Resurrection brings MCs to life

If the MC battle is at the core of hip-hop's early development, the spirit of the old school was in full effect Saturday night, Sept. 9, as the Somber Reptile hosted the sixth Resurrection MC battle. The four-round, five-hour marathon of rhymes, freestyles and sweat eliminated anything less than the complete MC and shaved nearly 50 wannabes down to one $1000 winner.In round one, DJs Drama and Rasta Roots selected beats for the contestants, who had to throw down their best curse-free rhymes, a challenge that ripped open rappers like they were Snickers. For round two, a panel of judges including Phife Dawg chose 20 MCs to rap over flexible beats. MCs Spice, Mother Superior and Manchild emerged as early threats, as they shifted tempo while maintaining presentation.

Freestyle skills were a must in round three, as hosts Jay Force and Spearhead X gave each remaining contestant a mandatory topic. The talent pool ran deep, waxing bright freestyles on everything from sex to voting.

The semi-final round essentially decided the winner, as the deep-honey tone of Mother Superior faced off against the excitable punch of Lil Sci in an old-school one-on-one battle. "You need practice/I know to call a bluff when I see 'em/It's obvious that you don't know the art of MCin'," Sci quipped, to the hoots of the now-lively crowd. Mother Superior returned the favor in proper fashion: "... I kick this/Been a lyricist/Since 1983/Nigga you wanna be me."

In the end, though, Lil Sci proved he wanted to be his own bad self, and after an ugly tie breaker with Superior and a final showdown against Spice, the recent New York transplant walked away with the prize.