The Hip-Hop scene of Indianapolis is no stranger to The Art of Battle Rapping. Even though Indy still lacks an Emcee to blow up nationally on a mainstream level — a host of talented aspiring rappers have long tested their mettle against one another == in numerous Battle-Rap circuits to hit Indianapolis for a number of years.
The latest battle series making noise in Naptown is the newly introduced Circle City Battle League.
Local Hip-Hop Gatekeeper, Wildstyle Paschall, founder of All317HipHop, described some of the buzz surrounding this new league by saying “I think its hilarious how ppl rhyming insults back in forth to each other has helped bring ppl together. It doesn’t sound logical but it really has been great for the culture” — and he appeared to be spot on.
The C.C.B.L. opened this weekend to much buzz among the Indy Hip-Hop scene. The mix of well-known names on the roster, combined with some less-prominent emcees — brought a blend of intrigue and unpredictability to the event. From top acts in the battle scene, to artists who were not known to perform outside of traditional settings, to controversial names who have been generating buzz with their music and antics….the stage was set for an interesting first showcase. Each battle consisted of 3 timed rounds that were rated by a panel of judges.
The most controversial and talked about moment of the event came in the battle between Jalen Marquis vs Chris Thomas. Jalen, who has been no stranger to controversy recently in the Battle-Circuit, performed what most people have been calling a decisive 2-1 victory. However in his 3rd, and final round, Jalen had a Drake-esque moment where he pulled out his cell phone to finish the verse…..to groans and face palms from the crowd.
LIVE! All317hiphop RAP BATTLE – Jalen Marquis vs Chris Thomas
Posted by Wildstyle Paschall on Saturday, October 21, 2017
After deliberation, the final vote from the judges were 2 votes to 1 for the victor Chris Thomas. The crowd on hand, and members of the live chatroom viewing showed their displeasure with the decision. A crowd vote was even briefly discussed, which was later overturned.
We were able to speak with the founder of the Circle City Battle league, Brandon Jones, to get his opinion on the first event and some of the controversy.
Black Indy Live: What gave you the inspiration for this league, and what did you think of the first show?
Brandon Jones: I’ve always loved battle rap since the early grind time days in around 2007. I used to battle rap myself years ago, but I now stick to strictly creating music.
This week’s battle event was amazing. To see so many people come out just to see Battles here in the city was great and it’s gotten so many people wanting to partake in my next event. It’s definitely building and building and hopefully it can become a staple here.
What do you see in the future of this event?
Brandon Jones: In the future I’m hoping to see well established artists in our city hop back in the ring and go at it. I’m hosting a promo battle December 8th between the headline winner Dead Silence and newcomer Trauma and I’m also setting up the next event in the CCBL series in late December.
The talk of the scene has been the controversy surrounding the Jalen vs Chris Thomas battle. Do you want to set anything straight for people who question the outcome?
Brandon Jones: First and foremost there seems to be a group of people that think we purposely made Jalen lose, but that’s not the case. Pulling your phone out and reading off of it during the Battle is a no-no and an automatic Disqualification in the battle rap world; perhaps we should’ve explained that beforehand but seasoned battle rap fans are aware. Jalen did win 2-1 but DQ’d himself. That’s not to say I won’t have him back because I will, but if he plans on doing that he can plan on getting DQ’d again.
Clearly the C.C.B.L. was able to generate enough buzz and interest to have the scene awaiting the next set of matchups. We look forward to the next December event showcasing the talented emcees here in Indianapolis.