Something unthinkable happened in the world of battle rap over the weekend. If you follow the scene on Twitter, you will be aware of exactly what Midnight Madness is and how it could change the game.
For the uninitiated and those battle rap fans who spent the last few days under a rock, something akin to an underground fight club is coming to battle rap. Something with fun at its core. Midnight Madness is not a league, nor a platform nor is it strictly a roster of artists. It’s a nod back to the days when the likes of Cassidy, T-Rex and Murda Mook were outside. Of no-frills, street corner battles with money, and reputations on the line.
Likened to a battle rap dice game outside the cookout, Midnight Madness is the brainchild of multiple influential battle rappers and supporters who converged in the group setting of the Twitter Spaces. Together, they hatched a plan to switch things up a bit. Secret locations, money on the line, and judged clashes…the winner walks away with everything, the loser could be going home without their Jordans!
What started as a bet between Veterans Tsu Surf and Aye Verb organically grew into something far more significant. Midnight Madness plans to throw private small room battles with teams regularly competing for money, status, and several championship titles and belts. Uniquely the “Hardcore” titleholder can defend and lose the belt on other leagues through a cooperation agreement between the brands.
The Midnight Madness Battlers
The names lining themselves up to join the venture have sent a shock wave of interest through the scene. Battle rap legends like Hitman Holla, Charlie Clips, Hollow Da Don, and Calicoe have already signed up. Other participants include current Champion of the Year Chilla Jones*, former two-time Champion, Geechi Gotti, and one of the most talked-about contenders for COTY 2021, A. Ward. New Era favorites including Eazy the Block Captain, Lu Castro, and JakkBoy Maine are also confirmed. The women are represented by some real queens of female battle rap. 40 BARRS, Phara Funeral and Shooney Da Rapper, some of the nicest to ever grace the ladies game all bring something special to the proceedings.
*Watch the King Pen list his best of 2021 “Battle Rap Superlatives” selection below.
The concept is simple. Each invite-only event will host four battles. Each battler will have to put between $500 and $5,000 on the floor and battle for the chance to be the one to pick it all up and walk away. The loser leaves with nothing. The battles are all judged and the winner takes it all! The lucky 30 or so people in attendance also get a chance to win by putting money on the table as side bets. The community may donate to the pot both in person and via online contributions. The cash raised will be split equally between the four victors on the day. The battles will then be posted on YouTube creating valuable exposure for the artists.
How To Get Involved
Supporters can also participate in the wagers as an online betting system is being created to facilitate this. Furthermore, brands are invited to work alongside the Midnight Madness collective with plenty of sponsorship opportunities available. The focus is to generate an independent, politics-free system, directing the profits back to the artists themselves.
The announcement of the first card included match-ups that have the battle rap community excited. The card features aggressive performers with skillful pens and looks set to be an explosive way to introduce Midnight Madness.
Midnight Madness Squads
Midnight Madness also has an additional competitive element. A roster of elite teams is in operation, and some major players made their team selections known early. Battlers on MM cards need not be affiliated with any of the teams and can battle independently…as long as they come with their bread!
As team talks for the underground fight club continue new groups are likely to be added. The Twitter Space discussions have remained open all hours for several days now. Midnight Madness continues to take shape as one after the other, rappers came through to talk their ish and fight for their team or their spot on it!
Stay tuned for further details in Part 2 where we reveal some of the names on the Midnight Madness Teams!
In other news, there’s still time to complete AllHipHop.com’s “2021 Battle Rap Superlatives” survey! Click here to select which events had the most impact on the culture over the last 12 months. Vote for these and all the other categories, plus your chance to become our “Fan of the Year.”
Reigning Champion Of The Year, Chilla Jones shared his thoughts on just who was best in 2021.