In an era of battle rap where it feels like things are getting more and more interchangeable and creativity is lacking, it's always refreshing to see a league really trying to do something new. RBE is doing that for their "Lift His Soul 3" event on February 4 in New York, where every battle that's going down has an established theme to it. From disrespect, to bullying, to even just a simple style clash, every single battle on the card represents a different kind of battle. It's not just some gimmick card either, which is selling itself on the concept, some of the biggest names in battle rap will be appearing such as Arsonal, Math Hoffa and Aye Verb.
Trailer and full lineup are below:
- Arsonal vs. QB Black Diamond
- Showoff vs. Math Hoffa
- Aye Verb vs. Jimz
- Big Kannon vs. Craig Lamar
- Heavy Half vs. Floss Da Boss
- 1SK Battle
The main event has the theme of matching up two disrespectful emcees against each other as Arsonal takes on QB Black Diamond. Ars is known by battle fans worldwide as someone whose bars often stretch the limits of good taste, and just as often fly miles past said limits. QB is much the same, a fierce emcee who has no problem talking about children and deceased family members. Neither are strictly shock value rappers though, Ars has one of the smoothest deliveries in battle rap, often owning any stage he steps foot on. For QB it's all aggression all the time, simply overpowering many of her opponents.
Someone was so excited about the match-up they made a cake.
An interesting wrinkle to this battle is that it's a male vs. female battle. This may not only make the aggression, but possibly some of the disrespect come off differently than if they were battling someone of the same gender.
In the "Bully Battle," Showoff, who has risen through the ranks on RBE, faces off with one of battle rap's original bullies, Math Hoffa. In 2017, people generally treat Hoffa as someone whose best days are behind him. An undeniable legend, but someone who's not really a force in battle rap at the moment. Battle history has shown us time and time again though, that top level talent shouldn't be written off so quickly. On the other hand, Showoff has been getting a good deal of positive publicity over the past year, so there is a lot of pressure on him to prove himself yet again against a very dangerous opponent.
We caught up with Jimz to break down the Aye Verb battle. The two have been promoting the rivalry expertly online, and the judged nature of it only raises the stakes.
There will also be a 1SK battle (one-rounders designed to showcase new talent). Check out ARP breaking down the concept in greater depth:
The final two battles on the card have two of the more solid, underrated writers in battle rap facing off — Big Kannon battles Craig Lamar in a match-up sure to excite all the fans of heavy bars and strong writing. Floss Da Boss and Heavy Half are two RBE up-and-comers facing off in what's being dubbed a style clash, and both guys are looking to execute their strategy to try to impress on a pretty big card.
Check out the full flyer below and get the on-demand PPV here.