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The Beatbox: Sudden Death

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Often lost in the bling and machismo of rap music is the fact that it's a competitive sport. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in the art of battle rapping. During battles, MCs take the field against one another, armed only with wit, rhyming ability and off-the-cuff insults that would make Andrew Dice Clay envious. Weight problems, bad clothing, facial deformities — nothing is off-limits. The result is something like a cage fight without a stretcher for the defeated. Victors take away heightened reps in the streets and the admiration of their crews. Kansas City rappers are familiar with the art form. Thanks to Mac Lethal, the city is home to a past winner of Scribble Jam, arguably the nation's most prestigious — and organized — MC battle. This week, area rappers have the opportunity to test their skills in Sudden Death: An MC and Production Battle at the Czar Bar. After DJs square off to showcase their best homespun beats for $150 in prize money (the "production battle" portion of the evening), the verbal shit starts flying as freestylers compete for a $200 pot. Unlike recent MC battles, there will be no judges or bracket system. Just call 'em out and take 'em down.

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