I’ve had to wait a while for Don’t Flop to roll through my adopted hometown of Nottingham, but lo and behold Eurgh (AKA Don’t Flop founder and coordinator, Rowan Faife) has finally set up a long-awaited second installment of the Don’t Flop North vs South series, due to go down on neutral East Midlands ground. The last North vs South event in Birmingham back in November ’09 had, in my opinion, some of the most memorable battles ever to take place in front of the Don’t Flop cameras (Monster Under The Bed vs Pseudonym being one of my favourites). Besides, I think the success of the series can be attributed to the fierce North/South rivalry, which adds a unique competitive edge and a certain grudge element to the whole competition — which in turn makes for some pretty heated battles.
The Volume II line-up perhaps isn’t quite as illustrious as that of its predecessor’s, but the two main headliners are sure-fire classics in the making: Chronicle vs Nishi is an inspired match-up, pitting two of Don’t Flop’s hardest-hitting street rappers against each other, whereas Pamflit vs Deffinition promises be 100% pure comedic genius from start to finish.
Deffinition vs Pamflit
– I rate both emcees as among the funniest battlers in Don’t Flop, plus the rapid ascent of Pamflit has been mightily impressive; however, I think Deffinition’s experience will prevail overall in this one. Stylistically, both Pamflit and Deffinition have some clever schemes and while both display their own equally entertaining brands of droll self-mockery, I think Deff just has better poise and is overall, a more confident battler. Deffinition
Chronicle vs Nishi
– I’d long thought this would a seriously dope match-up, and low and behold it’s actually going down. I sense there’s a high level of respect shared between these two emcees, but there’ll certainly be no love lost when it actually comes to them battling one other. Nishi has outstanding presence and delivery, and we all know Chronicle is a certified beast. It’s a hard one to call, but I have a feeling Chronicle will edge this based on pure ruthlessness. Chronicle (just).
Disciple vs Joker Starr
– Though he most recently lost a battle to an in-form Verb T at To The Test Part 4, Don’t Flop mainstay and N.S.R. head honcho Disciple is an extremely accomplished battler with a hard-hitting, relentless style. Joker Starr is a great musician, and to be fair he has proven he can more than hold his own battling and produces some real lyrical haymakers from time to time; however, I don’t think he’ll be able to out rap the more experienced Disciple. Disciple
Briggzy vs Unanymous
– Unanymous’ performance against Innuendo last year will always stand out for me as one of the most ruthless on Don’t Flop, and taking that as well as his many other dope performances into account, I can’t see him losing, even to the talented writer and freestyler Briggzy. Unanymous
Elz vs YTV
– First Son Records frontman YTV had an excellent debut at the tryouts so I’m glad he’s throwing himself back into the arena for another bout. Though Elz has been derided in the past for lacking poise and charisma, he has been improving steadily as a battler and never fails to entertain the crowd; however, I think YTV’s wittier schemes will earn him the W easily. YTV
Jefferson Price vs Micky Worthless
– Brown Bag All-Stars affiliate Jefferson Price made his debut a few months back at the Don’t Flop London tryouts against Burnley’s Ben Karlow, in which he had some great personals and displayed real poise and swagger. While Micky Worthless is more experienced, in addition to being a genuinely funny guy, I think Digga’s intelligent lyricism will prove superior to Micky’s comedy. Jefferson Price
Bowski vs IM
– I predict this to be a funny one. Both Bowski and IM are great comedians and clever lyricists, but based on what I’ve seen of them, I think IM’s emceeing skills are better honed. IM
Evila vs Ketz
– Ketz showed definite potential in his tryout battle against Pherapy, but unfortunately he wasn’t quite able to hold it together and had a few slip-ups. In my opinion, Evila has great bars (which are too often slept-on) and some especially clever and intricate wordplay. I’m going to say tentatively that Evila’s style is the one most likely win over the judges. Evila
Ben Karlow vs Pedro
– Although he had some slip-ups in his tryout battle, Ben Karlow should some genuine promise, and likewise, Pedro had some nice bars in his tryout but let himself down with his choppy delivery. This one should be a good contest, but I think Ben Karlow’s mix of wit and hard-hitting punches will ultimately win out. Ben Karlow
In addition to all the battles going down, the Bodega venue is hosting an all-day old-school hip-hop event featuring live graffiti artists, beats and breakers as well as various jams (all the details of which are available here). Nottingham heads have no excuse to miss this. Be there!
Also, check out a Don’t Flop feature article I wrote a couple of months back. It’s hosted by the consistently brilliant review site Rhythm Circus: http://bit.ly/gH6Ee7