Sun Tzu once wrote, “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.” This philosophy of engaging in battles was never more evident than at the End Of The Weak (EOTW) Battle Royale presented by The Iron Mouth Battle League (IMBL). The IMBL is an underground rap battle league where two individuals battle against each other for bragging rights, prizes, and to verbally annihilate their opponent.
The battle took place in a dope venue 414 S. Main St. I entered and was ushered quickly downstairs into a basement that was made for battling. I thought I was back in New York or Atlanta where rap battles have a true following that create legends. The events are run by AC Dutch and K-Wine at approximately 8 p.m. and I stretch the approximately. It was a well-run show once started though.
On to the show:
There was a battle of the producers: BEAT Battle or should I say massacre. I will post this and let it die. TEAM KingPin da Composer destroyed TEAM LP Swayze. There were bones scattered next to treble and bass clefs with a note that clearly stated wrecked.
Winners: Davenport, Sky Beats, & KingPIN by A MORTAL KOMBAT beheading and FLAWLESS victory Bus driver UPPERCUT
All the battles were entertaining and full of bars (lines or lyrics of rap). Some of the ones that truly moved the crowd in no particular order were: Arkitect vs Martian Man, IMBLdemon vs. Stizo Gretzski, Rev vs. JusGenius. The other battlers represented well but these three battles really provided Memphis with a new platform of aggression and creativity that is rarely seen here.
IMBLdemon vs. Stizo Gretzski
IMBLdemon is a battle rapper whose lyricism is amazing “…sack of worthless on purpose female rapper’s afterbirth.” He came out the gate on Stizo and threatened to send him to HELL on the spot asking hard questions of Stizo. Stizo countered with a live lyrical excorcism. Mocking the idea of IMBLdemon and raising the worth of what a demon’s power may be in a line so cold, “…This ain’t demon versus God, This Demon vs GODZILLA.” These cats went blow for blow. Lyricism- I have to give to IMBLdemon but as a showman Stizo has my respect for a helluva show. I must admit his theatrics and turned up behavior hide his lyrics power. After watching the footage Stizo brought content. Watching the replay this battle was ridicously close within contrasting styles.
Rev vs. Jusgenius
Is an instant classic. Jusgenius went “BAR-tarded.” At one point, he used the word bar in everyline 31 times stretching a hook into a devastating affair of wit. Rev material depth was incredible. Rev Over the entire battle: These cats went blow to blow in a ALI vs FRAZIER affair of pugilistic war. JusGenius pushed Rev to another level with REV countering in an instant classic.
WINNER: IF you were there anything other than saying a TIE is a LIE.
Arkitect vs Martian Man
A lot of battle League’s is scripted, memorized, and choreographed with entourages rapping along. In the middle there are moments of freestyle, quick well timed bars, or epic one-liners; however, to me Arkitect vs Martian Man represent what I feel is truly battle rap: FREESTYLE. On the spot freestyle was bred, Arkitect showed a diversity and intellectual control that is rare. He reminded me of a young and hungry KRS-One. Martian Man asked the crowd to fire words out that he would grab and freestyle from. His performance and array of skill proved too much for a game and worthy Arkitect. I really wanted to see a five round battle due to the complexity of their wordplay.
Winner: Martian Man
Yo, if you in Memphis and you have not tried to see these cats please don’t come complaining my way about there being “nothing to do in MEMPHIS”. The energy of a rapper before they are signed to big deals, the hunger of a lyricists battling to be heard, the rage of an emcee trying to be seen is a magnificent sight to behold and if you don’t want greatness then shame on you. These Battle Leaguers left me wanting to H.O.M (a sign of respect by placing your H.and O.ver your M.outh when a rhyme is a great one). So today, I ask my fans to get up and check these fellows and ladies out. They really represent the good of HIP-HOP or at least what true hip hop used to be before the bull. H-O-M. H-O-M. H-O-M.