End of the Weak England is officially back for the 2019 season of the world renowned EOW MC Challenge, the planet’s most comprehensive and complete rap competition, recently referred to by Hip Hop OG, activist and powerful lyricist Lupe Fiasco as the “best platform to test an emcees skillset”. Born out of the underground, independent and battle scenes of New York in 2000, EOW has spread to 20+ countries on 5 continents, and now in its 19thyear, the world final will be fought out on the stages of Brussels in November. DJ Proceed and the Belgium fam are ready to host the best that each competing community has to offer to find the 2019 EOW World Champion.
The first UK heat took place on August 11th at the new hub of Hip Hop in London cHip sHop Brixton, to celebrate EOW’s new monthly residency.
The night kicked off with Flex FM’s Oliver Sudden running through a dope section of breaks, Soul and Hip Hop classic followed by a set from myself and 2014 world finalist and organiser Mas Law, running through Boom Bap, Electronic, 140, Jungle and DnB vibes from our repertoires, setting the pace and warming the crowd for our judges PA’s – and our judges were FYAH!
We started with a true queen of the London Hip Hop scene, a seasoned emcee, DJ and artist developer, the incredible Isatta Sheriff, and as expected the sister shelled it. Isatta was followed by another vet, the Ragga general K9 who had just finished the listening party for his new album Blak N Forth earlier in the day, and he blessed us with a couple reggae bangers from there. The trinity of judges was completed by the legendary London lyricist Big Manage of Caxton Press, back home in the scene that he’s been so influential within. Everything was set for yet another dope MC Challenge. The competitors represented a real range in styles and experience, with the return of some decorated veterans and some young fresh faces, all ready for our OG DJ Snuff to put them through their paces.
2017 EOW England finalist aka the Ginger General was back with his unique brand of Geezer Rap, looking to go one step further and make the world finals
Manchester based emcee Amos showed a serious level of dedication, travelling down south to rep the north and look to take the title of champ back with him.
Teenage lyricist whose been making waves on the scene for a while, spittin’ with a level of conscious maturity that a lot of people don’t reach even at much older ages.
Son of Samson
One of the best names I’ve heard in a long time, coming with a balance of knowledge and rawness all packed into a complex, rugged flow.
The nights wildcard entrant, a regular at open mics including Real Deal, drops some of the wildest punchlines you’ll hear in London that’ll leave you baffled for a moment, then go mad when you clock it.
The heat started as expected, with very emcee bringing their A‑game for the written round. Each man demonstrated their own style with accomplishment and there was little to pick between any of them; it was in the second round, where you started to see some light. The acapella round saw Emerge MC put down a deeply heartfelt dedication to his father, showing just how important an influence his dad had been throughout his life. Talking in a way a lot of men don’t feel comfortable doing, Emerge laid his emotions out in his bars, saying ‘if you weren’t oldskool and Irish I’d kiss you’ and stating that even though his dad doesn’t say much, he knows he’s loved as a son, and owes who he is to his old man. Amos put down some dope flows with some more braggadocio lines, and Illusive also laid some killer punchlines, including ‘My girls like the worldwide web, yours is just a link’ – MAD! But the other stand-out from round 2 was Malachi. He dropped some deep sense, with a slow, measured flow, educating his people about history and warning other youngers about the traps set for them. Inspiring words from a young G.
In round 3, Black Santa Kissy K brought out his grab bag to test the emcees freestyle game and they all kept the level up, nobody struggling but also no one really standing out. Round 4 made that change. When DJ Snuff stepped up to the decks armed with Boom Bap, House, Grime, Dancehall, Kuduro and more, Emerge, Amos and Malachi took further steps ahead. Emerge looked like he was having the most fun – at one point chanting ‘I’m the beats lover, who’s the beat lover? I’m the beat lover’ while challenging Snuff to make it more difficult. Amos dropped one of the most memorable lines of the night. While flowing over the classic Welcome to Jamrock, after the iconic Ini Kamoze sample ‘Out in the streets, they call it murder, he dropped ‘…and after this, I’m getting a burger’! He had the crowd in stiches and showed why he’d been included in this competition – his freestyle was on point.
Round 5, the cypher round got a bit chaotic. Every emcee should be dropping 4 bars then switching, and let’s just say it didn’t go too smoothly. In everyone’s defence there was a few technical difficulties – mic lead length being one extra obstacle that nobody needs! Even so, the calibre of lyric was still dope, and all the emcees successfully completed the challenge, without doubt coming out the other side as more rounded and confident performers.
While the scores were being added, we returned to one of the original traditions of EOW and had a giant open mic cypher, with contestants, judges, hosts and crowd members all stepping up to shut it down. It showed just how important platforms like EOW and cHip sHop and our unification are for real Hip Hop heads. These are places where you come together as a global Hip Hop family and express yourself to the level you’re at, and be inspired by top quality artists and lyricists.
With the points counted we had a close but clear top 3. With Malachi in 3rdand Amos in 2nd, Emerge MC the Ginger General progressed to his latest EOW England Final, showing that dedication to a craft, enjoying what you do and constantly aiming to improve gives rewards. He’ll go into that final confident, and with time to really work on a strategy for winning.
The 2nd heat will be on Friday 23rdAugust in Bristol at the legendary Star and Gartner, saved from closure this summer by a collective of Bristol based music lovers, marked with a celebration hosting the likes of Damien Marley, Dave Chappelle, Jamz Supernova and Roni Size. We’ll be down there from 7pm till late, bringing the Hip Hop vibes, so all my west country spitters, we’ll see you there. The 3rdheat will be back at cHip sHop on September 8thwith more being worked out around the country. To be involved, get in touch with us @eowengland on Instagram, or turn up on the night to enter the wildcard challenge.
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