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Battle Rap News

Rap Grid Cuts 001: Cortez - No Talkin' feat. D. Chamberz

April 9, 2013, 7:50 pm

 

Today we're debuting Rap Grid Cuts - a series of music releases we created to spotlight some of the best music battle rap has to offer.  The first installation features a classic BK joint from Cortez and D. Chamberz entitled "No Talkin'" from Cortez' album The Exception.

 

Click here to buy the full album The Exception.

 

Meek Mill & Murda Mook 20k Battle Pic!

April 8, 2013, 2:48 am

 

 

Meek Mill just posted this image via Instagram.  After the whole deal between him and Cassidy, it would be real dope to see Meek in the ring. They are probably just playing, but its a dope picture! Who do you guys think would win?

 

Business As (Un)usual

April 6, 2013, 8:35 pm

 

 

 

 

Five years ago, my lawyer said one simple sentence to me that I'll never forget, “Choose whether this is a business or hobby -- it can’t be both.”

From this time on, the powers that be in battle rap have been wracking their brains trying to figure out how to turn a hobby we are so passionate about into a successful business.  For the record, I don’t necessarily agree with my lawyer’s statement, but I can see where it comes from.  Maybe this is the psychology involved in preparing people to make tough business decisions, which brings me to an interesting question, is it right to turn battle rap into a business?

When I look at battle rap I see a gold mine, a potential multi-million dollar industry.  I also see a bunch of individuals working hard creating leagues or micro managing business behind the scenes of this “industry” either not making money or barely breaking even.  Then, I think about the fans.  How would they feel if the videos they have been getting for free suddenly started costing money?  Is there a compromise between the battle and business worlds outside of live events?  Many people within the culture look to me for insight on this situation, but this is a topic that generally leaves me stumped.  Then came Rap Grid.

At first, Rap Grid was a good idea, but lately its turned into a reality.  After speaking with many excited leagues, we have decided to introduce the world of battle rap to On Demand and Pay Per View content.  Think about the life cycle of movie distribution: theatres, dvd, media streaming services, paid cable subscriptions, and (maybe) basic cable.  All these outlets exist to at least make sure primary investors see a return on the back end.  Battle rap has no such structure.  When I see people complaining about why millionaires don’t invest in battle rap, its because there is no guaranteed return on their investments; hence, we need a stronger business system.  Of course, battle rap can’t have the same cycle as a movie (at least for now), but it has to grow from this non profitable system of “venue-to-youtube.”

On Demand and Pay Per View services will bring a better return to business investors and emcees not considered top tier will have an opportunity to be paid higher for their performances.  This ultimately may mean a longer wait for free content, but would result in a raise in quality and faster turnaround times.

Lotta Zay vs Daylyt was the perfect battle to launch our On Demand service.  It was close, the screenshot was intriguing, and fans are arguing over who rightfully won.  We appreciate Logic and iBattle’s trust in our vision and all of the fan’s who have purchased the match.  Both emcees are personal friends of mine that represent an entire wave of artists who don’t have the same opportunities as these “top tier” names.  The result is top level performers being underpaid and the companies that struggle to fund these matches taking a loss.  This is a chance for everything to change.

- Drect

 

Ness Lee Weighs In On His Battle With Shotty Horroh

March 14, 2013, 2:31 am

 

 

Often, after battle rappers give an underwhelming performance or don't meet crowd standards for a highly anticipated matchup, people assume they fell off or were busy dealing with personal issues during preparation.  This isn't always the case - sometimes there are uncontrolable elements that take away from a battler's live performance, thus these elements spill over to the online crowd.  RapGrid reached out to Ness Lee after his King Of The Dot battle with Shotty Horroh debuted to share some of this thoughts with battle fans. This is what he had to say:

"I woke up this morning like, “I’m never battling another white rapper b.”  Someone has to say it ... some of the white battlers have certain fans that are the absolute worst.  I’ve never gotten ONE intruding inbox, tweet, e-mail etc. from a black, or otherwise, battler’s fan.  No racism...its just true. It happens every single time i battle one of the white homies.  Some dummy hit me and cursed me out for robbing TheSaurus.  Smh.  Aside of all that though b, end day I’m trying to be the MLK of this rap game.  I’ll continue to do what i please, battle who I please, and get high calibre match ups.  Now on to this classic with my good friend, Shotty Horroh:

THE CROWD

I can’t call it b, I’m signing autographs all crazy. I signed shoes, hats, shirts, cleavage, forearms ... dawg, I signed a good 20 autographs so I’m in there on some kind of high thinking folks rock with me.  Until they did an introduction reel on the jumbotron and nobody said anything on my part.  I brushed it off and swagged my way through the building again.

THE BATTLE

Shotty and I entered the ring not even 10 seconds after KOTD announced that Drake was in the building. Seemed like there was a never ending buzz in the building from that point on.  I figured I’d to the old “Apollo move”.  Y’all youngins won’t get the reference, but back in the day on Apollo if you wore a Jesus shirt you got extra points and the crowd gave you more mercy.  So Organik leads me in and i do my intro......”Ness Lee, I Am The South, ATLien Workshop.....and its OFFICIAL ... I SIGNED A RECORD DEAL!”  Audience gives me nothing. Word to big bird the crowd bodied me worse than the house fire did.  Organik leads Shotty in, and no jokes, Shotty said nothing, raised his arms and the building went coconuts.  Word to my grandmoms couch my g, I saw 5 cheerleaders form a pyramid.  At this point I was heated at the 20 autographees for not saying anything.  I got a few reactions during my rounds but nothing like my previous visit.  When I would end a verse folks would start screaming “SHOTTYYYY”.  Tis what it tis, i’m a performer right?

MY THOUGHTS

Wrong.  I let that intro take my soul.  I battle everywhere solo.  I only have 2 home battles out of 17.  Five in new york.  Three of those they weren’t messing witcha boy.  But I got through my rounds and went through with it on some gladiator shit.  No idea why on this night I let it get to me but it did and I underperformed as a result.  Not getting any reaction for what i felt like was my meanest punchline had me thinking.  If u know like I know, you never think in a battle.  I choked and lost as a result.  A lot of people still feel I won.  Content-wise I do as well, my bars is cray.  But this is a performance art.  Its not boxing.  Boxing is a sport.  You can lose every round and knock that boy out in the end and emerge victorious.  Not battling.  If you choke you lose. Was there a bias?  Clearly.  I dont believe it was against me.  I do believe it was for him.  He has more fans period.  Was the crowd turrible?  Indeed.  Its twice the crowd KOTD is used to and most of them aren't hard core battle fans.  I’m sure Shotty was affected by the aura in the room as well. Why would we both underperform in front of one of our favorite artists? Had we seen the same Shotty that vs’d Arsonal i would have lost badly. Que sera sera.  End day ... Shotty is one of the top 3 rappers in this whole thang and we have big respect for one another.  My point you ask?  New Ness song/video ft Shotty Horroh, Nino Bless, & Grafh coming soon heaux.  And never depend on a crowd.  A true performer goes in and performs as planned as if he were still in practice mode.  A reaction is just an addition.  This has been another installment of DontGetBodied.com.  

severely yours

Bad Good Guy

#PhantomeDigital

#ATLienWorkshop

#EBA

#Indubitably"

 

Battle Rappers Can Make Music - Support The Marketplace

March 12, 2013, 8:51 pm

(Above Image: Cortez/Hollow Da Don: Copy & Paste music video)

When our staff first sat down to discuss EBA (Elite Battling Association) and RapGrid.com, we decided its important to work exclusively with battlers we know make good music and are striving to have as big of an impact with their albums, mixtapes, EPs, etc. as they do with their battle videos.

Emcees like Dumbfoundead, Serius Jones, and Soul Khan have managed to break the mold and promote themselves outside of the battle rap world and thus, end up making guest appearances on popular radio stations and TV shows, as well as touring successfully.  This is great, but not everyone has the business savvy, know-how or connections as the few who have broke the mold.

Enter the RapGrid.com Marketplace: A place where emcees plugged into our network can actively promote and sell their projects while fans watch their battles.  We serve as an iTunes tailored towards the battle community.  In the near future I would like to establish a library of all battle rappers mixtapes and provide a download section similar to something seen on popular sites like Datpiff and LiveMixtapes.

We are entering a new age: battle rappers CAN make music - you just have to give these guys a listen and decided what you like best.  With battle rap at its peak, everyone has thrown a foot in the ring - some to even promote their music.

Since the site has gone live, we have featured albums and singles from: Hollow Da Don, Illmaculate and Swave Sevah.  On (at least) a bi-weekly basis we will be looking to actively promote more battle rappers with paid projects and merchandise.

Check out "The Exception" from Cortez, which dropped exclusively on RapGrid today:

More projects from artists such as Marvwon and Head Ice are on the way soon.  If are an emcee with some projects you would like to drop exclusively on RapGrid, please email us at [email protected].

Please support music from your favorite battle rappers, they have provided us with hours of free entertainment over the years - its time to give back: the future of our community exists solely on the growth of our people.

- Drect

Dose vs Math Hoffa: A Rematch of Epic Proportions

March 10, 2013, 11:46 pm

 

 

Dose vs Math Hoffa: A Rematch of Epic Proportions

As I literally sit here and ready myself to watch one of my personal most anticipated battles of the year, I pause a second ...

I often pause before watching battles to reflect on the comments and opinions I have heard from people at the live events as well as twitter comments from both emcees involved.  This allows me to watch the battle from another angle: a comparative one, in which I find myself often asking "how true is the information i've heard?"

If you aren't aware of their history, here is a quick breakdown:

- Dose raps first and says like memorable line, "Click clack BOOM! Turn his dome to a stadium"

- Math has the most reaction to an opening statement in battle history with, "I was supposed to battle T-Rex, but he was scared ..."

- Math raps for a minute or two, and Dose gets to close to Math's face

- Math says, "yo son get out my face son"

- Dose gives him a crazy look and says something

- Math punches Dose and pandemonium breaks out

- Math ends up becoming a underground celeb and the clip even ends up on tv a few times

You can watch the first match here:

 

I was always one of those people who thought Math was dope in his first round against Dose (up until the punch at least.)  Lines like, "The only thing he ever squeezed was his feet in his little brothers shoes" always stuck out to me as classics.  As time went on and the battle community grew, it became apparent that a lot of fans think Dose killed Math, who in turn punched Dose in an act of desperation to escape the potential embarassemtn of losing a battle.

From both knowing Math personally and observing his actions from a fans point of view, there is no way in A MILLION years that he: a. Thought he was loosing & b. Punched Dose to escape the battle.

After years of hearing that he would lose if him and Dose rematched, Math probably just got annoyed and agreed to rematch for the fans.  And here we have it; J Dose vs Math Hoffa - THE REMATCH:

I am watching this battle literally as I type, so I thought i'd try something new and share my personal thoughts while enjoying the video:

- I wonder who owns access4artists.com (lol)

- I wonder if people know that the voice in the beginning of these intro videos are Beasley (lol once more)

- I like Math's opening statement ... oh shit, "He still look like a sucka" wow that was worse than the Hollow fake handshake.  If that was on stage ... SMH

- Damn i knew Dose lost on 106th once (the footage is online) but three times?  I didn't know you could get on the show that much

- I like how Math is revisiting his original verse and micing it with new material.  A lot of classic lines

- "I should start this off by knocking you the fuck out!" lmfao @ Dose intro

- The whole "myself" thing is hot, but Dose gotta earn the crowd respect

- Math scheme is hot

- Aaron Rodgers line was tight

- Whew! Dose talkin about his rehabilation

- Dose swaggin out!  Crowd feeling him.  This is getting interesting

- "Breath so hot his mic need a sweatband" lmfao Dose got jokes

- "When i shoot u goin need a vest on a vest!"

- You can argue that Dose won Round 1 - he did more with his flow, but he isn't calm and poised like Math because its his first battle.  I also didn't like how Dose ended, but it seemed like Dose went a little longer.  Ill call the Round a tie for now because im pushing for Dose to do good.  I want to see a good match!

- Math dancing is HILARIOUS

- Lol Math is flipping Dose's verse from the first battle

- Amy Winehouse line was real good

- "His name is dos, so u gotta battle him twice" lolololol

- "Just because i punch was sucker doesnt mean it was a sucka punch" - idk if Dose can come back from this second round

- Dose has some of the most creative "defeat/da feet" line but I dont know how I feel about it

- Dose saying a lot of ill wordplay without too many punchlines, but I think people are feeling it "windmill/huge fan" line was tough

- I don't like Dose bringing back the lines, I think he should just rap and let people get it

- Math won round two.  Dose is saying dope stuff, but he needs to develop his style a little more for this era

- 1st 45 seconds of Math's 3rd round is perfect

- "Die from one round, but they'll still say its a 3-0 ... Doctor and lawyer in the house ... Theo" that whole rhyme scheme has Math pulling ahead clearly

- Dose just laughed at the T-Rex line and mad a strange face.  Well ... that was weird lol I wonder if anyone else caught that (24:30)

- Math basically dared Dose to punch him back this time.  That part was real dope.  Great 3rd Round from Math

- They way Dose is breaking down what Math is in the first match is dope - kind of like poetry.  I wish he slowed it down and articulated it more.  Live it might not have been super crazy, but online its ill.

- That line Dose had about "adapt to the ER" was TOUGH

- Dose has A LOT of crazy rhymes on paper

- "Walk inside the Louie store, they like, 'The mamakin is moving' ... oh u mad cause im stylin' on you?" - haha

- Second part of Dose's 3rd Round was real good - a lot of personality

All in all, good battle for the fans.  I don't know if URL plans on having Dose back, but I would like to see how his style develops over time - he has all the elements of being a dope battle rapper.  I have always said this, but I think Math is one of the top 5 battle rappers of all time and he is just going to continue to prove it over and over again.

*Signing Out*

- Drect

Drect’s Top 100 Battles of All Time: 100-91

March 9, 2013, 7:45 pm

Drect’s Top 100 Battles of All Time: 100-91
 

Prologue

When I first announced that I would be making a "Top 100 Battles of All Time" list, the immediate reaction of the majority of my peers seemed to be, "why would you put yourself through that kind of stress?"  What some may look at as stressful or overbearing, I like to look at as a challenge - maybe this is my duty; I feel empowered to teach the people about something I love so much.

At one point in time, there were only two classifications of battle rapper: one that sucks and one that doesn't.  In the last 20 or so years battle rappers have consistently raised the bar in this craft by developing unique styles and complicating rhymes, which has ultimately resulted in millions of fans gravitating toward the artform and their favorite personalities within it.

Now that battle rap is huge, judging is nearly extinct and the majority of emcees are very talented, everything is based off of opinion.  If I like your personally, am a fan of your music or know your little brother, chances are that I will log onto youtube and defend you in the comment box.  This has a lot of people watching and interacting with the artform, but I believe it has one downfall ...

New fans of battle rap have been introduced to the scene in a very comment-box/reality-based youtube fashion.  They don't have the same feeling or knowledge a lot of us battle rap purists have gained through 10+ years of involvement with the culture.  Instead of seeming like a bitter old man (which a lot of hip hop notables tend to do when something/someone new comes along or changes,) I have decided to teach.  This is my reason for writing The Top 100 Battles of All Time.

Introduction

As I have mentioned time and time again, battle rap is HEAVILY based on opinion.  It is nearly impossible for anyone to 100% agree with my list.  A lot of my writing is based on a heavily educated, yet personal opinion of the artform.  I have ran battle leagues, been to countless battle rap events, manage battle rappers and speak to different fan bases all the time.  The most important part of this list was that I didn't rush it and took the time to understand why different fans like different things.  Whether it be geographical location, lifestyle similarities, historical value or personal opinion - I asked EVERYTHING.

You can choose to either look at this top 100 list with critical, yet argumentative eye or treat it as a guide of sorts.  I purposely chose to include both freestyle and written battles for a simple reason: nobody else would dare do it and there is great historical significance in some of the things we tend to forget about.  A few different people/companies have chose to make lists of their own, which I respect, but I bring an unprecedented amount of knowledge from all facets of the battle rap world and would like to educate the fans instead of force feeding them a bunch of recent or highly viewed material.

When making this list, I needed a criteria - something readers could easily understand and grasp - not only follow my writings, but form their own opinions.  So, along with 100 of the greatest battles, I have included a detailed write-up on each battle along with my personal judging system.  This system helped me not only re-evaluate my opinion of the battles, but it also allowed me to rank them in a proper fashion.

All battles are judged off of and will be given a score of 1-10 in three categories:

Competition - How close was the battle and how debatable is the outcome?  "Body-Bags" are worth a little bit less in this system.

Historical Value - Is this a battle with lyrics we all know by heart, or is it a recently-recorded "instant classic" for the ages?

Impact - What effect or influence did this battle have on its generation or the future of the sport?  To what capacity was this a compelling force on the actions, behavior, and opinions of fans and other emcees.

*Note: This list does not include battles from 2013, as I will be creating an updated list at the end of the year*

 

*click pictures to view battles*

 

Without any further adieu, here are number 100-91 of the Top 100 Rap Battles of All time ...

100. Uno Lavoz vs Lunar C

Competition - 8
Historical Value - 5
Impact - 5

Hate him or love him, Uno Lavoz has definitely managed to make a name for himself on Grind Time, King Of The Dot and Don't Flop with his heavily criticized, yet outlandish and entertaining style that mixes extreme comedy and bars.  Uno has his ups and downs, but this is where we see the rapper at his best.  On the other side, we have Lunar C.  I realize that sometimes it is hard for Americans to grasp the artistic value in a non-singing international artists, but picture this: your favorite underground youtube rapper (with a lot of views), a dope hip hop resume and a decent fanbase (outside of battle rap.)  Now picture him having a uk accent and a battle style just as raw as his music.  This is a very close and debatable with an equal amount of comedy and wordplay; definitely a fun watch.  Congrats to both emcees, as its closing in on one million views!

Memorable Moment - Uno Lavoz pulling out the measuring tape

99. (Young) Gattas vs Tut
 

Competition - 8
Historical Value - 5
Impact - 3

Long before the Ring was filled with Queens and a little while after Remy on the Rocks faced off with that Lucky Lady, (Young) Gattas was the only active female battle rapper making any noise in the scene.  With no other women to battle, she regularly faced off against male opponents.  Since Gattas would often freestyle, (then Grind Time Midwest President) Sonny Bamboo decided to place her against freestyle veteran, Tut, who had previously beaten Real Deal and made it to the Scribble Jam finals against the likes of The Saurus.  Nobody knew the battle would turn out this good.  For the first time, we saw how good Gattas was when she prepared and how effective Tut's freestyles could be in a written league.  Definitely one of the best inter-gender matches battle rap has seen.

Memorable Moment - Gattas' mom yelling and Tut telling her to, "Shut it up!"

98. Tenchoo vs Big Kannon

Competition - 7
Historical Value - 3
Impact - 3

Big Kannon has always been slightly underrated to me.  He is one of the best emcees on earth at mixing freestyles seamlessly with written material.  When I heard he was going to UK's Dont Flop, I assumed that he would easily catch a body.  This was my intro to Tenchoo, who also happens to have mastered the art of weaving spontaneity with preparation.  This is such a great battle as it shows how to cover all the basic and advanced techniques in battle rap.  These two have impeccable timing and the match is very arguable.

Memorable Moment - Kannon freestyling his whole 3rd round and killing it

97. Qua Star vs Bonnie Godiva

Competition - 8
Historical Value - 3
Impact - 3

I LOVE this battle to death.  Everything from the atmosphere and the way it was filmed to the   microphone mysteriously coming out of the side of the screen was perfect; I wouldn't change anything about it.  This was part of Queen of The Ring's Sparring Session, which is comparable to the Proving Ground of URL.  We all knew that Bonnie was nice on paper, but this was the first time she came out of her shell and rapped with some passion in her voice.  Qua Star's personality really shined in this match and she showed her true potential.  Definitely a Drect favorite!

Memorable Moment - "Qua are you a carpet muncher?  No bitch, i'm a target puncher" - kills me every time.

96. K-Shine vs Tay Rock

Competition - 8
Historical Value - 6
Impact - 5

The first official one-off of our battle generation.  This match brought us back to the old SMACK days of one battle per dvd.  The crowd was small, so you would think the energy wouldn't be there, but K-Shine just got home (from jail) and Tay Rock was coming off off a loss (to Charlie Clips) - both of these guys were hungry!  This battle proved that both emcees were ready to move to the next level of competition.

Memorable Moment - People walking by the window and wondering what the hell was going on

95. Scarchild vs Datin

Competition - 7
Historical Value - 7
Impact - 3

One of the most slept on battles of all time occurred when Fight Klub veteran (who had previously battled French Montana), Scarchild had a crazy match with Datin (formerly of Nems' FYL or Fuck Your Lyfe crew) on Proof & Bizarre's (of D12) Who Wanna Battle.  The x-factor (no pun intended) of this whole battle event is definitely the Detroit crowd.  Thye are respectful to both emcees, give appropriate reactions and are electrifying at key moments.  Scarchild was definitely one of the best battle emcees of this era that hadn't had any footage released.  His believable street content, mesmerizing rhythm and freestyle ability make him a very dangerous opponent.  On the other hand, Datin arguably has the rawest style (and verse on 106th and Park's Freestyle Friday) in battle history - you can hear the emotion and feeling in his voice, yet he mixes it with a smooth charisma.  I wish this battle was released on youtube years ago when people like Murda Mook and Serius Jones were first blowing up; the two would definitely be legends at this point.

Memorable Moment - "Fuck him, fuck him, fuck y'all life!"

94. Young Kannon vs Pooh

Competition - 9
Historical Value - 4
Impact - 3

At a time where Grind Time was attempting to establish a wider demographic and put together classic street battles, they teamed up with Chicago Battlegrounds for a definite classic.  It currently sits at 48K, but had it came out on the URL it may sitting at about 1M.  This is the battle that opened the door for Chicago and introduced their talent to a larger fan base.  I still believe this is both of their best performances - you can see the hunger in their eyes and hear it in their voices.  Most importantly, this showed that a city such as Chicago could bring together two inner city youths and throw an event with no violence in the name of hip hop.  Dope.

Memorable Moment - "Big Kannon'll start pop locking like Rerun / The Sister Sister twins will give Rodger a threesome / A bitch with her tubes tied will get pregnant off pre-cum / Theres links in your squad, but nigga you are the weak one"

93. NH vs T-Rex

Competition - 6
Historical Value - 8
Impact - 5

This is arguably T-Rex's best performance.  He killed this from beginning to end.  NH was a formidable opponent, but in this historic battle, Rex showed he was on a completely different level whether is was on or off of SMACK DVD.

Memorable Moment - "not to toot my own horn, but *boop boop* im the bomb my dude"

92. Lotta Zay vs Syahboy

Competition - 8
Historical Value - 3
Impact - 4

This battle just debuted on URL's youtube channel.  Had it been out for at least a year, I would have put it in the top 50.  I have no idead why it isn't sitting at (at least) 200,000 views at the current moment.  First of all, B City (URL film staff) decided to grayscale the footage and make this the first black and white (colored) battle that we have ever seen in HD, which set the mood perfectly for this "one off."  Both Lotta Zay and Syahboy have had their ups and downs, but this was a perfect battle with perfect timing.  They both showed showmanship, well written material, creativity, humor and great delivery.  With proper timing this battle would have blown up instantly - let's give it a little more time.

Memorable Moment - Lotta Zay "fixing" Syahboy's infamous Wiz Khalifah line

91. Jaz The Rapper vs Chayna Ashley

Competition - 8
Historical Value - 7
Impact - 6

Queen of the Ring does a wonderful job promoting some of their match ups.  Jaz vs Chayna was highly anticipated as a battle between two of the top wordsmiths in female battle rap - both the crowd online and in person treated it as such.  This is one of the first true main events that helped men (who are admittedly sexually biased at times with female rappers) gravitate more towards the Queen of the Ring brand and become fans.

Memorable Moment - "My name is 'Jaz' with one 'z' but you can catch two or three once you go night night nigga"

81 - 90 coming soon

Welcome to the Rap Grid News Feed & Blog

March 8, 2013, 11:55 pm

 

Welcome to the Rap Grid News Feed & Blog

Today's society has us engulfed in this monster we know as social media.  Its all too easy to get lost in your favorite people's Instagram picture list or Facebook news feed.  Blogs are an essential part of how we have grown to share information quickly and easily with our friends, family and followers.

After receiving over 155K views on my personal blog (which was just a simple blogspot,) I have decided to take my talents to South Beach ... aka rapgrid.com.
 
This will be a daily (and unbiased) look into my DAILY exploits in the battle rap world, latest news and informative, yet entertaining write-ups.   
 
I welcome all of my personal followers and fans of battle rap to the rapgrid.com blog.  Glad we made it this far!
 
Peace
 
- Drect
 
p.s. The top 100 battles of all time blog will debut tomorrow - this Saturday, 3-17-2013 with #90-100