The Crocodile in Seattle, Washington was packed with locals who came to watch eight competing MCs battle it out at Red Bull EmSee.
The freestyle rap battle, hosted by Bun B, saw the likes of 9dm, K.R.U.E., Mic Phenom, Billy the Fridge, Bishop I, Justis, and KI Design battling in front of a chaotic live crowd.
Rap Legends in the House
West Coast rap legends Too $hort , Casual ( Hieroglyphics) and Crooked I (Slaughterhouse) had their final votes in and at the end of the night, Portland’s Illmaculate was named winner.
After a night of intense battling, the famed judges reminded the crowd that they can not only “walk the walk,” but they can “talk the talk,” too. In between rounds, each judge took to the stage and gave the crowd and competitors a dose of their own medicine—pure off the dome freestyle lyrics.
Seattle’s winning MC, Greg Poe, aka Illmaculate entered his first rap battle at 15-years-old and describes the journey as being “uphill.” The Portland native is no stranger to Red Bull EmSee. He battled in last year’s regional qualifier in San Francisco –a battle that was ultimately won by Los Angeles underground legend Nocando. Illmaculate continued to sharpen his skills and earned himself an invitation to compete in this year’s qualifier in Seattle, a town with a reputation for notoriously tough crowds.
A real MC has to adjust to the circumstances, and that’s what you’ve got to do to win the crowd over.
“In the first round I said two words and was instantly hated by a few people in the front row who were screaming ‘you suck’,” Illmaculate reflected. “It wasn’t exclusive to me though, a few MCs- man, the crowd was tearing them apart for no reason, but that’s what happens,” he explained. “A real MC has to adjust to the circumstances, and that’s what you’ve got to do to win the crowd over. I feel like a real MC can thrive under pressure and honestly, I feel like I perform well when I’m being challenged the most.”
Illmaculate Stays Busy
November is going to be a big month for Illmaculate. Not only will he be battling for the title of Red Bull EmSee National Champion, he will be dropping his magnum opus “Skrill Talk.” The album which has been 5 years in the making features Tech N9ne, Crooked I and Inspectah Deck from Wu Tang.
If you want to hear more from Illmaculate and can’t wait until November, check out “The GreenTape” a collaboration he did with G_Force in which they flipped Al Green’s “Lay it Down” album front to back while thematically maintaining the concept of each song.
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