Rap battle brings rhymes for Valentine’s Day


Alexander Aghayere

Rap battle brings rhymes for Valentine’s Day

By Kendrah Villiesse

More than a dozen underground rappers from across the nation are going to be putting their rhymes to the ultimate test in a Valentine’s Day rap battle.

Valentine’s Day Massacre 4, a rap battle presented by No Coast Raps, includes 14 rappers who will be battling each other through rhymes on Feb. 10 at Elastic Arts, 3429 W. Diversey Ave. 

The first two Valentine’s Day Massacres were held in Columbia, Missouri, in 2010 and 2011,  and this will be the second one hosted in Chicago, according to Ray Myers, the co-founder and Chicago division head of No Coast Rap League. 

“I didn’t have the idea really,” Myers said. “I just had the idea of resuming [Valentine’s Day Massacre] in Chicago.”

No Coast Raps is a rap battle league that opened in 2009, in Columbia, Missouri, and was created by Myers and Kelly Betz. No Coast Raps was one of the first rap battle leagues in America, according to Myers. 

“We were very influenced by things like the world rap championships,” Myers said. “PrimeTime, King of the Dot in Canada, we were just seeing a lot of footage and we wanted to do something like that.”

With the event being held at Elastic Arts, an 18-and-over venue, Myers said he is happy to have the opportunity for a wider demographic attending the battle. 

The battlers include B-Magic, E. Farrell, Copywrite, Reverse Live, Syd Vicious, Uno Lavoz, Jonny Storm, Tone Montana, Mosh Jelton, Qpacalypse, Speedy Calhoun, Raco Da Dragon, OKnice and Human. 

When choosing the rappers for the battle, Myers said he looked for artists whose personalities and rhymes would complement each other and be entertaining to watch when battling. 

“The different factors I look at is how respected someone is, how much I personally like what their style is and what they have to say on both a technical and content level,” Myers said. “Then, I am looking for matchups that make sense on the chemistry level.”

No Coast Rap’s 2016 Rookie of the Year Chris Gibson—whose stage name is OKnice—from St. Paul, Minnesota, is very excited to be in Chicago for the first time and battling for VDM4. 

“I really love Chicago hip-hop; it really has a lot going on and it has for a really long time,” Gibson said.

Gibson has been rapping for 15 years and said he is not very aggressive when battling, and likes to challenge himself when making and writing music. 

Cody Sepulveda—known as rapper Reverse Live—from San Jose, California is one of the headliners for VDM4. Sepulveda has been rapping for 14 years, starting at age 12 when he realized he could rhyme after replacing the lyrics to rap songs when he forgot the real lyrics. 

Sepulveda has participated in four battles with No Coast and said he is most excited for his battle with the established rapper Copywrite, from Columbus, Ohio. He said he has been a fan of his since high school, when he used to buy Copywrite’s CDs.

“It’s pretty dope that I get to battle him,” Sepulveda said. “It is cool because it shows I have worked my way up in my scene.”