Don’t Flop continues to represent the Northern region to the fullest with the eighth installment of the To The Test series, coupled with the semi-final of the Times Change competition in Manchester. Additionally, they’ve laid on an unprecedented retail space at the event for independent traders to promote their brand and wares and to attract new customers. As ever, props to all the Don’t Flop staff responsible for putting on these events which continue to garner new fans as well impress those loyal to the cause of UK battle rap. As my own small contribution to the event, here are my predictions for the day’s battles:
*TIMES CHANGE NORTHERN SEMI- FINAL*
Chris Leese vs Suus
With his Battlescars accolade and a wealth of battle rap experience behind him, it would seem, on paper at least, that Chris Leese really ought to take the W on this occasion. That said, Geordie wunderkind Suus is a force to be reckoned with and comes with consistently clever bars that display a maturity well beyond his tender years. For this prediction, I’m going against the grain by rooting for the underdog – after all isn’t this competition all about proving your mettle? Suus.
Unanymous vs Joker Starr
Joker Starr’s performance back in May at Don’t Flop’s North vs South event in Nottingham really showed a beastly side to his battle rap persona and subsequently he went up in many people’s estimations. This will be a clash of styles, with Unanymous boasting a forceful, in-your-face approach versus Joker Starr’s kookier, off kilter swagger. Personally however, I just feel Unanymous’ killer instinct will prevail in this particular clash. Unanymous.
Soul vs Matter
Verbal Contact’s Matter is one of Don’t Flop’s cleverest emcees, mixing intricate references, comedy and worplay into one of the most compelling packages. Soul thrusts a lot of information at the audience and rivals Stowaway as Don’t Flop’s thinking-man’s emcee. This in my opinion, could be one of the most contested and intense battles of the day, provided of course, that Soul really brings his A-game because I really felt he lacked venom in his recent two-on-two with Unanymous in Brighton. On that basis, and for the fact he has more stylistic variety in his verses, I’m opting for the West Yorkshireman. Matter.
Elz vs Pedro
With boundless enthusiasm and limitless energy levels, Pedro will provide a marked stylistic polarity with Elz, who favours a more blithe and laid-back funnyman approach. Though I’m certain both emcees will bring their A-game, this one will, I think, ultimately come down to preference. Not taking anything away from Elz because he’s truly hilarious, but in my opinion Pedro’s relentless delivery and lyricism are genuinely deserving of more merit. Pedro.
Jefferson Price vs Token
Although he lacked overall consistency, Token showed real promise in his battle with Tony D and will look to bolster his reputation by providing a stellar challenge to Brown Bag AllStar, Jefferson Price. This one could be very close indeed, but, for the sake of this prediction, I’m playing it safe by opting for the more confident DF newcomer from Scarborough. Digga.
Evileyz vs Micky Worthless
N.S.R’s Evileyz is, in my opinion, one of Don’t Flop’s best comedians — and so indeed is Micky Worthless. Both emcees are sure to elicit a frenzy of laughter from the Manchester crowd, but simply based on his number of recent appearances, I’m going to Micky Worthless is better poised to take the W. Micky.
Bowski vs Ben Karlow
Larger-than-life Bowski favours a surprisingly effective and unelaborate comedic style which has thus far entertained us Don’t Flop fans to the hilt. Fellow Lancastrian Ben Karlow arguably displays better technical variety and structure in his verses, but I’m almost certain that the endless charisma of the big man will fill in any gaps in his style and cede the spotlight. Bowski.
DPF vs J1
Despite the fact he lost, Norwich veteran rhymer DPF had an excellent battle with Don’t Flop’s emerging star, Lunar C, so it’s great to see him battling again. Sheffield emcee J1 delivers an hilarious array of rapid-fire one-liners but for me at least, he lacks the technical edge that DPF displays. Given this is an emcee battle, and not just merely comedy stand-off, I’m going for the old-schooler. DPF.
Appeal vs Fame
Perhaps not the most earth-shattering contest of the day, I’d imagine both emcees will feel they will have a point to prove and hopefully they’ll provide a gritty and dogged contest in which to engross the audience. Fame out of Manchester has been steadily improving, while Appeal is reasserting his status in Don’t Flop after a relatively long hiatus. I’m unsure which way this will go, so based on home-field advantage, I’m tentatively settling on Fame.
+ LIVE GRAFFITI:
Walter Ego & Synapz “Oh Aye Crew”
(All Graffers welcome, just bring your own paints)
Konny Kon (Broke ‘n’ £nglish)
Toni Smoke (Shadow People)
Official event sponsors:
ESM Clothing, You Naughty Monsters, Water gwaan.
Time: SATURDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER,1-7PM
Venue: Saki Bar, 2 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M14 5TP.