Concerts

Last Night: Red Bull EmSee Battle At Warehouse Live

Red Bull EmSee Freestyle Battle Warehouse Live September 8, 2011

10:52 p.m.: White people dancing to Beat King's "Hammer" is just about the greatest indirect advertisement for racial tolerance in all the world.

10:52:05: Oh yeah, introduction: Tonight is the Red Bull EmSee freestyle battle, an invitation-only competition to determine the best freestyler in Texas. It is a single-elimination tournament. The winner tonight will fly out to Atlanta to compete in the finals. Eminem will be there to watch.

This whole show seems very legit. They've got a wonderful little set-up on stage (faux brick walls and whatnot), complete with TVs that show the contestants similar to how they do when they have player breakdowns during NFL games. It's already fun. This is the most professional set-up for an underground rap showcase we've ever seen. No joke.

10:57: Host tonight: Bun B. He's introducing judges. Tonight, they're Alchemist, Trae and ESG. Bun asks Trae if he's ever been in any rap battles. His response: "Nah, you know I take some stuff a little too personally." Here's how every rap battle with Trae would go:

Guy Battling: And I had sex with your sister, tell her I miss her.

Crowd: [applause]

Trae: Oh for real?

Judge: Did he just... yep. Dammit. Somebody call a medic. Trae stabbed someone again. Why do we keep inviting him? He's always stabbing people and shit.

Trae: Did I win?

Judge: What? No you didn't win. You stabbed a guy. This is a rap battle, not a stab contest.

Trae: Oh for real?

Other Judge: Did he just... yep. Dammit. Somebody call a medic. Trae stabbed the judge again.

Trae: Did I win?

Other Judge: ...Yes.

Trae would never lose a rap battle. That's a bet.

10:59: First battle. MC Kane vs G Baby. Kane is wearing a backpack and G Baby is wearing her teeth (G Baby has a charming overbite). Let's go.

11:01: So, if things weren't difficult enough, prior to someone rapping, it appears they'll be flashing some pictures up on a screen that you have to incorporate into your flow. Two of the five pictures Kane just got: Cowboy boots and eggs. Awesome.

11:03: Kane was okay enough, but not near as mean as one will need to be to win this thing. He only erupted once, for a "You a ugly-ass ho" line. Somehow, he did not make fun of her teeth. Let's see how she responds.

11:05: Oh fuck. She is not dicking around. She seemed so sweet and pleasant while she was hanging around off stage, then when they gave her the microphone she just switched on like a machine. She made a joke about fingering Kane's girlfriend, then finished her one-minute round with a joke about Kane's backpack, then compounded that with a "Step yo' game up, nigga, get a snapback" line, referencing Kane's fitted cap. The place exploded. Game time.

11:06: Judges: G Baby, G Baby, G Baby.

11:06:05: BTW, 66 percent of the teeth on the judge's panel are covered in ice. Awesome.

11:12: Next up: Hoodstar Chantz and Playdough. In the preview that we wrote about this event, we laid some predictions:

1) G Baby would do well because she's good and she's a girl, but would ultimately lose when someone made jokes about her giving another contestant head.

2) Nobody was going to beat Phranchyse, an absolutely dominant force within the Texas battle-rap network and, incidentally, the guy who won the Texas leg of the event last year.

3) However, if anybody was going to beat him, it'd be Hoodstar, a quirky, fearless freestyler with stellar stage presence and an affinity for blowjob jokes.

See how that plays out. At any rate, Hoodstar vs. Playdough.

11:13: Eh, at the moment, neither of these guys look like they can get past G Baby. No big moments. Playdough might've won.

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Shea Serrano