Local Music

Good Bison Frontman Pablo Alvarez Is the Official Guinness World Record Holder for Longest Marathon Freestyle

Good Bison's Pablo Alvarez freestyled for more than an entire day — twice.
Good Bison's Pablo Alvarez freestyled for more than an entire day — twice. Courtesy of the artist
Pablo Alvarez freestyled into a camera on Facebook Live for 25 hours last year in an attempt to break the Guinness world record for longest freestyle rap marathon. His tonsils swelled, he couldn't eat, and he nearly lost his sanity.

Then he found out his attempt didn't count.

Though Alvarez and friends had streamed his freestyle online, they were naive to Guinness' rigorous standards. The stunt needed to be filmed entirely by one steady camera, and independent witnesses needed to filter out of the room every four hours. After learning of his oversights, Alvarez decided to forgo Guinness record certification. He did not want to go through that kind of physical and mental strife again.

So when viral video content creators Super Deluxe offered Alvarez the chance to try again, assuring that this time all stipulations would be met, he hesitated. "When the idea first started getting thrown around I was not particularly excited about it, because I had already done it. I already knew what it did to me physically and mentally," he says. He was also apprehensive to showcase his rap skills in a setting where, eventually, he knew he'd start repeating himself. "When you're freestyling nonstop for that long, eventually there's a lot of nonsense that comes out, where you become a little bit repetitive, and I am really hard on myself when it comes to my lyrics."

Even in the context of a freestyle rap marathon lasting longer than one whole day, Alvarez was concerned with lyrical content because he was representing his band Good Bison. The group recently released its new mixtape That's Bodhi, recorded with the help of JHawk Productions, who's also worked with Tyga and Iggy Azalea this year.

Backed by a green screen and a beat, Super Deluxe streamed Alvarez's rap for 26 hours on its website and Facebook Live. Viewers were encouraged to leave comments about their favorite TV shows, movies, or location for Alvarez to work into his freestyle.
"It was basically the same thing we had done [previously], but bigger and better — with a budget and with a team of people that were working to make sure that everything went smoothly and it was all being captured the way that it needed to be for Guinness," he says.

Super Deluxe changed the visuals on the green screen in real time according to viewer comments or Alvarez's lyrics. He rapped as he got his hair braided one hour. He can still be seen smiling as he raps four hours into his odyssey, but by hour 23 he hangs his head in his hands and his eyes strain. "Around hour 15, hour 18, it just starts to definitely get a little bit tough, and I'm feeling sleepy, leaning back more on the couch and closing my eyes, and just kind of flowing a little bit slower… It's hard because you feel like you said everything already."
Guinness technically allows for a five-minute break every couple of hours, but Alvarez wanted to rap the whole way through. He survived on only a smoothie and fruit juices for the duration of his stunt and used the bathroom once. The Super Deluxe crew clipped a mic on his shirt and cameras followed him just outside the bathroom. Incredibly, his record stands at 25 hours, 56 minutes, and four seconds, because the three minutes and 56 seconds he spent in the bathroom were not captured on the same steady camera, so Guinness counted the time as a break.

Alvarez says he wasn't fazed by the technicality. After Super Deluxe combed through the 26 hours of video and compiled witness testimonies, he was certified by Guinness as the world record holder, even with those minutes shaved off. Per Guinness, he officially broke the record on August 31, 2017. "This time there's no denying this went down, and I officially broke the record."

Good Bison at R House Wynwood. 6 p.m. Thursday, December 7, at R House Wynwood, 2727 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-576-0201; rhousewynwood.com. Admission is free.

Good Bison at Art Babble. 11 p.m. Thursday, December 7, at 49 NE 22nd St., Miami; Admission is free.
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Celia Almeida is the digital editor of American Way and the former arts and music editor of Miami New Times. Her writing has been featured in Venice, Paper, and Billboard; and she co-hosts Too Much Love on Jolt Radio.
Contact: Celia Almeida

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