When you go first, you’ve got the sting of hanging the primary blows, however should you go second, you possibly can work with what the primary rapper rhymes.
Nothing like a bit of sea moss within the system earlier than the battle kicks off. Sixty-three-year-old Miss Sherry Elie, proprietor and organizer of the CRS (Minimize it, Roll it, Smoke it) San Diego Rap Battle League, buys me a sea moss smoothie at Gas Thy Cells on College Avenue as we await the competitors to start. There’s a purpose why rappers love this shit: should you don’t know, sea moss stimulates thyroid operate, removes extra mucus, kills dangerous micro organism within the intestine, and helps wholesome blood strain. All key well being advantages for opponents making ready to step into the battle lights subsequent door on the Lux Lounge, positioned inside a La Mesa strip mall. Oh, they usually love good weed, too.
6184 College Avenue, San Diego
We stroll over to the Lounge with our sea moss smoothies in hand and Modelos stashed in Whittney Blue’s bag — however her nephew Finny retains shotgunning the bottles they usually go fast. In the meantime, Dee, employed because the videographer for the night time, is getting his cameras dialed in. Miss Sherry sits us contained in the venue on commodious strawberry-colored bench seats near the place the organized oral assault is about to pop off. Fittingly, a UFC combat sparkles on the TVs stationed across the lounge. The hookah at our desk will get fired up concurrently with the primary battle of the night.
The competitors consists of two five-minute rounds, and host Badnewz Brown flips a coin to find out which rapper will kick issues off. The unrestrained crowd surrounds the 2 rappers beneath a trio of shiny spotlights. I see Dee behind the tripods along with his digital camera, catching his angles. The primary rapper begins to spit just a few bars. I ponder whether or not it’s a bonus to go first or second. When you go first, you’ve got the sting of hanging the primary blows, however should you go second, you possibly can work with what the primary rapper rhymes and spin one thing intelligent proper again – like an elbow to the attention socket – which is strictly what occurs throughout the opening battle.
With the ultimate phrase, the second rapper secures the victory, barking “This verse is about to depart you torn like Drake and Wayne/I can’t complain/His bitch let me stick my fingers in her field like Elevating Cane’s!” Growth, the group holds their fists to their gaping mouths and erupts with cries of “Oooooh” and “That’s fireplace!” Miss Sherry hops on the mic and pronounces a ten-minute out of doors smoke break. “You may smoke the hookah in right here, however you gotta smoke the weed exterior!”
Within the parking zone, it seems to be like locomotive smoke is billowing from the our bodies of followers, who’re outfitted in ball caps, TruGrind gear, hoodies, and CRS T-shirts in Rastafarian colours. The rappers and the show-goers all mingle collectively, passing blunts and cracking jokes with one another. There’s no obvious dangerous blood. In Miss Sherry’s phrases, “It’s a neighborhood, a tradition.” Moments later, I see a path being cleared as one among San Diego’s heaviest hitting rappers glides by means of a jam of individuals. “Right here come Don Elway,” Dee says. He rolls as much as us and embraces Dee. They’re already related by means of their respective hustles. Dee describes Elway’s model of hip-hop because the city avenue voice of his metropolis. One thing for the grinders.
After just a few extra bouts and a pair extra smoke breaks, I take a pull from Badnewz Brown’s bottle of Hennessy and scramble in for the principle occasion. Squaring off on the checkered ground will likely be Chef Trez and Shi Canine, followers of whom have been elevated and energized by the out of doors puffing actions and the array of meals being served at a desk within the again. The munchie menu contains nachos, tostadas, Sizzling Cheetos, and even vegan choices like chocolate and peanut butter cookies. (Miss Sherry presents up her 420 edibles as effectively, together with my favourite, Journeys Ahoy cookies.)
We sit again down subsequent to Don Elway and one other killer within the San Diego underground rap scene, Massive June. Whittney Blue is ripping by means of her second order of nachos. Finny acquired too light and walked house. Dee is working the digital camera from throughout the lounge. The heavyweights of the night start taking their swings. Shi Canine begins with some opening jabs, however Chef Trez solutions again with some heavy blows to Canine’s ego and will get him punch drunk. Trez delivers the knockout blow after dropping dynamite bars like “It’s clearly degree Shi/You didn’t catch the indicators/My hours went again after I got here right here/So smoking you was one thing I knew I’d do forward of time!” Growth, roasted.