Bronx, New York-born emcee, Sara Kana has built a solid reputation in the male dominated world of Battle Rap. Like most in the rapidly growing industry, her career began in the cypher and recording booth. Now she’s the Owner & CEO of Barz & Barstrapz—a seasonal league featuring the world’s top female battle rappers.
Kana launched Barz & Brastrapz in 2012 and is building the league after the regional and online model pioneered by GrindTimeNow in 2006. “I started with GrindTime in  and I was of course helping [PumpkinHead] when P.H. was running the GrindTime East Coast division and pretty much helped him with the events and the battles and things of that nature,” S.K. told HipHopDX exclusively. She continued:
“Once P.H. walked out and [Poison Pen] took over, my responsibilities became that much more. Then Drect and Pen kind of trusted me with the female movement being that I booked Young Gattas versus QB right after me and Gattas. Once that happened, I guess a lot of people started paying attention. I was getting a lot of phone calls from people who wanted to know how they could get involved.”
Along with Barz & Brastrapz, Sara Kana is the premiere booking agent for leagues looking for female emcees to battle. She regularly books female battles for a number of different leagues, including SMACK/URL and King Of The Dot.
“Once we kind of made our departure from GrindTime and went with the URL brand—just to have the Barz & Barstrapz on there—I started working with URL,” she said. “Shout out to them over there. They were very supportive and we were able to book QB Black Diamond versus Jaz The Rapper. That worked out great. They’re at almost 300,000 [YouTube] views. Now I’m working with all of the leagues to keep the female movement rotating.”
When asked about the difference between male and female battles, Kana noted that while the male battles are much more ballyhooed, female battles are rapidly gaining in popularity. QB Black Diamond versus Jaz The Rapper during SMACK/URL’s Revelations event last fall is being described as a classic within the genre—male or female. And for anyone doubting a woman’s ability to compete at the level of their counterparts in this lyrical octagon, S.K. quickly references Ms. Hustle’s battle with New Jersey’s O-Red.
“If you didn’t watch Ms. Hustle [versus] O-Red, I don’t know your problem!,” Kana says with a laugh about the male versus female Queen Of The Ring battle many believe Ms. Hustle won. “There’s a lot of girls that can really spit like dudes and they get it in just like dudes because that’s what they’ve seen.”
This Sunday (March 31), SMACK/URL and Barz & Brastrapz presents F.L.A.G. (Fight Like A Girl) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event takes place at Club 30 and features Milwaukee’s Viixen Tha Assassin going head to head with New York’s Dutchess in the main event.
“It’s gonna be ugly!,” Sara Kana says about the headlining bout.
“It’s pretty much a seasoned vet versus the new upcoming face. I’m pretty sure Viixen is gonna wanna let it be known that she’s here and she’s ready to stay. Dutchess is gonna put it in like, ‘I’m who you gotta get past to get that work, baby!’ Dutchess is one that has never been bodied. She’s Queen of the Ring first generation. She’s battled Misfit. She’s battled QB. She’s battled Young Gattas. She’s battled every heavy hitter historical female battle rapper. Vixen is gonna have her work in front of her. Vixen has been so consistent [with] the wordplay and she’s getting bodies left and right. We can finally say between this female movement that we have top female battle rappers that we can look forward to now. That hasn’t been said in a long time. Thanks to myself and Queen Of the Ring, we can actually work with something these days.”
Sara Kana appeared on Jean Grae’s 2002 project, Attack Of The Attacking Things. In 2006, she released her debut album, Rainbow Six Lockdown. She’s also a regular host of End Of The Week, New York City’s longest running Hip Hop open mic event.
For F.L.A.G. ticketing information, visit BarzAndBrastraps.com.