The TelegraphÂ reports that an American Professor is claiming rap music, specifically freestyle battles, actually originated in Scotland centuries ago. Â The Scottish tradition ofÂ flytingÂ is, as ProfessorÂ Ferenc Szasz claims, a battle of “verbal jousting” that was done in verse. Â
Szasz claims that Scottish slaveowners brought the practice over to the US and that slaves there adopted it and it lead to, ultimately, the birth of hip hop. Â
Frankly, I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Â There are some similiarities between rap and flyting, mainlyÂ that both consist of a verbalÂ tussle where individualsÂ takeÂ turns and marks are given forÂ the most clever lyrics and disses. Â Even withÂ these similiarities, IÂ think rap had a way different progressionÂ to get where it is now.
Still, it’s an interesting little analysis by a little-known academic, and a connection I had never heard of. Â So it is entirely possible there is at least some Scottish influence on the contemporary freestyle.