It’s time to put speculation, guesses and assumptions aside because we’re working with the Malaysia Book of Records
to officially certify Malaysia’s fastest rapper!
With a tremendous amount of help from our like-minded and passionate partners, Pulse Soundworks, Keep It Local Entertainment and Roshan Jamrock, the idea came about sometime last year as a follow up to Rojak Daily
’s Showdown series.
Countless meetings and discussions were held, ideas were thrown around and some thrown away, heated debates took place, many people were consulted for advice and recommendations and now here we are with the search finally kicking off.
And who better than Reefa to play host to this special season of Showdown? In case you were wondering how this all works:
HOW DO WE CALCULATE SPEED?
Rap speed is typically calculated as the number of syllables delivered over a period of time - usually calculated down to Syllables Per Second (sps). This however, does not take into consideration a song’s tempo (bpm), or metre, which greatly affects the way the rapper performs.
The calculation we have designed factors in all elements that affect a rapper’s performance, enabling them to pick a backing track that best suits their rap style in order to achieve a better score.
There are several variables that affect how a rapper can use the backing track to their advantage. A lower tempo enables more notes per beat. An 8/8 metre has 8 beats in a bar, compared to a 4/4 metre which has 4, enabling the rapper to squeeze more notes in.
= syllables per second
= syllables per bar
= syllables per beat
= beats per minute
= beats per bar
spBar / (metre)
spBeat * (BPM / 60secs)
Average sps of 3 fastest bars.
SOME CALCULATION EXAMPLES
For this example, we’re using three commercially released local hip hop tracks. We’ve picked out eight bar sections and calculated the number of syllables delivered in each of the bars by referencing the lyrics and listening to the delivery.
For clarity, images of the audio waveform, separated by bars, with the fastest runs highlighted, as well as the lyrics with the start of each bar marked, have been included along with the calculations and audio tracks.
It’s worth pointing out that these artists are not aiming for speed in these tracks, but they provide a good example of how these constants and variables come into play.
Aman Ra – "Bangun"
Tempo: 126 bpm
Fastest bars: 16, 16, & 15 spBar
Score: 8.22 sps
Joe Flizzow – "Sampai Jadi"
Tempo: 163 bpm
Fastest bars: 16, 16, & 14 spBar
Score: 5.21 sps
Lawalah Familia – "Ini Baru Lawa"
Tempo: 96 bpm
Fastest bars: 17, 17, & 16 spBar
Score: 6.67 sps
As we can see from the data above, all artistes average at 16 spBar. However, the final scores are very different.
is able to deliver 16 spBar, at 163 bpm, the fastest track of the three, but this song has a metre of 8/8, giving that laid-back, half time feel. One could think of this tempo as 81.5 bpm (half speed) instead. Taking this into account, his final score is 5.21 sps.
’s track has a lower speed at 126 bpm, but has a 4/4 metre. Although his spBar is very similar to Joe Flizzow, his final score of 8.22 sps is significantly higher.
Jamil Hantu, of Lawalah Familia
hit the highest spBar of the lot at 17, twice. His backing track however, is the slowest of the three at 96 bpm, resulting in a final score of 6.67 sps.
Here's a visual breakdown of the calculations for Lawalah Familia:
RULES OF THE GAME
Each episode will feature 3 players who are each given 4 songs (beats) to choose from.
After which, they will need submit their lyrics to be approved by the panel of judges prior to contesting.
Criteria would be; lyrical content and estimated rap speed (based on lyrics). Each rapper is given one week to rehearse before being called in for the shoot.
Upon recording, we will then select the best two rounds for each rapper. The number of syllables per second will then be calculated for both these rounds. The round with the fastest bar will be used as the control round. The three best bars will be averaged to get the score. The next best round will act as a tie-breaker if necessary. If two rappers are tied at the same average score on their best rounds, the second-best rounds will be used to determine the rapper who progresses.
At the end of every episode, the leaderboard gets updated accordingly. The top two with the fastest score automatically qualifies for the Finals. The third and last finalist is picked by the host, Reefa. And at the end, we’ll get our friends from the Malaysia Book of Records to present the official certificate to the winner and crown Malaysia’s fastest rapper.
Let’s make history. Best of luck! More details below for those who are keen to join: