In the world of freestyle, Supernatural is the king. He's battled and defeated such luminaries as Craig G, Juice and Proof from D12. He also currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest freestyle at just over nine hours. Now he's hosting the entire Rock the Bells tour, where he'll introduce cats like the Wu-Tang Clan, Pharoahe Monch and Talib Kweli. We caught up with Supernatural to talk battles and the art of freestyling.
Westword: Does anyone ever work up the courage to battle you when you travel city to city?
Supernatural: They used to, but I think cats really know their boundaries with me. The only time that happened recently was at the Miami show and there was this old rapper named King Sun, who's washed up and comes to every show and heckles everybody. But other than that, that's the only time I've ever dealt with that.
Rock the Bells, featuring the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and more, 3 p.m. Wednesday, August 22, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, $49.50-$129, 303-830-8497.
How much of what you spit comes off the top of your head versus writing down lyrics when making a song?
I write — writing is a big aspect of being an MC. But sometimes, my freestyle past haunts me when it comes to that. But as far as being a writer, I'm a writer, too. I love to sit down and write, and the majority of my 2005 S.P.I.T. album is written.
Out of all of your freestyle battles, which rapper was the toughest?
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There was one guy in particular, his name was Grim Reaper, also known as MF Grimm. He's in a wheelchair now and writes hip-hop columns. But that was the only guy in a battle that I've honestly said was a worthy opponent. I've always wanted to see him since then; I've never had the opportunity to tell him that. But I even showed him, "you might be nice, but I got some stuff for that, too!"
Was there ever moment, during a radio show or concert, where you felt you spit the best freestyle you've ever spit?
Aww, man! There have been so many beautiful nights on the mike, I could not even begin to tell you what the ultimate was; there's been so many. To be very honest with you, I cannot say that I've ever had a night where I was like, 'Man, that was wack.' I've never had that feeling where I came off and didn't feel satisfied. I'm never going to go up there and give a half-hearted show; I'm always going to put my best foot forward and try to murder it.