Bruce Marie and I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Redbull EmSee National Finals at The Masquerade in Atlanta. The event was hosted Phonte with 9th Wonder on the 1s & 2s. This event was judged by David Banner, Big K.R.I.T. & DJ Premier.
Red Bull EmSee is an invitation-only MC battle series designed to find the best freestyle rappers in the country – giving them a national platform to showcase their skills. Legendary rapper Bun B served as a master of ceremonies on 2011’s eight-city tour.
Winners from each qualifier advance to the Atlanta, GA National Finals where they will face off for the national title in front of a panel of industry heavyweights. The last MC with a mic-in-hand will earn an trip to Los Angeles to record at Red Bull Studio with a headlining producer of their choice.
After three official themed rounds and one bonus round Mic Stewart came out victorious with well-developed, intelligent, and confident delivery. Not only did he deliver off-the-top lyrics, but also managed to defend his mother’s honor (who was in the front row) who was distastefully attacked by his opponent.
MC Rule #1: Never talk about another dude’s momma! Just ask @micstewartmusic, your @redbullemsee National Champ.
If that wasn’t enough, this free event surprised it’s fellow Hip Hop Heads with high-energy, intimate performances by all three judges. The first up was the youngest in charge, Big K.R.I.T., who’s albums Live From The Underground (which you can stream in advance here) will be released June 5th through Def Jam. In usual K.R.I.T. fashion, his performance displayed intensity, passion, and a youthful vigor that is often missing in a lot of Hip Hop performances, past and present. After the 2nd round, the legendary DJ Premier took the crowd on a journey through his discography. We rocked from everything from his collaboration with recently deceased icon Guru for their Gangstarr project to tracks he did with Nas, Big L, KRS-One, M.O.P., and more.
The evening ended with the man who put Mississippi on the map and paved the way for artists like K.R.I.T., David Banner. Often overlooked by the common “rap” listener, David Banner has been putting out quaility, intelligent, and conscious music since he hit the scene in 2003. Not only did he get the crowd extra crunk with his hits like “Like A Pimp”, but he introduced us to some music from his new release, Sex, Drugs, and Video Games (featuring ASAP Rocky, Lil’ Wayne, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Game, Nipsey Hussle, 2 Chainz, Big K.R.I.T., Bun B, Don Trip, Maino, Kardinal Offishall, Raheem DeVaughn, Ras Kass, and more). With lyrical breakdown, mosh pits, and a camera fumble, David Banner capped the night off right.
Talk about a energy! Who says Hip Hop is dead?! (It’s just them niggas in it) Truly happy I attended this event. Although I am happy that it was FREE I would gladly support all of these artist’s future projects and performances.