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Rap Your 3rd Round!

A few weeks ago, I watched a battle rap competition. For those of you who are uninitiated in battle rap, what battle rap is it's when two rappers, two MCs, engage each other in lyrical competition. A lyrical battle, almost like a boxing match. They each go for three rounds and take turns. One person will recite lyrics that they've written and rehearsed. Those lyrics are going to be about their opponent. Their opponents lives. Probably some negative things about their opponent, because the goal is to win the battle. Typically by insulting your opponent, belittling your opponent, making your opponent smaller. And at the same time, making yourself look bigger. So the lyrics are going to contain things about how good one person is versus the other person. That the person's weaknesses. How one person is a stronger than the other. A lot of different angles that they might approach.

And if you're uninitiated in battle rep, and if you decide to check it out after this podcast, word of warning, the language can be objectionable. The subject matter is quite Frank. It's not for those with sensitive ears. So you are forewarned. If you choose to delve into that universe, into that culture.

But for me, I grew up with hip hop. I like hop hip hop. I'm a late eighties to early 2000. That's sort of the sweet spot for me. That's when my ears were, uh, when I thought it was hottest, when I thought it was dopest and these battle rappers, the things that they do with words and lyrics, the way they put words together, the word play, the double entendres, the punchlines, the schemes, the angles, all of it is just simply amazing. And it's a very fascinating world, should you choose to dig into it. You can go on YouTube, find dozens of rap battles out there.

I watched a rap battle competition a couple of weeks ago. And one of my favorite battle rappers, I'm not going to name them. I'm still a little hurt about this. It was a big event. It's one of the key events of the entire year for this one particular rap league, which is the premier battle rap league. And he finally got on this card and he was up against a fairly formidable opponent.

If you ask me and he comes out in the first round, he spit in his bars. And when I say "spit bars", I mean, he's reciting his lyrics, a little bit of hip hop lingo for you. But anyway, he's reciting his lyrics and, and he's coming out. He's on fire. It's almost like if he was a boxer, he comes out, the jab is working. The hook is working, the body shots are working and then about midway through his first round. He chokes.

Now, what do I mean by he chokes? Literally he forgot his lines. He forgot the bars that he wrote. He didn't know what he was supposed to say next. That's called a choke in battle rap. It's similar to in other sports where, someone who should be capable of delivering in a key moment, doesn't deliver in a key moment. And they do so in such a way that they will call it a choke. Like they literally frozen in the moment. Didn't know what to do. This is what happened to him.

First round, his opponent goes. His opponent is fire. He spits his bars flawless.

We come to second round. My guy- up he's rapping with not quite as much energy as the first round, but he's still rapping. They're coming out okay. And then he chokes again. He chokes in the second round. His opponent goes, his opponent is fire. His bars are flawless. His performance is incredible.

Third round. My guy doesn't even want to spit his bars at all. He doesn't even want to go in his third round. He doesn't. He literally says to the MC, uh, the moderator of the competition, "Nah, I'm not going to go. I'm not feeling it. Dude's already won." Now it's three rounds. And typically how battle raps are judged in terms of who's the winner and who's the loser is based on the best two out of three rounds. So at this point, because my guy choked already in two of the rounds, technically he'd already lost.

And because of that, he no longer felt the energy to actually deliver and give his bars for the third round. Disappointed. A lot of people were disappointed. The viewing audience was disappointed. Those who were in the crowd, because he, up until this point in time, he was on an MVP like run. And what I mean by that is in this one particular league or in battle rap, they crown a champion of the year, like who was the best battle rapper of the entire year.

And this guy was on an incredible run. He was probably number one in everyone's list up to this point in time in the year. He hadn't lost a battle and probably had not lost a round the entire year, which is very, very hard to do. And a very rare thing. So, he was probably number one or number two in most people's eye's. So he was an MVP caliber run up until this point in time and to have him choke in two rounds, and then not even show up for the third round??

And then the other guy goes, and he had an incredible angle. His bars were fire. And even if my guy had three complete rounds and he actually spit all his rounds, it was going to be a very, very good battle. You probably could have called it either way based on the material that we heard from his opponent. But choked in two rounds, didn't show up for the third.

Why do I tell you this story? Because for you as a middle aged black man, you are certainly in your second half of life. You very well might even be the final third of your life. This may be your third round, and it's possible that in the first half of your life or the first two rounds of your life, the first two thirds of your life, that you might've choked, that you might have not delivered your best, that you might've forgotten to do certain things.

You may have forgotten to achieve certain goals. You may have let some opportunities slip through your fingers, similar to what my guy did in his battle rap competition. And now you're on your third. You're in your third round, this third trimester of your life, at least the second half. And you're debating, you're wondering, should you even show up for this round? Do you even want to spit your bars? Should you even recite your lyrics?

And what I want to encourage you to do is to definitely spit your bars, definitely recite your lyrics, definitely go after whatever that goal is, whatever that dream is, whatever that thing is that you've been putting off that you put off in the first round, put off in a second round. I need you to spit that in a third round. I need you to go after this. Do not give up in the third round, simply because you choked in the first round, and you feel like the battle is over.

Now in this battle rap competition, technically he was going to lose this battle, no matter how fire his third round was going to be, he already lost. He was already down two rounds to none, even if he won the third round, he's losing this battle, but he was still in the battle. You are still in the game. So therefore you should continue to play the game. You have things to do. You have a fire inside of you. You have lyrics, you have songs, you have things that the world needs to hear.

That's the other thing, people were disappointed that he gave up. They were disappointed. I'm disappointed. I'm still hurt. Just thinking about it. Cause again, that's my man. I was like, "oh, he's going to do it this year." People were disappointed. And there are people that are in your lives that would be disappointed if even though you might have choked in the first two thirds, you're in the third round now We still want to hear from you, people in your life still want to hear from you. The world still wants to hear from you. There are gifts, there are talents, that you can still bring to the world that are going to be valuable. We still want to hear from you. We still want you to spit your third round.

So that's my message for you in this very first episode of the podcast is spit your third round. Whatever that is. Whatever God's placed in your heart. That thing that you know, you should be doing. Regardless of the fact that you may have passed up on the opportunity to do in the first round, in the second round... and you are in your third round now and you can't go back and do those rounds again. That time is done. Those rounds are done.

But you're in the third round. Now you are still in the game and unlike about a rap competition, even though you may have lost the first few rounds, you can still, win the battle. You can still win life's competition. You can still hit those goals and hit those targets. So that's the message I want to leave for you today is definitely spit your bars in your third round. Don't give up in the third round just because you may have choked the first two, you still have some bars to spit. I want to hear them. The world wants to hear them.

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