A Master of Ceremonies or MC (sometimes spelled emcee) is the host of a staged event or other performance. The MC usually presents performers, speaks to the audience, and generally keeps the show moving.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the term MC became associated with hip hop music, and is the traditional title for a person who today is commonly called a rapper. Traditionally, an MC uses rhyming verses, whether pre-written or freestyled, to introduce and praise the DJ he works with, and hype up the crowd. Within hip-hop, "MC" is also a bacronym for "Microphone Controller", "Mic Checka", or "Music Commentator".
Uncertainty over the acronym's expansion may be considered evidence for the ubiquity of the acronym: the full "Master of Ceremonies" is very rarely used in the rap scene. This confusion prompted the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest to include this statement on their 1993 Midnight Marauders album (1993):
The title 'MC' means 'Master of Ceremonies'. Some people who MC don't know what this term means.
The use of the term MC when referring to a rapper originates from the dance halls of Jamaica. At each event, there would be an announcer or 'Master of Ceremonies' who would introduce the different musical acts and would say a toast in style of a rap, directed at the audience and to the performers. He would also make announcements such as the schedule of other events or advertisements from local sponsors. The term MC continued to be used by the children of women who moved to New York to work as maids in the 1970s. These MCs eventually created a new style of music called hip-hop based on the rapping they used to do in Jamaica.
A "wack" MC is a rapper who lacks talent, integrity, or is in some other way disrespectable as an MC. To be labeled a wack MC is considered very insulting. Wack is a common hip hop slang expression meaning inauthentic or "lame."
The expression is often used by people in the underground hip hop community to attack rappers who they see as harming the scene through the over-commercialization and exploitation of hip hop cuture.
The most visible role in hip hop culture today is that of the MC-the master of ceremonies. The MC entertains the crowd with their rapping (the rhythmic delivery of rhymes). With its roots in Jamaican toasting, rapping has developed significantly since its introduction to hip hop culture by Kool DJ Herc and DJ Hollywood in the early '70s. The first true MC in hip hop culture was Coke La Rock. Rapping and MCing have developed throughout the years, due to the achievements of pioneers such as Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, Schooly D, Ice-T, Run-D.M.C., and Rakim.
One of the most important aspects of MCing is the concept of the MC battle. Battling is when two MCs engage in a rapping competition against each other, a practice dating back to hip hop's earliest years. The purpose of battling is for each MC to try to diminish their opponent's lyrical skills, subject matter, or even personal qualities; and also to gain the favor of the crowd or audience. The level of crowd impression with a particular lyricist is determined by various forms of lyrical delivery, skill, insults and their ability to "move the crowd". The crowd's reactions determine the victor, thus giving the triumphant lyricist recognition.
Rakim, an important rap pioneer. Most "true" battles occur in various underground hip hop clubs and events, although many occur in settings as informal as a street corner. These events are usually fixed contests. More well-known battle MCs may go public with a battle on the radio or produce a "diss" record and call out their potential opponent. Most public battles are publicity events used to gain exposure and acquire more fans.
While less common than Rap battles (in which only MCs participate), DJ battles, Breakin' battles, and Beatboxing battles are also conducted. As in rap battling, audience response and participation (and, occasionally, panel judging) are used as the metric by which a victor is selected.
There is emceeing or raping, also the reverse poetic rhyming, well emceeing can be done with different styles and tone of voice. It takes a good while (long time) to capture the flow within, which comes from your souls unless you are a battle rapper. They only battles or fight with words and then you got your five presenter which are emcee that talk about the realities of life. Then you got your freestylers which just bust out with rhymes with or without making sense.
In the world of Hiphop today, there is little room for originality and innovative emcees. It seems like even in the underground movement there are fakes, and people who are not about the art but it's benefits.