New details revealed ahead of world’s biggest freestyle rap competition.

Since 2005, Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos – literally meaning ‘Battles of the Roosters’ – has seen Spanish-speaking MCs face each other to exchange improvised rhymes in front of thousands of fans. 

Here is all you need to know about this year’s world final taking place in the Dominican Republic on December 12: 

– Biggest year despite the circumstances. There have been over 17,000 competition entries via the official app, more than doubling the previous year’s record, with the best entrants competing in 11 national finals around the globe.

– NBA-inspired ‘bubble’. For each National Final, the ‘Gallos’ were placed in isolation before competing. The International Final will take the same approach, with the competitors and crew entering an NBA-inspired ‘bubble’ 10 days prior to the event.

– Bigger than Beyoncé. Last year’s International Final in Madrid welcomed over 14,000 fans into the WiZink Center for a lively competition. On YouTube alone, the event had 1.6 million concurrent viewers. To compare, Beyoncé’s renowned 2018 Coachella set, at the time described as the most viewed performance in the history of YouTube Live, had 458,000 concurrent viewers.

– Fully virtual world. This year, the International Final will have 0 audience members at the event. Instead, the MCs will perform together on a green-screen TV set at the Pinewood Studios in the Dominican Republic. For viewers watching at home on Red Bull TV, the MCs will appear to be in a fully virtual world that steps beyond reality. This is a world first for a freestyle rap competition.

– The challenge of the green screen. Performing together in front of a green-screen at the studio in Dominican Republic will be a seismic shift compared to performing in front of thousands of fans. This will present a new challenge for the MCs.

– 2019 international champion Bnet said: “I’m definitely going to miss the audience because I think their feedback helps my performance, but my focus is going to be the same as last year, centering on and perfecting the kind of freestyle that I like to do. I’m heading into this year with that mentality. I want to focus on improving what I did last year because, though I won, I know I can do better.”

– Historic level of competition. Three former International Final winners will go into battle to become the first ever double-champion. Spain’s Bnet, the 2019 International Final winner is returning to claim a back-to-back win. Skone, another Spanish national and 2016’s international winner, took a hiatus from the competition and now returns to battle it out. Mexico’s favourite Aczino, the 2017 international champion, is back for his 6th International Final.

– There is also a record number of finalists who have competed previously at an International Final. National Finalists Elevn (Colombia 2020), Rapder (Mexico 2020) , Tata (Argentina 2020), Yartzi (USA 2020), Skone (Spain 2020), Stick (Peru 2020), SNK (Costa Rica 2020) have all been on the international stage before and Valles-T is joining because of his ranking in the 2019 International Final.

– First-time competitors at the International Final are national champions Acertijo (Chile 2020), Éxodo Lirical (Dominican Republic 2020), Mac (Ecuador 2020), and Naicen (Uruguay 2020). Also competing will be national finalists from 2019: Minos (Bolivia) and Shield Master.

– The reserve MCs who are available if a finalist drops-out will be BTA (Spain), New Era (Peru), Yoiker (Mexico), and Blon (Spain).

– The Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos International Final will take place on December 12 at 19:30 UTC with an exclusive pre-show featuring the artist bracket selection on Red Bull TV starting at 19:00 UTC. Watch it HERE