PH went up to TheÂ Halftime RadioÂ Show on WNYU 89.1fm, with Chordz Cordero and myself, GMS, to talk to host DJ Eclipse about his new album KNOW THE LEDGE. The conversation quickly turned to battling, then and now, the differences between the rules from the days of Blaze Battle and Braggin’ Rites and the popular battle leagues today, like GrindTimeNow and KOTD. This was a perfect segway into PH’s song “How To Battle” off the album, where PH flips the 50 Cent classic How To Rob but names dozens of MC’s in the battle game today.
The interview is dope. This is just part 2, the only part I had video of, but I will put up the audio of the rest in a few days. A lot of interesting stuff is talked about, plus a cypher between PH, Chordz and myself towards the end.
I included the full audio of the song “How To Battle”, below the video. See how many battle rappers you can catch as PH weaves their names into metaphors!
MCMI’s own PH took first place inÂ TROJAN and LUDACRIS‘ rap contest called “Magnum Live Large Project 2″, which had competitions in Detroit, San Francisco, Miami and NYC. The New York one was held at Highline Ballroom, on April 4th, 2011Â and pitted 16 MCs against each other, not spittin’ battle raps like they do in GrindTime, but competing in three categories: a capella verse, freestyle off the dome and performance of an original song.
For those who don’t know,Â PH (formerly “Pumpkinhead”) is also aÂ GrindTimeNow battler. PH was the GrindTime East Coast President for awhile, but passed the torch to current President Poison Pen, so that he could step in the ring a few more times. He also is a 2 time Braggin’ Rites title holder, 2 time EOW MC Challenge winner, EOW Challenge of Champions winner (he went against all the other champions and came out on top), came in 2nd in the infamous BLAZE Battle and has recently won battles in the GrindTIme and KOTD (King of the DOT) leagues, so he’s versatile and can compete in multiple formats.
Trojan’s “Magnum Live Large” Project is not an MC battle, but an “EMCEE COMPETITION”. What’s cool about it is you get to freestyle and also do one of your songs. Plus you spit accapela one round, so everyone definitely hears every word of your verse, with no beat to play a factor. Whether you’re nice off the top, can write a killer verse, or are really good at putting a song together, you get a chance to put your best foot -Â er,Â rhyme – forward. Besides MCing, there also were B-Boy , Graffiti and DJ elements and even an educational panel discussion. Check out the NYC Highlights video:
The Â judges for the New York event were either MC’s or C.E.O’s of reputable Hip Hop companies, from East and West, North and South, so we had people who really knew what they were listening to. There was Opio from Souls of Mischief (Cali), Prince Po from Organized Konfusion (Queens), J-Live (Philly), Danny Castro from the Legendary Lyricist Lounge (Brooklyn), Mad Illz, who reps Florida and is one of the C.E.O.’s of GrindTime, and R.A. the Rugged Man (Long Island). 14 hungry MC’s and one singer, who jumped in the contest to get some light, performed Â their hearts out in hopes of winning the money and going to Miami to perform with Ludacris. The event was hosted by local hostÂ Posion Pen (GrindTime, Stronghold), and tour hostsÂ Othello and Rahman Jamaal.
AllÂ PH’s rounds were strong, obviously, or he wouldn’t have been able to win, but the performance of his song “Oxygen” (video after the jump) really rocked the crowd. From the beat to the hook to the subject matter, the audience showed a lot of love.Â PH’s delivery and stage skills from years of touring the States and abroad, allowed him to tear down the stage effortlessly for the New York crowd.
Videos of PH’s song “Oxygen” that he performed live that night, plus his a capella round, both of which have not been previously released, after the jump!