How to judge a rap battle - Criteria for judging rap battles
Important factors to be considered when judging a rap battle are:
PRESENCE - Charisma, Swagger, Character... having a bigger personality than your opponent has a subconcious affect on the audience... and the judges.
DELIVERY - You could write the dopest bar we've ever heard, but if you don't say it with the right conviction, the line won't hit.
RELEVANCE - A punchline that actually applies to your opponent beats a generic mom/gay joke, or idol threats every time. Relevant set-ups'll gain you some extra points as well.
PERSONALS - Hurtful truths cut deep, and can be the most damaging weapon in a battle if done right.
FLIPS - Whether prepared in advance due to predictable angles, or off the dome, rebuttles score big in the eyes of the judges. There IS a such thing as a shitty flip though, and rappers shant be rewarded for them.
FREESTYLE - Proving you can kill it on the spot by referencing the then and now is a valuable asset. No extra credit for crap free's though, they have to be good.
CROWD CONTROL - Knowing how to draw big reactions from the audience is probably the biggest way to sway the judges, as it's hard to not feel like guy who got the bigger cheers, laughs and ooh's wasn't the winner. Judges should watch out for cheap pops due to home town advantage, shock value tactics, and pop culture catch phrases & slogans.
BAR STRUCTURE - Just because a battle isn't done over a beat, doesn't mean you can just mash as many words and syllables you need to get your point across into a line. Rhythm is still an important factor, and some rappers are just sloppy with it.
DICTION - Vocab, choice of words... prove your superior lyricism and it just might be the difference maker in a close match.
RHYME SCHEMES - We like to call 'em "multis". The complexity of your rhyme schemes shows that more effort went into your preparation, and it doesn't go un-noticed.
WIT - Very few people find it hard to appreciate genuinely clever punchlines.