Sunday, September 10, 2006

8 Mile West L.A. Style: MC Battle at 33Third

I've apparently been driving past a piece of Detroit many times along Pico Blvd without realizing it. Last Saturday night, I accepted Chaya’s invite to check out a “DJ-off” that her friend was hosting. Because it sounded like a refreshing change from a typical bar-hopping night--but mainly because we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into--we decided to hit up 33Third (the venue) on Pico & La Brea to check out the event.

I was imagining some grungy lounge filled with breakdance-capable clubgoers set up with two rival DJ’s alternating between scratching their vinyls on their turntables and then crossing their arms and daring his challenger with a "top that!" cock of an eyebrow.

Maybe we should have read the flyer properly, 33Thirdwas a vinyl store (with a great selection of bargain records by the way) not a bar, so besides the bottles of whiskey being questionably passed around and chugged by the crowd, there was no alcohol. And it wasn’t a DJ-Off but an amateur MC Battle, a la 8 Mile, which is essentially contestants insulting each other to a rap beat.

The crowd was initially intimating enough for us to consider bolting, and we definitely stood out (about 5 other girls total and none were dressed in heels and cleavagey tops like Chaya, Nikki and I, as opposed to the popular sideways cap and wifebeater look going on that night) but the guy manning the door was surprisingly friendly (“are you girls entering the contest tonight? We need more female MC contestants” without any trace of the deserved sarcasm in that question.)

Chaya’s friend/owner of the store pulled us up to the VIP area by the judges so we got a prime viewing spot of the mouthy battle. The Eminem for the night was actually a female. Lady DJ endured multiple harsh personal insults from her fellow male contestants—“I’m going to buy you a glass of milk/watch you drink it and watch your breasts grow” was a memorable line courtesy of DJ Shoe”—only to unleash a tirade of clever put-downs with double the ferocity. We didn’t stay till the end to see if she got crowned but she was the judges clear favorite when we left our brush with 8 Mile and headed to the Dime for some chill, post-MC Battle vodka tonics.

5111 West Pico Blvd., 3 blocks W of La Brea

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