Battle rap is in and out of Philadelphia like an absentee dad. We obviously need it’s presence more and when it’s here we love it. But, it needs to be around more. Rightfully so, whenever battle rap returns to Philadelphia, a city that birthed so many styles and has historically wielded so much influence, it’s a big deal. This Sunday, the Krack Liberty league is hosting an event called Raise the Steaks at the Mill Creek Tavern. The event will feature some of the biggest names in Philly battle rap’s legacy and it might be the most dense Philly-centric card battle rap has seen. Let’s check out some of the top matches.
Cortez was late to replace Shotgun Suge as a headliner for the card, as Suge backed out three weeks before the event began. E Ness is hard to beat in Philly, but Cortez is as prepared as anyone in battle rap. Cortez should do some kind of dissection of E Ness’s style or background, while, if he knows his audience, Ness will just rap. His cadence is hard to beat, and if he can remember his verses, he should be the favorite. In his last battle in Philly against Rosenberg Raw, Ness had some memory problems, so he might wind up as his own worst enemy. Here he is at top form against Bill Collector, who is featured in our next match.
Cyssero recently returned to the ring against the aforementioned Cortez, in a tough match up on URL. He is very direct in his approach, and should have knocked any rust off by now after a lengthy layoff. It will be an interesting match up against Bill, who is far more unorthodox. It could be one that winds up being a preference of styles, but Bill has been fearless against rappers from his state, or pretty much any region recently. His encyclopedic memory of his own verses should serve him well, but it will be an interesting match up against Cyssero’s aggression. Here’s Cyssero against Corez.
This should be the main event of the night, and rightfully so as Reed is one of–if not THE–preeminent battle name in Philadelphia. It will be pit-bull against pit-bull, as Rosenberg is just as eager to get into an opponent’s face as a young Reed was. The room will be an intimate one, which should add more to the lunchroom brawl feel that the battle is sure to bring. Reed might not have been as comfortable on the stage in his two latest comeback battles, but he surely will feel at home in his own city, and in the pit. If we’re lucky, we’ll see something like this classic.
This is going to be one of the more interesting matches, and is the most diverse, ahem, style-wise. Jaze Juce and Frankie Wapps were a tour de force in the 2 on 2 heyday, but there has been a recent resurgence of the scene and they want a piece of the action. They could find no more suitable opponent to use as a litmus test as to whether they will be able to hang in the new era of 2 on 2 battles. Shine and DNA are the most ubiquitous team in the new era, and we should see a great amount of chemistry each way. Here they are at their best and in a small room. That could be intimidating for Wapps and Juce, but the two are surely up to the challenge.
There’s a bunch of heat on the rest of this card as well. Shine and DNA both have one rounders, against Kaboom and Philly Swain, respectively. Kaboom is a Philly throwback for sure, and Swain made a name all over the country, before abandoning battling to chase more creative and musical pursuits. Swain could be a huge name in battling if he stuck around and Kaboom brings a distinct local flavor. Complex also returns to the battle scene as another underrated veteran capable of taking off some heads. He will battle Tycoon Tax, who will venture down from Toronto to take the battle on foreign soul. Young Robbles takes on Dubb da Feenom and Robyn Banks will go head to head against Vixon the Assassin in the card’s lone female match.
The battles will be filmed by battle rap’s preeminent cameraman, Kyle Gray, which should make their on-camera aesthetic excellent, regardless of the setting. It should be, finally, the attention Philly battle rap deserves.