Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

And the winner is...Red Bull EmSee Los Angeles 2011 freestyle battle

Over in Echo Park this week Red Bull's 2nd annual EmSee National Tour fired its first round. This freestyle M.C. battle started in L.A. with eight contestants who battled their way to find the winner who will take one step closer to the finals in Atlanta later this year.

The host for the night was Trill O.G. Bun B, UGK (Underground Kingz) whose solo album "Trill O.G."got a 5-Mic "Classic" rating in The Source Magazine (which matches some of my all-time faves: Low End Theory, TCQ; Criminal Minded, BDP; It Takes a Million..., Public Enemy!)

The eight M.C.s in the firing line were Dizaster (LA), A-Dog, Dirtbag Dan (San Jose), The Saurus, Cadalack Ron (LA), Rheteric Ramirez (LA), Scatterbrain (LA) and Madness. They were judged  by veterans in the rap game: Kurupt (Tha Dogg Pound), Chali 2na (Jurassic 5/Ozomatli) and the the unbelievably hot MC Supernatural!

Battle stations! To hear all seven battles go here...And check out my timelapse video of the final battle below. Spoiler alert!

And the winner is...Dirtbag Dan! Stand up! Last year he came second in San Francisco. “You know what? I feel like I did really good last year, so to take the win tonight, it really feels like justice. That’s all I can say.”

"Dirtbag Dan is a San Jose native that grew up battle rapping in the 90’s when no one he knew had studios and thus he didn’t have any opportunities to record. Competing in battles or attending open mic nights was the only way he could get in front of an actual audience. These experiences solidified the competitive element into his style, and he credits this as the man driving force in his music today. He participates in battles all over the world, possibly earning him the title of competing in more countries than any other battle rapper on the planet. This summer, Dirtbag Dan plans to compete in four battles in four different countries and produce a recording from each.

He is also dropping his Dirtbag Dan Self-Help tape next month. Looking ahead to the Red Bull EmSee finals in Atlanta he shares, 'I’m excited to go to the finals. I know I’m gonna know some of the MCs that are in the battle, and respect to the MCs, but I’m gonna roast ‘em.'

Supernatural Freestyle @ Red Bull Emsee Battle LA - 6/9/2011 from on Vimeo.

So what is Red Bull Emsee? It's billed as "an invitation-only battle series designed to find the best freestyle rappers in the country and give them a national platform to show their skills and earn acclaim."

Win what? The LA Champ will "advance to the finals in Atlanta this fall where he’ll vie for the national championship and an opportunity to record with a headlining producer of his choice. West Coast MCs will have one more chance to represent on the mic when the Red Bull Emsee tour hits Seattle on July 28."

Find out more about the next cities on this national tour here at Red Bull.

Here's a great interview with Eminem who talks about his own freestyle battle preparation.

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