CFN – Summer 2013 The Wall. Someone once told me that rap is dead. This is a statement I do not fully disagree with. Real rap is not something you can usually buy in stores right now and if you want real wordplay you are going to have to search the internet for hours and possibly waste thousands of dollars in iTunes independent purchases to find it.
Everybody has a CD, everybody has an EP and everybody has a youtube channel.
6,000,000 Independent movements, choose one. When you have been listening to hip hop for as long as I have, you love it, hate it, turn your back on it, rediscover it, you let it motivate you or disgust you. To be completely honest I haven’t really loved hip hop since Lil John ruined it.. Most people are listening to an instrumental and a hook. Yes, I am not kidding. If you are only listening for a hook and an instrumental, why not just become an R&B fan?
In 2013 words do not matter as much as they once did. That is why I am so grateful to battle rap, I have been watching battle rap since SMACK DVD’s, Iron Solomon was battling Madness and Thesaurus and Illmaculate were running through Scribble Jam. As a writer I am thoroughly impressed with the work that I have witnessed and it helped me connect with why I loved hip hop in the first place. Wordplay. I remember having to rewind music back in the day, ruining my tape cassettes. That’s what made an album or an artist classic. You can go back on it and listen to it over and over again finding new nuances and meanings each time. I remember when Big Pun – Capital Punishment came out and I played the tape 46 times. Each time I listened it got better. This is the same way I feel about listening to a 100 Bulletz battle. Now don’t get me wrong, I can decode Killah Priest and Raekwon easily and rhymes do not go over my head but I have to admit that 100 Bulletz has a greater replay value than most rap veterans.
You can definitely tell that this man has writing down to a science and understands the true state of the art. Each word has two to three meanings, syllable count is incredible and each round serves a purpose and is directed at not only breaking someone’s character, credibility but also their writing ability. Complete annihilation. Most of the time a line will be delivered in a split second and will be too much for a crowd of drunken battle rap fans updating a twitter status to get. If I say “It used to be a joke, now our fan base is growing with intensity. I expect people to understand that I said that our fan base is growing. This is the original message but If I take that same bar and break it up I am using the statement to give greater detail to the original line “It used to be a joke, now our fan base is growing within ten cities” it really is quite an art that people do not fully understand and you can easily miss it if you are not paying attention. Short attention spans are nothing new – Hold me closer Tony Dannnnnza!!! – The funny thing is that the intensity bar I just gave you was probably 0.05% of what 100 Bulletz gives you in each of his battles.
So without further adieu I bring you an exclusive Wall 613 interview with one of Canada’s top wordsmiths. 100 Bulletz.
What’s Good Sir, how have you been?
What’s goin’ on! Things are good! I can’t complain.
Who is 100 Bulletz?
A creative and competitive side of me who is havin’ a lot of fun right now.
When did you first fall in love with Hip Hop?
1993/1994. Those two years had more good rap albums than the last 13 years combined. None stop classics. I was a fan before, but Doggystyle, Black Sunday and a few others got me hooked. I’ve since fallen way out of love with Hip-Hop. But that’s another question.
Being an extremely articulate and intricate wordsmith, do you ever feel the need to dumb it down for people?
I wouldn’t say, “Dumb it down,” but definitely know your audience. There is no use standing in front of a room full of people asking, “what you didn’t get that” because you were too concerned with impressing yourself than reaching the crowd.
It seems like you are probably the most topical Battle Rapper ever. You can tell there is a real love for wordplay in your work. How do you come up with these schemes?
I try to relate my schemes to my opponent. Most of the time, there is relevance to the scheme. And sometimes, I just have an idea that I feel needs to be said to whoever. I do like wordplay. But I am not the most “topical” battle rapper. That title goes to Chilla Jones.
During the KOTD 2012 Grand Prix you showcased some of the most intricate bars ever performed in the league. It has been said that bar heavy artists lack the showmanship of Artists like Dizaster but you seem to have a good mix of the two. Is it hard to find a balance?
– I don’t think I’ll ever be able to perform like Dizaster. Or command a room like Pat Stay, HitmanHolla, Math Hoffa or Hollow Da Don. There’s just something that certain people have and others don’t. I feel like my main appeal is in the cleverness or the wordplay etc. So, it makes me focus that much more on that part of my craft. However, I’m always workin on improvements in the areas I lack.
This is a hard subject. In Battle Rap an MC has the right to say what he or she wants to say to his or her opponent. This is done for entertainment purposes but sometimes a line gets crossed from threats to family members, exposure of one’s personal life to straight up racism. Do you feel that one day someone is going to say the wrong thing to the wrong person?
The wrong thing has been said many times and the line has been drawn. Shotgun Suge isn’t goin to Detroit anytime soon. He crossed a line with the “Proof” bars and the 313 ain’thavin it. There are lines for certain situations and most people don’t cross it. A “Sandy Hook” line in Connecticut would be a problem. Some people will allow things to be said in the name of sport, while others won’t. I think most emcees know who they are dealing with. Jus Juice walked off the stage because he quickly found out talking about some of B Magic’s deceased people in any way, wasn’t gonna fly.
You have been doing some world travelling as of late. If you were to hit up SMACK/URL who would you want a battle with?
I have a battle this week against T-Dubb O from St. Louis. For my first battle out there, I’m just tryina put on a good performance and three solid rounds. After this battle, if all goes well, I’d like to battle whoever the matchmakers think would make sense. And emcees that will give me a potential for the “classic” everyone loves to watch over and over again.
What are some of the greatest non hip hop albums of all time?
**Here are Ten of my favourite. No particular order.**
– 2112 & Moving Pictures by Rush.
– Images & Words by Dream Theatre.
– Blood, Sugar, Sex Magic by Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
– Sailing The Seas Of Cheese by Primus
– Are You Experienced by Hendrix
– Led Zepplin IV and II
– Live Art by Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
– Abraxas by Santana
– Rage Against The Machine by Rage Against The Machine
What can we do as a culture to promote our underground or up and coming artists more?
Who cares tbh. The artists need to promote themselves and hopefully talent will rise to the top. If not, hard work and luck. Support what you enjoy listening to. Buy their music and pay to see them perform. But other than that, it’s whatever. Damn. That was harsh.
Patrick Ackroyd – Journalist, Writer and Manager of The Wall 613.