While the Super Bowl buzz is at an all time high pitch, battle rap fans may have struck a chord that’s frequency may have reached an equitable screech. Rare Breed Entertainment offered up their Lift His Soul series for its fourth time. And it was truly something to behold.
As the title infers, the card featured battles of biblical proportions. Cultivating talent from across the battle world, what RBE produced should have been a contender for card of the year. Should have. Might still be. But due to some hick ups, dust ups and sometimes a lack luster crowd, the event did not match the potential of the line-up.
The first battle was between Kush Cloud and Chip Gambino. It was a great appetizer, wetting the whistle of those who came thirsty for bodies. They were a perfect opening act for the Truth Watson vs. Haze the Gift battle.
Truth vs. Haze: While Brooklyn’s Haze was spitting some heat, he was out performed by Carolinian, Truth Watson. Dressed in red (clearly repping his set as made reference to in the battle), his unorthodox cadence made Haze look like an unprepared child. Let the record state that he was prepared for the battle (though he did choke in one round so maybe I will take that back). Truth just looked better… even though clearly his bars are not as developed as rappers that you love to hear.
Heavy Half and Nice were next. And…. Heavy beat him… clearly… the entire left side of the audience were in agreement.
Then the cooking started and the title of the event started to make sense: Loso vs. Showoff. While some wanted to peg them as Cain and Abel… the more appropriate reference would be Lucifer and Michael (with Saga as Gabriel on the side). Showoff was dressed in this bootlegged grim reaper outfit that looked like a church choir robe with a crimson curtain hanging around his neck. But he set it off right by challenging the Christian rapper with bars about the bible that he loves. Showoff scripture baited Loso with real rap about how the idea of a monotheistic faith that has in the first chapter of the first book a reference to the plurality of God. Score one for the devil.
But Loso dusted those bars off and just went in… and his hard hitting bars gave him the “W” 2:1. For the record, Showoff’s second round was bonkers. As bonkers as his last round was corny.
To the crowd’s delight, the two-on-two was next.
Nick Cannon‘s Wild N’ Out cast member Charlie Clips and DNA (NWX) battled against Big Kannon and Young Kannon and as you can imagine, the freestyle funny kings took their heads off. Actually no… they lifted their souls. There was this bar that Clips said about Big Kannon eating almost all the food in burger king that had the crowd hysterical. And it wasn’t like either of the Kannons were wack, they just did not measure up to the skill and expertise of these two vets. What the Kannons lacked in chemistry was displayed by the ebb and flow of CC & DNA. If you thought that K-Shine and DNA were a battle partnership that was unrivaled, or the Clips and Goodz connection too sweet to surpass, this coupling will change your mind. Great battle. Entertaining and lyrical.
The last two battles were rival matches that have been heating up the social media platforms like crazy. John John Da Don, owner of his own Bullpen Battle League, came to the stage ready for Bigg K. This was a bar fest. No one can say that either side slacked with the rhymes. But if truth be told, battles are judged by who would you want to be. Most would have said, that they would have wanted to be JJDD based off of crowd control and response. This is especially true as he brought out a blow-up picture of Bigg K with long hair and a bandana. It was a wrap after that. Tensions went high and there almost was blows thrown. But in the end, both parties cooled off… kinda. One bit of contention was that JJDD did not get to finish his bars. While we all would have loved to hear them, he didn’t need to spit them. He beat Bigg K (2:1). However, if someone were to give it to K, we would understand.
The headline battle and last rival battle of the night was between Jimz and Goodz. Mr. Stop Being Dirty came to play. He showed up fresh to death and attempted to bar and joke Goodz to death. But Goodz doesn’t die. Goodz just gets better while you get frustrated. And that also frustrated Jimz, causing him to charge the sleepy crowd with a Bronx bias. And maybe the crowd was. Goodz has an aura that makes you want to be on his side. Remember battles are judge by who would you want to be… with his swag, handsome features, nice close, cool disposition… who wouldn’t want to be Goodz. I mean, if you listen to Goodz rounds, even Jimz wants to be Goodz. Though Goodz won the battle (Jimz just looked like a kid on stage with the vet), Jimz fans left the venue convinced that he cooked. He did cook and it is a shame that the battle may never see the light of day (except maybe on bootleg) for your to judge for yourself. The battle was ended by a disturbance that we won’t go into… go to Twitter or a battle rap vlog for that.
It was one of those “had to be there to be feel it” bouts. Jimz was not wack and though he did not kill in his own house, he showed up the best way he could. Battling is more than hot bars, it is also crowd control and posturing. It is about energy. It is about making people do the Jaz face at your bars and recite them back. It is about the bombs being dropped and if it were URL, a Don Demarco echoing loud.
What is is not about is violence. Shout out to the producers of the event who tried to keep the crowd respectful, encourage camaraderie and a peaceful environment. The event ended up with the rah rah, but again was blazing for those who love the culture.