Saturday: Local emcees compete in national freestyle battle league

Breakneck the Mage


Most people know about freestyle battles by now. We've all seen 8 Mile and most of us are familiar with the head-to-head nature of hip hop in its essence. What most people don't know is how far the progression of these impossibly entertaining battles has come. Larger competitions like Scribble Jam, Blaze Battles, and Freestyle Olympics have been immensely popular for some time now, and the online videos from various freestyle battles are some of the most searched videos out there.

In 2008, Grind Time Now was formed, and has since went on to become one of the biggest hip hop battle leagues in the world with divisions in Florida, New York, Texas, and various places in the Midwest to name a few. Spy MC runs the Minnesota division for Grind Time North, and explains that the major difference in Grind Time to traditional battles is that the emcees know their opponent ahead of time (so they can prepare, research, and write their material) – and the performances are done acapella. This varies slightly from a traditional "freestyle" battle where rappers are supposed to go off the top of the head. Emcees are then judged by a panel of people and are evaluated on punchlines, delivery, style, crowd interaction, and crowd reaction after three 60-second rounds.

The Minnesota Division includes guys like Shelltoe (Scribble Jam '08), The Vesh (SJ '03), and George Jetson. It also happens to boast local hip hop champions Romes and Analyrical, who are competing along with K-Way (another EC dude) on January 29 at the New Year's Resolution event in Minneapolis.

Check out these videos below to see local men Analyrical and Romes competing ...

A big thank you goes out to Spy MC (Bottom Feeders Crew MN) for his time and the information!