Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rhyme Calisthenics 9: May 21 at Shadow Lounge

This Friday, May 21, at the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty (Pittsburgh), is the ninth installment of Rhyme Calisthenics - the Official MC Competition. Come out and watch 16 of Pittsburgh's best up-and-coming MC's shred mics accordingly to a variety of challenging topics. After four rounds of wheel-spinning action, the winning MC leaves with $800 cash.

The event will be hosted by Thelonious Stretch, with DJ Huggy on 1's & 2's and Shade Cobain on sound design. Special Guest performance by Living Proofe.

Doors at 9pm | Competition starts 10pm sharp
$10 | Just $7 before 10pm

Rhyme Cal 9 features a line-up of MC's that includes Rhyme Cal vets and newcomerers. Competitors are Ayatollah Jaxx, Mista Scrap, Black Sun, 3PFD, Kid A, Jon Quest, Basketcase, R-Sin, Ray Meez, V.I.S.I.O.N., Boka, Dy$e, Looney, Pap the General, Zone, and Green - you can vote on who you think will win at

These are the 20 Official Wheel of Skillz Challenges:
A Capella
Competitor gets 45 seconds to perform a verse, rap or spoken word piece without instrumental accompaniment. The object of this challenge is to deliver something to the judges and the crowd without the distraction of a beat. Judging is based on lyrical content, rhythm and expression.

Competitor gets 45 seconds to perform a written verse or freestyle to a beatbox accompaniment. The beatboxer will periodically change tempo and rhythm and the competitor is expected to follow these changes and compliment the beatbox.

Beats in 3
The competitor is given an instrumental beat in 3/4 (or 6/8) time and gets 45 seconds to perform a freestyle or written verse over the beat. The object of this challenge is to flow in way that compliments the beat. Some examples of industry beats that are in ¾ time include “My First Song” by Jay-Z and “Spaceship” by Kanye West.

The Competitor is given a familiar song with the hook in it but without the verse. After the hook the competitor must perform a “feature” verse that compliments the theme and tone of the original song. The verse must be 16 bars in length and followed by another hook. The competitor may perform the hooks or adlib over the hook to enhance the performance but these things are not required. This challenge is based on the song structure (hook – verse – hook) and so there is no set time limit.

Comp Killer
Competitor gets 45 seconds to battle and/or verbally attack any and all his opponents. Typically a competitor will attack the other competitors within his or her heat but they may attack any and all competitors in the competition. The object of this challenge is to showcase your battle skills and punchlines.

Crowd Topics
The host selects one word or phrase from the crowd and the competitor must construct a rhyme around that word, phrase or topic. The competitor gets 45 second

DJ’s Revenge
The DJ plays a 45 second “DJ set” that includes different beats, breaks and scratches and the MC must keep up with the DJ and compliment the beat and the transitions.

Fiction Fighter
The host picks the name of a fictional character out of “hat.” The MC gets 45 seconds to perform a freestyle that creatively incorporates the character into their rhyme. The object of this challenge is to “battle” the fictional character and stretch your imagination.

We bring up to the stage a Rhyme Calisthenics champion and the competitor and the champion each get 45 seconds to battle against one another. The Gladiator always goes first so the object of this challenge is for the competitor to deliver a comeback verse.

Grab Bag
A duffle bag full of random household items is placed in front of the competitor. The competitor gets 45 seconds to pick up 5 items and creatively rap about them or incorporate them into a seamless freestyle. Hint: Make sure you hold the items up high so the crowd and the judges can see what you’re rapping about.

Here and Now
The competitor gets 45 seconds to freestyle a verse that based on their interpretation of the “Here” (shadow lounge, East Liberty, Pittsburgh, etc.) and “Now” (the present, what’s going on right now).

Last Word
Competitor gets 45 seconds to perform a written verse or freestyle where all the ending syllables of each phrase must rhyme.

Mackin’The host selects a member of the opposite sex from the crowd. The host asks the participant several basic questions including their name and occupation. The competitor then gets 45 seconds to woo the participant by freestyling. The competitor is expected to incorporate some or all of the information derived from the series of questions.

MC’s Choice
Competitor may pick the challenge they perform. The competitor may ask for clarification of any challenges he or she does not understand. The competitor may not choose to perform 2 challenges simultaneously.

The Message
Competitor gets 45 seconds to perform a message-oriented freestyle or written verse. The term message-oriented means the lyrics should convey some type of positive message or social commentary.

Mirror Match
The competitor stand in front of a mirror and gets 45 seconds to freestyle battle himself (his reflection in the mirror).

Old School
The competitor gets 45 seconds to perform a written or freestyle verse that invokes the lyrical style, content and delivery of an old school rap performance. “Old School” is considered to be the first decade and a half of recorded rap music 1979-1994.

The host picks a scenario or “scene” out of a hat. The MC gets 45 seconds to freestyle a story or description as if they were in that situation or scene.

The competitor gets 45 seconds to perform a narrative verse. The verse must contain some type of narrative, storyline or succession of events to be considered a story. A description of something is NOT considered a story.

Word Bank
The host reveals a wordbank consisting of 10 – 12 words. The competitor gets 45 seconds to freestyle a verse that incorporates some or all of the words on the list. The competitor may ask for clarification, definition or pronunciation for 2 words before their performance starts. Judges will take into consideration the number of words the MC’s uses and the creative way in which the words were used.

Idasa Tariq performs "Storytelling"

3PFD performs "Comp Killer"

Real Deal performs "Comp Killer"

Ayatollah Jaxx performs "Grab Bag"

Yah Lioness performs "Cameo"

Boka performs "Outkast"

Mac Miller performs "Here & Now"

Billy Pilgrim performs "Mirror Match"

Zone performs "Mackin'"

Looney performs "The Message"

Jon Quest performs "Beat Box"

Zone performs in the Final Battle

Visit Rhyme Cal's website for more information.

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