Monday, July 28, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

News Update: Scribble Jam 08, Grind Time and more

Been a hot minute since we updated with anything, so we got a big news update for ya'll. Let's get it in.

First and foremost, Scribble Jam 2008 has updated they website with new content, including a message board and tour dates. Speaking of tour dates, the Scribble Jam tour is already two deep with plenty more shows to come. So in case ya'll wanna check it out or even participate in one of the prelim battles for a slot at this year's competition, check the website for all pertinent info. So far, two prelim winners have been announced: Subverse from the Dubphonics crew won the Bay Area prelims and Knowledge Medina took the Orlando prelims. Subverse been on it for a minute (check his battles against Thesaurus, Tantrum and Dlor) and Knowledge Medina is relatively new, but been blowin' up big on various Grind Time battles. Big ups to both of these cats. Not too sure who else will be kickin' it at Scribble, but word on the street is, Kid Twist and pooRICH from Toronto will be reppin', as well as various Grind Time and Jumpoff vets. Let's hope we get to see some dream matches this year.

In Grind Time news, two new satellites have been started; one in Cali with GT West Coast president Lush One runnin' that and one in New York. No clue who's runnin' the NY division, but it should be ill. Lush apparently got some ill lineups goin' on for GT Cali, so it's finta be dope. Also on the horizon is a USA vs. Canada. Madd Illz is lining up a "varsity" team of sorts, the confirmed list of which will be announced at the end of his set at Scribble Jam. Kid Twist is apparently doing the same for the Canadian team, which has been rumored to include himself, pooRICH, Pat Stay, Organik, Miracle and Hollohan. Some of them Canadian cats are beasts so I'm definitely looking forward to them stepping to us. And to top all the Grind Time news off, Lush has set up the first battle at Sweet's Historic Ballroom in Oakland on August 30th from 12PM to 5PM. According to him, some of the best emcees will be battling, as well as what he called "the rematch of the year". It's anyone's guess what he's got in store on that end (Franco vs. Nocando? The Saurus vs. Illmaculate?).

And finally in music news, Nocando's LA vs. Hollywood mixtape has dropped and you can cop that from his Myspace. He's only selling it between July 23rd and September 30th though, so get it while you can. Quest M.C.O.D.Y.'s album "The Light Project" has dropped and he's doing a record release show in support of it with The Guerilla Funk Mob, Guilty Simpson, Miz Korona, Invincible, Finale and WRC teammate Marvwon on August 2nd at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit, MI. Check www.questmcody.com for more details.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lush One vs Unorthodox Phrases

I know Perp has been waiting for Grind Time to release this battle, and here it is. I will hit you cats with my opinion on it when I get a chance to watch it in its entirety.

Part 1:


Part 2:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Classics From The Vault: Round 1 of ATL vs DT from WRC07

Atlanta (Madd Illz/Parable) vs. Detroit (Quest M.C.O.D.Y./Marvwon)

Perp's Opinion:
I've watched a lot of battles. I've seen some absolutely unnecessary asswhoopins delivered to niggas. But this is one of the most brutal and borderline unwatchable massacres in recent battle rap history. It starts out with some good-natured ribbing by Parable, mocking Marvwon's patented Wu-Tang sign as the team from ATL starts off they first round. Now, I've liked Madd Illz and Parable in the past. In 06, I thought they was one of the most consistent teams all-around and while they weren't able to beat the machine that is Illmac and The Saurus, they were able to put a stop to they murder streak. And I really liked Parable, who started off the previous season a bit shaky, but eventually found his groove around battle 4. But all throughout the year, they just seemed a bit too pre-rehearsed, which isn't a bad thing necessarily. You should always have some written ammunition with you just in case things get hairy. But during the regular season, they both just seemed not to have much real passion as they did in 06. The winners from ATL, most certainly, but they lacked that fire that made them such a force.

They started off this battle with some clever, but ultimately overly technical lines which relied WAY too much on multi-syllable rhyme schemes that seemed to just drag on and on and on without any real power. Apparently, the crowd and I shared the same sentiment, as very few of they lines was winning anyone over, although the "If you joined Bone, Thugs 'N Harmony/Your name would be Thigh Bone" was dope. So ended Atlanta's first round. And then there was Detroit. Right from the start, you could tell from Marv's swagger that they were about to dismantle the boys from ATL. "Man, I been waitin' a whole year to get rid of these guys/And prove that this fag is really livin' a lie/Nigga, you don't even like Madd Illz/But you such a lame bitch/That last year you paid for the hotel and plane trip/Nigga, please explain this/I can't stand this garbage/You said he's not a rapper/He's a Subway Sandwich Artist!" Clearly, this is not what Madd Illz and Parable were planning on going up against...nor was it what we were expecting from the Detroit team who had kept us laughing all season with they inimitable style. This wasn't a team out to entertain. This was a team out to destroy. The entire first round is littered with personal shit, essentially detailing Parable's dislike and resentment of his partner which was relayed to Quest and Marv. "So be real, Parable/Tell him how much the shit really costed you/Or how you gettin' upset with him actin' like the boss of you/Or how you beat him a couple times but he front like he never lost to you/Or how in last year's battle, HE'S the reason ya'll lost a few". And the rest of the battle just gets grimier from there, with Marvwon ending the first round with a sleeper that took the crowd a few seconds to really get: "And now that we exposin' ya friend/And the shit is soakin' in/If we was really lyin', Illz....how else would we know it then?" The battle was already over by that point, but the beating continued on for two more rounds.

Round two has Illz and Parable looking and sounding shook, with they punchlines seeming more hollow by the second. In fact, the only line of any note was from Parable: "You can die in this rhyme battle/His chick is sick/She fuckin' masturbates with knife handles/And pineapples". The only reason I mention that is Quest starts of Detroit's second round with a perfectly placed rebuttle: "This some shit my mind can't channel/She said she jacked off with pineapples/And knife handles/What the fuck are we playin', Rhyme Scrabble?" Then comes the style that we've come to love from Detroit (and will no doubt get bitten this season). Quest drops a heater, dissin' on Parable's voice and hair: "This is not for real/It feel like I done popped a pill/Woke up in a Taco Bell/With a muffuckin' mop that yells" followed by an ill scheme from Marv which references wrestling, video games and Disneyworld all in one and still manages to deliver damage to Madd Illz.

Round 3 is another snoozefest from Atlanta, notable again only for a line by Madd Illz to Quest about looking like Marvin Gaye, which was brilliantly flipped by Quest off the back of Marvwon's rhyme scheme. In fact, both of them was playing off each other's rhyme schemes. Check the opener from them: "You got kicked out the Army for pushin' niggas doodie back/Man, makin' an ass of yo head cuz yo neck look like booty cracks/That's prolly where you dookie at/I had yo momma off a roofie, black/And I titty fucked that ho so long/They call her chest a boobie trap" with Marv followin' up with "Man, fuck these fruity cats/You wanna know an unknown groupie fact?/Remember Parker Louis Can't Lose?/That was Madd Illz who played Kubiak". There had to have been some serious telepathy goin' on with the next huge rhyme scheme, cuz this was so well versed, it almost sounded written. Marv starts out with his relaxed style: "Man, fuck this shit/And yo jacket tight/How can you breathe in that bitch/You gon' die tonight" with Quest pickin' it up and delivering one of the deadliest off-the-top rebuttals in history: "Come back as a 20 piece McNugget in his afterlife/He'll eat his ass up on a savage night/He'll take a savage bite/I'm Marvin Gaye/Yo momma was Gladys Knight". Murderous. Absolutely murderous. But it don't end there as Marv picked it up yet again: "Nigga, yo whole diet is nothin' but snacks and Sprite/Nigga, you bought a ten-speed, got on and cracked yo bike". Battles like this make me wonder why there ain't a ref throwin' in the towel for some of these niggas. Easily the most brutal decimation of any established MCs I've ever seen.

Final thoughts...no question. I'm not sure Atlanta could have won that battle even if they'd be totally on point. The first round was just too personal and basically stole the souls right out of the chests of Illz and Parable. Any MCs reading this, here's a tip: don't trust anyone and don't tell anyone any personal shit about you. You will get ate up by them later on.

khal's Opinion:
Parable looks like Zach de la Rocha's skinny cousin. And what's good with Madd Illz being fat and making fat jokes? I never got that shit... wow I can't get over Parable's voice either. He lucky he came with that thigh bone line at the end. You've also gotta love how Marvwon & Quest puts Parable & Madd Illz' beef out there on front street. This whole battle is done with that first round. Parable ate himself in this battle a year ago. The funny shit is, after that whole exposure in the first round, it's basically a wrap. No matter how many Subway lines or talk about "sliding inside assholes", there's nothing Madd or Parable could say to change the tide. And when Quest and Marv come with the proper wrestling lines (X-Pac/Chyna/DX), the shit makes sense and gets the pop from the crowd. And how the FUCK was anything in this battle "even", Parable? That's the one thing bothering me... cats really are on that "this shit was close", which I guess you have to keep going to save face/keep your spirits up, but really, no way was this battle even going to BE close, how they seriously think the gap didn't get enormously wide after the first round is beyond me.

Classics From The Vault: Round 1 of TO vs LA from WRC07

Toronto (Kid Twist/pooRICH) vs. Los Angeles (Illmaculate/The Saurus)


Perp's Opinion:
Easily one of the hardest battles in the whole competition, this saw some of the most heated verses from either team in the history of WRC. Let's start off with round 1. pooRICH started off with a nice diss to The Saurus over his loss in Round 2 of last year's final. Couple of decent lines and some filler before Kid Twist jumps in with his patented nerdy swag and drops this gem: "Tell your bitch I'm taking her on no dates/Unless the ho pays/You're so gay/Even your teeth go both ways" followed by a ill closer to get the playoffs started right. Then Illmac and Saurus step up to the plate on some too-easy swiddag. Saurus hit Twist with a nice punch about his nerdy persona: "I'm amazin' with rap schemes/The closest you ever came to an athlete/Was playin' for the math team". Round 2 had pooRICH droppin' an ill diss to Illmac's girl: "Cuz ya girl has stretch marks/On her sex parts/And when I titty fuck the bitch/Her chest farts" followed by a few punchlines that were little more than filler. On Illmac and Saurus's rebuttle, Illmac drops a huge punchline to start off the round, reminding everyone why they was last year's champs: "Look at your pitiful arms/He couldn't even split a Swisher cigar/He went to the gym to get hard/And couldn't lift up the bar/Tried to pick up a dumbbell, it nearly ripped him apart/So he said, 'Fuck it, I'd rather be skinny and smart!'" GREASY! Round 3 starts off with some heaters from both Twist and Rich, with the middle of the round having some nice wordplay from Twist, carrying off Rich's rhyme scheme: "And he needed friends so he called Jim Carrey to fix his cable/But someone should have told him my flying dragon kick is fatal/He's so picky about where you put your dick, it's anal". Twist ends the round with a smooth punchline: "And you're trying to blow up like you're lackin' the mass appeal/You either need to cut back on the happy meals/Or do more laps on your hamster wheel". Illmac and Saurus steps up and drop some serious burners back to back: "I know you like faggoty sex/Cuz on the flight here, he was the only cat to request/A cavity check" and "You know how I know that you're a homo?/If you won the money, you'd spend most of it on snowglobes/I know some of your friends and they told me that you're so broke/He makes money on the side posing as a goalpost", leading up to The Saurus' monster punchline that clinched victory for LA: "When we spit, it's errorless/But I don't know why the fuck any people are scared against/This piece of asparagus/And see, the crazy thing to me is that you reek of such arrogance/But secretly, you speak to a therapist/Like, 'I CAN'T BEAT THE AMERICANS!!'" Game locked on that note. Final thoughts...Toronto definitely proved they can rap with the best of 'em and gave Illmac and Thesaurus a run for they money, but in the end, they just couldn't hang with the returning champs, who dropped jaws across the board from judges, fans and competition alike.

khal's Opinion:
I love how I just realized that Mazzi was the host of this shit. Figures, I didn't know who the fuck he was from the jump, and in a year's time I've reviewed and covered his disses and what not. LA vs Toronto, eh? I'm not that versed on actual Canadian MCs, although I know they like that real shit. I gotta give it to pooRICH for bringing up wrestling references that no one gets... except for me. And Kid Twist has that nerdy voice that makes his punchlines that much funnier. That "you're so gay/your teeth go both ways" line killed it. I'm not a fan of pooRICH though, at all. The Saurus is mad amped, which always helps, and while Ill is dope, I think The Saurus was the man in that first round. He didn't have to rely on the gay shit for big laughs. Round 2 is more of the same, with Kid Twist coming dope but poo kind of, well, being weak. Sad thing is they string together nice lines but they don't deliver. The Saurus OWNS this crowd! I wonder how much of that has to do with them already have props, while the Canadian heads are kind of a non-entity before this competition. "This cocky bitch could not be rich". I love that line! What's good with pooRICH and the "a-hole" shit? Kid Twist is saving these cats, as The Saurus is. His combination of vast vocab and animation is a deadly combination. Ill came kind of lame towards the end, but overall, Ill and 'Saurus definitely took this one. Kid Twist is a contender, though - he seems to have lines for days, nahmean? Oh, and I don't think this should have gone to overtime at all. If pooRICH truly thinks another round or 2 would have gotten them over with the crowd, they're wylin'.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

WRC 2008 Press Release

So Perpetuum just hit me with this link, announcing info on the World Rap Championships 2008 Pre Season info. Check it out:

As you can see from the new look site, we're in a transitional phase into more of a commercial hip hop media brand - rap battles are great to watch but they are too niche! So expect to see more fashion, dance, music and eye candy content.

We are working on putting together the 2008 season. It costs a lot of money to produce the format so we are looking at cheaper ways to pull it off. If it does happen this year it will be from Sep-Dec and will be less than 8 divisions. Here are some of the ideas on the table:

==DIVISIONS==

1)do qualifiers in 12 cities and then have the public vote for which 4 cities will actually be in the competition.

2)There most certainly will NOT be an Australian Division.

==PRIZE==

1)a one album deal with the winning team with a major label

2)MySpace promo

==JUDGING==

1)instead of judges, have the fans vote by either online polls or SMS text messages.


==COSTS===

1)Make all battles pay per view in the 1st week for $1 per battle. Then free to watch after a week.

2)SMS Voting to vote on the winners of the battle. this would replace judges.


So thats where we are right now, lets get some feedback


Early feedback from myself? This seems kind of ass. They had the big deal with the tapes being stolen at the end of last year's comp, so I can understand the need to cut corners, but this just doesn't feel right. LESS divisions, with the fans voting instead of judges, PLUS you have to pay-per-view when the battles first come out? Do they truly think niggas will be trying to adhere to all of that? And what happens if (when) someone pays that $1 to watch, records the shit and torrents it? They end up losing MORE money.

Just seems like something people should be getting away from - making the fans pay for the misdeeds of others. To recoup last year's huge loss, Perp thinks a great idea would have been to put WRC2007 out on DVD. That would've been an ill package, if done right.

I'm not too sure what kind of major label deal they will be able to work on, but that's a nice incentive... one can only hope that it's a definite player in the game, and that whomever wins is a true artist and not just one of the many battle rappers who couldn't write a hot song if their life depended on it.

This is early word, though - we'll see how things change/stay the same. Your thoughts?

Perp's Opinion:

This. Is. Wack. As. Fuck. I'm sorry, but straight up, G-Unit's most recent album went plastic. What the fuck is a major label deal these days? Which label? What terms? What about niggas who don't have a commercial sound and are quite happy just doin' what they do? And what about cats like Kid Twist, who has said, "I am one of those guys who's just much better at battling than at making music, and I know it. So I'll hold Canada down on the battling end of things and let other people handle the music side"? What's in it for him to get a major label deal? Maybe 50K was a bit too much last year. I can understand that. But why not have a smaller prize? Scribble Jam posted a 10K prize in 05 and in subsequent years, went with smaller prize amounts. You'd end up seeing a lot of subpar Smack type rappers trying to get involved...not to mention the fact that it's a team battle. Who do you give the deal to? Them as a team? Two deals individually? Or, God forbid...the best of the two? If that's the case, you'll see a lot of niggas throwin' they own teammates under the bus just for that chance to shine.

Here's my take on the divisions. We were promised 16 divisions this year. Incredibly lofty, I'd imagine, but not implausible. But I can understand if, considering the 150K hit to the wallet they took last year, they wouldn't want to expand that far just yet. So my opinion would be to do a bit of a tour across the US, UK, Canada and Australia with an open invite to any teams that want to compete. Record all the battles and allow the fans to vote as they did last year. Take the best 12 from each region and tell them if they want to battle, they'll pay for they own ticket to a central location. 6 teams battle one day, 6 on another day and the best 6 on the final day. I'd say take the two best teams from each region and have the playoffs from that. As far as Australia is concerned, I'm conflicted. It's a helluva lot of money to fly niggas halfway across the world and I understand that. But to be honest, two of the best teams came from the Melbourne division (Prime and Purpose, as well as division winners Anecdote and 360). This one is a tough call. I'd really like to see both of those teams at it again, as well as some of the other MCs who battled, as they showed a lot of promise.

When it comes to judging, in no way do I think that the viewers are capable enough to judge a battle. However, having said that, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the Toronto division, wherein it was revealed that one of the judges was a close friend of Bishop Brigante who, along with his partner, secured a second place win under rather dubious circumstances. To a lesser extent, there was controversy surrounding the LA division toward the end, when one of the judges had to leave and was replaced by a member of the Customer Service crew, closely affiliated with several MCs in the battle. And finally, the huge controversy surrounding round 3 of the UK vs. NY battle of the finals. So to say the judges are the best candidates for reviewing a battle would be a fallacious statement as well. My opinion, as implausible as it may be, would be to have judges at the main battle and if there is any contention in the results, an online poll could determine the footage to be reviewed again.

As Khal said earlier, they could have made the 06 season a box-set DVD as there was a lot of footage we didn't get (cyphers, exclusive interviews, post-battle shit, etc.). 07 was a bit dicey, considering the stolen footage scandal that occurred, but I, for one, would love to have all 8 divisions in high quality on DVD. There are/were plenty of ways for Jumpoff to recoup losses, and they've sat on them. So I can understand niggas beef with a pay-per-view shit. Me personally, I don't mind paying a dollar per battle to have it first. But I'm just that kind of a battle nerd. Jumpoff done gave us two seasons for free, so I don't mind givin' 'em a little kick-back. But if the competition is ass, the MCs are subpar and there's no real interest in the prize, there's absolutely no point. Jumpoff gonna have to convince me this shit is worth at least the 60 bucks for all the battles.

I'm not real convinced yet that this is the best course of action for Jumpoff. But I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed that they pull through and give us another season of dope battles.