Hollow Da Don, who has been a prominent rapper in the written a cappella form of Battle Rap, says he doesn’t actually write much of what he recites during battles.
“I don’t really write,” Hollow Da Don says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “The only thing I do is, I might write a punchline. I won’t write no scheme or the whole thing. I just write the main line if I think I’m going to forget it, but most of the time, if it’s crazy, I’m not going to forget it. So my best shit I really don’t write…I don’t have my rounds down nowhere. It’s not on paper or nothing. It’s all in the dome piece.
“That’s the easiest part to me,” he adds. “It’s like a puzzle. I probably practice the least out of any battler that battles out here. I’m not saying that to get points. I don’t really be practicing. That’s not what I do.”
This strategy has been a double-edged sword, Hollow admits.
“That shit hurts me every battle, but it helps me [too],” Hollow says. “It’s like a gift and a curse, but not practicing makes some of my shit sound choppy like transitions won’t be as smooth, but it also makes me sound natural like I’m not reading from a paper. It’s like a gift and a curse, so I feel like the gift outweighs the curse, so I still try to do it, but I try to keep it borderline to it.”
Hollow Da Don Describes His Approach To Rebuttals
Hollow Da Don’s improvised responses during battles, often referred to as rebuttals in Battle Rap, have become an important element of his rhyme style.
“Most of this shit really be on the spot,” Hollow Da Don says. “Maybe I do think about it, but I don’t be like, ‘Maybe I’ma say it this way or say it this way.’ However it come out, it come out. Sometimes it don’t work. Sometimes it work.”
Hollow Da Don says his rebuttals during battles are also unplanned.
“This is how it really works,” he says. “Well this is how it works with me. I could come up with like four rebuttals just for one round. Now what I’m going to use, I usually pick it like literally on the spot…Most of this shit really be on the spot. Maybe I do think about it, but I don’t be like maybe, ‘I’ma say it this way or say it this way.’ However it come out, it come out. Sometimes it don’t work. Sometimes it work.”