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Battle Rap News

Let's Talk Numbers: Do Views Equal Fans?

September 15, 2014, 12:32 am

Image by Rehab Regime



By Quest MCODY


The battle rap community is growing, views are rising and its audience is changing. There was a time when, in order to gain recognition you had to travel the country. Now with the help of YouTube, a battle rapper can become "famous" rapping in his backyard. Rappers like, Murda Mook, Serius Jones, Loaded Lux, Midwest (Young) Miles and X Factor were part of the first wave of battle rappers to benefit from YouTube along with Reed Dollaz and the now-popular Meek Mill. Even before YouTube was the place to be, SMACK DVD's were being sold and distributed nation wide giving legs emcees that may have been restricted from national recognition otherwise.

"Men lie, women lie, numbers don't."

Jay Z made this statement so popular that he should have been given a co-writer credit on Yo Gotti's single "Men Lie, Women Lie" that had the club scene on fire a few years back. Now that battle rap is on the rise again, views are up and stars are being made! But are they really? Does 1,000,000 views mean 1,000,000 people watched your battle? How many times do you watch your favorite battles? A few times over right? Do the math.

Saying 1,000,000 views equals 1,000,000 fans is like Kanye West saying he sold 10 million copies because the million people that purchased his album have listened to it 10 times. Maybe Jay Z was wrong. Maybe numbers do lie. Well at least repeat viewing implies that there is some sort of interest in what the viewer is watching. This is the area battle emcees stand to gain the most ground.

As battle rappers we need to smarten up. Getting paid to show up and rap has always been a perk I enjoy, but what about the EXTRA money out there? How many battle rappers have sponsors? People that are actually willing to pay YOU to represent their product in YOUR battle. I know there's a handful of them that do, but there could be
so many more. If you are one of the battle rappers fortunate enough to get 500,000 plus views per battle, maybe hiring someone to seek out sponsorship would be a good idea. If you aren’t there yet, finding management to seek out sponsorship, as intuitively as a new battle or “Proving Ground” opportunity is just as important. I'm just saying, aren't we playing this "game" to make money? Now before the "true hip hop heads" jump down my throat (pause), we do this for the love, but why not get paid for what you love to do (i.e. Kobe Bryant?) The NBA pays its players and reaps the benefits of their talent. The exceptional players end up with endorsement deals that triple their NBA income and help build a brand (i.e. Michael Jordan.)

The battle rap fan base is pretty small in comparison to the rest of the world. Some
of the things we go crazy about in a battle are only usable in the small yet growing audience that we rap to. Example: "Stolen Tapes." If you are not a die hard battle fan you probably don't know or care why the crowd went crazy when I pulled out that tape during the 'Marvwon/Quest MCODY vs Soul Khan/Dirtbag Dan' battle. (7:48)

A lot of you have no idea what the heck that tape thing was about, but the select few that may have followed Jumpoff in 2007 might.

Soulja Boy made it evident that twitter followers and YouTube views don't necessarily help sell albums, so why the hell are some of us so hung up on views & followers? Well, that's easy. Its all some of us have to talk about. Anybody with a friend following or a page impression program can get followers & views, but now it’s a little more obvious than before. Not accusing anyone, just saying that it's fairly simple to pull off. There's a reason 50 Cent, Bow Wow (yes I referred to him as Bow Wow. He’s lucky I didn’t add “lil” to it) and Soulja Boy used to brag about YouTube views - they make a certain amount of money per view. Hell, 50 allegedly made a few million a few years back just tweeting. What makes him so special is that he has an interest in more than one specific area. If you take rap away from him, he'll not only survive, he'll succeed.

I urge any emcee in this battle scene to explore the options in and outside of our close-knit communities of battle rap enthusiasts. I am grateful for the opportunities outlets such as SMACK, Grindtime, Don’t Flop and KOTD have given me as well as my fellow battle emcees, but if they shut down tomorrow, I'd be OK. I "held out" from battling a while back for what I now know to be the wrong reasons, but it actually helped me much more than I ever could imagine. I learned how to utilize and in many cases I discovered my other talents. I'm concerned that with some of our "biggest stars" may be holding all their eggs in one basket dying down just as battle rap did a few years following hype around the 8 Mile movie.

I’m glad to see artists utilizing this outlet to broaden their horizons. Just remember: take advantage of opportunity, not the other way around.


Follow Quest MCODY on Twitter


September 10, 2014, 11:35 pm








By Crow


At this point in time it's pretty clear that the #1 league in the Midwest is Go-rilla Warfare. Mz. Gracie and company have been building up a pretty respectable catalog as of late, along with a string of good battles to feed that momentum.


Now, they have unveiled "THE BLUEPRINT," the follow up to the "THE CROWN" event. "THE BLUEPRINT" is a 2-day event. Day 1 is geared toward giving shine to the up-and-comers while day 2 is the main serving. Both cards look great on paper. Day 1 offers a monstrous main event in the form of Nuborn vs Brixx. Names like Sammy Wild 100’es, Brooklyn carter, Lynx Montana, Heavy Half, Steve Staples, Gauge, D Flamez , D Eagle, Prince Lord, Mr. Mill$, C3 and Lexcee Babee round out the card. Day 1 is filled with the next generation attempting to make a name for themselves.


This is a good step in the right direction. If “THE CROWN” was the event that showcased who's in charge, then “THE "BLUEPRINT" event is a declaration of supremacy. This event is bigger and (on paper) reads better than the last event. It covers everything from the top tiers to the unknowns.



Check out the flyers:





Let's look at Day 2…




(Day 2)



[Young Kannon vs Cortez]


Should be a great battle.


Tez going need to make a statement following all of the frustration from NOME 4 getting cut short during each of his rounds against Rex. Young Kannon did great against DNA at the last Go-rilla Warfare event. Young Kannon is hungry and Tez is going be on his A game. Battle should be good.




I have to go with Young Kannon on this one. His last performance on this stage was the best YK battle rap has ever seen. Expect pretty much the same results here. With Cortez’ name bringing the best out of YK  


[JC vs Danny Meyers]


An intriguing battle.


Both are known to be aggressive and with both coming off losses, this battle should produce fireworks. Danny Meyers flow is of the non stop kind. That approach alone can win battles these days. JC is a expert at associated wordplay and sneaking in punches unnoticed.




I want to go with Danny here, especially with that giant Verb battle coming in October, but that's the reason I'm choosing JC to win here. Danny is more than likely thinking about Verb while preparing for JC. I could be wrong, but that's the pattern in battle rap.


[Marvwon vs Shotgun Suge]


One is from jersey…


The other is from Detroit…


If you know battle rap like I do, you know pitting someone from Jersey against  someone from Detroit can yield an assortment of results. Hopefully none of them include shots at a dead man.




Marv is a legend and has nothing to prove at this point. Watching him battle nowadays should be a treat to many fans. Shotgun Suge, on the other hand, has found new life. Great showings against (Rosenburg) Raw and Rex has me predicting a Shotgun victory.


[Aye Verb vs Daylyt]


Verb treats the Midwest events like it’s the URL, so no worries as far as the "not trying because its KOTD" excuse. Verb should be on his A game. Daylyt has the momentum coming into this battle. After a great showing against Arsonal at Udubb's Annihilation. A big battle with Daylyt is tricky as fuck these days.




Too close to call in my opinion - it could go 2-1 either way.


Verb is coming off two dreadful performances in KOTD is going want to re-establish his reputation. Daylyt is either going to come in there with a third round antic or a mission to destroy. Either is going to be good. I'm going to play it safe and put my wager on Verb to edge out a close battle in the MIDWEST.




[X-Factor vs Head Ice]


A battle with history is always a great look. This battle was supposed to happen on the night of Loaded Lux vs Midwest Miles. Fast-forward to the "Blueprint" event and you have this pair finally meeting up. X-Factor has been on the decline lately, while Head Ice has been steadily working. Hopefully X-Factor’s last hurrah can bring out the best in "ICE."




X-Factor been on the decline way before this layoff, so I'm expecting ICE to just do what he does best. Rap and outperform the Detroit vet here in a possible 3-0 victory.


[Charlie Clips vs Big Kannon]


The 2014 Big Kannon is a dangerous battle rapper - no matter the platform. Last time Big Kannon graced the Go-rilla Warfare stage, he easily out-performed another fellow Chicagoan by the name of “Big T.” Clips, fresh off his battle with Daylyt, is no stranger to these situations. He's up against another top tier opponent away from home. This battle has “classic” written all over without a URL label.


Clips has a fan-friendly style, which consists of easy-to-follow schemes and punchlines. Kannon relies heavily on schemes and intricate/clever wordplay. He likes to dress his punches before they land, which may cost him in this battle. By the time Kannon warms up, Clips may already be up a round or two. I don't think Big Kannon is going to let this happen though - this is the biggest battle of his career. He's not going let Clips upstage him that easily on his own platform. Expect the best Kannon (ever) to go up against Clips.




2-1 either way


“THE BLUEPRINT" is definitely an event to be purchased. Besides the obvious themes being the return of a few battle rappers, the card offers a lot of interesting and compelling battles. Any battle fans abroad, or hip hop fans living in the Chicago area should attend THE BLUEPRINT.


Written by Crow for Rap Grid



Crazy Battle Card In Detroit November 8 (Barbarian Battle Grounds)

September 10, 2014, 4:47 pm


It's going down in Detroit!

Ill Will vs X-factor

Marvwon vs Charlie Clips

Quest Mcody vs Daylyt

Moe Dirdee vs Young Kannon

Plus more!!!! Tickets available now!!!!


watch trailer

click link for tickets



September 9, 2014, 11:28 pm

Image by Rehab Regime






By Rocky (boom bap)


I watch a lot of discovery channel, national geographic, and animal planet. I can't tell you how many times I've watched a lion, a wolf, a bear, etc., take down its prey by going right for the jugular. It's bloody. It's eye-opening. But most importantly it's REAL! That beast has cold eyes, with a mouth dripping blood off its fangs, and all you can think is: that thing is trained to be a straight up KILLER! Its how it is in the wild, and its why we respect these predators and know not to mess with them if we ever cross paths.


Take the battle scene. We got the schemers, those who rely on comedy, those who lean on their flow, those who dig up dirt and use personals. Its all entertaining in the grand scheme of things, but for many of us, it's those "killers" and those killer performances that we reserve a special place for. I am talking cold, calculated, un-relenting killers. And no, I am not talking about battlers who just talk about guns and street shit, I am talking about Hollow balling up his fists getting up at Big T with "that's the Don's shit!". Bigg K breakin' "ya shit wearin' oven mits" kind of twisted. Daylyt's first intro with the mask taunting: "I want you to look yo killer in the face". Not a single one of us can help but make the lemon-juice face and shake our heads at how un-relenting that damage can be. If you've ever felt the chill from a line that hit that hard, then you know exactly that killer feeling I am talking about.

Lets face it, battle-fans are not the typical run-of-the-mill type of people. We clearly have an appreciation for great rhymes, have a passion for competition, but most importantly we openly enjoy watching two people humiliate and destroy each other. Before folks judge us for those who are casual fans to battling, are we so different than where society is headed? Is there a reason we love movies with big explosions, fight scenes, murder, guns, violence, etc? Is there a reason UFC is one of, if not the fastest growing sport in the world? When we drive by a car wreck, we try to look away, but we all wanna see the carnage. It all comes full-circle for battle-heads. We accept that we enjoy hearing those get punished, and openly walk past any gray lines when it comes to seeing one person annihilate someone else. I always feel like there is secretly a small killer in every battle fan that lusts for watching someone inflict that verbal pain on their opponent, and yet we all at the same time feel conflicted inside wanting to see mercy. Like Pat Stay said to Math "the same hand I reach out to help I'll beat you to death with". It sums up what a lot of us go through: watching a dude destroy their opponent while wanting to help the victim. We can't stop reacting wildly to the assault of lines, and yet a part of us at the same time wants to be like: "Ok man, let the man live, he's had enough. Let him live!". Those moments end up becoming immortalized via the captured video, and at times become the most electrifying and memorable moments in our scene's history.


We've all had to watch a ref pull away a boxer at some point beating the shit out of his opponent. How much damage can we let the dude inflict as the entire arena stands on its feet beckoning the massacre to continue? Yet In battling, our hands are tied with imaginary handcuffs, and we can't reach onto that stage or into that ring to hold back what a killer would say to his opponent. That's in the discretion of the writer. The hosts can only stand and watch like the rest of us, and are helpless spectators that are just thankful like us all that its not them getting whooped on. One things for sure, by the oooohhs, the aaahhhhs, and the cringing yet oh-so mesmerized looks on the faces of fans in attendance: we battle fans love the pain inflicted. We eat that shit up. We crave more, like folks in the Coliseum use to cheer on Gladiators killing one another. We enjoy it for sport, and for the art of rhyme, but like Dexter we walk away with a grin, waiting for the next time a battle feeds that same sadistic hunger.



Where are more of these killer performances? Why are more folks not going right for the throat rather than relying on the current fad of just word-association and schemes these days? Its great that folks want to show their creativity with their raps, but the bare bones of this scene was always to see 2 mc's face-off and compete, and goddammit if we don't want to see them literally try and murder one another with words. I say let there be blood, and let it spill from the pen to the page, from the mics into the camera, and from our speakers pouring into our ears, where like a crime scene it leaves a stain in all of our heads. The blood-thirst is real folks. Yes the thirst is very real.


boom bap


Follow me at: No Where

(Stop following others and start leading ya'self)



September 7, 2014, 5:15 am

Image by Rehab Regime




By Drect


Yes, I said Cassidy can beat Dizaster.


When I first heard the battle announcement, I was mad.  How could Cassidy come back and not battle someone who specializes in writing punch lines?  How could he come back and NOT make his battle league debut on URL?  How could he come back and NOT battle Conceited?  I felt deceived; the battle culture that I love so much has been toying with me lately.  On one hand, I was happy for my boy Dizaster, who will be getting a well-deserved pay day and a nice matchup. On the other hand, this wasn't the match fans wanted.


Reluctantly, I watched the press conference.  If nothing else, I knew I had to write something about the battle on Rap Grid to bring more traffic to the site.  Halfway through the press conference, a few friends and I found ourselves laughing along with the crowd and actually enjoying the video, despite Cassidy appearing as a hologram on stage.  Every time Dizaster brought up a decent point, Cass seemed to deliver a crisp rebuttal.  His sky-high confidence and arrogant (yet hilarious and well-articulated) points caused me to pause for a second and think to myself, "Wait ... Maybe he can beat Dizaster."


Do not mistake my intent.  I am not saying that Cassidy will beat Dizaster, just that it is a possibility.


At one point in time, a large portion of battle rap fans thought (music) industry rappers could effectively jump into a battle league and put on a top level performance (that would rival those of the greatest battle rappers.)  Some time in between Canibus' notebook and Joe Budden vs Hollow, most of us realized that battle rapping and music making do not exist on parallel planes of the space and time continuum; it take two different skills sets for one to excel in each arena.  With this realization came an unprecedented amount of hate, disgust and loathe for any "industry rapper" that even toyed with the idea of making a debut in a battle league.  I respect the opinions of most my peers, but do not take kindly to the "bandwagon hating" that I believe has become the norm in the "celebrity vs battle rapper" argument.  After giving it some serious thought, I am confident that Cassidy can excel in this modern era of battle rap.  Not a believer?  I've prepared a case study on the downfall of those that came before Cassidy and why he doesn't share the same fate as his celebrity predecessors.  Break out your notepads; there is a science to this.



Mac Lethal made a comeback to battle The Saurus with one day preparation and put on one hell of a performance.  This is the most overlooked battle comeback of all time.  A special case due to the fact that Lethal relied heavily on (perfect) freestyle rebuttals, flips and comedy.


No one is sure if Cassidy even possess this skill set, but his opponent does, which will definitely make victory hard to come by.


Serius Jones is a very beloved and charismatic person.  Whatever rust he had during his comeback battle with Charlie Clips was masked by his first round rebuttal and Charlie’s lack of a third round.


Cassidy doesn’t have the same type of fun-loving personality as Serius, whose ability to clown people could work in his favor against someone as aggressive and dynamic Dizaster.  Essentially, this gives Cassidy less room for error - especially if he doesn’t have any material that will make the crowd laugh.


Canibus is the clear example of what not to do in a battle.  On top of him not being prepared and spitting lackluster material, his mindstate coming into the battle was questionable.


Cassidy will not have any of these issues.  Matter of fact, no one but Canibus will ever have any of these issues.  (I didn’t mention the notebook on purpose.)


Reed Dollaz had a few classic moments in which he revisited that throwback aggressive in-your-face Philly battle style that he helped make very popular in the early days of youtube.  The problem here is that Reed tried to make too much of an adjustment - he did not play to his strengths enough.  Fans wanted to hear more “Is he John John, John Cena, or John Legend?” and less (attempted) double meanings and wordplay.


Cass is not only one of the pioneers of the classic philly style, he is arguably the best punchline rapper of all time.  His knack for manipulating words and spitting socially-relevant material may leave fans hard pressed to say his style is out-dated.  Cassidy has the ability to win over both old and new crowds with HIS style of battle rapping alone.


Joe Budden slowly walked across the stage and took his time adjusting to a live battle crowd.  He had a lot of “rapper-performing-a-show” habits that didn’t properly translate into the battle realm.  The way Joe constructs his metaphors and punchlines isn’t as fast paced as the norm for a professional battle rapper.


Unlike Joey, Cassidy’s style is more battle rap than music performance, so he shouldn’t run into the same obstacles.  The only question is: Can he keep up with Dizaster’s pace or find some way to neutralize it?



Let’s take a look at some bars from both Dizaster and Cassidy on paper:


Dizaster -  Round 1 vs DNA (2011)


“I do this for my fans, you motherfuckers ain't shit to me

Are y'all kidding me? I'm fucking bum rushing the enemy

These knuckles will leave you buckling instantly

Start punching you viciously, uppercuts will leave your stomach in misery like muscular dystrophy

That's for thinking you can come online publicly dissing me

You can pop your fists while I'm still crushing you physically

This shit is child's play, you get ate side ways like the number infinity

I said, you need artist development 'fore you come on the blog and then mention me

I'll stomp you out and make you a part of this history

*Organik signals to call time*

Don't show me that cause this is about to be the bodybag of the century!

Hold on! Hold on! You motherfuckers ain't shit to me

They say karma's a bitch, for you it's probably dentistry

Because the part of your mouth that's missing is only a reflection, of what's scaring you mentally

So the gap between your teeth exists merely as an object of imagery to distract you from the real gap between us and that's bars and delivery!


Cassidy - 2002 Freestyle


“The shit I spit in my rhyme shit I say in a conversation

Cats kinda on my pipe, but they kinda hatin'

One minute I'm hot, one minute I'm wack

But I finish a rap in fifteen minutes or flat

I hit the sixteen before Swizz finished the track

Make some noise, the boy from big business is back

I got that put it in your nose and sniff it

My record's like the directions to the road to riches

I knock down your door like Jehova Witness

And bring niggas in your crib like your older sisters

You can't hold your liquor, stop drinkin'

Cause you not thinkin'

But watch you sober up when that shot's stinging

And the box stinkin murder for hire

Spread your herb ass on the grass like fertilizer

I heard your album ain't get nowhere

What happened

I'm going Platinum like Sisqo hair”


Obviously, there is a nine year difference in when these lyrics debuted, so the first thing you may notice is the outdated reference of “Sisqo’s hair” - dont focus on that right now.  


Dizaster’s first round against DNA is one of the best rounds in battle history - he gets no better than this: you can see where he adjusted his material on the fly, exercised his vocabulary and used his ability to tailor his biggest punchline to fit his opponent perfectly.


Lets be honest - Cassidy can spit this same verse right now in a battle and it would be a lot better than some overhyped mega-popular battlers, whom I will not name.  The material needs an update and the punchline rate needs to be raised.  He can’t afford to not use personals or say irrelevant punchlines for too long, unless his momentum is CRAZY or Dizaster messes up.  Til this day, i’ve never heard anyone say “Knock on your door like a Jehovah’s witness and bring niggas in your crib like your older sisters.”  If Cassidy can cook up five or six regular bars like thta (per round) and mix his material with a good personal attack, the battle should be great.


If you doubt Cass’s ability to write on topic, watch the CRAZY gospel verse he spit at a Hot 97 concert or his remix of Nicki Minaj’s “Lookin Ass Niggas.”



DIzaster is undoubtedly one of the top 10 battle rappers of all time.  He has had a few slip-ups recently, but I expect him to be in top form.  

There are three variable here:


  • Performance - Dizaster’s live performance is crazy, there is a very small number of battle rappers that can match his intensity, if Cass can come close at all, it will be HUGE.


  • Writing - Is Cassidy going to just say hot punchlines, or is he going to say hot punchlines that tie connect directly to the situation and have a impact on Dizaster?  There is a big difference.


  • Capturing the Moment - Dizaster’s freestyle ability and spontaneity give him the ability to escape defeat or place his opponent in a very large body bag.  To the general public’s knowledge, Cassidy may not possess this same skill.


Im not that guy that is going to sit here and tell people, “Don’t sleep on a legend” and give you a drawn-out biased fan-boy opinion because I collected all of Cassidy’s mixtapes in high school (I didn’t, but my boy Evan did.)  Realistically, Dizaster has a big advantage, but Cassidy isn’t stupid - he knows exactly what to do.


I have a good feeling about this one.


Follow Drect on Twitter



September 5, 2014, 8:53 pm

Image by Rehab Regime





By J Pro


When Lush One announced Fresh Coast Media Group’s collaboration with FilmOn TV, many disgruntled battle rap fans took to message boards and Facebook groups to voice their ill-advised displeasure.  They created threads about Lush being a “sell out” and turning his back on King of the Dot. Maybe those opinions were rooted in the way he transitioned from Grind Time to King of the Dot, albeit under completely different circumstances. Perhaps the announcement didn’t provide the clarity that people expected. Either way, the negative reactions and accusations were misguided. Maybe I can help people understand the plan moving forward.


But first…


Battle rap fans don’t realize how much effort and money Lush has invested sacrificed to ensure that west coast battle rap remains a dominant force. I’ve worked closely alongside Lush, Avocado, Aspect One and the rest of the KOTD family since late 2012.  We’ve all made sacrifices. Some events have been financially successful; others have failed. Lush has personally bankrolled some of the best battles of 2013 and 2014. At times, he’s made his money back. Other times, he hasn’t. I’ve offered Lush a disproportionate amount of our proceeds and he’s consistently insisted that we split our profits evenly. The most common response I’ve gotten from Lush is, “It’s whatever, dog. I ain’t trippin’… as long we made history.” I’m not sure what Lush’s business dealings were like before late 2012, but he’s always been straight up with me. Lush made a power move by teaming up with a well financed company. In doing so, he granted us the opportunity to work with a bigger budget, limiting our financial risk. Our goal isn’t to abandon the KOTD ship. The goal is to produce better content for KOTD without going broke in the process.


The Plan Moving Forward….


FilmOn TV is a free internet-based TV service owned by billionaire heir, Alki David. The site licenses over 600 channels, including a battle rap station that has been airing Fresh Coast classics on repeat since July. In addition to past battles, Fresh Coast Media Group, an artist development company spearheaded by Lush One, will provide behind the scenes and music-related content to the channel. The folks at FilmOn know that battle rap has tremendous outreach. Their aim is to garner the attention of battle rap fans with the hopes that they’ll become regular users of the site. We intend to promote FilmOn using the KOTD channel, which currently has over 250,000 subscribers and over 70 million channel views. Basically, they give us budget flexibility, we give them content for their PPV service and promo for their website.


Some things will stay the same; some things will change. The core KOTD West Coast staff, Lush One, Aspect One, Avocado and myself will remain in place. We’ll continue to work closely with Organik and the rest of the Canadian staff. Currently, KOTD West Coast battles are released 24 hours after a given event onto in pay per view format. Within weeks the battles are uploaded on YouTube. We’ll use a similar timeline for releasing these battles. So, what’s different? Battles will be released onto FilmOn’s pay per view platform before being uploaded onto the KOTD YouTube channel.



We don’t know how this whole thing will play out, but I can assure you, we don’t intend to leave KOTD. We don’t intend to suddenly break off from a company that we’ve built with as a team. We don’t intend to replace KOTD West with Fresh Coast Media Group or FilmOn TV. Conversely, we intend to improve the KOTD product that we’ve been diligently working to perfect.


FCMG, FilmOn TV and KOTD:


·      The main focus of Fresh Coast Media Group is artist development.

·      FilmOn TV will host PPVs, exclusive content and behind the scenes footage.

·      All west coast events will be heavily associated with KOTD, battles will continue to be uploaded onto KOTD’s YouTube page and cross promotion will occur between FilmOn TV and KOTD.


Follow J Pro on Twitter

Bone Crusher vs Mike Jones Going Down On The Fredro Starr vs Keith Murray Card!

September 4, 2014, 8:56 pm

s/o to emcee war. The card is getting pretty interesting!


September 4, 2014, 8:00 pm

Image by Rehab Regime






By Aak


How many times has the most anticipated battle on the card been the least interesting to the live crowd and thus, the home viewers?  Off the top of my head (like a “pre-buttle”) I can think of Hollow vs Hitman and Mook vs Solomon, but trust me, unless Drect has a top “100 Disappointing Battles” joint coming out, there are too many to name.  Fight cards save their headline matchups till last and everybody stays as hype as they can be; the same goes for live concerts and such.  So, what’s to blame for this recurring problem in battle rap?  The answer: politics ... as usual.  And if you’re like Peter Griffin, then casually writing the title of the blog inside this article just got this shit popping for you.


What’s Causing All This

For starters, apparently, punctuality isn’t one of the four fucking elements of Hip Hop. When I say “Hip-Hop,” you say “On Time.”  Hip Hop … You were late with the response, my dude.  “Real Nigga Time” knows no bounds and plagues every damn battle rap show, of which I’ve been apart, or, simply, attended.  When the Crowd has to wait in line for hours, then has to wait for the first battle for hours, and then has to wait for what adds up to hours between battles, it becomes understandable that they get impatient.  Said impatience leads them to be more ornery and less easy to please, i.e. booing set ups and heckling the slightest stumbles, which contributes to them leaving before the very Main Event they waited damn near all day to see.  Battle rap event organizers need to make the experience more enjoyable to the 100’s in attendance and the 1000’s watching around the world.  Massacre of The Bay (MOB,) I believe, tried to bring in body painting and a petting zoo and shit, but one needs to only look towards the recent Total Slaughter event to see how shortening the lull can keep a live crowd’s energy and attention.  And no, you don’t need Sway screaming “We have a battle, ladies and gentlemen!” while one MC is getting his ass kicked.  No, we don’t need DJ Hates Post-Y2K-Rap playing Aesop Rock for 45 minutes in between bathroom breaks.  All you need is punctuality.  Keep things moving briskly and shit will pay off for you in the end. People didn’t’ leave during Hollow’s battle versus Hitman because it was whack, they left because niggas were sleepy … Hollow (Joe Budden line.)  Granted, the battle wasn’t the greatest ever, but half of those whom left before it was over, left before it ever even started.  The other half stayed just long enough to ensure they could hear themselves booing on youtube without having to fast forward too far.  All that standing around is uncomfortable as hell and will lead to the battlers losing something from the crowd - ask Danny Myers.


Give Them Bullets Room To Breathe

I’m going to keep this short and to the point like n-ash (that’s nash!)  Stop putting so many fucking battles on the card.  Ever heard of the law of diminishing returns?  Basically, if I can plagiarize without a law suit, the law is a concept in economics that states, “If one factor of production (number of battles on a card, for example) is increased while other factors (average attention span and the length of time it takes for Danny Myers to get comfortable by taking off his Jordans, for example) are held constant, then the output per unit of the variable factor will eventually diminish.”  I say that to say this: too much of a good thing makes that thing bad, eventually.  If your big event has too many battles to fit the flyer, (Slaughterhouse gon be there) then you may need to scale it back a bit.  Every card doesn’t have to be every match you can possibly imagine.  Spread the love and make each card special throughout the year.  You know why Boxing Cards usually have 4 fights or less on the PPV?  Because they understand that you don’t fill them clips too high; give them bullets room breathe. (he said it, he said it.)  Damn, where was I… Yeah, the crowd would be a lot more excited for the main event if they didn’t have to go through 9 main events.  Is it “Night of Main Events” or “Night of Booing the Shit out of Battlers?”  Look at How many battles were on the undercard for Hollow vs Lux.  Look at how many were on Total Slaughter.  Despite the online experience (those in charge of Total Slaughter underestimated the amount of buys, the event would get - it was a staggering amount,) Total Slaughter and Hollow vs Lux were pretty damn successful events with which most who attended had no problem.  I believe that’s in part due to the short list of undercard battles; in conjunction with timely event proceedings (in the case of Total Slaughter.)


Mr. Fix It

We know that Less is more and timing is everything, (and it seems to be the key) but also, I think these leagues should get creative with the line-ups.  We all know that most undercard battles can steal the show and despite what the view count says, most of the undercard battlers are well known by the battle rap fan base, so why not switch it up? Put your main event on third.  Shit, put it on first.  Why not?  Why wait till the crowd is all “mmmm’d” out and already heard the reference to some current event in someone’s punch 3 times?  I’ve been battling and attending events for about 6 or 7 years and the one thing I’ve noticed is that the first battle gets crazy reaction, no matter how whack it is or who is in it.  Go back to all URL’s Summer Madness or NOME cards and I bet, more often than not, it was said (or tweeted) that the first battle on the card was “CRAZY.”  In Grind Time, they would have “try out” battles that got 25 views on youtube, but, live, the audience could have convinced you that Zeus was battling the Titans with all the reaction.  This is a direct result to them still being excited and the long-ass wait to start had them “fiending” for someone to hypothetically pull some caliber of gun and kill someone else creatively.  With that in mind, imagine if an event started at 4pm, was over by 8pm and the 5 battles on the card were, in fact, “CRAZY.”  Damn, there’s some money to be made around here.


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Legend of the Fall-Offs: Why a return to battle rap isn't for everyone

September 2, 2014, 8:27 pm

Image by Rehab Regime






By Dutch Vega


Most rappers don't want to admit when their time is up.  They don't even realize it most times.  That's because most people once in a position of power or popularity, surround themselves with yes-men who aren't willing to tell these artists the truth about themselves.  The legend of the fall off's is probably one of the scariest legends that exists because eventually, EVERYONE falls the fuck off.  Not to be sensationalist but even fucking Michael Jackson fell the fuck off.  Feel how you want to about that sentence but its TRUE!  I remember the year before MJ died - NONE of you mofuckas gave a flying fuck about Mike and the music he was releasing, but SOON as he DIED?!?!  Y’all were falling all over each other trying to show your "appreciation" ... foh b.


Battle rap fanatics are some of the most illogical misinformed group of niche fans to ever exist.  I've heard battle rap fans say some of the most illogical shit EVER.  Battle rap super fanatics believe all sorts of imaginary fairy tales.  They're like religious people to me (but hey this is about battle rap, so let me not get religion involved.)  Battle rap fans SWORE that because once upon a time Canibus was a dope rapper that somehow would translate to him being a good battle rapper.  Now that the "Tom Cruise Mom's Shoes" moment is behind us, its easy for TONS of you to say, "Oh I knew that was going to happen."  AFTER THE FACT, after it happened anyone can say that.  I have been saying that shit.  I said it about Canibus, I said it about Joe Budden, I'm SAYING IT NOW about Cassidy and even to a certain degree about Fredro Starr and Keith Murray.


ITS NOT JUST THEM!  O-solo, Reed Dollaz, Madchild - the list goes on and on and on.  Battle rap in the '10's isn't as easy as it was back in 90s.  Trust me, I've done both.  That is the main difference between battle rap fanatics who don't actually shit about this culture and guys like me, who leaked over from the streets of NYC battle rapping back in the 90s to this present era.  You guys think that because Joe Budden is in Slaughterhouse that somehow he would be different from Canibus. There are Joey fans out there still pretending ya boy was actually doing "ok." BAHAHA I won’t quote him, but (he had) so much shitty material.  Such a shitty PERFORMANCE of said shitty material, such shitty DELIVERY on top of shitty PERFORMANCE on top of shitty material.  You want ME to give THAT bullshit props?!  If he actually got paid 200k or whatever silly, "I'm gonna say i'm getting paid an astronomical number so that it negates when i'm losing and doing horribly" number he said he got paid??!?!  That shit was a WASTE of money.  (Hey Eminem if you're reading this, next time save ya Slaughterhouse boys the embarrassment in the eyes of those of us who actually KNOW what's happening and just pay them that money out right and save ya boys the public humiliation.)  On another note, Joey is so used to being embarrassed, does it even count?  Can you actually embarrass someone who isn't embarrassed by ANYTHING!?  I digress.



My real point?  Y’all need to STOP wanting to see washed up rappers and battle rappers of the past in this present setting.  Cassidy is going to get WASHED by Dizaster (as badly as Canibus?  Probably not, but it will still be bad, and Cassidy fans will pretend he wasn't "THAT bad," same as Joe Budden’s fans.)  I fully believe Keith Murray is going to win that battle vs Fredro Starr and I am curious to see future events and endeavors from MC War (I would have preferred to watch Black Rob vs Keith Murray which was the original battle, but I'll watch Fredro get washed up too.)  That battle doesn't have me excited, I highly doubt its going to be “a classic."


Why?  Because, it's a waste of money, time and resources.  Its just an outright WASTE.  Most of the modern day “classics” that have come about in the past few years do not involve an old rapper who is no longer signed to a major label or some battle rapper from the "golden era" coming back and getting washed in the modern era.  Honestly, name me ONE of these situations where you brought in some 90s rapper or some battle rapper from the pre-youtube era of battling and it was a CLASSIC?  I'll wait ... YOU CANT!  Some guys did ok: Mac Lethal proved he can do pretty fucking good, but that's the EXCEPTION, not the RULE.  THE RULE IS: Washed up rapper gets paid MAD money to fumble around and put on a half-assed performance while the super fans pretend like it WASN'T the body that it WAS.  The real fans are disappointed, the battle rap community gets raped by said washed up rapper, some angel investor is jaded after said shitty performance, and the battle rap movement is no closer to this pinnacle we're trying to reach!


But that ain't really none of my business.  [sips tea]  If the superfans and uninformed angel investors want to WASTE, both time and money (two incredibly valuable resources) then go right ahead.  I'll just be sitting here, sipping my tea and saying "I TOLD YOU SO" after every attempt at the same exact broken idea/system of, "Lets bring in ‘such and such’ to do something COMPLETELY OUTSIDE of their comfort zone."  YEAH!  That’s gonna be the "winning formula."  Surely, that will be the move that catapults battle rap to the forefront of the mainstream.  Don't even get me started on that whole desire to see battle rap on a mainstream level - personally, I know better than that shit, but that's another article for another time.  For now, I'm just gonna get my "I TOLD YOU SO” ready for Dizaster vs Cassidy and Fredro Starr vs Keith Murray.



Paragraphs Vega


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Rap Grid Exclusive: On The Fly With DNA

September 2, 2014, 1:03 am

Image by Rehab Regime




By Nettie McFly


DNA is the youngest veteran in the history of battle rap.  If you've followed his career, you’ve witnessed DNA go from rapidly climbing the tiers of battle rap, to coming to a stand still in his career and losing his footing; just to return again with a new focus and desire to redeem himself.  Not only is DNA considered a battler in the genre of Hip Hop, he’s also a battler in life.  Everything from the passing of his father to his missing tooth, and countless references about his mother being handicapped have been used against him as “personals.”  We’ve all witnessed DNA take each battle with a grain of salt and rise to the occasion when majority ruled against him in his career.  What his opponents intended to be damaging to his career has helped propel DNA to what he is today.  True or false, DNA has not let anything stand in his way of becoming “the best to ever do it.”  Check out my latest installment of On The Fly as I sit down with the Queens,NY native and see what he has to say about his music career, family, battle career and “the culture” as I get to chopping some fables.


Nettie McFly: You just battled ILL Will at NOME 4 and the fans have mixed reviews about the battle.  Some people felt like in the building that was one of your best performances, but some fans think otherwise.  Why do you think that is?


DNA: I’m going to be honest.  Live, I feel like I bodied ILL Will I killed him, I destroyed him. On camera … I definitely feel like I won, but I don’t think it was the same feeling that it was in the building.  I don’t think it’s a body on camera but it is a clear win for me.


Do you mind giving a brief analysis on the battle?


The third round is debateable, But I don’t feel like ILL Will said anything too crazy in his third round.  I just feel like after I beat him the first two rounds, my aggression and me trying to kill him went away so I didn’t spit my third round like I could’ve because I felt like I already won. So that’s why it’s up for debate.  But If you go off what I was saying and what he was saying you can see it was a 3-0 for me.  I don’t think it was a body, I just think it was a clear win.


So why do you think the battle fell short on camera?


For people who don’t go to live events, if you’re there, you’ll never understand why certain shit is crazy in the building because you’re not there to experience that energy.  So you might feel like, “Why did they go crazy for that?”  I remember at NOME 3 people were saying, “Why would people go crazy when he said the old DNA is back?”  But If you were in the building, everyone was expecting me to come out with the tooth, when I don’t come out with it.  It’s crazy live because you’re in that moment and you’re seeing it happen.  So certain shit like that could be crazy live and not on camera.


That makes sense.  Speaking of your tooth, why did you decide to go from getting a replacement to taking it back out again?


When I battled Tech 9, he just came off the battle with Midwest Miles, so people felt like he was unbeatable.  I felt like it was hard to beat him.  I felt like if I got my tooth back, it would take away his ammunition from his arsonal.  What people don’t know is, I lost my tooth 4 days before NOME3, so I was like, “Damn I need to come up with something to say” because I couldn't find my tooth [chuckles] so that’s how I came up with “ The Old DNA is Back.”  It really was an accident that turned out to be a good thing. [smiles]


What are your thoughts on fans who judge battles based off viewing it on footage only as opposed to attending actual events?


If you are a true battle rap fan, you have to go to a battle live.  I don’t respect nobody who say they a true battle rap fan and don’t go live.  That’s not for you to say what’s gassed and what’s not.  You’ll just experience the experience live yourself and you’ll understand how certain shit does not convey on camera like it does live, you’ll have to experience it by going to live events yourself.


You were on fire live and you’re energy was at an all time high.  I literally saw you when  you walked off stage.  Do you remember what you said to me?


[laughs] Nah what I say?


You came up to me and said “Yeah, now what you gonna say in your blogs now?”


[laughs] I was just in the moment.  Mad people was saying I was gonna lose.


Yeah ... But I wasn’t one of them!


My fault.  You said I be corny in my battles though.  In the review you did of my battle with Prez Mafia.


I said sometimes, but I still gave you the win.  I never said you weren’t talented though.

Some footage was released on Rapgrid of you and Lotta Zay’s brother, Lance, backstage after your battle at NOME 4.  In the footage Lance had the same kind of sentiments.  Can you elaborate on that?


You know what’s crazy?  (I’m not trying to be funny.)  It feels like certain people can be your close homie and start generating some type of envy.


What do you mean?


When I first came into Grind Time, I was cool with Lance and Lotta.  When I recorded my first mixtape, Lotta Zay was featured on a track he sang on the hook, everything was cool.  Then one day I turn on a VLAD interview, and seen him saying “DNA is in my bottom five, DNA’s trash, DNA’s this, DNA’s that.  Prior to that, he called me out on Twitter a couple of times.  It just came out of nowhere.  We was cool but not real close to the point of any of this would hurt me or anything.  I was just more taken back and thought it was funny because it really came out of nowhere.


Why do you feel like Lotta Zay came at you the way he did?


I don’t know if he felt like I’m really trash, or if he knows I’m one of the top tiers who would give somebody a shot.  I gave Prez Mafia a shot because I think he’s talented, he has potential.  So I don’t know if he felt calling me out was going to get him a battle.  It’s crazy because out of nowhere (Lotta Zay) and Lance started making Facebook posts, Twitter posts really saying I’m trash.  [Chuckles] It’s funny.


Are you still open to battling Lotta Zay?  In the footage you said you would.


No disrespect to Lotta But I don’t have to battle him, it’s not like i’m going to gain anything.  It’s only going to help him.  Since him and Lance was talking like this i’m cool with whoever wants to set it up.  We can do it.  I did a vlog talking about that.  It got like twenty-thousand views.  No one has called me yet.  That’s what I be saying.  I’m not gonna call around trying to get it set up.  It’s not something high on my agenda.  I have other people in mind that
I’m focused on battling.  But if any league wants to set it up, we can do it.


Who are you focused on battling?


Murda Mook.  I’m trying to battle Mook.  To be honest, I started watching battles because of SMACK, Mook and Loaded Lux.  I feel (Mook) is a pioneer, his style has rubbed off on so many people.  He’s one of the reasons why battle rap is where it’s at today.  Salute to him for that.


Why are you so adamant about battling Mook?


It’s a respect thing.  I grew up watching Mook so I want to test my skills.  It’s like a dude who loves playing ball watches Jordan his whole career and when he finally gets a chance to join the NBA and Jordan is still playing he wants to challenge him.  Why not?


Some Fans don’t think this would be a good match up.  Other’s feel you aren’t “worthy”  how do you feel about that?


I don’t understand how they can feel that way after all the shit I’ve done in my career.  Some fans feel like I’m wack, some felt it wouldn’t be good because of Mook’s battle with Iron Solomon.  I think if we are both on our A game it will make for a good battle. Mook is known for breaking down his opponents.  I do that too mixed with the punchlines so it will make a great battle.


Is Battle Rap your main focus, or do you hope it will propel you into mainstream music?


Battle Rap is growing as the days go on, it’s reaching it’s peak.  You got dudes like Joe
Budden battling Hollow, so who’s to say these other (mainstream) dudes won’t jump in the ring?  Nowadays, music isn’t doing too good, labels are closing.  There’s really no more A&R’s right now so you have to build your fan base off an independent market.  Right now i’m able to eat off Hip Hop; battle rap.  I’m able to take care of everyday living like bills and what not.


I want you to clear something up.  A lot of people have been wondering about your Mother … Is she actually handicapped or is it a rumor?


It started When I battled Big T.  In the battle I said my Mom is disabled.  What I meant by that was not that she’s crippled, not that she’s handicapped, not that she has one arm or anything. All it was is that my Mom has back trouble - that’s it.  That’s like saying If I injured my wrist or leg i’m disabled.  People took that and decided to use it as an angle to try and beat me so they added on to it and went extra with it.  My mom is fine she walks, she talks and everything is all good.


How did you and Charlie Clips meet?


I was battling on Grind Time battle league in 2009 and Clips and Tay Roc battled in April of that year, I remember because i battle this one dude named Loe Pesci and I lost due to the judges decision.  Some people felt like I was robbed and I was upset.  Clips was at the battle and I was like man I’m about to quit this battle shit or go to Lionz Den (Loaded Lux’s League) and Clips was like “Nah just when you battle again next time go harder.”  So fast forward, I see Clips a few events after that.  I battle Rich Dolarz and people felt I won the battle and Clips was there.  Prior to that battle I went to Block Work Recording Studios with Zoe, Fred The Godson, Ock, (shout outs to them) and Clips was there recording his mixtape.  So I came through to the session and when Clips was freestyling Cortez said jokingly, “DNA will kill you in a battle Clips” and Clips was like, “Never” so Clips and I battled for like seven rounds.  I think Clips edged it off of one rebuttal, but everybody was like, “Yo DNA almost beat you Clips.”  Me and Clips became wild cool after that.


People seem to hate the fact that you're labeled a Veteran at such a young age.  Why do you think some people won't give you your “just dues?”


I’m only 23 and people who are battle fans majority of them are a lot older, so I think they unknowingly look at me with envy because i’m so young and accomplished so much.  Some of my fellow battle rappers that are older than me may feel the same way.  I have battled out the country, done performed on some of the biggest platforms in front of some of the biggest celebrities, so they feel some kind of way about it.  They feel like I done so much in such a short amount of time and some of them haven’t gotten as far, so the age thing bothers them.


You have some of the most influential celebrity fans.  You have people from Kevin Durant and Ginuwine to Drake. How do you feel about that?


Having people you may have looked up to kind of rocking with you is a cool thing.  But i mean if they not giving me no bread ... well.. let me rephrase that because it’s not about the bread.  If they are not giving me an opportunity or offering another avenue where I can excel in my career then them being fans don't mean much.  Not to say its not a cool thing, I just feel a lot of them fear what they don’t understand so they look at us battle rappers like our music isn't pushing so why rock with them.  Some feel threatened because of our talent, so I feel like they just dont do anything at all.


Didn’t Ginuwine do a song with you?


Yeah don’t get it twisted.  Him, KD, and Drake all showed me love.  I’m not talking about them.  I'm talking about other celebrity and mainstream artist who are fans.  Ginuwine put on Twitter he was a battle rap fan.  I reached out to him and he agreed to do a track with me. Drake seen me in clubs, gave me tickets to his shows, showed wild love and gave me $1500 to battle and KD got on a track too.  I gotta say Ginuwine is genuinely one of the realest people to reach out.


So who is Eric … Not DNA, but Eric?


Man I’m just a dude from Queens who faced a lot of adversity in his life and overcame it every time.  From my Pops passing away when I was 9, from My Grand Father passing away when I was 12, my Moms struggling to pay bills, my Grandmother having issues.  I don’t let life knock me down.  That’s how you get to know me on camera from my battles I speak on some of these things and I use battle rap as a way to get out my anger.  Life is too short to let it knock you down.  Off camera in general I’m a real funny guy.  If you let the negativity in life be your focus then your life will be negative.


On an average day what do you do?


Nothing too crazy.  I’m not making wild bread yet so no riding helicopters going to islands and stuff.  But when i’m not battling, simple stuff: working out, checking on my Grandmother and my Moms seeing family.  I’m not gonna lie though, I be in the casinos a lot.  Remember last year when i was taking all those battles back to back?  The casino got me man … word.


Do you have anything else you want to say?


Yeah man, shout out to Nettie McFly and shout out to Drect and Rap Grid - one.


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