Maribel Gómez, known in the freestyle scene as Marithea, was crowned champion of the Red Bull Battle Colombia. The 23-year-old rapper beat Airon in the final.
The Woman Post | Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra
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The Red Bull National battle had 16 competitors, out of which there was one other woman known as Pandora and three former champions. With this award, Marithea became the first female Colombian rapper in the Red Bull International Final and the second female rapper to be at a Red Bull International Final, after Kim, the acclaimed Venezuelan, who came fourth in the 2017 version of the event.
After winning, Marithea said: "This title, more than mine, belongs to all of us who are here. I'm going to represent all of them. Mom, I did it! I'm champion!" Marithea will be the representative for Colombia at the international final held in December in Chile. Amongst the competitors she beat was the famous Colombian comedian Lokillo Florez, in the first round, Alzate in the quarterfinals, Neg in the semifinals, and Airon in the grand final.
The 23 years old started improvising when she was still at school in the city of Cali. The freestyler was 14 years old and thanks to a friend she learned about the freestyle battles. From then, she spent hours watching YouTube videos and met through this platform a Chilean man who added her to a WhatsApp group where Marithea started improvising more seriously.
Before taking the step to Red Bull tournaments, the Colombian was already known for a viral video titled "Woman Humiliates Rapper." In this youtube clip, Marithea had a battle against Constante, who is renowned in the Colombian freestyle scene. At the end of the battle, he recognizes, in his last verse that he lost the battle and that he deeply respects Marithea as a rapper.
Her alias is composed of Mari, which comes from her name, and thea, which means goddess. She is studying music and composes songs. Experts in the genre say that with her consistency, the content of her rhymes, immediate response capacity, and punchline, which stands for the final verse of the verse that has greater importance and strength. She has shown that it is not just a man's world.
Around the freestyle scene, she is characterized by her humility and respect for her opponents. Furthermore, with her expressions, sometimes, her opponents can know she is nervous, however, this can play in her favor: "Nobody expects the answers I give, because they assume that I am scared. My strength, as happens with Spanish rappers, is ingenuity. My style is not to take on the battles only with insults, but I try to rhyme with deeper content. With a message."
In early 2021, Marithea won Comba Temática, an international Freestyle tournament that faced rappers from different regions of Latin America. Bolivia was the venue, where the renowned Colombian freestyler Marithea defeated one of the best Spanish-speaking freestylers, the Chilean Teorema. On this occasion, she referred to the feeling that the media, other competitors, and the general public sometimes refer to her for being a woman, and not for her level of mastery at freestyle and amazing skills as a rapper.
As she told El Espectador: "90% of the people who are in the freestyle scene are men. Public, competitors, juries, people think that one only wins because she is a woman and that events favor women only to be recognized for their inclusion, that makes things more difficult."
Marithea also recognizes the importance of her victories in a fight for equality: "For the national freestyle scene this victory means a lot. There are a lot of girls rapping in countries that are powerhouses, like Mexico, Spain, and Argentina. They even have women's leagues there, because there are enough women to do that kind of thing. Not in Colombia, but I know that my victory will make more women give it a try," she told El Espectador.