So Who Won?
Published on February 26th, 2013 | by Frankie and Masoud
So Who Won ? If you got no patience, just scroll straight down.
For our part as judges, we have to say that the overall performance of this battle was average to pretty decent.
Firstly, it was easier to find ammunition to use against Big D online. So he was at a disadvantage to start off with. But he did have the track ‘Amen’ by DSouzaKC (check the website) and KC‘s picture, which he only chose to use as ammo in round 2. KC did his research though and used it.
Big D’s command of rhyme is good. We don’t like lazy repeating root word (named it, name is, nameless) or imagery (he used the King image twice). That’s good space that could have been used for something else. Much more impressive are examples like threats given, death vision, see the corpse, mean of course, meteors, see my claws. When compared to KC, Big D’s actual rhyming ability was superior – he has more rhymes going on even within one line. Comments left calling Big D’s first verse completely without skill obviously did not dig deep enough or recognize the rhyme structures. Big D is also definitely the more aggressive of the two. However a battle is not ALL aggression, wit is equally important.
We found a fatal flaw in Big D‘s spit. Some of it just doesn’t make sense. Now we know in the early days, this was probably legit (hello Chuck D) but things have changed. For instance telling KC to ‘save us’ doesn’t make sense and if it does, it gives power to KC. This is probably a limitation of the written rap battle, but when dealing with this format, extra considerations have to be taken.
Is Big D saying ‘meet my gunsmoke (comma) you sadist?’ or calling himself the sadist. If the latter, then fine that’s giving HIM the power but … what the heck is a gunsmoke sadist – someone who asphyxiates people to death? And if he’s calling KC the sadist that puts power in KC’s court again – a sadist is someone who is cruel for no damn reason. You getting it? Sometimes you set up power for the other guy only to pull it all out last minute – but this isn’t what’s happening here.
Using the word vet. We are surprised no one picked up on this. ‘A vet huh – so you jack off jack rabbits? Didn’t your mamma ever tell you playing with your p***y was a bad habit?’ That’s just one I came up with on the fly. See a vet – takes care of *wittle bitty animals* and nurses them back to health – a veteran is an experienced killer who would kick a puppy while it’s down. Yes of course vet is also short for veteran but the use of this word left a big hole in Big D’s armour – which could have been used against him. If he said war vet – or used some sort of qualifier – that would have helped.
‘I could type blindfolded so I couldn’t even see the board’ – we know what Big D meant to say but ‘COULDN’T see the board’ sounds blind and ‘wouldn’t NEED to see the board’ is more accurate.
We’ve pointed out the flaws, now the flows – Big D’s spit is tight, easy to read to the beat and very user friendly. We thought (although comments have disagreed) that there was a good balance between puffing up his own chest, and dissing KC – at least for the opening! Big D is careful about the crafting and artistry of his lyrics but what would help him out is paying special attention to the grammar and meaning of what he’s saying – ESPECIALLY in a written rap battle. That’s the format folks – no one said it was going to be easy.
KC’s first retort was overwhelmingly the winner of round 1. Some sharp and witty disses aimed squarely at Big D – some real reseached personals. Good wordplay – putting down Big D’s name in two ways (talking about how it’s actually KC that’s Big and Big D is just a D-isaster). Local references were great – making the battle represent Kuwait gets a crowd going and their minds working. We thought the repetition of flow three times was lazy but the imagery was good. KC’s rhyming was weaker than Big D’s but
‘Man you dead, i’m done, call in the NYPD
getting head, from your mom, while you at KNPC’
Now that shit was tight! His closing was also stronger.
While KC’s rhymes didn’t flow as easily over the beat as Big D’s did, it was much easier to understand and the attacks more acid and easier to follow. What’s clear at this point is BOTH rappers approached the battle differently and played to their strengths. Surprisingly, they were both weak in each other’s specialities.
When Round 2 comes along, things get a bit strange…
Big D is obviously on the attack but starts out as defensive in lines 1 and 2. This was pointed out in the comments section – how much of Big D’s reply is actually an attack on KC? Not the first, second, seventh or eight lines, and in the other lines – it’s not always clear what’s happening.
‘Dick-sized boner’, -well what size should it be?
‘Friday market? I ain’t poor enough to ride through.’
KC never said Big D goes to Friday market. We like the ITunes line though. We also liked American History X and the flow imagery (some of the commenters were less than impressed and spouting technicalities about how arteries don’t make blood flow… let’s just say if we were to REALLY get into technicalities, some of these wise guys might come across brick-dumb.)
Lines 13 and 14 again seem defensive. We thought Big D’s finish was much better this time around. Again his crafting of double rhymes is quite strong ‘whack bars, back yard, ride through, ITunes, target me, artery, dead beat, a-rrest me, copy that, body bag’ etc. This is just skimming but it’s something that KC hasn’t seemed able to match.
KC’s finish was a lot weaker than we thought it would be considering his first verse. The architecture line – we saw what he was trying to do but it was a weak attack. Lines 3 and 4 seemed a lot like filler to us – and hey a bit of filler is fine and he’s obviously gearing for crowd support – but when you’re writing this out, every word has got to count right?
But you a fake goon, you looney tunes, don’t even front son,
Posing with a gun, when you ain’t even pop one!
We thought this was decent – especially if you’ve seen the picture he’s referring to. Again well researched.
‘all you talk is money, is that what really brings you joy?
I’m ’bout that less money more joy, like a happy meal toy.’
Although we know KC’s ethic when it comes to money and applaud it, this line has got him sounding like Will Smith or worse – a hippy. Can we all just get along and love each other?!
‘I run my town, all you’re doing is walking
and I spit bars of steel, all you’re doing is talking.
I’m forever shining like I’m something in the sky
I’m forever killing your buzz, Big Bee, *squat* DIE!’
The last line is a killer. What does “squat” have to do with killing a bee? See, posers wouldn’t understand real urban language. Google it fool. But the other lines are dead weak. It’s floatin in the air disembodied with no context. We got the Mafia Don imagery, followed by jail imagery followed by sun imagery – none of them linked together except maybe weakly. Perhaps it’s one of those rapid fire attacks but it’s not doing the job.
As individual disses, the closing of this spit was decent but not very strong.
Now we don’t intend to break down every battle this way for you folks cus we got day jobs y’know? This is just to let you know HOW we take certain comments into account, and our own level of scrutiny. We could go into MUCH more detail but then this becomes a technical manual and not a commentary.
SO WHO WON? If we were to score the verses out of 5, it goes like this 3,4,3,3. Which means that DSOuzaKC wins but ONLY on the merit of his first retort.
If Big D had paid a tiny bit more attention to meaning, grammar and not wording things as defensive, he would have won easy. As it stands, his crafting is superb and his aggression spot on. DSouzaKC – while great on the ‘ouch’ moments and being very clever in his disses – needs to pay more attention to making his rhymes just a bit more sophisticated. Craft em, don’t just write em!
Of course nobody NEEDS to change a damn thing – we know that rappers are all about their individual styles – but we’re just telling you how things go down in the real world. Get better or get old and die!
A great first rap battle! Look out for the NEXT one – BIG D VERSUS JAYJAY, on the 28th! Till then, stay safe Kuwait!
So what do you think about the final verdict? Comment below…