Here’s part 2 of my celebratory look back at the 2nd channel and the moments that have entertained me the most throughout 2015.
HK vs Soljitsu
I’m sure this battle could have gone onto the main channel (for humiliation purposes only) but it features HK so it’s spiritual home is the second channel. This battle is incredible for several reasons. Firstly, HK performs like a man who has never heard rap but merely had it described to him.
Secondly, it showcases an ignorance of geography that would make a Texan blush.
“I’m going for Sol’s (Seoul’s) heart like the capital of Japan”
Japan, HK? Japan? Seriously, Japan? On a real? Japan??
Thirdly, HK manages to insult practically everyone in the room he isn’t battling, including Bagnall. Twat.
See, you can’t just turn up, be shit and become a Hero-Incompetent. You have to see where the level of general idiocy plateaus, push that envelope and manifest your destiny.
Lastly, Soljitsu shows that you don’t have to write reams of jokes to clown on someone. Sometimes just turning up and talking is enough.
Ambi vs Craft-D
For my money this is the try-out of the year. 4 rounds packed with tightly rhymed, ingeniously constructed insults, from guys who have gone on to make significant names for themselves in the league. Plus, one’s fat, the other’s ginger. What more could you want? Nahhhfing Sunshine!!
It also includes my favourite opening line to a round from the entire year. The low key classic that is “Listen Fanta Pants”. Ambi, sir, I salute you.
Azazel (now Max Crozier) vs Tripper The Scientist
Joyfully ludicrous, is perhaps the best way of describing this try-out between these two fresh faced battlers.
Sol and Heretic may tell you that it’s essential that a try-out never uses props, as they are tough to control and never impress Eurgh. Well if Azazel had paid heed to this advice, we would have gone without possibly the best reverse parody punchline of the year. “This is Training Days and That’s the Movie.” Which Eurgh not only enjoyed with considerably flamboyance, but also called for a say-it-again, which is potentially the zenith of Try-Out achievement.
Also Tripper was legitimately interesting, with nerves having obliterated his bars from his mind, he freestyled both of his rounds with so much amusing success that several comments were calling for Tripper vs Pedro to be set up. This more than a little premature but certainly an unmitigated compliment.
Ren DMC vs Method Monk
This match is so much more than the plagiarised nature of their names might suggest.
It was here, on this very stage that a hype legend was born. Then what? Ren DMC’s mate made his first appearance here. Then what? Rising to altitudes uncharted by try out hype men, his contribution genuinely improved the battle. Then what? Truly complimenting Ren’s ‘covers band’ approach to battle rap. Then what? Acting as a magnifying mirror for the impact of Ren’s somewhat lightweight approach.
3 battles later and he was no where to be seen, relegated to the bargain bin of battle rap history. Then what? Ren DMC has not been the same since.
For his part Method Monk did his best to be memorable. Spitting some profoundly unpalatable, racist shit, for which he had the vaguest gift (multies, Bruv). But Battle Rap, much like boxing or the greatest moments in WWE, is often all about the hype.
My last selection is actually a composite of 2 successful try-out which took place in the 2nd half of this year, who were pitted against opponents who failed to grasp just how essential punchlines are to a successful round of battle bars.
Bobby Rex (vs) Dank Schrader
If I could craft my own bespoke battle by pitting Bobby Rex against Dank Schrader, I would do. But copyright infringement and lack of suitable editing software prevents me from doing so. So, you have to line both of these battles up in separate tabs in your browser and then click back and forth between them, carefully eliding their opponents from the mis-en-scene. Helpfully the are standing on appropriate sides of the camera for the to appear at least faux realistic.
So there we have it, another year down, another year of heroic failures, the start of stellar careers and all that falls in between. Although it may not be home to the greatest battles and powerful pens in the league, my heart will forever be here, on DF:E; where you can smell the nerves and almost see the dreams.