Unfortunately there was a problem with the accreditations so we didn’t get our photographer in, so there are no photos in this article.
Saturday the scene was set. MC’s Fight Night was back with a new formula and around 40 hopeful freestyle rappers auditioning for the 16 spots in the evening’s qualification round. All but three had registered in advance. Of those three, Jokke P and Fresco managed to impress the judges enough to go on through to the evenings round of last.
The auditions set the tone for the whole event quite clear. The lower tier rappers were on a high level this year, while there still is some room for improvement for the top tier rappers compared to the earlier years, when MC’s Fight Night was on top. A great majority of the rappers are not used to rapping and playing on stage and therefor routine itself was going to play a large role in the event.
As Andreas “Roar” Damsted, who has earlier participated and is now the betting expert on MC’s Fight Night for Betsafe said:
“This year Fight Night has cut away one of the qualification rounds (red. Meaning only 16 instead of 32 potential rappers) and therefor the average level of the rappers were at a historic all-time high. I knew of 15 out of the 16 rappers and all of them had a certain amount of experience and could deliver. This means fewer chokes, closer battles and (unfortunately) no slaughters.”
We went into the qualification round felling secure that no one would stand out – neither positively nor negatively. Instead of boring you with each and every battle I will choose some highlights, elaborate on the things that worked, those who didn’t and the event overall.
To those of you that don’t know the rules it is pretty simple. There are three judges and three rounds. The first round is subject only, where you cannot battle or mention the other rapper. The second round is a subject round where you battle your opponent. The third round is a four bar round without a subject, where each rapper freestyle four bars at a time.
The round of last went by without much controversy. The battles were quite close, but the favorites won every battle. The only really interesting scenario was Jarl Smart being dissed – quite successfully I might add – by Spasmager for being on home court in Aarhus and have no support from the audience, who clearly preferred Spasmager to the local boy.
The first quarterfinal however proved to be one of the best battles of the evening with the – for most people – unknown Klaskefar losing to Elbanovich in a very close battle. In the end Elbanovich won in large part due to his experience and secure delivery, where you could sense both nervousness and a lack of voice control in Klaskefar. Elbanovich was the favorite going in and came out the victor.
Janus Forssling whose aggressive delivery seems very out of place and more like an assumed expression in a cappella battles seemed a bit more natural when there is a beat underneath. Fresco however did away with him much easier than the 2-1 result from the judges would suggest.
Callas and Captain Doom was a pretty interesting battle with Captain Doom being a complete gimmick without much freestyling skills but a tight flow however being beaten by Callas without much opposition.
Elbanovich and Callas went through Fresco and Spasmager, who both put up a good fight and went head to head in an interesting final, where Elbanovich came out on top. He was more experienced, better on the subjects and hit harder in the four bar round. A deserving winner, since Elbanovich had been the best rapper throughout the whole event, not just in the final round. Callas did well and Klaskefar and Janus Forssling proved themselves as freestylers while Spasmager and Fresco kept their usual level.
I must admit to having been very skeptical about the new rule (see first round earlier) but I’ll have to eat my words. It works pretty well. It would have been better if it hadn’t been necessary and the rappers would have kept the level they are now being forced into. The rule is a result of the lack of creativity and freestyling skills. It does do what it is supposed to do however and also evens out the playing field for some of the rappers. As Andreas “Roar” Damsted said: “The new rule works as a sort of brake for one rapper slaughtering the other in the first round.”
The only problem with MC’s Fight Night from my point of view, apart from the lack of a top-tier level, was some of the beats DJ Noize played. It wasn’t as bad as when he once put on a heavy rotation of R&B beats a couple of years ago, but there were some extremely poor beat choices along the way. It is true that it is not that much of a battle anymore, at least in the first round, but the beats have to be something that the rappers can rap clearly over and it says a lot that every rapper I talked to said that the beats were much better at the audition when Mik V was putting on the beats. And much better may be an understatement. At least for the last 20 rappers at the audition.
Other than that it was a more successful evening than I had imagined. The top-level is still not high enough and you can tell that a lot of the rappers don’t record tracks or play live. They only freestyle.
There was also the Danish DMC taking place. It was, however, what I would call an embarrassment and they had put the tablecloths so you couldn’t even see the record players. Not that they were doing much with them, except for the deserved winner Credit doing a nice triple-flare.
I’ll leave you with some last words from Betsafe’s own MC’s Fight Night expert Andreas “Roar” Damsted: “All being said, the favorites delivered what was expected from them. No one shined, but all did what they had to do to move on the Finals.”