dark humor, Fiction, poetry, poetry readings, poetry slams, St. Louis, St. Louis fiction, St. Louis poets, urban

Thinking back on times of good Part II

Kev
Kev “Cpu” J-Roc, Yoel, and Ras Rio. Vibe on the Mound (IL 2002)

Open space with so little time….

I know all of you guys heard the expression, “there aren’t enough hours in a day.” Well in my case it isn’t. My trip back home has been very gratifying, seeing old friends but the drive has been a little “wearing” to say the least.

But all in all I am happy to be here. Talking about old times as I expressed in my previous blog a few days ago. I want to stay on topic in the form of artistry. Now with that being said, another thing that came to mind was the infamous “Northwoods Battle Raps” that took place in the summer of 1993.

Let me give a back story. First off all of us were a close group of friends that mostly went to the same schools from elementary to high school. We were very close, knew each other families to the point of considering each other parents as “secondary moms and pops.” Before the rap battles begun, past years we use to make rap songs from rapping on professional hip hop artist’s beats and record over them with our radios (yeah don’t laugh I know some of y’all done that before). After we make at least 10 songs or more we would put them together for our own individual albums. We then drew our covers and named them. We even went so far as to name our rooms when we created such albums as our rap studios. I will list the studios names along with the artists’ names in a bit (and before you say WTF we were high school kids at the time lol).

Now let me list the combatants that played their role in the Northwood Battle Rap session, which I will add lasted an entire summer long:

1. K-Madd aka Maddkay, Da’ Lyrical Flow (Da’ L.F), Madman, MC Elf
2. True Lyrics aka T.L, Daddy Redd, MC Shan “Da’ Muslim” (dude didn’t even practice Islam, give me a &%$# break)
3. MC Acey E aka Eddie Rumble, E-Rum, Rumble, Country Boy
4. Skitofanaticluntic (yes I know another WTF), aka Skito, MC Skits, 2-Def, Killa’ Ken (honorable mention his brother Psycho aka Psyc, T-Ruff)
5. Special Ced (no other alias, thank the Most High)
6. Big B’ aka Hawkman, QuarterBall

***Another guy called “Tech 9” did not actually rap but some reason gotten pissed at someone and threaten to shoot them.  No lie.  No one fucked with him because he did have a tech 9 along with other guns and would shoot**

Now K-Madd belong to Madd Factory Studios (formerly known as Cold Chillin Records), True Lyrics-True Records, Skito & Psyho-Rage and Ruff Records, MC Acey E-Country Talk Studio, Special Ced-Boys -n- the Woods Inc., and Big B-unknown. Yes here are all the contestants. It all started very innocent enough, a couple of songs “dissing” other guys and whatnot with at the end we are just laugh and had fun with it all. Great times in which all occurred in the June of 1993 (keep in mind Big B was supposed to be the judge of all of this mess but ended up just laughing at us).

Then it all went completely to hell. I won’t get involve with all the small particulars of fun beef becoming real beef but things got personal really quick. For example, K-Madd vs Special Ced was cool at first then Special Ced (who really couldn’t rap worth a damn and only cared about “macking” on girls, cars and weight lifting) made a song that K-Madd was crying over a recent break-up with a girl. K-Madd replied back calling him a chump and saying that his Mother is fine (which to all young men, mothers either good or bad were off-limits in any forum). It completely fell apart to which both weren’t speaking to each other for most of the summer but became friends once again later in the following fall.

Then as if Special Ced didn’t have enough, him and Skito started battling but this time the battle gotten heated fast resulting in Ced talking about Skito’s girlfriend (which is another no-no) and Skito throwing a wet newspaper at Ced’s car. Both wanted to fight and had a couple of minor “phone threats” back and forth. This didn’t get resolve so quickly but a couple of years later it did——whew.

Last of the beefs was Skito vs True Lyrics. Now this battle began on a high note, both were regarded by everyone as the best rappers in the our part of the neighborhood at the time. Their individual songs were a great example of pure lyrics and delivery. It was fun and entertaining to hear their songs and both had a respect for each other. Very refreshing indeed.

Then, (well you knew this was coming) it all went straight to shit (excuse my language). T.L and Skito started talking about each others girlfriends, their looks, sizes (you know what i mean), everything. It gotten so bad that phone threats became real threats in which both were daring each other to come over to their respective houses for a “conversation.” Well we did not allow this to happen so we put an end to that beef and both are still friends to this day.

I can only say that the only battle that did not succumb to bullshit (sorry for the language again) was MC Acey E vs K-Madd. Both in a sense were not the strongest rappers but brought a creative flow/style into the mix. They made songs that told stories, talked about society’s ills, and crazy things about the school system. In reality they weren’t battle rapping but their sessions could only be judge by content to which it never went into egoism of “who is the best” but a real appreciation of skills.

Well there you have it, the infamous “Northwood Battle Raps” that took place in the summer of 1993. All the rappers just graduated high school and all were looking forward to what else life had to offer. It was a crazy time, time of uncertainty, of regrets and expectations. A time were young black men were starting to formulate their thoughts of life and what kind of person they would be. It was a rite of passage with the excuse of “rap battles” to help shape their mentality. Not saying the ones who did a so-call “beef” became persons of poor character but the contrary, all of the contestants are leading productive lives as of now, some with families, some with not but all grown to be the independent thinkers in a society of conformist. Yes crazy!

Before I leave here is a ole sckool rap by K-Madd himself. From the studios of Madd Factory—–

Death by Demand

Let me tell you about a boy, who just went straight (say this 3times)
never started any trouble, committed any rape,
just an average day brotha, on the streets
never talked any shit, or got his ass beat
chillin with his boys, around the hood
had nothing to do, had nothing to give
livin’ day by day, with his own little rules,
never started any trouble, but stayed in school
wore any color and never front,
but he knew that gang bangers were just on the hunt
wearing red in one hood, blue in another
got sick of that shit of being a terrified brotha

one day he wore the wrong colors in the hood
all the brothas’ were mad, and misunderstood
so they gathered their posse and filled the trunks with gats
driving all day, looking for where he lived at
went to the house, then to the work place
news at 10, his house was just sprayed
the reporter said, three people were dead
an elderly woman and three girls in the bed
it was his mother and his sisters his mind went blank
his emotions were stifle, his heart just sank
went to the morgue, to see them one mo’ time
then to the crib—and pulled out a ‘9’
who knew who had done it, he knew who had led it
making sure that mark nigga’ gonna regret it
saw him on the corner, walk to his face
blew his ass away, and walk with a so pace
the 5-0s’ came fast when they heard the shots,
surrounded the dude and told him to stop
he threw down his gun and that’s when he pop.
Started running wild, around the way
guns went off, dude was sprayed
body hit the ground blood started to spread
just another brother on the street that was dead

All you mutherfuckers better understand,
innocence on the street is Death by Demand…..

by K-Madd

Thank you all for reading, comments welcome.

(for all confidential purposes, no real name were included in this blog due to saving the embarrassment of all who were involved).