Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Grind Time: Battle Rap Comes (Back) to Detroit

Check out this great article Alex Washington wrote about the up coming Grind Time Detroit Battle
(Real Detroit Weekly)

Battle rap is a major part of the foundation known as hip-hop; it is a way for rappers to gain respect (and keep it) while showing off their lyrical talents.
In a matter of days, The Shelter will pulsate with rappers itching for respect and bragging rights as rap battle league Grind Time Now presents Detroit 187 (not to be confused with the ABC show).
"Grind Time is one of the largest battle leagues in the world; it's going to be the first time we have this many battle rappers from this many different states," said Quest Mcody, who will be hosting the battle and is definitely no stranger to the rap battle circuit.
Mcody was approached by Grind Time before to put together a Detroit battle, but the timing was never right; instead, he referred rappers like Moe Dirdee and K Reed to join the Grind Time family, both of whom will be battling on 1/15.

Marv Won (who will be performing at the event) has been battling off and on for about 10 years and compares battling to a popular and cerebral board game.
"Battling is a lot like chess because you have to anticipate what's going to happen, four or five moves ahead," he said. "The people who are considered great, aren't great because they out-rap their opponent, it's because they outthink them."
Practice makes perfect and as with any sport or game, battle rappers should practice even when they don't have a battle on the horizon, according to Mcody.
"You have to literally practice; I know people that will flip through magazines and start rapping about the people and things they see in there," he said.
Upon viewing a battle, you may notice the aggressiveness of the rappers and the apparent distaste they have for their opponent. Mic Phelps, slam poet and one-fourth of Cold Men Young (who'll also be battling), says that rappers become entertainers when they step up to battle; it's hardly ever personal, it's just a show for the crowd.
"I don't have any problems with the people I battle but you get in front of the camera or the crowd – you're going at them like you don't like them," he said. "Rappers are actors and performers; and you have to make people believe that you really don't care for the other person."
Phelps has gotten a lot of battle rap advice from people like Doc Waffles and Ketchphraze. Perhaps the most helpful advice given is also the briefest, and most pressurized: Don't lose. According to Mcody, taking a loss can, and oftentimes will, stay with you long after battle.
"One loss could change your life; it's people who will come up to me, that remember when I beat them and I don't remember it happening, but that loss stays with them," he said.
Battle rapping is like a lyrically advanced game of the dozens and Marv Won's advice to newcomers is to develop thick skin and have a sense of humor.
"They're going to talk about kicking your baby and fucking your mom, all types of shit that you wouldn't accept in regular life. You can't let it affect you," he said.
Mcody urges hip-hop fans to come out, especially because there aren't many battle events that happen in Detroit.
"If you never got a chance to see a live battle, if you've seen 8 Mile and really want to see the essence of where it came from, you'd come." | RDW
Grind Time Now Presents Detroit 187 • 1/15, 9 p.m. • The Shelter • 431 E. Congress, Detroit • ticketmaster.com • $10 • 18+


1 comment:

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