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Austin-based rapper to represent Texas at national rap battle

Jordi is an Austin-based rapper set to represent Texas at the 2021 Red Bull Batalla. (Jordi)

"Muchos hablan, pocos riman, solo los mejores improvisan" ("many speak, few rhyme, only the best improvise,") is what they say at the Red Bull Batalla, the world's largest Spanish freestyle rap competition, where Texas-born Jordi Esparza will represent Austin as one of 16 MCs in the U.S. finals.

One of 36 rappers chosen from hundreds of applications, Esparza, who uses Jordi as his stage name, was chosen to compete on Sept. 18 in Los Angeles for the 15th annual finals.

And the pressure is on. Red Bull Batalla is one of the most-watched music events of the year, counting 1.5 million concurrent viewers at the 2020 finals. Esparza had already placed third at the 2020 National Finals, automatically securing the 22-year-old a spot in the 2021 finals.

Going to the finals again is a dream come true for Esparza—a pinnacle that he said he won't know how to top.

"Red Bull Batalla is the biggest thing I want to do," Esparza told Austonia. "I don't know what the next mission is."

Eagle Lake, Texas, born and Torreón, Mexico, raised, watching "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is how Esparza spent most of his days. The show's theme song was what originally got Esparza interested in rap, and he even recorded his first freestyle to the tune of the theme song on an MP3 player in 2012.

"I remember the intro, you know, perfect lyrics and good tongue," Esparza said. "I remember when I was a kid, I removed the words from the song and I put in my part."

Esparza moved back to the U.S. in 2015, first to Dallas for a year and then to Austin, where he started to work in landscaping.

The first rap battle Esparza saw on TV planted a seed—he had never seen a rap battle outside of a movie. A YouTube search led him to stumble upon the Red Bull Batalla, where he would take the stage and win at GVK with La Liga De La Calle for the first time in 2018.

"I remember the first year really feeling so bad—a lot of nerves," Esparza said, despite his win. "This year, I don't know why but I feel so relaxed, so happy, I just want to enjoy everything. I'm going to enjoy my dream and I think I'll do a good job."

This Batalla will be a renewed chance at the title for Esparza and an internationally acclaimed award for Austin. Though he's nervous for the final, where he'll battle another rapper in 60-second intervals, Esparza said he's determined to stay in his zone.

"When you take the mic and you say the first words, everything is just you and your mind and the other guy, and you don't feel anything," Esparza said. "Maybe in the future, I can leave my job and I'll make a living doing freestyle."


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway