Thursday, December 19, 2002

I arrived at the Collective at 11 PM, thinking things might be half-over, and half-full. Fuck, was I wrong! Not only did I arrive in enough time to say my hellos and see things start, but I was amazed at the turnout...the Collective was packed! For the last Ill Rap Battle, there were 13 emcees, and they made up half the audience. This time, 25 emcees registered, and a rather vocal(and large)crowd was in attendance. It was well-publicized on local shows...but some would say that the 8 Mile factor was in effect. Y'know...that movie? With that, like, guy? He raps n' shit?
Yeah...that 8 Mile.
Anyway...I was happy with the turnout. My hope is that it's the sign of even better things to come. I was told that a lot of the emcees that showed up were actually part of the battle circuit(including the days of Braemar Bakery, which I totally missed. Stupid me! ), and I did recognize some faces from other battles n' shows.
Anyway, quality-wise, one of the best, if not the best battles I've seen(I think that honor belongs to the Spitboxers competition back in '99 featuring John Smith and Ismalia...blindingly good.).

- There was mad tension in this thing...Pip Skid battled Grubbs(aka Wattson)in a re-match from the previous Ill Rap Battle. It seemed to get a little personal that time, and there was no love lost this time either. I think Grubbs choked a little in his last go-round, and it hurt him. Pip ended up victorious.

- Pip did a really ballsy thing that night. He pointed at one of the judges and said,"I dissed this guy in a song, and I'm still gonna win!" That definitely got the crowd! For the record, the judge was Spitz of Mood Ruff, one of Winnipeg's pioneering rap groups. The song was "Peg Leg City", off Peanuts and Corn's Factory Seconds. Around that time, DJ Hunnicutt and Wax Museum's Rob Tremblay removed themselves from the judge's area, due to conflict of interest, no doubt. Spitz did the right thing and gave the nod to Pip. I believe he was battling Mark S. at the time.

- MC Curtis the Frog entertained the crowd(and himself, no doubt)by showing off his b-boy prowess and blowing smoke rings during his opponent's rebuttals.

- There were a couple of love-ins on the mic as group/crew members faced off. Grubbs and Edwords made a go of it, but it wasn't very memorable. They just didn't go for the jugular. Grubbs managed to edge him out. Gruf the Druid and Pip Skid ended up facing each other, and I think everyone was anticipating a fierce round, but alas, it was not to be. They just couldn't diss each other! It was both sweet and disheartening at the same time. I feel the fact that Gruf didn't finish his 30 second rebuttal hurt him, and Pip went onward.

- Gotta give props to the lanky one, DJ Haruki for getting in there all the time with his way-out-there nursery rhyme style and huge-ass pants. Comic relief, and good effort.

- Bobby Lee was mad fun to watch. You could just tell he was enjoying himself up there. Versus Mindsharp, he was the picture of ease. That I do believe got Mindsharp a little frustrated, and he sorta caved on his last turn. He definitely held hs own though.

- The final between Bobby Lee and Pip Skid was intense, not only between them, but Pip and section of the crowd representing the Maples(the suburbs). The final was topic-based, and Mr. Ness got a topic from an emcee that was in the battle earlier(I believe his name was Ruckus)that also was down with that Maples bunch. The topic? "Fashion display".
What the fuck is that?
"Fashion", I could understand, but really, what the fuck is a "fashion display"?
Whatever...Pip eliminated Maples representative Mark S. earlier, so that part of the crowd was out for blood. The moment Pip apparently drifted off-topic, the crowd chanted "choke"(which was apparently in the movie...I wouldn't know. Haven't seen it. I wanted to see Brittany Murphy naked, and I hear that all that's really seen is Mr. Mathers' ass. Uh, no thanx, yo.). Pip did manage to get some lines in though, desite all that. Bobby Lee dropped some ill punchlines about Pippi Longstocking, rednecks, and slaying Pip's cattle(Pip's from Brandon...I doubt he ever had cattle. It was still funny, though). When the smoke cleared, Bobby Lee got the win.

I'm telling you. I can't wait for the next battle, man. Not only to see these cats go at it again, but there were some truly vicious emcees missing from this installment. John Smith, the previous IRB winner was sick. Ismalia of FrekSho was MIA, and so was Eclipse of Shadez. Those three would've killed the wack competition right away. I really hope they're in the next one.

Good times, no doubt.

Benoit vs. Angle on SmackDown. See ya later.

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