San Francisco poet-turned-rapper George Watsky—aka Watsky—recently broke the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous rap freestyle performance.
Last week, Watsky announced on Instagram that he was going to attempt to freestyle “for 33 hours, 33 minutes and 33 seconds in honor of my 3 album series.” The performance kicked off on May 7 and was live-streamed on the rapper’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels.
Watsky met his target on May 9, after spitting bars non-stop for over 30 hours straight. The record successfully beat the previous timing of 25 hours, 56 minutes and four seconds, set by Pablo Alvarez of Miami’s Good Bison in 2016.
Watsky’s history-making performance also helped fundraise over $140,000 for the rapper’s band and crew, whose jobs were affected following the postponement of his Placement album tour due to COVID-19. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the non-profit organization Sweet Relief which aids musicians who are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This whole experience has been so much more emotionally powerful than I ever expected that it could be,” Watsky told SF Chronicle Datebook. “When we [Watsky, his manager and his girlfriend] set up this idea, of trying to solve our postponed tour situation by doing this world record-breaking attempt as the hook, we knew it had a chance to capture people’s imagination, but not at this level.”
“Everything just came together. It was this groundswell of positivity and it gave me one of the most powerful, emotional moments of my life.”
Watsky burst onto the scene in 2011 after a YouTube video of himself titled “Pale kid raps fast” went viral. He has since dropped a total of six LPs and four EPs. His last studio album, Placement, arrived in February.
See the full video of Watsky’s record-breaking freestyle performance below: