I was a judge at the Madame of Murdaland battle on Monday of this week and was blown away by the amount of anger the MCs seem to project. I am no stranger to this after a year of hosting SW, but what was so shocking....all of the competiting MCs and performers were women. LOL! All of them had beef with someone on this night!
Big Up to the organizers Sonny Brown & Mr. Wilson and host/creator Ahk & his cohort, Big Scoob!!!!
All-in-all everything turned out very well...pat yourselves on the back for making it HOT!
Big Ups to the performers:
Silo (Annex Clique) - I love her since back in the day ...im mad her mics were jacked up and she dipped, but on the flip I feel her. Big Ups to my man, K-Mack!
The one competitor I was checking for didn't even show....that was not cool! I am not going to put her name out there yet b/c Ima give her the benefit of a doubt & I hope she has a very good reason for not showing. Home girl talked mad ish!
Of the ladies that showed:
TM (VA) - couldn't hear what she was saying. She was just waaaay to laid back for a battle.
Krazy (Hustle Hard Blvd.) - I was really impressed with her. I must admit, I was not impressed with her pre-lim display @ 88.9 Fm. I thought she was hot (flow-wise), but when I actually evaluated what she was saying, I didn't feel she was actually putting any real thoughts together. But ....Monday she came 100 times better. She may have been a little nervous at the station, because she obviously feels comfortible on stage. She really showed more of her personality and I liked that alot. She is very gutta with it, but I think she will mature into a real star. One round of the battle was a song and I thought her selection was great! She is really moving in the right direction. I think she gave her all during the competition and I look forward to hearing more from her and the other Young Hustlas.
8 Ball - I think that was her name. When she was spittin her written material she was on fiyah! She has a real fast flow and rides a beat incredibly well. She ran out of gas everytime 've seen her rap...so the jury is still out on her. Big Ups to her for steppin up and competing. I want to see her perform a song...I think she has a lot of portential.
Snow White - WOW! She was on the stage and off so fast....I really don't know what to say! Keep bangin!
Ms. Stress - reigning CHAMP!!! Big Ups to you! You was not letting go of that belt...LOL! I still want to borrow it for my photo shoot tho. You really are a great battler. The battle against you self at the end was set up perfectly and I think the creativity you displayed made it hard to vote against you during the final round.
Ima keep it real......I didn't think it was cool that Stress bumped Krazy during the competition. That could have escaladed into something that Baltimore Hip Hop don't need right now. Before the battle began, the hosts stated, "No contact was allowed"....it had nothing to do with "MoM" not being Style Warz [as Low Key God pondered aloud]....it had everything to do with judging based on the provided rules. In my book that was grounds for immediate disqualification, but it wasn't my book...LOL! ... It was Hip Hop 101's. I respect dat!
Other than that.....can't wait for the next one.....
Ill be there, BUT as a spectator only...LOL!
The battle within..........
I always listened to rap songs and never really saw many ciphers until I was much older...much older.... like prolly 3 - 4 years ago...LOL! My formal introduction to Hip Hop did not come as an MC...nor did it come from growing up with a bunch of rappers - I've always just been a fan. A fan of people doing something I could not do well...no matter how hard I try. When I was coming up....most people didn't think rapping was something that you woke up one day and decided you could do better than the next person. Shucks....most of the guys in my neighborhood played sports or sold drugs....some did both very well. Rap was something that blasted out of the radio stationed on the top of the block. No one saw rap's potential to make the poorest of poor rich.
It wasn't until a few years ago that any body I knew even expressed aspirations to rhyme. Big Ups to my man Ron Ski!!! I never imagined him becoming a rapper, but he is really really good. He is out vacationing in Hagerstown right now, but will be uptown real soon....... and when he does LOOK OUT! His brother is a beast too....anyway!!! Yall know how I get off topic......
There was a time when making music cost significantly more so MCs had to find other ways to get their names out there. Long before marketing became the way to show your verbal might....long before MCs/labels started the annoying practice of flooding email in-boxes with music related spam and long before everyone and their mama was out giving out their FREE CD (so many so that TODAY it's damn near impossible to listen to all of the CD you can possibly get after an event -- personal record: I recieved 35 CDs at one Style Warz). For most up and coming MCs (it would seem) battling became that bridge they had to cross before anyone would take them seriously.
I NEVER got the whole battling thing. Most of it is so fake to me. It is interesting to watch, but entertaining is not the word I would use to describe it. I know some people are like "what?..you host a battle!" LOL! I feel you, but I have never looked at Style Warz as a battle regardless of what anyone else thinks. Call me naive! Its an MC competition!!!! I understand why people think its a battle, but its only that because of how both the MCs and judges often interpret the rules. It's a "battle" only in the sense that one MC will be judged based on what his opponent brings, but the in your face, emphasis on disrespect and slander, the feigned excitement over bull sh*t punch lines, the lack of elbow room each artist allows the other, etc....nah! that is not something that I choose to be part of [under normal circumstance]. I am working hard to suppress the demons in me..LOL! ...not feed into that energy. It's uncomfortable for me as a spectator ....I am on the edge of my seat waiting for someone to get slapped...SOME of the stuff that MCs say to each other is like WOAH! Sooooo, here I am today trying to figure out how artists feel when in that situation. Is the feeling exciting, scary, motivating, nerve racking, stimulating, ect?? Is there a "rush" that MCs are chasing? Is the competitive nature of battling the most appealing part?
This leads to my next question.....Is there a certain point in an artist's life when he/she should stop battling? I've heard MCs say that established artists should not enter battles because its not a good look.. Oh let me clarify...it's a bad look if they lose. LOL! It's been said that after losing..... all the "rookies" will start coming after you or people will lose respect for you? My question is....how does an MC really know that people respect him any way? LOL! People tell lies!!!!! ...j/k! Is it important for an MC to have the support and respect of other MCs?....is having their support and respect motivating? is a lack of support and respect from other MCs debilitating?
When I fell in love with Hip Hop...the music was better[actual song writing - maybe not as profound, but catchier and easier to digest] , the acts were actually interesting people and their music showed that, people went out of their way to establish their identities (Latifah rocking the Afircan get up on her first album was a deliberate decisions. She wanted to be different], the arrangements were much more innovative, people seemed hungrier [willing to perform anywhere/with anyone] and even if there was beef in the industry...that was not HEADLINE news. Overall Hip Hop felt more positive...the future seemed brighter. So since my only real exposure to hip hop was listening and going to shows of the very best....I guess I judge indie artist by a standard that is unfair or a little to rigid. Noooooooooot!!! LOL!
The battles I've seen in my day have not been really good over all. I've left most unimpressed!
Mediocracy is running rampant. Yes! You may have won the competition, but are you really the BEST? Do you even feel like you should have won?
1) Battles are supposed to be freestyle
This in itself is an art!!! Real freestylers are show man! You can tell that they put a lot into their craft. Yes, its a craft!!! Yes, its off the dome, but you better believe the really good ones read a lot of books!! The only way to develop as an artist is to read!!! Reading is fundamental!!!
2) MCs (not just Battlers) are supposed to be able to rap over any beat!
As a freestyler, you are supposed to be able to flow over anything cause you are making it up as you go...what da problem iz? I can see why a junior MC would have difficulty...he/sh prolly only has a few rhymes memorized and haven't really played with the words enough to know how to flip them at a different tempo, but all these self-proclaimes super starz should always have something to say about anything.
3) Lack of practice
Ive watched the Nationally known battle DVDs and its obvious that those dudes have practiced how to dramatically deliver their verses. Because Hip Hop and rapping has become something that anyone with a dream can do......people who have serious aspirations to succeed need to really out do themselves EVERYTIME. Create a reputation of always puttin your all into everything you do!!!
I could go on and on and on, but I won't. I don't want this to turn into an actual review of anyone's battle style, but overall ...all ima say is people really need to step their games up. Not just battlers, but rap performers as a whole.
My Questions for MCs...... help me out...These are not rhetorical!!! LOL!
Why are rappers so angry? I often wonder.... what is it about rapping that makes them [you] feel like the most effective or best way to come off is aggressive and combative? Even when emcees are not supposed to be battling!!! LOL! ...is there something about having another MC [who is not your friend] on stage with you that sets you off?
I've noticed that a lot of MCs project a real aggressive ultra macho persona…[men and women]! is that intentional or is there some unwritten law that I don't know about. Do guys think its sexy when women rap all agressive, cuss a lot and talk about beating another MC's ass? Do gurls think its cool or fun to watch guys tear into each other?
Do MCs make a conscious effort to look angry? Do MCs think that makes people feel them more? Is it intentional or emotional?
Is disrespect of your opponent part of battling? I just want to know?
Or is it that MC-ing and battling (specifically) is all about getting out your frustrations....which lends it self to pushing the limits and/or having yours pushed? Is it really all fun and I am being a p*ssy? LOL! Just askin!
Ima climb down off of my soap box for a min.....until lata!