The First Round of Ultimate Madness Did Not Disappoint
Kershaw St. Jawnson
(AllHipHop News) The Ultimate Rap League's new tournament Ultimate Madness reminds emcees that there are no friendships in competition and that taking someone's head off should not be seen as a personal offense: It's just business - $25,000 worth of work.
Jim Jones believes that Hip-Hop lacks competition and that competition is the blood flow that keeps the culture erect. Well, he didn’t say it like that.
What he said to AllHipHop.com's CEO Chuck Creekmur was that there is a difference between “competition and beef.” You need to want to be the best and come to the table with that energy ... even if you don’t have beef with another rapper.
DMX put that same energy forth when he dissed Lloyd Banks on Fatman Scoop’s IG the other day, to which Banks replied that the Dog was mad that he didn’t get into the studio with him.
And while you might be turned off by these references to legacy artists, there is something that new emcees need to digest, 'else they are walking around here mad limp. They need to stop being so cool and get back to an element of battle culture that is innately in the DNA of true lyricists: they need to wanna knock the competition's heads off their proverbial necks in a contest.
That’s where URL's "Ultimate Madness" enters into the picture.
The tournament-style battle competition started last weekend with 16 emcees fighting to their death: Kid Chaos took on Lu Castro, Jey the Nightwing took on Real Sikh, Gun Powder Patt took on Ru Bando and Squeako took on Your Honor.
This class of emcees reminds you of those now top tier rappers who once demolished the stages of BET’s "106 & Park Ultimate Freestyle Friday" competitions. And the hosts, Jay Blac from Champion and Da Hennyman from Battle Rap Trap, are perfect replacements for Bow Wow in this season.
Emerging victorious and going over to the next round of competition are Lu Castro, Jey the Nightwing, Ru Bando, and Your Honor.
And their battles went as such:
The battle of the evening was the very first one. Jey the Nightwing and Real Sikh took off their gloves and went in for war. Both were bar heavy, causing the distinguished cast of judges to deadlock off the back. These two epitomized where battle rap needs to be for its survival. Unorthodox wordplay ... Cultural diversity (and we are not talking about race but the content matter) ... Intensity and stage present … not one soul was bored watching it.
If their battle was the best of the night, the runner up for the battle of the night had to be Kid Chaos and Lu Castro. Lu Castro was the victor, but it was not because his opponent was wack. It was just that tonight Lu was just better. He was universe-speeding better against someone who intergalactic-level brilliant.
The former Goonie demonstrated what he has been boasting repeatedly in interview-after-interview: HE AIN’T TO BE F##KED WITH. This was a perfect opportunity for him to step out of the shadow of some of the larger stars in his crew and assume his position in the spotlight and such passion and skill shone from both rappers yielded a contest worthy of re-watch and bask from its cultural glory. The battle really meant something special to those who love the art of battling.
We are glad to hear the rumor that Real Sikh and Kid Chaos might get a battle to keep them in the midst. They were truly exceptional and had they been paired differently, most certainly would be joining their opponents in the next leg of the competition.
Squeako and Your Honor was a good battle, with the Dot Mob member showcasing more than his humor and his Chocolate City street swag. He came to rap. He was clever in a way that we are not used to seeing him.
It will be interesting to see if he pushes through the next round with this new investment in his battle rap style. It is remarkable to see how this "star" uses his "it" factor to stunt on his opponent. It is like the hustler you know on the corner that has everyone listening to him spit stories about dodging the cops or bagging a girl ... you simply can't turn away. His challenger, Squeako, was cool but he choked (and that is that). And while he is interesting to listen to and watch rap, his southern-thugism matched with a clear lyrical competency lends to a space in battle rap that is just as hungry to be recognized and thrive as Outkast in the 1996 Source Awards.
The battle that everyone wanted to be strong was Gun Powder Patt and Ru Bando. The two, "We Go Hard" brothers, are normally fire (let’s just get that out the way). But on this card, they were not fully-baked. They were not seasoned enough to understand the dynamics of “empty space” and “quiet control” that was needed for these types of battles.
Lyrical devices like schemes and punches took too long, landed softly, and were hard to watch. Stunts seem ill-timed and unnecessary. However, this was a good learning lesson for both of them and those aspiring to hop on the next season. Folk have to come with "more of everything" to stand on the big stage with the likes of K-Shine, Tsu Surf, Geechi Gotti, Shotgun Suge, and Goodz. After all, that's what this battle tournament is offering.
Ru Bando won, but not because he was a more superior rapper this day. He won because the dice fell in his favor.
The next bracket of the tournament is this Saturday, May 30th on Caffeine TV.
The contenders up for competition are Fonz vs. J Krooger, Eazy the Block Captain vs. Don Marino, Brooklyn Hanz vs. Big Hann, and Bad News vs. Ace Amin.
The judges, Slim Reda from Champion, Knowledge the god from Hip-Hop is real, Unkle Ra from 15 Minutes of Fame ad Tony Bro from Black Compass are sure to be just as difficult to impress as they last weekend. Unkle Ra keeps reiterating, “There is $25,000 on the line … there needs to be $25,000 type material.”