Battle Rap’s March Madness has spilled over into April, with the highly anticipated Max Out card by Rare Breed Entertainment.
Stacked to its highest heights with talent galore, this event will be one of the first big room battles to happen since the coronavirus global pandemic ravished the entire world. Many are weathering their COVID-19 fear for a chance to witness history: Cassidy vs. Hitman.
The initial face-off taped weeks ago was explosive. The Illadelph spit-kicker (38) went up against the Ncredible star power of Mr. St. Louis (33). Energy ran high and the two emcees looked as though they were going to come to blows — setting the tone for the actual press conference the night before the battle. All the battlers came in on ten and were ready to push the buttons of their opponents and give fans more reasons to tune into the pay-per-view on April 3rd.
The first face-off was between Brooklyn’s own Showoff and the Philly gunner, Rosenberg Raw.
If there was a term to best describe the conversation was “King Talk.” The two both took credit as early builders of the Rare Breed Entertainment house, touting their signature slogan “Brick by Brick.” But there seems that there can only be one true king in this house and according to Raw, Showoff’s affiliation with now defamed Jersey rapper Adhi Boom speaks to why he is simply not legit to wear the crown.
But Show also didn’t believe that Rosenberg Raw can rock the royal garb either, calling him a one-trick pony. The name-calling did not stop there but was reciprocated by the ginger-head emcee. He not only called the Brownsville resident “basic,” but said that he wasn’t special and that the room size (because it will be bigger than he is used to) will impact the quality of his performance.
The back and forth made the battle even more interesting. Rosenberg Raw told Showoff that ARP made him and the clap back came swift. Show said that ARP saved Raw’s career after he no longer was hot over at URL, another rap league. To that … Raw said, “Well, I don’t know if you are ARP’s cousin or Lawrence’s nephew…” as a reason why he keeps getting the RBE push when in his opinion he is simply not that good.
The back and forth was hot, but no one came to blows. Thankfully.
The next face-off might have come to blows if ARP didn’t step in.
Jag and O-Red went head to head.
Not much was said except for Jag calling O-Red a bum and talking about his dentures falling out. O-Red’s rebuttal (or angle for the battle) was that he had relations with Jag’s girlfriend and found out that Jag has all his assets in his girlfriend’s name.
Jag is a character. It seems as if this battle rap newbie was trying too hard to create a moment. His assertion that he was a boss was clouded by how he was moving, amp and in the camera, This was juxtaposed by O-Red sitting them like we rarely see the nonchalant Jersey vet: p#####.
Bigg K and Clone is a replacement battle that was pulled together after Serious Jones was not able to attend/ participate in his battle.
Clone, a bull from John John Da Don’s Bullpen Battle League, stepped in a moment’s notice and with about a week at his leisure said that he was poised to take on “The Dog.” His exact words were that he would “30” Bigg K.
The Virginia rapper did not seem impressed. In fact, he said that he prepares all the time for rappers in a few days — emerging as the victor. He turned to ARP, the owner of the league and the host of the press conference, for confirmation. Adam agreed.
Dressed in a Gucci sweater, Clone asked K not to come with generic mixtape bars. And as if in a battle, K rebuttaled that he was going to make his rhymes specific to him just like he did Ahdi Boom, at the top of last year.
ARP asked the two punchers about their secret skills and what did they expect from each other? The junior battler attempted to play down the vet, but K always had the quick jabs at his disposal. He said, “ Who are you? You are not unique. I’ve battled a million clones.”
To that, the host said, “It sounds like you have a fight on your hand.” Bigg K retorted, “It’s always a fight. I have to fight myself.”
The energy of this replacement battle should make it a classic.
Hitman Holla sat down at the press conference to talk about his battle against Philly commercial rapper, Cassidy. It is hard to just call Cassidy a commercial rapper because he cut his teeth battling in Philly — long before the world heard “I’m a hustler, I’m a, I’m a hustler” or saw him against an ill-prepared Freeway in the early 2000s. And with that biographical constitution, he brings a lot to the table — even as his modern battle rap history has been murky.
This is why Hitman considers himself the underdog. People want to root for the guy they grew up with. And after their confrontational face-off, Hitman says that he is in his bag.
Particularly, since he is a battle rapper for a living, he wanted to prove that this is his world.
One of the things that worked his nerves was that people tried to say he didn’t have thick skin. He said that this made him mad and when he mad … he was at his best. He said, “Watch everyone eat their words. We playing Hitman Ball now.”
Hitman also said that now “it’s personal.” Not just this battle, but the culture. He noted that he has more money than any of them… he could come in, not care and remix it… but he doesn’t do that because he is passionate about the sport that gave him a name.
“Michael Jordan took his sport personal, why can’t I?” he left the fans with.
When ARP asked him what he would feel like if Cassidy won over him, Hitman (who came fresh from a day of work on the set of his new BET show and the gym) said that if Cas wins the battle, he would be devastated. Cassidy might have done it now; Hitman doesn’t seem to be the one that would get on the stage with all that is on the line and let someone devastate him.
For the top-tier battler, this will be the biggest battle of his career based on views but the battle that meant more. That honor would go to Arsonal. But he promised that this will be RBE’s biggest contest ever.
When Ill Will and A Ward stepped to the mic to talk about their battle, it was two professionals with mutual respect for each other. But there was also a gang of jokes. Fans already know that Ill Will is a straight-up comedian. A Ward, a little less known but equally talented Christian rapper, has a clever and quick wit about him that easily stands up to the Pontiac emcee.
But A Ward flat out told Ill Will that even with his elite top-dollar pen that he was gonna have to “earn every dollar he was paid to prepare” for him during this competition.
The best two exchanges of the night came from these brilliant lyricists. One was when Ill Will noted that 90 percent of the battlers in the culture can’t do what he does. And that A Ward is one of them that can. A Ward asked did he say 10%? Then joked, “You know us Christians love 10%,” referencing the tithe that was first set up by Abraham when he offered war spoils to Melchizedek, the king of Salem.
The other moment was when A Ward did a CrossFit scheme reference and Ill Will added to it with a joke about ropes. Sounds silly right? But earlier in a promotional interview, A Ward predicted that Ill Will would take that angle about the ropes. He has been studying the guy so much, he feels like he is in the Yak town representative’s head. Will needs to take the preacher seriously.
Luckily, Ill Will says that he takes every contestant seriously and in his own words is “of those elites … The Elite.”
A Ward agreed, “Ill Will and Pat Stay are the most dangerous battlers in the industry.” However, he still contends that he will have to be at his very best to beat him because he will be a higher version of himself: A Plus Ward.
Both emcees seem to respect each other, predict that it will not be a clear win, say that they both need to be true to themselves with their freestyles, rebuttals, and delivery, and will give the fans a show.
That is what might make this not just the battle of the night, but the battle of the year.
The 1SKs will start the event. Jay Breed VA vs Delvo and Super Black vs Jay Lopez. These battles are southern saturated and will help usher in the right spirit of the night. And if Super Black’s Jameson Irish Whiskey (son was drinking it straight from the bottle) fuel exhibition last night was evidence of what is to come … we are sure they will set the night off right.
Also, prayers out to J Lopez. He was in a car accident and could not attend the press conference, but will be at the battle on April 3.