I went to Nasa and Big Pep’s inaugural event and was impressed. The professionalism, starting promptly, running a tight show that ended in a good time, professional security, and great drinks made me excited for what was to come. My hope was that the second event would be equal. What I did not know was that it would be one of my favorite battle events in the past 8 years of blogging. I am glad that two major mags reached out and paid my cost to travel down to West Memphis, Arkansas. This was by far the most electric atmosphere I can remember around the Mid-South area in some time.
LCK is an upstart league in a very small town of West Memphis, Arkansas who on their premiere event had URL Stars: Geechi Gotti, Danny Meyers, and up comers Don Marino and Chip Gambino. Also, KOTD West up and comer Knight The Poet battled on the first card. The story went viral in blogging communities for a short narrative about the heart of local battle rappers holding their own in compelling matches vs. national stars -battling in a small town and giving great performances and how this writer was affected by seeing the raw beauty of what hip hop used to be: showcasing skill, heart, grit, and the love of the words.
The beauty is in the owners Pep and Nasa. They could have took it to venues in Memphis which is 7 minutes away but they chose to build a quality product that could bring much needed revenue to their town that has struggled with crime, poverty and a lack of events due to bad media reviews. The first thing I want to talk about is SAFETY. I felt at home. The security was present, polite and well trained. They engaged when needed but never threatened or did “too much”. They walked ladies to cars and made sure everyone was screened. Ironic, there was no need. The night was a night of friends partying and combatting verbally. There were no incidents or even threats. K-Wine is so professional hosting and Bankroll was in the building hype as ever.
Why did I even speak on it? Because too often we do not just take notice of what makes a dope event dope! …and yes, the ladies that were in the building were lovely. Now let’s get to these bars! YIKES! Bar heavy. Bar heavy. Bar heavy fun event. It was bananas. Now let’s get to this recap:
Key Da General vs Kirk James
Key Da General won the coin toss. Bro came out with a history lesson of sorts. He had a couple of bars but nothing really lands. His voice projection was off and I could clearly hear the crowd asking “What did he say?”
Kirk James…Kirk James is a wild boy. So off the rip, he is a white battle rapper which is becoming more common but in this world and South Battle Rappers of non-color have to be special to make a name. Honestly- he pulled a few stunts pulling undergarments out but he flipped a race bar: “Haven’t seen a white boy run like this since Forrest Gump.” Bro had comedy angles, worked the stage and ended on a haymaker of a “turn into a skeleton key” name flip. Kirk up 1-0 off stage presence alone
Key setups up a string of multis- jabs a Luca Brasi bar that hits cuts 2nd round. Both 1st and 2nd round felt short. Running like 45 secs of the 60. And sounds more like mix tape bars with an alternating attempt at a heavy punch at the end.
Kirk- Setups up a You can borrow my phone to call her scheme…says Key’s girl is under Thunder thighs. Crowd goes nuts. Kirk is cooking but gets time called. Makes you think he had one more haymaker. He wasn’t happy at the time call but I dig it. Keeping material and content fair. Hate seeing dudes get 2 minute rounds if it’s a pure 60. Naw, cat- I wanna see you work the 60. Use the bullets to knock off what’s needed in 60.
Kirk edges the 2nd.
It’s looking bad for Key.
Top of 3-
Key takes off yo. Just spazzes. Hits with a star trek cast Kirk name flip connected to a jab. Boy is cooking like 4 star restaurant take the main chick cooking. Now I am mad, where was this Key the first two rounds?
Kirk hits with a white boy back just a little more seasoning bar that flips the crowd but fades. Ends 3rd round early…
Key takes the 3rd easy. But it is too late.
Honestly, this battle won’t have much replay value.
Kirk edges 2-1 off of charisma or default how ever you want to look at it.
Battle 2: Superstar Moe vs Baby James
Yo- The hosts announce that the Winner gets KOTD GZ battle- Pressure
Moe comes out blazing. First impression of Moe is….drumroll Moe is dope. Voice control. Presence. In Ba by James grill. Moe is not playing. He has this raspy gangster-don’t talk to me- bad things happen-daily struggle voice with a dope projection. He definitely shows the difference of levels from the first battle.
Moe drops a “BEAT YOU till everything broke up like pringles.” He built an interesting set-up but the payoff bars aren’t holding up for the 4 bar setups.
Crowd is dead. Did the out of towners not get the memo? You have to impress and bar dudes life away in this region. Nothing is given. Everything is earned around Memphis and West Memphis is no difference.
Ok…Yikes. I guess Moe did get the memo he flipped a KD incident reference into a DV charge to get a good crowd reaction. Bro starting to warm up. Punches coming quicker. I dig his style. Moe can flat out rap, yo. He mixes his style up with shorter punches and started connecting. Ended on a haymaker… “Baby…Hold whatever the semi lack (similac).” Yoooooooo that was fire my guy. Fire.
Baby James bottom of 1.
Crowd catches his slogan out the gate.
People, I just want to say that it was at this moment-when Moe must have known that it was going to be a looooooooooooong night. Baby James comes out the gate with a haymaker that connects. Crazy crowd reaction. Multis snapping. Another reaction off a Barry Gordy bar-Wigging in the league…yikes…Back to back bars into a combo of “Bird box from the looks of it- it’s suicide.” I counted 10 reactions in 25 lines. That’s crazy.
I gotta see the footage to catch the rest it’s too many reactions. BJ left Earth. Even Moe side is nodding and reacting. Moe is nodding and knows. BJ hits with an massive uppercut “Last time we seen Moe with a bar was the Simpson”
YIKES!!! Baby James in over kill.
Crowd asks him to run it back. It’s overkill… “when the drama comes crazy-atheist be the prayingest.” Fire. Fire. Fire bar.
Baby James may have won it off the first. The first was bananas. Truly may be the best baby we’ve seen. This may be a long night for MOE.
Moe- has an urgency in his eye. He spit a crazy “fire that I’m dragon round for you. bar” Bro is dope. Heavy metaphor and scheme work. Nice connections but crowd is sleeping. I’m catching alot of content bro is dope set up a rapper battle/ tension scheme “How many rounds go in a 44…push t and drake connect-tech 9 for baby.” The crowd caught it finally with a hella late reaction. It was such an intricate scheme that went clean over people heads. That was nice. Moe can rap rap. Like flat out rap rap.
MOE pushing back-fighting lack of crowd reaction. “After you gone all we gone do is think of the Holes in ya house: Hugh Hefner.” He popping jab after heavy jab. Moe suffered from Bj first round set the tone. Moe rapped dope bars but couldn’t move the crowd. I wonder what would have happened if Moe could have went first. But thinking of BJ first round it wouldn’t have mattered.
BJ snaps right into the 2nd like a perfect fitted cap. “Seen people sleeping on me- I been a bed bug.” Just witty stuff man. Witty well written different angles with Every two rhymes connecting- Jab Hay maker jab jab haymaker- It’s like watching a young Ali the way he moving. “Baby in ya face like you aint hit puberty yet.” Jeesh, I think we are literally watching him evolve before our eyes.
2-0 Baby James EASY. Running through a tough opponent. It is rather impressive.
Moe- Had a 52 scheme but didn’t connect 30 seconds no reaction….Mo faded to me. He had great material but James rocking crowd so bad- I think bothered Moe and to me Moe is visibly shook. Moe’s style is like Bernard Hopkins. Great offense and defense but tonight he is in his shell taken damage.
His energy is off. He is not as convincing as the 1st two rounds. Moe does end with a nasty pen game… “If I aerosol from an air a sol it’ll be from a chopper that’s an air assault.” Complexity. Moe’s pen game is nice yo. Moe pushed back in the 3rd round dope lines…
James came out in the bottom of the 3rd like a shark. “Fake Mankind getting a sock in the mouth.” James is Barking. “cheap shots like its happy hour…” Winner get a battle in Canada so I’m bout to be Jeffrey Dahmer so I’mma
Bout to be eating off this body.” He ends with a “Periodt and I’m good with the punctuation.” No gas. James just was different tonight. I see a star. He def had performance of the night. Moe was a dope battler and Baby James walked through him.
James 3-0 -Body of a dynamic battler and was crazy. MOE is dope-Just ran into a buzz saw tonight and got smoked.
Replay value is gone be high! Dope battle.
KD vs Switch
KD and Switch ended a long troll filled online battle with an exchange in the ring…finally. This battle was a long time coming. One round battle… unlimited.
Switch starts round one with a recap of KD’s controversial battle where he gets jumped after talking about KD’s ex-girl.
Switch is def prepared and throwing a lot of material. I am normally a fan of Switch but tonight something is missing. He is pushing a lot of Multis that are not connecting-no major haymakers…rapping. He finally hits with one haymaker. Light crowd reaction. Switch rapping but just a few giggles with comedy angles. Finally talks about hitman setup… "Mixtape 16 sent you to afterlife. He calls out superblack says cut lights off all well see is teeth and gets his first real crowd reaction. He is having a lot of dry spots. He rapping but…the setups just aren’t paying off.
Menu flip was nice… “he been at one two many menus…but fake personals not what men use.”
A lot of fat jokes and fat angles…
Finishes strong with a few punchlines that catch the crowd with a hook - “I got plenty of bars”
Really wish took some more creative angles and maybe flipped the round and started with the I got plenty of bars hook.
KD comes out and
Starts the crowd to catch his slogan…mimics switch last hook.
KD breaks down why switch isn’t in his class then throws a hook. “Switch known to branch out for an ass whooping.” Two reactions in first 20 secs and it is clear that there are levels. Just different levels. KD cuts with a “your Girlfriend 3d and you one dimensional.” KD catching reactions early, “Bought 16 to court ended up on island/ Nothing but dope in my dirty laundry/Body switch like freaky Friday/Price you pay when you going dutch/
For being loyal to iron mouth and career didn’t go anywhere-anyway.”
KD is just linking bars, set ups and schemes. Drops a “Whole new meaning for putting pep in ya step.”
Breaking switch down bad…
“Brought 3-d to the ring but she the one putting bodies on the table” 3D didn’t like that. She approaches the stage mean mugging but stays professional. For a moment, thought KD was about to have to showcase his Jackie Chan blocking skills again. "Cherry doing all the work and ya’ll cant get the fruits of ya labor. Ya’ll walking with a switch.”
KD 1-0 EASY…It’s just different levels.
Dallas Cash vs Bo the Great: 1 rd Unlimited
Bo loses the coin flip and comes out first. Bo is dope. Lot of reactions early. “Taco Tuesday- people be screaming over those shells” Dope bar. Bo punching:
“James Harden came back pointing with a different rocket-
With URL I be smacking n*ggas
Be missing before he leaving the venue
Find a line around the building for that chicken
Need a brain surgeon for barber”
It is literally punch after punch after punch. Dallas is nodding. Thinks he knows that he is in for a battle.
Bo drops a line about “Dallas not being down this bad since Quincy Carter"
“Udonis Haslem that’s that the old heat/
Pow gives that cold heat/Find his body on a cold street”
Weird dude wanna be an Outkast. To me that bar is a classic. Just solid pen game and poise from Bo. Bo was dope tonight. No stumbles. Just a great performance.
Dallas Cash comes out the gate. I thought this was cash but he came out like Chef with three of them thangs. Cash went after Bo’s whole roudnd. Rebuttal- freestyle game is top notch- hits with a Hindu bar…Nice to connect with red dot -
Freestyled a bar off of Bo’s arizona diamond hat. Closed casket but an open case.
Bo names flips.
He is rhyming and snapping. Cash is working through a hostile crowd and getting respect.
All of a sudden he barks and freestyles at Leo Bronze says he smashed his chick he the real bronze bomber. Dallas got zucru riled up and works through them trying to talk through his rounds. He controls crowd and claims that it’s his city.
It’s one thing clear Dallas is a vet of stages. Nothing phased or threw him off his square. Dude is solid.
Cash ends on a freestyle all it takes is a baby to take out a superstar referencing Zucru member Baby James dismantling Moe earlier in the night.
This is truly a preference battle. You could make an argument for either one winning 1-0 and I wouldn’t be mad at you. For me, I got Dallas Cash by a razor of a hair.
After the battle Sidenote: Young Herb who stands bout 5’4 barking at Dallas Cash who stands bout 6’4 was visually hilarious. Herb claimed he’d smoke Cash. Cash retorted, “Who are you, again?” One of those LCK moments you legit just needed to see.
MAIN EVENT: So Severe vs Leo Bronze
So severe starts “Little dude kicking you in the leg think herb did it” Nice voice projection. So severe is nice nice. Like all white casket sharp nice.
Dope bars…crowd slept on a lot of his early material but he got a huge reaction for “a lot of bars on Beale bar.”
I hate the crowd slept on his round. I really think footage will make this closer but for now if Leo shows up. This may get ugly.
Leo trying to prove he may be king of the block around these parts. Came out classic Leo. Punching like Mike Tyson punch out. Just right left right left. Leo charisma is on 12. “How much you get paid for this event? Nvm thats yo business but after the event I’mma put my nose in it.” Leo has a style where he phrases simple bars and words to emphasize and hit. I think that is the mark of a dope writer cause the crowd is catching alot.
Leo is steady but his voice is fading and he is sipping water. I hope he gets that aspect under control and learns how to breathe better when he raps. I’d hate to see him become another Chess and get to the big stage and start throwing up cause he is choking from air loss. Leo took a sip and what was in the water. Dude came out swinging. Even Dallas Cash reacts to his “Beam on top/be looking like a light house”
Leo cooked yo. After the battle, it was clear and even So Severe knew it. He tells Leo on stage- right after the battle that he is “ready ready.”
Leo punches and wins. Takes the win. Reactions every bar. Clear win over a tough and seasoned battler So Severe.
Leo 1-0 in a fight.
SUPERBLACK VS. YELLA MANE
This battle was long awaited for various reasons. Superblack vs. Yella Mane. Yella Mane went viral over literally one of the dopest gun bars ever. People still reference it and hype it. He went to NY and got a PG did well but faded from the main stream eye. He became a father. His crew got into a public battle with the old Memphis league IMBL over footage, payment, worth, and lack of push. SoFi had a different vision and people started to question whether Yella even wanted to battle anymore.
Superblack has been on a meteoric rise. Battling out of Alabama while pushing through smaller leagues throughout the nation. He is now active in Bullpen and starting to become a national name.
Both use heavy metaphors, scheme, and setups.
…and here it is. Superblack vs Yella Mane
Yella came out the gate scheming….and flipping yikes
Breaking down black…"coinstar bar” hits. Nice reactions out the gate. Yella is deep in the bag. Yella is looking hella comfortable. Flips a complex set of: “Metamorphic-Metal morph a ssist…
Asset, Nasty flips…. Of metamorphosis”. He concludes with a dope scheme:
“Letter change then she walk back…that’s wheel of fortune”
Yella is slick with a Black people meet bar connected to a Black ops 2. This is dope to see Yella Mane Yella Mane from NORRRRRRFFFF Memphis. This is that old Yella.
Yella with a solid round….schemes and punches. Classic Yella displaying a dope pen and imagination.
Superblack comes back with a cash money scheme that was nasty catches the reaction early. “End before it starts (starz). Netflix. And cable connect bars…” dope. Black is comfortable matching schemes with Yella.
“Special k for the sides….it’ll be a Memphis massacre…” yikes. Black has done his homework. He definitely did not come to play.
Calls out Yella for who he put on after he reached his dream/Had to hold up his hardest scheme for the gun so big/
Circulating a lot of hot air from AC units/ AC IMBL flip/SOFI flips was sick.
Black takes it. Control and energy.
Complete mirror match but you could see the difference of someone battling at a high level consistently and someone taking time off and coming back. This was a great battle. The footage for both will hold up and so much lost in the room will connect. To me this is the best battle of the night because both battlers went absolutely nuts.
I definitely want to see more of Yella Mane.
As far as Super Black, It is time for another upgrade to bigger opponents and stages. I look forward to seeing if he can keep this momentum. He may be next.
Tonight- Baby James had the best performance but SuperBlack showed that he was the best battler in the room tonight.
Black with the win in a one rounder. 1-0 Black.
YP vs J. R. Jus Real
YP is in the building. J.R. No shows. Word is circulating through the building that J.R. wasn’t ready and knew he’d take the loss. Various sources confirm that as of two days ago no one had even heard a round. A lot of his crew BB are in the building: 5’9. OG Byg Gutta. Villain. And Steve in the building-With no JR. Very suspect…especially seeing that JR asked for the battle from Nasa. YP was paid and is in the building. YP is disappointed, pissed that he can’t get his bars off, and throwing his bars out in the parking lot.
UPDATE: J.R. goes live literally as I am typing this blog. He owns that he wasn’t ready and admits that his pride kept him from calling Nasa or Pep that night. I respect that but hate when battlers duck. Just take the loss. People taking time out they life to memorize and come down just a bad look. J.R. ends his live with saying he’d battle YP on his turf in his home league. I’m interested to see if JR really want that smoke. Bullpen has a card where Knight the Poet, Young Herb, Bo the Great will be headed down with other Memphis rappers as support to battle in a Bullpen tournament. If he really want YP that would be a great space to really take that battle.
LCK is definitely the hottest battle rap league in this region right now. They are bringing top notch talent and the word on the street is 2020 is Locked and Loaded to be even bigger names. Stay Tuned. Overall, LCK is URBAN APPROVED. Get Familiar or Get Forgot.