Last Night The Battle of Seattle
posted by July 25 at 13:54 PMon
Sunday night’s Fresh Produce brought the Triple Threat DJs—Vinroc, Shortkut, and Apollo—to Havana’s hiphop weekly, and the heads showed up in herds. Badass breaking early in the night from Massive Monkeys kept a ring of bodies around the dancefloor, but by the time Triple Threat started up, with Apollo dropping Dre, Vinrock rocking Kanye, and Shortcut doing Dilla, the whole room was dancing the swirl. Seriously—our man Brandon Ivers described the mood as “the antidote to rock shows,” no pretense, all bump ‘n’ grind, packed and sweaty. It also must be said that the women who frequent hiphop nights are unfailingly the foxiest around.
But while the DJ action was going down inside, the climax of the night came out in the parking lot, where I was privvy to a tiny slice of Seattle history. Ivers, Larry “Gatsby” Mizell, and myself were kicking it next to someone’s parked car, its doors open and beats pouring from within.
Suddenly, Karim “Nightclubber Lang” Panni, the night’s co-promoter and member of true-school crew the Boom Bap Project, steps up to Mizell and demands a battle. (Karim is ALWAYS on—it was the first time I’ve seen the dude since college and he’s STILL talking the same quick-witted shit from back in the day. First thing he says to me: “So. You’re still ugly.”)
Lang came out swinging, took Gatsby by surprise and pounced on the opportunity. Gatsby reeled but came back strong with a few valiant bars, but he was struggling like a wounded grizzly. Lang stayed on the offensive, ready and waiting, and rhymed something with “Zwickel”—wish like hell I could remember what it was. That brought smiles and “oh shit”s from the small crowd. Both fighters had clearly been dipping into the sauce before the bout, and I think we were outside because things were being smoked, so the toe-to-toe wasn’t as elegant as it might’ve been in more sober circumstances. Gatsby stumbled and fell back, ready to bow out, while the Nightclubber kept punching, brutal, relentless. Though it was a technical knockout, Lang walked away with the title.