Who would have thought that the Greensboro stop of the Red Bull EmSee series would be an underdog story? Winner, Killa Chris, claimed his position among the other seven invited contestants by securing the wildcard spot on 102 JAMZ’s freestyle battle show, Making the Station. At last night’s event he eliminated his competition round by round until it came down to Chris and Red Bull EmSee veteran Kaze, who placed third last year in Atlanta.
Kaze’s experience couldn’t keep up with Chris’s determination to make it to the finals in Detroit where his rhymes will be judged by freestyle legend, Eminem. “I can’t put it into words,” expressed Killa Chris (pictured at left) on winning. “But if I were to put it into words: amazing. I’m going to prepare for Detroit and represent my city.”
The Greensboro native had to win over not only the crowd, but also a panel of established judges in the hip-hop community. Representing North Carolina were judges Sonny Cheeba and Joe Scudda, but it was Erick Sermon of legendary rap group EPMD (pictured below) who was the expert everyone wanted to impress.
“I’m looking for originality,” Erick stated before the competition began. “An artist needs to have their own sound and not come off like everybody else out there.”
Red Bull EmSee: The Road to 8 Mile is a freestyle rap battle of sight and sound, driven and spearheaded by the freestyle master himself, Eminem. Emcees not only have to battle against each other, but also the clock and their mind’s eye when they are tested to create the sickest flows they can with on-the-spot spontaneous cues.
In this elimination style competition, the emcees were judged in three rounds, each with different challenges. The first round challenged emcees on versatility and speed as they were given five images at random to base their freestyles on. Winners from that round kept on their toes for round two as they rapped about topics that were texted in by the live audience to a screen. And then there were two: Killa Chris and Kaze rose above the rest to the final round where they went head-to-head in a traditional freestyle battle.
Red Bull EmSee hits the road for its next stop in Houston on August 13th with the last qualifier taking place August 17th in Atlanta. Killa Chris will join the winners from all eight stops and will battle it out in Detroit at the legendary St. Andrews Hall on August 26th.