Pablo Prez Rueda (Barcelona, 1991), better known as Blon, is one of the Spanish referents of the freestyle. The discipline of improvised rap has millions of followers worldwide and few are as aware of this impact as Catalan.
He started the careers of Hispanic Philology and Art History, but I left it to bet on cockfighting. A few years later, already with a name in the industry, he made the Higher Degree in Marketing and Advertising looking to “know the ins and outs of the business.” “I believe that in the end I am a product, an image that must be exploited, and I have to know the niche and how to handle myself, “he says.
To this day, he combines the battles with the launch of music, writing or his newly released channels on Twitch and YouTube. Although he acknowledges that he continues to have trouble assimilating success and continued scrutiny. This weekend he is competing to maintain his rank in the FMS, the professional freestyle league.
QUESTION. Freestyle is about characters, each one has a role that they play in some way. To what extent do you create that character or is he the one who finds you?
ANSWER. The character is dragging you especially with the acts. I do not think that anyone begins to fight semi-professionally and then make the leap to the elite knowing what character they are going to have. His character is building. As in life.
Q. Are you comfortable with yours?
R. S. The theme of ‘The King Without a Crown’, which is my nickname because I have always been in final important battles and I have never won, I think it is very romantic. There are many people who feel identified. Besides being the poet, the person who checks out books, and of course I like that my character is that, that of a cultured person. Let’s see, there are also bad things. Also my character is a rapper who writes all the rhymes when he is going to do a battle, who has no flow, who is a loser who never wins … What makes me angry is that they tell me things that are lies, which I know are not true. If they tell me ‘you don’t have flow’, ‘you have this catchphrase’, ‘what double tempo shit’ or ‘you don’t have metric’, well I know. I listen to myself, I also have ears. Or I have eyes and I see myself. But hey, if it’s your opinion, give it to me. I am here for constructive criticism in a way, and I understand and accept it.
Q. The fights in the battles do not remain entrenched? In the end you all coincide in different events, convivs …
R. Yes, obviously you can’t get along with everyone. This is like any job. I respect each one, I respect their actions, but there are people who do things or say things that do not represent me. But hey, I don’t want to create a bad atmosphere either. I also tell you that this is 1% of all the freestylers that I have met in my life, which does not mean that they are people from FMS.
Q. You have published two books and are going to launch a third, do you feel that they have been well received? When someone famous takes out books, they tend to think that they only achieve it because of their popularity
R. Yeah, well, I understand it too. I think there are people who write amazing and never have the opportunity, and we are much easier than we have it. I was lucky that when the publisher called me, they already had texts on my Instagram. I’ve been writing my whole life. You may like more or less what I do, but I consider that I am a kid who has read a lot, that I can have a background and I can write more or less something of quality. I’m also not stupid. I got this opportunity, it was a dream that I had, and I took advantage of what they were offering me to materialize something that I had always wanted.
Q. Have you ever considered betting on literature instead of freestyle?
R. I can combine both. Many times I have thought about stopping fighting and competing, but I know that if that were my decision, I would back down and it would be a regret. Yes, because as much as I have a bad time, that I feel a lot of pressure and have a lot of nerves, the moment of being on stage, the instrumental starts and the speaker shouts ‘time’, there is nothing else in the world that makes you feel like that. Nothing.
P. In qu mome
It is a constant pressure
Do you feel that pressure that you comment on?
R. You have pressure to do it wrong, for having a bad couple of months and not having a promoter call you to do an event, for people to lose the hype for you, for not finding you and for four new kids to come and beat you a thousand beatings and beat you up. leave in the shade … In the end it is a constant pressure. It is a lot of nerves, but it is a bit of natural evolution and it is up to us to climb or fit into that evolution.
Q. Why are there so few girls in freestyle? Do you consider it a macho world?
R. Sexism? I know there is machismo. There is machismo, there is homophobia … I think we ourselves are trying to avoid that. We have all fallen at some point into some macho topic, some racist topic, some homophobic topic. Always. At some point we have fallen. That all this is evolving right now and in people who rap at a professional level that doesn’t exist anymore? Also. Why Because in the end we can control what we say. When you start it is much more difficult to control it. Now we are learning. At the professional level, at the lite level, it is becoming more and more erased, but I know that I understand that maybe there are girls who will throw that back a little, that they will fall into macho topics, that people will go to fall for the easy rhyme … But I think that’s changing too.
Q. But in freestyle you always disqualify each other, where do you put the limit on this and this is not it?
R. I think it is a topic that should not fall in the XXI century. Do not fall into that or homophobic rhymes or racist rhymes. But I also consider that a girl with 20 boys, for example, in a cohabitation may not feel so comfortable. I understand it. Or in such a ‘macho’ world. I know, we got together to eat 20 rappers and the comments that come out of there are sometimes crazy. It’s not that we’re 20 rappers, it’s that we’re 20 25-year-old kids. I believe that rap is revolution and it is protest and that we ourselves have to give our message and channel it in the best possible way to give a positive message to society. And, obviously, one of the main messages is that of equality.
Q. Why are you now deciding to enter the world of YouTube and Twitch?
R. Well honestly because right now with the Covid everything is very complicated at the event level. It is very difficult and I thought: look, to be at home playing Play or watching videos, I do it by broadcasting that I am going to enhance my image, expand a little more in the 2.0 world and I am going to generate money. Whoever says no is lying. We like what we do but it is also an important part of our work. Twitch and YouTube are doing very well for me and I am discovering a world that at the beginning also generated a lot of anxiety but today I am getting a bit of the roll and we are creating a very cool community.
Q. Anxiety why?
R. Because I did not know how I was going to go and in the end I think that uncertainty weighs negatively on all of us. I didn’t know how I was going to go and I thought: let’s see if no one is going to see me, if not even Christ is going to follow me, if he is going to bore people … Maybe I was looking at the people who were watching me See that 20 were leaving and it was already scratching me … Crazy. Now I have learned that above all you have to have fun, that you do not have to constantly look at who is watching you, who is subscribing or anything, just create a positive atmosphere. That everyone respects each other and so everything will come.
Q. I am surprised that having been in the public eye for so many years you still have those insecurities
R. Yes, of course. I am almost 30 years old, in fact this year I am turning 30, and I have been practically like that for 10 years. We owe ourselves to our public. I am working in a world in which whether you like what I do or not is very subjective. There is no perfect way to do it. I’m not a cabinetmaker and I have to make a piece and if it’s perfect, it’s perfect. So I obviously want people to like what I do, because if they like what I do they will follow me, I will create a feeling, a engagement, and then that will serve me for other things and to be able to continue my career for many years.
Q. But continually thinking about what they will say and what will go wrong is difficult to manage.
The artist’s ego makes us want everyone to say we’re the fucking masters
R. It is difficult to manage because normally a negative comment weighs more than 100 positives. Those. There the artist’s ego is reflected, that we want everything to be super beautiful and for everyone to say that we are the fucking masters. When, obviously, there are many people who say that we are worthless. Then you have to accept it too. Our ego prevents it, but in the end many times it is not so much thinking about the future but about the present. And what is the present? That I want to be the best and in people’s eyes I want to be the fucking master. So if your ego is feeding you, you say: well, everything is fine, this kid says that I am Christ, the other one I don’t know what … But suddenly you see a bad comment and you say ‘uhm’. Your ego is deflated and it’s complicated.
Q. Right now, what is it that worries you the most?
R. Right now: disappear from the world of battles, descend from the FMS. May there be no more battles, may I be fatal next year and may people forget about me. That is what worries me the most on an artistic level without a doubt.
Q. Psychologically, how do you prepare to face defeat on stage or continuous scrutiny? Do you use a professional?
P. It is true that a long time ago I went to the psychologist. Then I left it. I don’t know why because I think mental health is super important and essential, and more so in our world. My girlfriend is a psychologist and she always tells me so. I think many things that happen to me is because I am not dealing with a professional. I mean, I know the pressure, not knowing how to manage my emotions, thinking a lot about a future that is not here yet … I have been putting myself at worst for four years at FMS. And at Red Bull I know that I have lost battles by thinking ‘I’m going to lose’. I go with that negativity, thinking: I’m going to do well but this one is going to beat me. So I think that I have not been able to manage myself emotionally, that I am going to start dealing with professionals from now on because I know that I will do very well and I call on everyone to do so.
Q. Do you see yourself in the future leaving the battles and betting on Twitch and YouTube?
R. Well, betting everything on Twitch or YouTube I think not. I think I don’t like it so much as to have it as my way of life and I think free and rap will always be there. That’s what I like. It’s what kills me and saves me at the same time. I always say it and it is so. Let’s see, if tomorrow I became a crazy hitter on Twitch and YouTube, then maybe I’ll have to make a thought. But I want to continue fighting for many years, I want to continue writing for many years and I want to try to reconcile it.
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