Review: End Of The Weak UK (@eodub) | Heat 5


The final heat of End of the Weak 2017 emcee chal­lenge went down on the 31st August, as Mas Law and DJ Snuff’s search for a UK cham­pi­on moved closer to its end. The last oppor­tun­ity to com­plete in the UK Final to rep the UK in the World Finals in Prague in Octo­ber up for grabs, the com­pet­i­tion was fierce. With a last minute drop out, we had three dope emcees ready to take that spot…

A Princz

Rep­res­ent­ing the Hen Daddy Whirl crew, the NW LDN emcee is a stu­dent of the art form. After hav­ing been inspired to touch mic by pir­ate radio and raves of the Gar­age scene, A Princz went back and stud­ied his pre­de­cessors and hails Rakim “the fath­er of lyr­i­cism”, Big L, Big Pun, Big­gie, Nas and Jay Z among his influ­ences, he sets his stand­ards high. He’s also inspired by post-apo­ca­lyptic sci-fi and in his own words likes to talk about “how the world is going to shit”.

Aynzli Jones

An inter­na­tion­ally estab­lished artist, Aynzli Jones’ own work and his col­lab­or­a­tions with some of the biggest names in music are far reach­ing, and once you meet him you see why. This broth­er came through with more energy than any­one I’ve ever inter­viewed, rhym­ing his way through the con­ver­sa­tion. He trans­fers that energy onto the stage and through the mic when he per­forms with his Hip Hop/Ragga tech­nique that’s been cul­tiv­ated between King­ston, LA and Lon­don and taken him around the world.


 A sol­id, proven fig­ure of the UK Hip Hop scene and bey­ond, RU1 Fam’s Watusi88 is a true lyr­i­cist that mani­fests his bars into his life­style. A com­munity act­iv­ist and a self-described “seed of Hip Hop”, he truly loves the cul­ture and art form and rep­res­ents the com­bin­a­tion of Reg­gae, Jazz and the Roots of the cul­ture. Watusi88 has per­formed along­side and as part of some legendary musi­cians and col­lect­ives through­out the years and brings all that real­ity to the stage.

The first round kicked off with some dope double time bars over a soul­ful grime beat from Watusi88. In line with his style, but at a faster tempo to what I know him for, the broth­er kicked intel­li­gent, refined rhymes with an effort­less sound­ing flow and a real catchy hook, show­ing the flex­ab­il­ity of the word ‘wag­wan’. A Princz came in over Q‑Tip’s clas­sic ‘Breath and Stop’ with some crazy word­play and flow, deliv­er­ing a subtle mes­sage with­in some dope bars. Aynzli Jones came with some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent, rhym­ing to warn people about men and women who ain’t good for them. His flow rolled off his tongue with swag­ger, wit and soul and got the crowd respond­ing to the energy. The round was close as always.

The a cap­pella round took the level up. A Princz came in hard with a power­ful mes­sage about food and the sys­tem, and how it’s used to keep the poor unhealthy and main­tain its imbal­ance. Again, his word­play was dope and got his mes­sage across power­fully. Watusi88 did what he does! Con­scious punch­lines about change, the uni­verse, Hip Hop art, self-respect and tak­ing con­trol of our future. He makes some incred­ibly deep bars sound so easy to say. Aynzli Jones put down some philo­soph­ic­al, intro­spect­ive bars about the road, know­ledge, hope and hope­less­ness and try­ing to keep on the path. He gave him­self a reload, kick­ing the bar of again for max­im­um impact. After the first 2 rounds, like in most of the heats this sea­son, it was too close to call – the free­style rounds would decide the win­ner.

Aynzli Jones star­ted off the grab bag round. He rolled up with a glass of rum in his hand. Black Santa Kissy K rolled up with his grab bag told him that he needs a spear hand to grab out the bag…so Aynzli star­ted his round rhym­ing about his glass! He kept going and killed it, using a pot, a cheese grater, a hoover and a tam­bour­ine to rhyme about grow­ing ganja and mov­ing up girls! The shit was dope! A Prinz did his thing too, flow­ing about incense, pasta, a hard drive and the high­light — a can of red stripe, that he cracked and backed! Watusi88 got back on the stage and man­aged to even use the grab bag round to drop sense. He pulled out the clas­sic kung fu film The Killer and rhymed it with ‘Man like me not a n..… you know what I was gonna say, but man like don’t like to portay”. He took out a plug (spat about get­ting plugged out the mat­rix) and a sieve. Levels were upheld.

The next round was a change to the nor­mal sched­ule. Instead of the DJ verse emcee, ridicu­lous fin­ger drum­mer and live MPC pro­du­cer Y‑ETizm came through to chal­lenge the emcees to ride over whatever he felt like play­ing. Yeti was not play­ing and fully put the emcees through their paces, speed­ing up and slow­ing down whenev­er he felt like it, chan­ging grooves and styles at will. A Princz came with rap­id flows and almost dic­tated the pace him­self, double time flows and all that. But Watusi killed it. He matched the beats Yeti threw at him with ease, nev­er really brak­ing his flow, at most maybe a split-second pause then back in and kept going a cap­pella for a few seconds. Expertly done. Aynzli Jones got back on the stage and stared down the Yeti say­ing ‘damn, this is a real fight!’, but he was ready. He star­ted say­ing ‘I aint scared no beat’ and proved he wasn’t, he matched the beats, some brief pauses, but he went in, he def­in­itely held it up.

Mov­ing into the last round, the house band reas­sembled and brought some future funk sound­ing beat for the emcees to go in on. The vibe was a bit dif­fer­ent and might have thrown the man off a bit, but it wasn’t always 4 bars. Still, each man brought some­thing dif­fer­ent to the stage and the flows and lyr­ics were dope. A Princz and Aynzli both came singing at times and there was a slight under­tone of a battle brew­ing, but it all stayed pos­it­ive and the con­test was done. It was anoth­er close heat.

While the judges added their scores, we got treat to a stripped back per­form­ance from the phe­nomen­on that is Mrisi. The emcee, sing­er and keys play­er from Brighton graced the stage and most of his per­form­ance with a just his voice and his key­board and through down incred­ibly deep lyr­ics, melod­ies, chords and tones that left every­one in the ven­ue fully locked in. The hon­esty and sin­cer­ity in his music, the blend of influ­ences and the incor­por­a­tion of his envir­on­ment into his words — espe­cially in ‘Walk’, ‘Black Lives Mat­ter’ and ‘Bite My Tongue’ — reminded me of a young Natty but with Hip Hop the dom­in­ant influ­ence instead of reg­gae. Mrisi got the crowd so into his per­form­ance that the drum­mer from the house band jumped up on stage and helped to take one of the keys only tracks into a full per­form­ance, and Mrisi insisted that if that was hap­pen­ing, there had to be a cypher. He pulled a load of emcees and sing­ers from the crowd and onto the stage and took the whole vibe to anoth­er level. It was a prop­erly impress­ive per­form­ance from a young musi­cian with a bright future.

After Mrisi had shut the place down, the judges came back with their decision and again, due largely to con­sist­ency through­out the rounds, the heat 5 win­ner and last entrant into the 2017 EOW UK Final was Watusi88. He will now go on to com­pete for the chance to rep­res­ent the UK in the 2017 World Final in Prague on Octo­ber 28th. To do that he’ll need to over­come the win­ners of the pre­vi­ous heats Men­ace Men­d­oza, Dr Koul, Emerge MC and Huski87 at the Brix­ton Hootananny on Septem­ber 15th. It’s gonna be WILD, so make sure you reach.



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Apex Zero

Apex Zero

An emcee, beat­maker, film­maker and writer from Lon­don with Gren­adian roots, Apex Zero has spent his life learn­ing and liv­ing Hip Hop cul­ture, using it to inspire and affect change. Based in Beijing for a few years and reg­u­larly tour­ing the globe, Apex is well trav­elled, and uses the les­sons this provides to inform his art and out­look. He is a mem­ber of the Glob­al­Fac­tion digit­al pro­duc­tion house and the inter­na­tion­al Hip Hop col­lect­ive End of the Weak.

About Apex Zero

Apex Zero
An emcee, beatmaker, filmmaker and writer from London with Grenadian roots, Apex Zero has spent his life learning and living Hip Hop culture, using it to inspire and affect change. Based in Beijing for a few years and regularly touring the globe, Apex is well travelled, and uses the lessons this provides to inform his art and outlook. He is a member of the GlobalFaction digital production house and the international Hip Hop collective End of the Weak.