Beatbox Battle World Championship Preview Pt. 1: The more the Bery-er
Berywam Strong Favorites Among the Crew Battles at the Beatbox Battle World Championship
In each of the five days leading up to the competition I will be uploading a preview for the five competitions at the Beatbox Battle World Championship (BBBWC). (If you missed the longer preview, be sure to check that out before the Championship kicks off). Following the BBBWC’s lead, we will begin with the crew battles.
The Crew Battles will be slightly different from the other competitions in that there is just one battle round. After all the crews showcase their stuff in one four minute showcase, only two groups will advance to the battle rounds and compete for the crew title. And on top of that, only ten crews will be participating. The official rules indicate that Bee Low was expecting a larger field — only ten of twenty available slots are taken.
For me, this made ranking the beatboxing crews less interesting than ranking the other competitions. I broke up the ten beatboxing crews into two categories, contenders and the rest.
Let’s start with the underdogs first.
The long-shot crews share a two major shortcomings.
First, aside from K.I.M. of End of the Game, none of the beatboxers in these groups have won a competition against another top level beatboxer. Chezame (ThunderBeatz), Slizzer (Mouth-o-Matic), and Eon (Mouth-o-Matic) are national solo champions, and all the groups are national crew champions, but none of these groups have defeated top level competition at any level.
Second, you will be hard pressed to find videos of these groups performing together. In fact, I could not find a single video of Mandala on YouTube! Without high-end quality or a history of experience performing together, these groups will likely stand on the outside looking in for the final round.
The Beatbox Collective is the reigning champion crew, but they have not participated in any major battles since winning the last World Championship. Getting reps are major competitions is important for all beatboxers, but I think experience is most important among the crews. With more minds and mouths involved, crews need experience syncing up their sounds. For that reason, I worry for Team Punk (just one video and no competitions since the 2017 French Beatbox Championship) and The Beatbox Collective.
The Beatbox House and Berywam faced off last summer at the inaugural World Beatbox Camp, with Berywam coming out on top. Both groups have extensive experience beatboxing together from living together, and truly embracing the crew model. I expect this experience will lead to a rematch in the finals.
First thing’s first. You know the Beatbox House will rock out to Cotton Eye Joe. They might not save the child song cum trap/dubstep mishmosh for the finals because they need to ensure they get there. The problem for them will be what to perform when they aren’t covering Cotton Eye Joe.
The American Champions have fully embraced member Kenny Urban’s commitment to freestyling to great success. Their Cotton Eye Joe routine was born a freestyle, only transitioning into a set after the fact. But in the finals they will face an organized beatboxing and musical a capella machine, one that will not be defeated without preparations.
Berywam suffered a major blow this spring when their singer and composer extraordinaire MB14 announced he would be leaving the group. Had MB14 been part of the group, they would be outright favorites, but his departure put that in question. (MB14 left open the possibility for him to participate in the BBBWC in some way in his goodbye video, but the video has since been deleted.) Berywam’s performances have relied on MB’s wide vocal range to provide texture and depth to their performances. But new member Beasty has joined the group and demonstrated that he fits right in.
Since joining, Beasty has recorded a solo loopstaion video and a pop cover in five styles with the group, and gone on tour with the rest of the group. Beasty has had time to learn Berywam’s intricate covers and original sets, and assuming he can simply hold his own, Berywam should have a fairly comfortable time on the way to victory.