Last night at the beat battle competition in Aurora, things got off to a pretty lively start. The place was crawling with DJs, hip-hop heads and, of course, the producers who were to enter the battle. It was all beats and rhymes, until somebody got chased out of the bar and the cops shut the joint down. There was no clear winner.
The Spillway Grill is not necessarily equipped for this type of show, but the effort was made by all to have a good time, and the place was definitely packed. At first, things started out much like any other producer battle.
There was a performance by an incredibly oblivious rap group whose name I can't recall. They wore sunglasses and mostly mugged for the camera held by a young lady affiliated with the crew, largely ignoring the crowd, who returned the favor. The shaky sound system did nothing to help the off-kilter rapping on stage.
Once the battle got under way, many of the newer and less expert folks weeded themselves out pretty quickly. The winner was based on crowd applause, so one guy impeded his chances of winning by dancing in a manner found to be offensive to some in the crowd, as evidenced by the boos and one part-goer actually turning his back to the stage.
The real competition began with a good-natured dual between DJ Ktone, who was representing for Tone Skarfo, and Davey Boy. I watched them play a game of "rock, paper, scissors" to determine who went first, and it was Davey Boy's beat that opened the round. Ktone got a lot of audience approval with his beat and signature "moolah shuffle" dance, but it was Davey Boy who moved on.
The later rounds went pretty much the same way until a young cat who went by "KD" offered up scattered cadences and rapid-fire production that eliminated Graffiti Black, and things started to get testy. The crowd was yelling for an increase in volume, and there was a noticeable difference in the strength of Graffiti's beat versus KD's. The judges allowed a do-over, but the results were the same, and people were not happy.
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Mr. Midas, who was hosting the show, did what he could to maintain order as the night went on, but by the time TC Crook took the stage, you could feel the tension in the air. Crook and his opponent, Kajmir Royal, proved each other formidable opponents with their bass-driven staccato beats, but TC Crook ultimately prevailed.
From here, the details get a little sketchy. There may or may not have been another round left to go, which would have determined the winner, when someone got in the face of someone else, and all of a sudden, there were chairs being thrown and a young man was making a quarterback's path through the crowd, darting for the exit. The cops came in and shut the place down, and we called it a night.