Space City Beat Battle VII Re-cap: Going Gorillas

Words by:  Kristina Rose, Intern


If I could include a hash tag for this event it would be #gorrillasinthemist#kingkongbeats.  Houston is accustomed to trunks popping and bass knocking which served as the basis of judgment for Houston’s Space City Beat Battle VII, which took place at Fitzgerald’s on Sunday July 29th, 2012. The Beat Battle seemed like more of an underground event for avid hip-hoppers located in the upper room of the historic venue.  I felt like I was an extra in the midst of the 8-Mile movie minus the cheesy disses and over exaggerated confidence of the emcees.  It was purely beats – no rhymes -, which allowed you to hear the track organically without distraction.  It was two producers; two jump drives, and one goal…to win.


The noted tastemakers of the industry, OG Ron C of the Chopstars and co-founder of Swishahouse  plus Pyro and Ryu of Soundmob, the producers behind Kirko Bang’s “Drank in My Cup”( #1 song Billboard single), served as the judges for the night.  The consensus between the judges as each producer presented their best tracks to the audience was the word “gorillas”, referring to the amount of bass in the beat.  The sixty-second snippet of your track determined the fate of your one-minute of fame.  One ferocious beat from your opponent can devour your soft sample in one sound bite. The judges made it painfully aware if your beat had what it takes and the constructive criticisms was no holds barred.  This is not a competition for the meek. Nonetheless, criticism from industry professionals builds character and makes for a stronger competitor.  By the end of the night DJ Space City proved to be the king of this show, with King Henry following in second place. The winner received $150 cash and the runner-up received premium headphones sponsored by Sol Republic.


As the night progressed, being a woman amongst “gorillas” (beats), I was able to decipher the strip club beats from the sultry sampled snippets from the tracks just begging for an appearance from a Dipset member. All in all, I learned a few necessities to bring to a Space City Beat Battle: You’re A-Game, Originality (meaning minimizing the use of the looped beats and pre-samples tracks), and your gorillas – both kind – bass and your squad, as audience participation and influence can help your positioning.


And the beat goes on with the eighth episode of the Space City Beat Battle™ on September 29th at Warehouse Live’s Green Room.