South African battle rap beast Gin I will take on US rapper Ness Lee in Johannesburg tomorrow night as a replacement for Los Angeles rapper Daylyt who was due to take on his fellow countryman, but snubbed local battle league Scrambles4Moneyat the last minute.
“I just had to do it,” said Gin, real name David Coxall, who is also the organiser of the Scrambles4Money event. He said he had to do it because he couldn’t find a suitable replacement. “I tried Ginger Trill, but he said he said he wasn’t confident enough to battle rap. Reason and Proverb were not going to happen,” he said of some of the names he considered and the public suggested.
Daylyt, who is the son of rap legend Rakim, nephew to 2Pac and cousin of Kendrick Lamar, was scheduled to land in the country earlier this week ahead of his battle with Lee tomorrow night at Maboneng’s Zen Nightclub.
He was instead seen attending a battle event in Los Angeles between Dizaster and Cassidy, on the same night his father was in hospital.
He later tweeted “To all my fans I will not be able to make it to Africa One. of my family members was stabbed and killed last night!”
“He had crazy demands but we booked everything for him but he missed his flight and said he was in Hospital because his dad was stabbed,” said Gin.
He said the losses incurred from Daylyt’s no show amount to R30 000.
But the show has to go on and Gin is getting prepared to take on Lee in tomorrow night’s main event. “Because I don’t have much time on my hands, I have not written much but I have been thinking of some rhymes whilst thinking of the sound, the press conference and also taking care of the international guests,” he said about his multitasking of making the event a success.
Lee first came to the country earlier this year when he took on Tumi in what some dubbed a classic battle two MCs with immense skill.
He admits to disappointment of Daylyt’s absence but concedes that he must do what he flew out here to do, and that’s to battle.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m pissed-off. I was prepared for my battle with Day but I’ll take on Gin now,” said Lee, who said he’s already packed his arsenal with mean rhymes.
“I step it up when I come here. People here can digest my most complex material,” said Lee of local rap fans.
People often get lost in what the rapper is saying during a battle because the rhyming schemes, puns and figures of speech are too complex to understand or that the pace of the rapper is too quick for them to digest.
But Lee said South African fans are better at paying attention than their American counterparts and that the standard of battle rap is nearly on par with the Americans’.
Other international acts that will be at Scrambele4Money are US’ Lexx Luthor who’ll be taking on Mzansi’s Cerebro and Kapo The Kapstone from Jamaica who’ll go rhyme for rhyme with another local in Slyme, while the other battles will be between local rappers tonight and tomorrow night.
“Battle rap is changing in South Africa; it’s no more just an underground thing. It’s like a mainstream sport, and having these international guys opens the world to us,” said Gin.