Sitting down with VladTV, DNA broke down his perspective on the path to success that URL’s Proving Ground emcees face in today’s battle rap industry.

With a note that relative newcomers often benefit from their underdog status, DNA described how lower expectations for PG rappers can help the public perception of their performance. “They nice,” he says. “I fuck with them, but it’s more to the game then what they think it is, that’s it. It’s like, when you first come into the game, that’s why I credit Murda Mook when he said that shit about, ‘A lot of dudes think they can beat Mike until they in front of him and they actually do it and wind up looking stupid.’ [Allen Iverson] crossed him, but they forgot Jordan scored 30 and still won that game.

“The crazy part about it, this what niggas don’t understand, when you’re the underdog, everything is easier for you,” DNA continues. “It’s not to discredit or say nothing, but, it’s amazing. Because if I go and play LeBron James tomorrow, and LeBron James scores his regular 30, but I drop 28 on him, I’m gonna win in that situation because it’s like, ‘Who is this guy that was able to score 28 points on LeBron? Okay, we seen LeBron score 30 before, but who is this guy?’ And the situation with these guys, that’s what it is. It’s, ‘Oh shit, DNA did the regular hot thing, but who’s this nigga? He didn’t win, but he’s that close to DNA, so, yeah he won.’ That’s what it is.”

Adding that while PG rappers should certainly be considered true contenders, DNA said that new battle rappers benefit from the road veteran artists have paved. “I don’t wanna classify them or put them in a box and say, ‘Oh yeah, they the PG dudes,’ because at any given time they could surpass us,” he says. “That’s just the reality of it. It’s definitely levels to where this thing is going.”

Mentioning rappers that came before him, DNA referenced artists coming up within the PG circuit as a sort of third-wave of battle rap. “Murda Mook, the Loaded Luxs, the T-Rexs, the Math Hoffas, the Sirius Jones, they made it easier for us, because the blueprint was already there,” he says. “Now we came into this era of battle rap when it got to its highest point, so we made it easier for the Ty Laws, for the Prez Mafias, for the Mr. Wavys, for the Ah Di Booms, for the Chilly Jones, for the B-Magics to get paid. What these niggas is getting paid, niggas wasn’t getting this on they first or second battle, they wasn’t getting viewed by the people they’re getting views [from].

“You gotta understand that the blueprint is already here for you,” DNA continues. “Picture basketball never being created and you gotta be the first dude that actually designs the three-point line. You gotta be the first dude that makes up what a dunk is. Then think about how much easier it is after you know what a three-pointer and a dunk is for you to make it. What we had to do, made it easier for these dudes to come up and get where they need to go. That’s just what it is.

“They can beat us,” DNA says. “Anybody can do anything in the world, but the question is, are they? The chances are slimmer than what they think it is. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you, ‘Yeah, it’s no way in hell that they can beat anyone that’s top-tier because of course they can.’ I’ve seen it happen recently in battles where I’ve seen a PG dude beat a top [dude]. They can do it…it seems easier than what it is. But, like I said, no knock to them, because this is what they gotta do. This talking, they’re doing what they supposed to do. I’m not mad, the whole clone thing. I don’t necessarily disagree or agree. I feel like some of them that I’ve seen in the past remind me of certain dudes that are clones, but a lot of them on the other hand got they own style. They do their own thing. They implement new shit so I respect it.”

DNA Talks Lyrics Vs. Performance In Battle Rap

“A lot of people don’t understand that it’s more than bars,” DNA says. “It’s sad to say that, but that’s what it is…What is having the illest shit written down on paper or the illest shit that you got in your mind, but you can’t deliver it to the people the right way? Is it really that ill then? You gotta ask yourself, okay, if somebody that’s battling that’s super-lyrical, that’s credit ‘cause they have the talent to come up with these lyrics. But then let’s say you got somebody that’s not as lyrical as this guy, but they find a way to beat’em. Like, for instance, this is a prime example, O-Red vs. Hitman Holla: when I was going into this battle, no disrespect, I felt like O-Red was gonna kill him, bar for bar. O-Red is crazy. When you watching the battle, O-Red is spitting, but Hitman is performing. So, it’s a dude that’s way more lyrical than this other dude, and this other dude wiped the floor with him.”

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