This Saturday night is Black Ice Cartel's "The Format." Two of the most anticipated matches on the card feature Real Deal taking on DNA and B Magic going one-on-one with Danja Zone. As excited as we are for the card, we at BattleRap.com will find any excuse to revisit B Magic and Real Deal’s 2012 battle, so here it is.
While it’s only been just over three years since this battle happened, there’s something to be said for how fast the world of battle rap moves and how quickly styles and performances can become dated. Trends come and go, the shocking becomes less shocking, and fresh styles become jacked and played out in the time it takes me to start and finish writing this sentence. Even with hip hop thriving off of being a youth culture, battle rap is a particularly quickly advancing artform.
That’s why when you have a battle like B Magic vs. Real Deal which, was not only heralded as an instant classic, but manages to hold up bar-for-bar years later and remain as fresh as if it happened today, it’s confirmation that it’s one of the absolute all-time greats.
Styles clashes can go any number of ways in rap battles, but having a white teacher against a guy from St. Louis, Missouri named June would be substantial material enough to make three rounds of truly inspired glory. What we received were two emcees at the absolute top of their game entering history.
In a post-Google society, anyone who has a phone and at least an hour before a battle can look online to dig up some dirt on their opponent. This wasn’t one of those situations. Deal and Magic were so familiar with each others’ styles on not just a superficial “I’ve looked you up” or “I’ve seen you perform” level, but really grasped the fundamentals of what the other would bring, allowing for the rare complete deconstruction that the pre-written, pre-announced opponent format should be giving us on a much more regular basis.
With the only slight misstep coming from “time” being called at the conclusion of Deal’s round cutting off his final punchline (imagine how the crowd would react at the “tell them I’m light-skinned” line), both emcees truly put on a clinic here. The self-awareness both display, not to mention their disposition reminding us that first-and-foremost this battle stuff is pretty fun, shows why both Deal and Magic are long-tenured names we’ll continue to watch for a long time.
Every Thursday, BattleRap.com posts a classic battle that you should know about, or at least be reminded of occasionally. See them all here.