If you are from Philly, then you know Reed Dollaz from YouTube and his late early 2000’s freestyles.
Reed Dollaz, one of a few iconic rappers who started the trends of videoing battle rap and street cyphers. Reed Dollaz, Meek Mill, Joey Jihad, Quilly Millz, Vodka, Chic Raw, Kaboom, all grew their fame around the same time through freestyles and YouTube videos.
According to Reed Dollaz, he was the first rapper to blow up on YouTube, and he has receipts and year stamps to prove it. Soulja uploaded his first YouTube video in 2006. However, according to this, it says the later year. It wasn’t until 2007 that Soulja would see Billboard success with “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” and all of the trending dances that came along with it.
The era of battle rap in Philly was completely different than rap today. You are talking about a group of guys and some girls in a circle, just spitting raw freestyles with a speaker playing the beat. You are talking a heavy verses, metaphors, play on words, story telling and letting go of pain, right off the dome. You are talking about rap when it was just that. Cyphers and battle rap were about who could spit the best, and the crowd around you would give that answer. The crowd just with their noise and hypeness would let you know if you were corny or if you had some hot bars.
Imagine You Got Served, but with rapping instead of dancing. This is the time Reed Dollaz was popular.
Reed has proof that he was viral on YouTube already in 2005.