Concert Reviews

Over the weekend: Put Yo Money Where Ya Mouth Is Finals

Put Yo' Money Where Ya' Mouth Is battle Finals Saturday, February 20, 2010 The Walnut Room

A.V.I.U.S. from 3 the Hardway and some other cats getting their cipher on on the back patio before the finals.

They came, they rapped and somebody won -- that's pretty much the gist of Saturday night's uneventful freestyle battle finals. It wasn't pretty; we had to sit through several rounds of buy-in MC's, many of whom performed on Wednesday to less than desired response. There was a good natured volley between contestants Midas and Turner Jackson that was entertaining in value, if not purpose.

In terms of content, however, there was a great deal of recycling, from all who participated. Many lead ups to punch-lines fell flat; insults turned into lifeless rants and several contestants appeared flustered. Host Dent picked up the slack where the MC's left off, rousing the crowd with a DJ Red Alert enthusiasm.

There was little progression in rhymes structure from Wednesday to Saturday, prompting guest judge Supernatural to intercede during a bout between Flawless and Offly Nice. He reiterated his criteria of delivery, flow, and lyrical diversity. There was a common theme throughout, and it was becoming apparent that they were losing steam.

The advice was like blood in the water, Flawless roared through his segment, working through a distorted microphone difficulty. Offly Nice seized the opportunity to overpower, and the battle was on. Even so, Flawless emerged as the winner. As a nod to sportsmanship, the eliminated stuck around and only showed a small margin of mutiny.

Supernatural shows how it's done.

Supernatural led a clinic on the mechanics of freestyle with a segment of interactive improv. The audience passed him everything from shoes to medical marijuana, and he never missed a beat.

Other artists like the Foodchain and SP Double gave support through performance, with the former dropping new material from Corpses, its new album, and the latter spit over Big Pun beats. This reprieve seemed to come at the right time, gearing up for the final leg of the battle.

There was a turning point where a serious intensity took over: Phumes, during his elimination round rapped clear, loud and fast, even after the beat stopped, while Bisket showed heart by finishing his sequence but was eventually bested by Purpose who had a clearer delivery.

The foundation of winning criteria was a bit ambiguous, so it was hard to decide what to be excited about. A round riddled with punch-lines, for instance, may have gone to the guy with a more sound execution, yet mundane lyrics.

The eventual winner, Purpose tranced out in session with Mic Jones, exhibiting all the variables necessary to come out on top. While he fought hard, there wasn't a lot of surprise in the room when he was announced the winner. From Wednesday, Fresh Breath Committee had a heavy presence in the battle and the audience.

Leaving with his crew, the cash and the glory, Purpose said, "Respect to the heads that battled and came out to support. I'm humbled by the win. Fresh Breath up."

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Ru Johnson
Contact: Ru Johnson