For those that haven’t made it out to one of the Miltown Beat Down prelims, and love hip-hop or just love live shows, tonight’s the night at the Jackalope. It’s intimate, loud and has an underground feel despite the mainstream location. Music of the previous two year’s MTBD champions and some worthy upstart producers stream through the sound system this evening. If the previous weeks battle was a pit fight between producers’ best beats, this week: welcome to the Terrordome. Here are the match-ups.
Sam Winters vs. Saul Garza Beats
Sam Winters brings funk that always sounds good live, reminiscent of N.E.R.D. and New Boyz party music. A true wild card, Sam Winter’s will likely conjure up a crowd-pleasing unexpected element that goes beyond his musical influences. Saul Garza Beats hit-you-in-the-chest tracks tend towards hardcore rap, and provide more than a little something for your trunk. Garza prescribes some nice tributes to Harlem World, Southcoast trap star music and his own artistry. Technically sound, Garza’s music will pose an interesting water vs. earth-style match up for Sam Winters.
Prediction: This battle will be about execution. Not for lack of quality, Sam Winter’s falls to Garza’s technical onslaught. However, Sam Winter’s claims to be this raw in his song “I’m So Clean”. If he is tonight, he will pull off the victory over Saul Garza.
Mark Valdez vs. Jihad Baracus
Man. Yes, that’s a one word sentence and all I can really say to describe this match-up. Mark Valdez has a serious chance to come out of no-where and stun this competition. Mark Valdez summons that ASR-10 style sample-based sound that Bruce Willis-eared hip-hop fanatics have missed for about the past 12-14 years. Jihad Baracus not only has the rawest name concept of the whole Beat Down, but also captures that Bronx-afterdark-in-the-park boom-bap honoring the true masters. Miltown Beat Down champ in 2009, Jihad Baracus also back-brain-kicks his original-style into this flavor, which goes deeper than the rap game; the kind of season you can’t learn from just listening to rap.
Prediction: Speakers will blow, crowds will yell, necks will break… and Kid Cut Up will have to utter a Nature Boy Rick Flair… Woooooo! to both artists’ performances. Ultimately, Mark Valdez achieves a hard fought victory.
James Jaxin vs. BakTrax
Versatile and musical, JamesJaxin provides an interesting fusion of club-hop, street-hop and R&B inspired beats. Representing Madison, JamesJaxin covers the spectrum of today’s Hip-Hop well. BakTrax, making good use of the Street Fighter II light-punch button (pimp slap), produces album ready music with a good formula appropriate for all 200 watt-plus sound systems.
Prediction: BakTrax prevails behind classic hip-hop inspired material like AwYea.
Lex Luther vs Champ
Vying for a repeat, Lex Luther takes on Champ. Lex Luther reigns as last year’s Miltown Beat Down champ and Champ is no stranger to battles. This match-up is basically Scorpion vs Sub Zero at Sega Timeout, whoever gets his moves off wins.
Prediction: The edge goes to Lex Luther as reigning champ.
In the latter rounds Mark Valdez edges to the finals and Lex Luther gets past BakTrax.
The Finals of the Miltown Beat Down take place June 10th at Turner Hall. Put the 4 prelim crowds together with the 8 finalists and you got a real nice hip-hop show. Advance tickets are $5 off the door price of $20, a great value for Milwaukee’s premier hip-hop event.
E[nuff] respect due to the organizers of the MTBD and all the Beat Down combatants. You put your heart, soul and creative energy into your love of music and share it with not just Milwaukee, but the World. You represent the essence of hip-hop by speaking your mind through rhythm and are the front-lines keeping the music alive.
Breaking Beats Down, Miltown Beat Down Rd. 1, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-jC
Who’s Next, Miltown Beat Down Rd. 1 cont., http://wp.me/p1hPwN-lv
Kitchen hot, Miltown Beat Down Rd. 1 cont. cont., http://wp.me/p1hPwN-nO
It’s Halftime, Miltown Beat Down Final Prelim, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-oo
Local Trolley 2011 Honors!, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-13I