LIVE: Red Bull EmSee, Fillmore Silver Spring

The Red Bull Music Academy is a International music event, where artists of all genres have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the music business from top industry professionals. The RBMA also hosts local workshops and events such as the EmSee battle that went down last week in Silver Spring, Maryland. This was hip hop at it’s roots, with good ol’ battle style rapping. Local MC, D’Meitz (born Derrick Meitzer) left Fillmore with the title. But before we get to that, here’s a quick recap on how the battle actually went down.

In the first round, which required the MC’s to base what they spit on visual imagery, each rapper was shown a unique set of five images. The imagery was randomly arranged and Adversary took on Ice the Villain for the first battle. Ice the Villain pretty much got boo’ed from the start. Adversary on the other hand, murdered it, mostly due to (you guessed it) solid punchlines which advanced Adversary to the next round. The next match-up saw Awthentic take on Flex Matthews for the win. In an attempt at showmanship, Flex came out in a wheelchair as if disabled, before vigorously jumping to his feet. The antics prompting host/moderator Bun B to say “You better rap your ASS off! ‘ which unfortunately, he failed to do.  Neither one of these lyricists were particularly impressive. Awthentik started off really shaky but did manage to bring it home in the end. The judges lackluster response kind of confirmed that they were choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Next, Trigga Tay came out and lost to D’Meitz simply because Mr. Meitzer’s punchlines were better. To boot, Tay got boo’ed almost immediately which made his loss secure once D’Meitz started. I will not quote it, because I will get it wrong, but D’Meitz spit a line likening Trigga Tay’s symbolic murder (by lyrics) to Gaddafi. To soon? Maybe, but  effective nevertheless. What was interesting to me about D’Meitz is that when he spit that line and the audience went wild, he stopped rapping. But once they quieted down, he resumed and hurriedly finished what he started. I got a chance to speak to D’Meitz to ask him if he choked from adrenaline. His answer: “No, I just was trying to give the crowd a chance to calm down so they could hear what i was gonna say next”. Cocky, considering each rapper only had 60 seconds to make the best of. But considering the “W”, I guess he knew exactly what he was doing. The last match up of the first round saw Pro’Verb fall to Grande Marshall. This was a shock to me. I happen to like Pro’Verb and I know that he has become known in his hometown area of the DMV as a battle rapper. Neither rapper was particularly spectacular to me in this match-up. Ultimately though, Grande Marshall walked away victorious.

Round two saw the rules of engagement change just a bit, as Bun B announced that this rounds lyrical crafting would be based upon words. In the first round, they had to use images for inspiration. Now certain words (which each contestant was given in groups of five) had to be inserted into their flows. The first of two semi-final match-ups was between Awthentik and Adversary. Adversary stayed true to his first round form and murdered the competition. Awthentik who came off very nicely in the first round actually got boo’ed during this round and did not pass to the final round. In the second semi-final match-up, D’Meitz took on Grand Marshall. D’Meitz got off to a really slow start this round, but picked up the punchlines by the end of the round to advance to the final round face off against Adversary.

The final match up, which was only supposed to be two rounds turned into three rounds after ‘One more round’ chants from the audience prompted Bun B, to usher the finalists into one more a capella round. Despite the clever Tom Green and Doogie Howser, M.D. punchlines from Adversary, D’Meitz took the stabs at his preppy frat boy swag in stride and ended up taking it all and getting a unanimous nod from all 3 celebrity judges, Devin the Dude, Joe Budden and Big K.R.I.T..

D’Meitz, born Derick Meitzer has been battle rapping since H.S. For anyone who may’ve tried to play the bowtie wearing bandit close, he showed and proved during the RedBull EmSee battle at the Fillmore in Silver Spring that there is a good reason why the khaki and cardigan wearing white boy is fearless when it comes to stepping into a cipha. The rapper, who is also a Marine, entered a DMV battle for the first time after being stationed in the area last July. It’s been all uphill for the emcee from there. Congrats to you, D’Meitz. Something tells me, there’s a lot more where that came from.