As expected, last night's Miltown Beat Down was one of the most stylistically diverse rounds in the history of the MTBD.
Between the eight producers of the night, there was dub-step, electronica, hip-hop, hardcore and on and on. Overall, many of the beats or tracks played were extremely pleasing to the ear and the quality of the music was on the high end of the scale.
However, again with having several newer people in the battle, some of the tracks were just continuous loops and much of the work heard last night was down-tempo, which doesn't really equate "battle" in my mind; but to each his own as "battle" is of course open to interpretation.
Before getting into the recap of the individual battles, I just want to tell any aspiring producer that is left in this contest to get your BPMs up for at least one of your beats because the crowd wants to ROCK more than they want to post up and chill. I know 60 seconds is a short amount of time to capture the true essence of what you do, but slap and punch your opponent (metaphorically) and get that crowd rabid for your beats!
That being said, here is the break down.
The first battle was between electronic wunderkind Andy Petr and Bad Character.
Petr, a young prodigy of all that is electronic music, won his first round pretty handily, beating Bad Character 400 to 338 with beats that had big drums and glitches and blips that kept his tracks moving and interesting.
The second battle of the night was between another young and fresh talent, *Hitmayng and TradeMark.
This battle has my vote for being the most entertaining battle of the night. Both producers broke out the diss sample and went back and forth on stage with gestures and showcased their bravado properly – with the exception of newbie *Hitmayng throwing paper at TradeMark. As Madhatter said after their battle, "we don't throw paper at the Miltown Beat Down." We all had a good laugh about it.
TradeMark defeated *Hitmayng 420 to 408. Sidenote: *Hitmayng is a young cat with a lot of talent, so it's going to be very interesting to see how he develops over the years and hopefully through future Beat Downs.
The third battle pitted the "people's champ" and Beat Down legend 40 Mil against Sinister Reality.
As he typically does, 40 Mil came with some hardcore beats that included both samples and live programming and as any good vet that knows how to format beats for battle should, he won his round by a score of 382 to 231.
The final battle of the first round of the night was between newcomer ClassiCal and another MTBD veteran, Big Steve of GooniTunes.
This was probably the most shocking round of the night as ClassiCal seemed to come out of nowhere with some heavy dub-step beats that had breakdowns and change ups at all the right moments. He danced to the music, he willed the crowd to dance with him and he also won this week's unofficial dance contest that Kid Cut Up handles as the lone judge.
The final score of this battle was 392 to 351 in favor of ClassiCal.
So, with that battle done, the next two rounds were set and we were soon to find out who would emerge as the next two finalists.
First up was Andy Petr and TradeMark.
Petr is a sound surgeon and his music faired extremely well, but last night TradeMark had the key to battle – the crowd.
With potentially half of your points coming from the crowd's reaction, it's crucial to have people there to back you and TradeMark definitely brought out his crew and they rep'd for him really well.
In a close one, TradeMark nabbed the third spot in the MTBD finals by a score of 405 to 386.
The next battle, for the fourth spot of eight that will make it to the June 10 finals at Turner Hall, was going to go to either 40 Mil or ClassiCal.
This battle was the closest points-wise of the entire night. Both producers seemed to be firing on all cylinders and ClassiCal again delivered beats that took left turns the crowd didn't see coming and kept things fresh. But, in the end, the hardcore bangers of 40 Mil – who is always a crowd favorite to begin with – were enough to withstand even the thickest of grooves created by Cal.
40 Mil stole the fourth finals, beating ClassiCal by a margin of 2 points, 425 to 423.
After another great night of beats and fun, the Miltown Beat Down once again exhibited that you can get a room full of people from all backgrounds to check out some fresh music in Milwaukee. It can be done.
Born in Milwaukee and raised in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, Concordia University Wisconsin alumnus Poppe has spent the majority of his life in or around the city and county of Milwaukee.
As an advocate of Milwaukee's hip-hop community Poppe began popular local music blog Milwaukee UP in March 2010. Check out the archived entries here.
Though heavy on the hip-hop, Poppe writes about other genres of music and occasionally about food, culture or sports, and is always ready to show his pride in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.