perform during the Red Bull Batalla International Final in Mexico City, Mexico.

Aczino and Gazir in the final battle at Red Bull Batalla 2022.

© Marcos Ferro/Red Bull Content Pool

The eagerly awaited final match pitted the only surviving Mexican artist in the competition against Gazir, who found his way to the final round via pure lyrical savagery.
Aczino took advantage of these circumstances from the start, making a reference to Gazir's passing up the opportunity to kick off the round: "...He is afraid in the land of the Maya / he didn't start Spain / hahaha we've already started losing the battle!"
But he was only getting started: "Take it slow / you can't kill the king / and even less inside the palace."
Gazir replied with bars that went for the jugular: "In finals, your games are not so strong / it's not the third final you've won / it's the second he's lost."
Gazir, in turn, raised a counter that seemingly left Aczino in the dust. But then the two-time international champion had a vicious response: "Ronaldo? He is no longer a starter / But I'm Messi and I'm going to win the World Cup!"
The Spaniard then continued to poke fun at US events Aczino has participated in, but the veteran freestyler again took these comments in his stride and this placed the final nail in the coffin on the night: "I'm going to the United States because there are Mexicans there / I brought the freestyle to my brothers."

Colombia to host the 2023 Red Bull Batalla International Final

Another of the most anticipated moments of the night was when the destination of next year's International Final was announced. Flags rotated on the giant screens until it was clear that the Colombian flag colors were coming into focus. This will be the second time Colombia has hosted an International Final; in 2006, Puerto Rican MC Sammy Cultura won there, defeating Nitro in the Grand Final.

The Road to the Palace

The 2022 season kicked off in March with a call for interested participants to submit a freestyle video via the official Red Bull Batalla app.
A special jury was tasked with selecting the best talent from each country to make up the National Finals and regional qualifiers.
For the second year in a row, the participants of the Red Bull Batalla International Finals emerged from all over the Spanish-speaking world. Sixteen champion MCs from underground competitions around the globe battled it out for a place at the largest freestyle rap competition on the planet.
Chile’s Teorema was chosen through an online vote, racking in 47 percent of more than 400,000 votes cast.
A last-chance qualifier was also held in Mexico City with the remaining four runner-ups, which was won by Skiper.
The final participants took to the stage at the Palacio de Deportes after having qualified as winners of their respective Red Bull Batalla competitions. But, among them, one stood out the most. The only rapper to have won two belts at home before taking to the stage at the Palacio, and who has become a great source of pride for all Mexicans who gathered at the event: Aczino, the captivating MC who stepped off the pyramid with an impressive three belts in his hands.
Congratulations to the legendary Aczino, three-time Red Bull Batalla International Champion.
Will he be able to do it again in Colombia next year?
Be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app and catch the freestyle battles on all your devices! Get the app here

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