Last month marked (out) the three-year anniversary of my foray into the battle rap medium. My debut was against one sharply dressed English teacher named Mark Grist back in April 2011. I did it as a platform from which to interview Eurgh for my English Language university dissertation on battle rap (available here in its full glory) and to find out more about a culture by which I was utterly fascinated. Part of me wanted to prove myself as well – I’d only really presented myself/been seen as a joke in the Brighton hip-hop scene up to that point, and I suppose I just wanted to see if I actually was one, on my own terms. I ended up learning way more than I expected.
Here are my ten clearest memories, in no particular order:
Day 3 has been long hyped as the “best day of World Domination,” and has produced some veritable classics in the past, but after this year’s success of Day 1 and 2, it would have been near impossible to hit that height.
The event was packed with VIPs (too many to list here, so check our Instagram feed for pictures) and was held at Aria, the same club where Thursday’s press conference went down. It was a (mostly) covered rooftop patio, but no one would’ve realized it wasn’t completely covered if it hadn’t started raining on one side of the ring. The format was typical GZ, with battlers in the centre of a crowd. With all the camera, speaker and electrical wires snaking through puddles, it’s a small miracle no one was electrocuted.
The five battles on the card featured some of the most promising Ground Zero up-and-comers (check our extensive coverage of the 2013 GZGP if you’ve been sleeping on Toronto) going up against some low profile international opponents.
Unfortunately the main theme of the night was choking, but there were still glimmers of potential from most of the guys and a couple of breakout performances as well.