By Justin Lee
The expression, "one love," is a term that gets thrown around in hip-hop, which all too often, lacks sincerity. On Fri., Jan. 28 at the Calgary Multicultural Centre, there was without a doubt "one love." With more positive energy circulating around Calgary’s first Eliminator mc battle than a Tony Robbin’s seminar, more than 15 local mc’s competed against one another for $250 in prize money, as well as $250 worth of studio time. The event was held by local hip-hop crew, Heaven and Earth Guild and co-promoter Nucleus.
"[Eliminator was created so] all the people that are really into hip-hop could get together and elevate their skills. A lot of people don’t know that there are a lot of good mc’s here," explains Nucleus. Sure enough, the night showcased some of Western Canada’s finest up-and-coming mc’s, including such names as Sepz and Red I.N.S. of the Boomm Crew, Max, Subliminal, M1 and Cash.
MC’s were randomly called onstage, two at a time, with each mc setting a chance to "spit lyrics" over the mic to an enthusiastic audience. Winners were decided by applause and would advance to the next round until one mc emerged as the Eliminator 2000 champion.
After four hours of pure underground hip-hop, Calgary’s own Tre and Halifax’s Coca Boomslang went head-to-head in an mind-blowin’ three-round battle that made the deciding vote extremely difficult. However, in the end, Coca Boomslang came out on top with his illmatic flow and lyrical content that was unbelievably tight.
A hip-hop veteran at 24, CB started rhyming when he was 14.
"I used to kick it in my bedroom," he says.
When he’s not bustin’ rhymes, CB also performs in the jazz dance group, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, which is the reason why he is in town. Formerly in a hip-hop unit with the current members of Toronto’s Len, he demonstrates hip-hop can still be innovative, as well as positive.
Remarkably, mc’s such as Coca Boomslang and Tre are doing this sort-of-thing not for the recognition or the money but instead, as Tre puts it, "for the love of hip-hop." And with that kind of passion, you can be sure to be hearing from these cats in the near-future.