The past Sunday at Milk River (coincidentally in my hood) the much talked about battle between FREDRO STARR & KEITH MURRAY went down.
I been hearing about this joint for a minute but thought it was just talk. You know, get people hyped for nothing. Off the strength, I figured Keith would win if he stuck to his style. I peeped a few recent sounds to see what the flow was sounding like.
Though it was different from what it used to be, with the battle as a focus and studio time to practice, his lyrical content and dexterity was bound to win right???
Don’t get me wrong, I always liked Onyx and Fredro’s grit. He wasn’t lyrically gifted in terms of spitting shit that made you think “he got bars”, you fucked with Fredro and crew because they got you hyped and ready for war.
But it’s been a minute and I haven’t heard much on the underground scene that popped like that, so who know’s.
Let’s get to this battle.
Round 1 goes to Fredro:
Keith started off shaky taking the mic instead of allowing a coin toss, if i had cake on this I’d be mad. He was showing signs of recklessness. Was he drinking, smoking, something deeper. Shit I don’t, but he wasn’t at his ‘Most Beautifullest’. The delivery, mess ups, repeats… I felt bad for him.
He seemed like he needed help, the awkward transition of him putting on a deadlock wig and rhyming like KRS was difficult to watch. I pressed pause for a minute to think, do I want to finish and diminish my childhood memories of one of the flyest sounding emcee’s…
I continued and it didn’t get better… sad day for hip hop fans.
Fredro on the other hand, came out with the energy that he’s known for easily and instantly creating the first crucial blows of the evening. His bars were ok but not on the level of most average battle rappers. I get that they do that everyday, practice/battle so I’m not holding it against him, just pointing out the obvious.
If Keith was on point or at least somewhat sober, he could have easily won that round. Another awkward moment was the adding a beat to the match. Thats cool if it just flows according to the DJ’s discretion, but it was starting and stopping. The first beat was mad wack and that didn’t help one bit. Regardless, Fredro caught that body in the first round.
Round 2 goes to Fredro:
Things got lightly heated, some pushing, a few refs getting caught in the action. Keith, went back at Fredro with a little too much passion which didn’t translate well over the mic. The rhymes were not well thought out and rudimentary. He had a few light jabs but that was it.
Fredro pretty much won this pretty clean, getting on him being a dust head. Damn, is that what’s going on? Shit, I don’t know but damn… Keith could have had a new career if he was on point. Even if he loss, but that’s not what happened.
Keith’s lyrics is sounding a little clearer though, a little bit more decipherable. It’s like he’s slowly realizing that he’s being bodied and has to start fighting. He takes the mic from Fredro and the ref’s have to ease things down a bit.
Fredro points out that Keith Murray is lying when he said he beat Tupac’s ass (and I thought it was a closeted truth). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DdR2UBYnFY But now that I think about it, that slur filled interview did seem a little suspect hmmm. More crackhead jabs drop from Mr Starr followed by Keith forgetting lyrics or something even Fredro trying to tell him to come on, say some shit but in a helpful way.
This is the point where you never want to be. I know it took some of the steam out of Fredro, cause you want to hate the person your battling. But when they don’t seem all there, you feel bad which weakens ya shit quite a bit, in regards to the intensity.
Round 3 goes to Fredro:
Keith at this point is sounding at his best for the night. This is how he should have started, well sorta. The old flow was sorta there, but the bars was out dated and sloppily delivered.
Fredro returned with a well delivered flow upper cutting Keith for the knockout when he had the but silenced. This is exactly what should have happened since the beginning, no beat battle. Keith returned with a follow up that was even more like his older style. Not having a beat allowed him to get the verses out at his pace, though it was to late….
Congratulations for both artist for actually doing it. It wasn’t some overhyped celebrity match, it was mad hoodie and organic. I wish the best for both and congrats to Fredro.
We are the THE BROOKLYN WORD… unfiltered authentic realness, if we not connected to it, then we speak it!
UPDATE: Of course after it all went down, the hip hop community expressed their opinions on the battle. They pretty much didn’t hold back, pretty much calling Keith ‘washed up’. Now, if you read my recap I kept that shxt 100 and true to the core.
I personally thought Keith was on drugs and just didn’t care enough to handle the battle seriously. When I think of Keith Murray, I think of one of the flyest emcees on the mic that was a real spitter. I never heard him do wrong for the most part, so I was mad disappointed when having to witness Keith (an emcee that I thought would demolish most of these new artist and battle rappers) actually appearing sub par. It was a mind fuxk and tough to come to grips with.
Vladtv did a few pieces following up with Keith Murray and Murder Mook. Check for yourself and share your thoughts. I appreciated Keith for standing up and owning his fault. He said it was prescription drugs/medicine plus alcohol that contributed to his loss. Who knows what happened, I was just glad to see him more level headed and he expressed his self well. That gave me hope that maybe there will be a come back, it sounds like it. Team Murray all the way, but trust mad respect to Fredro and his accomplishments which are admirable, good dude right there.