The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

A Little More Than Yo' Momma

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 24, 2007 4:09PM

2007_08_richseng.gifFour years ago, Rich Seng was a former seminary student making low-budget TV ads for local businesses when a friend took him to a hip hop open mic at Subterranean. One thing led to another that night, and before anyone knew what hit ‘em two renowned local emcees were freestyle battling each other. An idea was born, and Seng started organizing the first Rhyme Spitters rap battle tournament. He relied on word of mouth and hand-to-hand flyering to attract 60 would-be rappers to Wicker Park for the preliminary rounds of the tournament. Thirty-two finalists reconvened that night at The Note in a NCAA-style, bracketed showdown. That was 2004 – fast forward to 2007 and Rhyme Spitters 4 is set to bring this volatile and often brilliant art to life at the *slightly* larger and higher-profile Metro tomorrow night. This year’s prelims took place last Saturday, and the 32 finalists and 40 up-and-coming beat producers are sharpening their tongues for the ultimate test of an emcee’s mettle, wit, and balls. Every since we lost our shit watching Doomsday tell Lyric, “I got a great flow, you need to lay low - you look like you need to be hosting the Reading Rainbow” during a match in the final rounds of Rhyme Spitters 2, we’ve been ready to see the verbal carnage on a stage like Metro’s. If you think emcee battles can’t be as clever or exciting as in 8 Mile, get your whack ass out tomorrow and see the kind of hometown hip hop genius Chicago’s been cultivating while Kanye’s busy being robbed of Grammys.

The Rhyme Spitters 4 finals hit the Metro Saturday night | 9pm | $13