You’ve probably seen freestyle videos on the internet. It’s a group of friends standing in a circle as a few of them spit some bars as others ad lib to keep the rhythm flowing. It’s a mixture of talent, humor, and wits. And for the Ohio State University Freestyle Rap and Beatbox Club, it’s a chance to get the stress of the week off their chest.
The OSU Freestyle Rap and Beatbox Club is comprised of about 30 active members that meet up on Wednesday in Enarson to hang out, dish out some freestyles, and bounce creative ideas off each other. The set up is simple: an empty classroom, a computer connected to loud speakers, and YouTube pulled up with rap and hip-hop instrumentals constantly playing. Members like co-president George Mikalis, junior studying public policy analysis, and co-president Dylan Stephens, senior studying English, make their way to the front of the room and start getting in the groove, finding their flows, and getting comfortable.
There’s no talent requirements, no past experience needed, and your taste in rap is welcome here no matter what. Like Mikalis said, the more the merrier. And this diverse mix of flows and styles makes it interesting. While Mikalis could be rapping about the shit he’s going through, Stephens could drop a few comical lines in the mix of his serious rhymes. There’s no right or wrong way; it’s just your way.
The group isn’t just a handful of students rapping for fun, either. Once a month, the group will make trips to the Indianola Church of Christ where they put on a small performance for the after school program that occurs there. The guys rap PG songs as a group as well as letting the kids at the church join in too. The guys said it’s a fun way to get kids involved plus make a positive impact on a young person’s life.
The Freestyle Rap Club also works as a networking opportunities for people looking to break into the scene. Members will bounce new beats off each other, lyric ideas, new songs to check out, and meet like-minded people who have a passion for rap. Both Mikalis and Stephens agreed, this group isn’t exclusive to just rappers; beatboxers are welcome, producers are welcome, and DJs are welcome.
The guys have also been tossing around the idea of doing a collab event with another freestyle group on campus, but for now, that’s to be determined. Until then, it’ll be a group of friends spitting rhymes, releasing stress, and enjoying every second of it while they do it.
Photo credit: Wenxin Yang.