“We want the young generation”
As we never stop jammin’ to the old school beats, thanking our present old heads for setting a course and making a way, we have to make room for the green. DJ Bizzon repeatedly emphasized, “We want the young generation”. That is what the Milwaukee Public Library Live Rap Battle was all about.
The drive of the old making a way for the new was further emphasized by the setting: the limestone decked out Central Library. Opening October 3rd, 1898 on land dubbed Mozart’s Grove, because the site was the gathering place for summer concerts, the library is reaching back to its roots of musical noise. MPL premiered what (hopefully) will be an annual Live Rap Battle. The event included a raffle for DJ equipment, an interactive DJ station, V100 giveaways, and merch. The crowd was mixed, and we definitely enjoyed watching the babies in attendance working the DJ station.
Now to these artists. These young cats (ages 16 - 21) were all different, putting their spin on the music of the people. In order of appearance:
1. EL' BANG (Elliott B.) - dropped the story
2. BIG MACK (Maquian J., 19) - dropped the vibes
3. BRENTON LEVY - dropped the chill
4. RB VIC (Victor B., 16) - dropped the stuntin’
5. TIMBOLONEON THE GREAT (Timothy V.) - dropped the crowd catchers
6. RICHIE BUZ (Richard N.) - dropped the knowledge
7. JC KROUPA - dropped the swag
8. KING SWYFT (Malik W., 16) - dropped the fast flow
The battle wasn’t your traditional diss battle, but focused on artist performance overall (crowd engagement, and auditory swag). This meant less about bringing down rap rivals, and more about merit. We saw the artists uplifting each other, watch each other, and learn from each other. And the crowd participation was mad positive! Community is about the youth and elders coming together. #SuppotTheLocal
So thank you Milwaukee Public Library for making strides to include.
Thank you judges WebsterX (songwriter/recording artist, co-founder of Freespace, and board member of The New State), DJ Loop (founder/host of Fresh & Direct WMSE 91.7FM, and co-instructor of Scratch Sessions South), and IshDARR (world toured artist) for your guidance.
Thank you host DJ Bizzon (Education Director at 88NINE Radio Milwaukee, and member of Vocalo Radio) for your hype.
Thank you DJ Fly Ty (16-year-old professional DJ, and member of V100.7 Milwaukee Mix Squad) for keeping us going with familiar jams.
And thank you to our people at 88Nine for spreading the noise.
Let us continue to elevate. We are strengthened by our foundations but we rise with our additions.
Nehaya for /CW