By Nathan S.
I had a long list of fails ready to go for this week, but then I found myself so endlessly fascinated by one of the videos in it, I'm calling an audible and devoting this week's entire "Fails of the Week" to one video. One incredible, terrible, fantastic, atrocious video. Honestly, it defies explanation, but I'm going to try anyway.
First some background info. Spotted in Complex' "10 Ridiculous Rap Battle Moments", some kids from Chamblee High School in Atlanta created a freestyle battle for a video production class and, well....you're just going to have to watch.
The Refined Take:
1) Like everything else in this video, the production value on this is so terrible it's amazing. It looks like Nintendo circa 1988 did all their text. I know high school's don't have the must up to date technology, but this video was clearly filmed in 2001 at the absolute earliest (Eli Porter's in the class of 2005, do the math). Without that clue, I would have guessed somewhere in the neighborhood of '93.
2) Is there any particular reason why our host, the esteemed "Marvo", spends the entire time with his hands on the honorable judge's chest? This would be one of the more awkward things I've ever seen if it wasn't for what's about to come.
3) So obviously Envy's in a tricky position considering he can't really go at his opponent directly without looking like a complete a-hole (although he does cal him a "cripple"), but that verse was clearly pre-written. There's no worse sin in a freestyle battle than going off a pen and paper (or Blackberry, as the case may be).
4) Ok, I know everyone's been waiting to get to Eli Porter, and frankly I don't even no where to begin. First, he obviously has a handicap of some sort, so you've got to question why the kids put him in the battle in the first place. Either he's secretly dope and they're nicely giving him a chance to shine, or they're laughing at his expense.
As soon as Eli starts to rhyme it sadly looks like the latter. And when Eli stops rhyming and just stares off into space, that may be the most excruciating 15 seconds of video I've ever seen. It's just painful...and then...wait...what's this!?! Maybe he was scheming, maybe he was plotting out some lines, maybe it's divine hip-hop intervention, but Eli miraculously snaps out of it and proceeds to drop some of the better punchlines you're going to hear. I know the delivery is weak, to put it kindly, but "I'ma let you know who the best by the hour/He's like Rosie O'Donnell at a bi-sexual bridal shower"? "Ain't no wonder why he came out, he already in a gay parade"? Tell me those aren't legitimately hilarious punchlines? I've never been more confused by a rapper. I want to laugh at Eli, cringe, seriously applaud him, I don't know what to do. Just craziness.
And the entire time Envy's just standing there with his hands behind his back. Lord only knows what he's thinking .
5) Eli Porter got robbed, or at the least this is a draw. Tell me one dope line that Envy had? You can't. In contrast the entire judge's table is laughing and talking about that out-of-nowhere Rosie Perez punchline. You're leaving this battle talking about one man and one man only, and his name is Eli Porter. If that's not a victory, I don't know what it.