Having produced a slew of consistently slick, well-organised events, Don’t Flop North really stands out as being the most prolific of all the Don’t Flop regional divisions. Quite deservedly, the division is ending the successful year it’s had on a high with the final installment of its popular To The Test series.
To The Test 9 falls on 5th November and, fittingly for bonfire night, it promises to go over with a bang, with some intriguing and quite unexpected match-ups going down.
To acknowledge all the hard work that Chronicle, Eurgh and Cruger have each put in to provide us all with this superb free hip-hop entertainment, here is my own small contribution to the league in the form of battle predictions. So, here goes nothing…
JACK FLASH vs DEPTHS
With his charismatic stage presence and sharp-witted delivery, I’ve always reckoned Jack Flash to be a potentially great battle emcee — and lo and behold he’s finally decided to step up to the plate to battle Glaswegian emcee Depths. A really interesting mix of styles will be at play here, with Depths known for his aloof, nonchalant swagger but intricate and clever wordplay, while Jack Flash will presumably favour a more direct, personal approach. Despite having no prior experience in the Don’t Flop arena, I’m taking an unlikely punt on the West Yorkshireman, simply based on his better-suited and more battle-orientated emceeing attributes. Jack Flash.
SHOTTY HORROH vs DISCIPLE
This one certainly promises to be THE battle of the day. Featuring two up-and-coming battlers and undisputed heavyweights of the Northern hip-hop scene, it will see these two emcees collide in a veritable frenzy of punchline lyricism. Even if you aren’t overly enamoured of Shotty’s egotism, you can’t deny the guy will probably beat ten shades out of most emcees these days when it comes to sheer rapping ability. While he’s yet to prove himself as a worthy top-tier opponent in the battle arena, he is showing the unbridled ambition to eventually become one. Likewise Disciple, who is an established Don’t Flop competitor, is surely now gunning for a top spot in the league and will want to seize on this superb opportunity to beat someone of Horroh’s stature. The outcome of this battle will be largely dependent on who wants the victory more, and I have a definite hunch the NSR founder will prove the hungrier of the two emcees. Disciple.
MATTER vs GASP
Matter has really put his city on the map of late, especially by helping in the organisation of a long overdue Don’t Flop event in Leeds, which brought with it a whole host of new emcees and upcoming battling talent. His performances have also been consistently brilliant since he made his Don’t Flop debut at the tryouts earlier in the year, right the way through to his last performance at the aforementioned Leeds event against Pamflit – a performance which was easily the high point of his battling career so far. It will be interesting to see how Being MC and Glaswegian rhymer Gasp will fare as a solo emcee against a formidable top-tier competitor like Matter, and I think this could definitely be an intense and hotly contested encounter. That said, I’ll err on the side of caution, and play it safe on the prediction. Matter.
FRISKO vs PAMFLIT
Arguably the more charismatic half of his drum and bass/ battle rap comedy duo with Eddie P, Manchester-based Frisko should be an interesting prospect as a solo battler. A comedy match-up with the in-form Pamflit is very befitting and will provide some light relief in an otherwise intense set of fixtures, with both emcees sure to elicit plentiful and frenzied laughter. Based on his experience in the league, as well as his better-honed technical skill, I’m opting for the burly man girl that is Pamflit.
BRIGGZY vs PSEUDONYM
In my opinion, Prison Planet representative Pseudonym is woefully underrated in Don’t Flop — his gritty, hard-nosed approach to battling combined with his knack for degrading opponents by accentuating their inadequacies is truly refreshing, especially in a scene where many battlers are so wrapped up in their own egos that they’ve lost the true proving-ground mentality of an emcee battle. In Briggzy, Pseudonym has a credible and skillful opponent who will no doubt challenge him to the hilt; however, so long as he doesn’t have any slip ups like he did in his last battle with Amos, I see no reason why the Darwen emcee can’t prevail. Pseudonym.
EVILA Vs TOKEN
This one should be a very evenly matched affair — and with both emcees looking to improve their respective statuses in the league, it also promises to be hotly contested. This battle’s outcome will ultimately be decided on who really brings their A-game, but if I’d have to pick a winner, I’d settle on the more forceful Warrington rhymer. Evila.
DILLIGENT FINGERS Vs KAYCE ONE
Although we haven’t seen him since To The Test Part 4, Millenium Jazz affiliate and all-round nice bloke Dilligent Fingers is an enduring and firm favourite with the Don’t Flop crowd. With endless charisma, his competitor, Scotland’s Kayce One – who by the way, is a very solid emcee and a competent battler -will still have to go some distance to beat him, especially in his hometown of Manchester. Diligent Fingers.
J TOKER Vs NITY GRITZ
After getting verbally mauled by Loki earlier this year, Edinburgh-based Nity Gritz will really have to step his game up if he’s to stand up to NSR’s J Toker. Unless radical changes are made to his style and approach, I can’t genuinely see him making his Blackpool opponent take an L on this occasion. J Toker.
*2 on 2*
CHRONICLE/ELZ Vs MISTA BEE/TEKNIQUE
Another England v Scotland clash, this time in the form of a 2-on-2 pitting Manchester representatives Chronicle and Elz against Mista Bee and Teknique (a name you’ll probably only have come across if you’ve kept tabs on the Scottish battle scene during the past year). Mista Bee by contrast has actually performed in a couple of Don’t Flop battles in his native Scotland and has, for the most part, held his own despite perhaps lacking potency in his overall delivery. With the home-field advantage being an obvious factor, and in addition to having more experience as battlers, the rather offbeat Mancunian pairing are certainly better poised to outdo their Scottish opposition. Chronicle/Elz.
Konny Kon // Bottomless Crates
* Live performance by CHRIS LEESE (“Everybody Hates Chris” album set)
Hats & kicks: Snapback stall
Date: Saturday 5th November
Time: 1PM – 7PM
Venue: Saki Bar, 2 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M1 5TP
Entry: £5 (All ages)