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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lookback: FlipTop's Ahon

5/15/2014 6:54:18 AM

Since it’s already four years since this one was held at Guerilla Radio in Pasig City, let’s take a trip back to memory lane.

Let me guess: FlipTop’s Ahon was the biggest event (if not one of the biggest events) the Makati-based rap battle league has ever organized. They started in mid-February 2010 with the gracing event known as Grain Assault.

I was not around the venue when Ahon happened. Like every then-newbie fan of FlipTop, I only checked out their clip on YouTube out of my curiosity. To be honest, I only heard them from one of my gangster friends (and of course, most of the gangsters used to engage themselves in hip-hop music as part of their culture).

Kicking off the night were Juan Lazy (Juan Tamad) and Silencer; with the latter prevailing at the end, and in typical style. But hey, Juan Lazy was heck of the rapper. He almost conquered the battle only if he didn’t come up a bit less in the third round.

Last in schedule though were Apekz and Snatch. And let me guess, if Snatch was on his typical form, the battle should have gone a bit much hype better. Apekz just lived to his (and their) promise, pure comical poet. Wow!

But anyway, I’ll do things in random this time around. If we’re judging battles accordingly to then-standards where the hype was the name of the game, Mike Makata vs. Verb may be a lesser one, as well as Daddie Joe D versus Shehyee.

Though the latter was a bit better, but maybe it’s because there are only few people left in the venue (I think they had done it by around 3 or 4 am). Shehyee unleashed his potential right there though DJD was a badass. Bam!

Also, the English conference battles were sick; though I’ll give credit more to both Josh G and Skarm for breaking out putting a great damn fight.

But hey, the other battles were a real deal too. Check them out. 

On a shallow, mainstreamed pop-cultured perspective, some may thought that Ahon appeared the local rap battle version of WrestleMania or those big championship games when it comes to hype and impact. Weird thing to judge though maybe it was due to a lot of close battles.

Look: there are lot of battles out there which brought tremendous effect to both FlipTop and the local hip-hop culture. I mean, it could be a factor to the escalating level of popularity that both the brand and the rap battle itself made wide-spread recognition, something that others like Sunugan Royale never done so (much respect to them though).

Look: NothingElse versus Abra may be a one-sided affair in favor of the former. And if Abra did not choke, he could have won the battle. But let’s face it: this guy, aside from his charming looks which girls are really clamouring for, has this huge kind of wit and talent to back it up. Maybe the downside though is that he’s still on the developing stage then, considering he choked for the second time since entering the rap battle competition. Plus things seems to get more personal than usual.

Batas versus Fuego; perhaps it was the most heated battle between the people’s most-hated fella and one of the most-favored ones in Ahon. As I watched the clip on how Batas unleashed the monster in him, the fire was there; and so was Fuego’s fuel. He spits words like a dragon, where if anyone will dare to block his way deserved to earn a third-degree burn (or even fourth).

Unfortunately for Fuego, he lost. I know, it sounds like he’s a wasted potential like Karl Malone, Leonardo DiCaprio and even Drew McIntyre (but it’s fucking unfair to compare anyway).

And Mark did not deserve that win? Better dig deeper though. It may appear like one, but certainly there’s a reason why, and way back then that’s the problem the audience did not know: rap battlin’ is not just about jokes or punchlines – it’s about lyricism, mind games, music as a whole, elements (some guys may failed to address that one; but can you blame them anyway? They don’t live the same culture compared us who used to only patronize mainstream for most of the time, so it’s unfair to judge).

Dello versus Target; the second-most entertaining battle of the first Ahon; yet it was also the one who came in “package.” There’s typical punchlines, there’s rebuttals, there’s references, there’s freestyle, word usage, everything. And the difference is that it became more evident in layman’s term (if you only think deeper you know what I’m talking about).

It was a damn one heck-of-a-fight. For me, that was the best battle I ever saw in Ahon, and at the same time, the early stages of FT.

Loonie and Zaito was good though, but Zaito came up a bit short (just a very slim margin). I’m not saying he choked ‘coz he forgot something; but maybe because he used freestyle too much that he claimed “did not have any practice.”

And Loonie was the typical monster-masher, or a game master; like a veteran who can outpointed everyone no matter whom his opponent is. No wonder why four years later, he was successful, along with other rappers, in both worlds.

Overall, based on their uploaded videos, Ahon was the sickest evening of them all, especially in 2010 right before Down N South, Ahon 2, and other succeeding events. Damn! Much support and respect to both FlipTop, and the entire hip-hop culture as well.

Author: slickmaster | © 2014 september twenty-eight productions

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