Texas Battle League

SXSW showcase reviews

Gutta vs. Core
Gutta vs. Core (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Texas Battle League

Fuze, Friday, March 18

Dredged from the dirty mind of Austin-via-Odessa rap degenerate Dubb Sicks and North Carolina's Japanese Jesus, Texas Battle League has gone from concrete street cipher to official Festival showcase in just over a year's time. Most Texas gladiators are talented MCs, but the fact is you could crash this a cappella league with no ability to spit bars on beat, so don't be fooled into thinking every line is an off-the-top freestyle. That doesn't make the league any lesser; it just requires a different skill set. The opening bout featured a vicious third-round knockout as local rhymesayer Gutta slayed San Antonio's Core: "He's thinking when I'm in town I'll catch a movie/I spot him coming out that Drafthouse/Send a couple hand gestures, kid/and you'll die in front of the Alamo like your ancestors did." Game over. The most entertaining battle came courtesy of the two strangest wordsmiths in the building when L.A. Ice T look-alike Rheteric Ramirez continually insinuated that talented Corpus Christi tweak-rapper Michael White was a pederast: "I'll buy you drink if you get this right/Who would get caught masturbating under a Snuggie in a van by a junior high? Michael White."

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