Monday, March 16, 2009

Round 2 Results of the Cauc Hop

With all of the other hype focused on the "other March Madness," The Cauc Hop resumed today, with Round 2 offering as much scintillating action as the first round did. Have a look for yourself . . .

Eminem (1) vs. Bubba Sparxxx (8)

As the #1 entry, Eminem was unchallenged by the 16-seed Brian Austin Green. In the second round, however, it was a whole different story.

No. No, it wasn't. Bubba Sparxxx launched into "Deliverance," only to have Eminem to quip, "You got a pretty mouth, boy." The pasty hillbilly foolishly insinuated that Eminem was just Dre's puppet, only to be beaten down with a flurry of clever lyrical barbs involving incest, rednecks, and Bubba's own reliance on the Ying Yang Twins. It got "Ugly" early for Bubba.

Eminem continued on mercilessly, managing to heap insults on Bubba's girlfriend, family, friends, home state of Georgia, and everyone who ever dwelled south of the Mason-Dixon line. He went after Sparxxx for failing to bow down and pay respects . . . and then ripped Michael Jackson and Moby just for kicks.

Eminem won handily, though everyone in the arena wondered whether he ran up the score not for lack of respect for the young hip-hopster but because he's still irate at his peeps who leaked his latest album to the Net. Either way, he moves on.

House of Pain (5) vs. 3rd Bass (4)

The battle of "What have you done for me lately?" appeared to match two one-hit wonders from the early 90's . . . well, it appeared so to the Yo! MTV Raps crowd who only wanted to hear "Jump Around" and "Pop Goes the Weasel." The House book-ended their set of largely uninspired Celt-rap numbers like "Top O' the Mornin' to Ya" and "Shamrocks & Shenanigans" with "Jump Around" and . . . "Jump Around." With a paper-thin catalog, this is what happens.

Anyone looking for more of the same from the derelicts of dialect was more than pleasantly surprised with the outcome. After opening with the aforementioned crowd-pleaser to get it out of the way, 3rd Bass ran through a reading of the entire Cactus Album. From "Steppin' to the AM" to "Brooklyn - Queens" to "Wordz of Wizdom," the law was laid down by Serch, the Prime Minister, and DJ Richie Rich. (It's worth noting that the latter inspired the rap name of one of G:TB's own -- DJ Robbie Robb -- in 1991. He was accompanied by another Gheorgher -- "Honky Dory" -- and Friend of Gheorghe "D. Pave.")

It turned out to be a decidedly one-sided affair. In desperation, Everlast shoved his Housemates offstage and attempted to turn the tide by cranking out "What It's Like," but the officials intervened, pointing to the Cauc Hop ruling that states that entries are selected for either their group or solo work, not both. Whitey Ford played under protest, but 3rd Bass moves on the the semis in impressive fashion.

Slug (14) vs. The Streets (6)

While Slug leaned heavily on emo-rap classics like "Modern Man’s Hustle" and "Nothing but Sunshine" to get him through his first round match-up, the Minnesota-bred rapper chose to change up his game plan going in to his battle with acclaimed British rapper The Streets by going the battle rap route with bangers like "One of a Kind" and "Cats, Vans, Bags" early on and, clearly, stunning the pride of Birmingham, England. Though he was down, The Streets was certainly not out of this… not by a longshot. He came out of the half and responded by dipping into his past and pulling out classic tracks from his critically acclaimed album A Grand Don’t Come for Free such as "Fit But You Know It" and "Could Well Be In" and clearly had the crowd as well as the momentum on his side.

Slug later explained that he expected a competitor like The Streets to mount a comeback and it just forced him to step up his focus and finally put the game away by further demonstrating his versatility with a combination of light-hearted raps like "American Disgrace" and "Guns and Cigarettes" and then the hauntingly vivid and dark rhymes of "That Night" and "Your Glass House".

Ultimately, it was Slug’s ability to change his styles, seemingly at will, that won him this game. His versatility and innovative style was simply too much for his opponent as the overwhelmed MC finally conceded defeat as the crowd rose to meet Slug’s efforts with a loud and proud chant of “USA! USA!”

Aesop Rock (10) vs. Beastie Boys (2)

This one had upset written all over it from the get-go. Hungry youngster meets aging legends resting on laurels. Honestly, people, let's be frank: The Beasties haven't put out a new (hip-hop) record since 2004, and that one was something of a dud. Meanwhile Ian Matthias Bavitz, aka Aesop Rock, has been all over the place. Aesop proved to be no fable by delivering a stirring rendition of "None Shall Pass" -- which happened to please the Python-loving Gheorghers as well as the rap aficionados. A.R. was taking the arena over, the crowd was into it, and the Beasties couldn't be bothered to muster much of a retaliation.

And then young Ian made an egregious lapse in judgment, unleashing the new lyric "What'cha done for me lately, you're too old to chill/This ain't '86 and you ain't licensed to ill". The fans stepped back instinctively, knowing that perhaps Aesop had tugged on Supermen's cape. The very first (sampled) sounds of LTI's album opener rained down from the speakers above, as Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham, Horowitz, Diamond, and Yauch all descended upon the ears of the masses...

"Because -- Mutiny on the Bounty's what we're all abouuuuut . . ."

And that was it, really. The new kid did his thing, but legends are legends, and the merging of classic rock riffs, scratched-up hip-hop beats, and three bad brothers you know so well meant the end of Aesop Rock's run, admirable though it may have been. Beasties move on.

On to the semis. Here are your semifinal match-ups:

4-3rd Bass

2-Beastie Boys


TJ said...

Well I'll be does exist...

zoltan said...

I never thought about how weak a genre cauc hop is until now - 3rd Bass is the 4 seed? Jeezus.

Whitney said...

See, Z, that's why they're a minority worth celebrating in the month of March.

zoltan said...

I think this tourney would have a little more punch if you broadened its scope and relaxed the hiphop requirement. Beck, Jamiroquai, Justin Timberlake, The Chemical Brothers, DJ Shadow, Rage Against the Machine would have made this more competitive. IMHO.

rob said...

why would jeff capel leave oklahoma for uva? acc, yes, but perennial mid-tier at best. he could do better. i don't get it.

zoltan said...

Isn't he from Virginia? I'd rather live in Charlottesville than Oklahoma.

Mark said...

He grew up in Fayetteville, NC mostly. He was at Duke by the time his Dad went to ODU.

And here's something I didn't know about him, his first name is Felton? Um, okay.