Star power is something you either have or you don’t. The ability to light up every room you enter, transforming its occupants into a receptive audience, captivating them with every word and gesture.
Shotty Horroh is that star, nay superstar as he proved yet again in Manchester on Saturday evening (Feb. 26). The legendary U.K. battler and recording artist made his return to the scene following a three-year break and lit up the stage like he was born to do it.
Premier Battles vs. No Loose Chat: The Rebuild
Shotty made his comeback on his own Premier Battles league against fellow league owner, Tali, co-owner of No Loose Chat. The Rebuild was an event created to promote unity in the scene and help push it forward after a period of decline from the heady heights of U.K. battle rap’s golden era.
Manchester’s Premier Battles would put forward their squad to face a team from London’s No Loose Chat. Fans picked their sides and battlers from both leagues went back and forth online for months ahead of the event. Diss tracks were made with everyone throwing shots at the opposing team and anticipation was high going into Sunday’s card.
Quill vs. MOAK
The card began with a one round battle from Quill, representing team PB and MOAK one of NLC’s new gunners. The pair had a tough task, having to warm up the crowd with only one round to engage the audience. MOAK kicked off the clash looking comfortable on the stage, breaking down his opponent’s style and exposing some behind the scenes antics.
Quill came to the battle with a shovel in hand ready to dig a plot for MOAK in Shotty Horroh’s infamous graveyard. He gave a room shaking performance using current events references to clown his opponent and surprised the audience with a highly imaginative twist at the end.
Darpa vs. Tek
Next, No Loose Chat’s first champion, Tek made his Premier battles debut against the more experienced Northerner, Darpa. Big Tekky quickly engaged the crowd with his relatable punches and slow-paced delivery. He looked comfortable on his first time battling in Manchester and showed he’s getting more comfortable with the big stage setting.
Darpa’s contrasting style made for a great clash with his energetic fast paced delivery. However, he dropped the ball stumbling through parts of his material giving Tek the upper hand and the win on his impressive debut.
Bison Briggz vs. Joker Starr
Fellow Premier Battles league owner Bison Briggz was up next against an opponent fans have requested for years. After waking up at 3 a.m. to find a new venue because the place he booked flooded during the night, Briggzy could be forgiven if his performance was a little off. However, he showed no sign of tiredness, barking out the gate with three rounds of aggressive put downs that would have damaged the most prepared Joker Starr.
However, this was not the best verion of the U.K. veteran who lacked the motivation to put up a fight. Briggzy may have just hastened Joker Starr’s retirement plans.
Shotty Horroh vs. Tali
Finally, came the moment everyone was waiting for. The crowd roared and chanted his name as Shotty Horroh emerged from back stage and made his way to the crowd. Both battlers are known for their introductory slogans to open their bars. The crowd answered Tali’s call and response of “I’ don’t wanna hear…No Loose Chat,” while the building roared as Shotty Horroh reminded them “what the talk is about.”
The two vets went from round to round, trading angles and insults while they battled for their fans and their respective leagues. Tali made an impressive debut winning over the crowd and scoring big reactions in the room. Nonetheless, the star power of Shotty Horroh held strong as he captivated the crowd from his opener. An aggressive series of multisyllabic rhymes that he barked in Tali’s face. Tali fought back each round bringing regression and energy to engage an audience who were largely enchanted by the legend of Shotty Horroh.
In turn the Manchester spitter demonstrated why he is the most accomplished U.K. battler by a country mile, delivering three powerful rounds of expertly crafted material. Furthermore, he called out several battlers and named potential opponents including No Loose Chat’s Tek suggesting Shotty’s staying outside this year. He also had some words for Shuffle T, teasing a match up that many U.K. heads have been eager to see for years.
The energy in the building epitomised the spirit of The Rebuild with fans from up and down the country cheering alongside each other creating an unmatchable vibe on the day. Premier Battle and No Loose Chat pulled out all the stops to stage an event to drive the culture forward.
Fortunately for the many overseas fans or those who could not make the live event, a VOD is available to watch the entire show here.
Image credit @RickCharles