The battle between street rappers Derek “T-Kettle” Minton and Aaron “B-Hive” Blevins took place in the parking lot of the Wendy’s restaurant at the intersection of Dale St. and University Ave. in St. Paul. Both rapper’s feelings were heavily bruised following what one witness described as “a ruthless series of well-researched, fact-based disses.”
Blevins, who conceded defeat in the fourth round, was reported to have received significant emotional scarring which will most likely require some positive reinforcement from friends and family, as well as a full-night’s sleep. The full extent of Minton’s hurt feelings were not immediately available.
“Facts-only” rap battles became popular in late 2009 when street rappers began hearing complaints from bystanders about the validity of their rhythmically spoken barbs. Unlike freestyle rap battles glamorized in movies such as 8 Mile, rappers engaging in this controversial new format are only allowed to use lyrics that are factually based and supported by documented research. Exaggerating or lying about an opponent in any fashion (e.g. – dissin’ a rapper’s weight without corresponding paperwork from his/her health care provider) results in immediate disqualification from the competition.
“Like anything else, rap battles have evolved at the behest of the fans,” said Cindy Springer, Professor of Lyricologism at the University of Phoenix. “People grew tired of hearing one rapper tell another that he was ‘gonna start some stabbage, cause your d*** smells like cabbage.’ Now, does the other rapper’s penis actually smell like cabbage? Perhaps. But if that’s the case, people wanted documentation backing it up.”
Initially, “facts-only” rapping was localized to affluent suburban communities with high graduation rates and top-notch research libraries. With smart-phones and WiFi becoming more easily accessible, however, rappers of every income and education level have gained unfettered access to reliable, error-proof research tools such as Wikipedia.
Wednesday evening’s trouble reportedly began in the rap battle’s first round when Minton drew attention lyrically to some environmentally irresponsible behavior by Blevins and his family over the past few months.
“You know your worth to the Earth is like a virus is to NyQuil,” rapped Minton. “Just ask me how I know this. It’s cause your family don’t recycle.”
While Blevins’ later acknowledged his family’s recycling habits in recent months have been suspect, he argued that they did separate their glass and aluminum from their regular refuse as recently as August, rendering Minton’s broad claim highly suspect under battle rules. However, judges eventually ruled that records obtained from the recycling company by Minton “sufficiently support his ill verse.”
The intensity of the battle rose several notches in the second round, with Blevins informing Minton that his three missed payments on his Holiday gas card had dropped his credit rating by 35 points, followed by Minton’s claim that Blevins and his “life partner” are currently not allowed to legally marry in Minnesota.
With many onlookers considering the battle a draw through three rounds, Minton wrestled away all momentum in the fourth, and final, round, blasting Blevins for his failure to gain acceptance to grad school at Hamline University and drawing attention to his family’s health issues.
“When T-Kettle started spittin’ lines about how B-Hive’s mom havin’ diabetes meant that she was 23% less likely to reach the age of 75 than adult women with acceptable blood-sugar levels, that tore him up,” said a member of B-Hive’s crew, who asked to remain anonymous. “He just couldn’t go on.”
Immediately following his forfeiture of the battle, Blevins was seen wiping tears off his cheeks. Members of his crew initially claimed the tears were a result of an allergic reaction to the five Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers Blevins had consumed earlier, but the rapper later confirmed they were, in fact, tears of sadness.
Despite anonymous accusations that Minton’s verses were as irresponsible as they were hurtful, friends of the 32-year-old accountant-turned-rapper claim his lyrics were well within the battle’s guidelines.
“T-Kettle don’t front when it come to his research, yo,” said Lance Mitchell, Minton’s long-time friend. “He always comes prepared with footnotes and an annotated bibliography of his sources for every verse. This ain’t his first time ’round the block.”
One witness, however, wasn’t so sure.
“Just cause he gots himself a bunch of paper with notes on ’em, don’t make what he say true,” said an agitated Tanquisha (pronounced tank-wee-shuh) Jackson. “When he was spittin’ lines about how B-Hive’s ride was due for an oil change in 800 miles, I started yelling ‘No it ain’t!’ He just had his ride up to the Walmart last week!”
As of this report, investigators are currently interviewing Walmart’s Tire and Lube employees regarding Jackson’s claim.