Hiero vs. Hobo
June 13, 2013 6:55 PM   Subscribe

In 1994, after a perceived slight, Saafir the Saucee Nomad battled Casual of the Hieroglyphics crew at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. This confrontation led to one of the better (recorded) rap battles when Saafir's Hobo Junction crew battled Casual and the Hieroglyphics on Sway and Tech's radio show on KMEL in San Francisco.
posted by reenum (10 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for the post!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:27 PM on June 13, 2013

This battle is the only reason I ever heard of Saafir. Boxcar Sessions is a great album, and I didn't mind his album as Mr No No - Trigonometry, too--particularly "just ridin" (not to be confused with Just Riden from his previous album of course)
posted by Hoopo at 7:57 PM on June 13, 2013

Just Ridin' is my favorite song of his. The "Shot Callin' and Big Ballin'" remix is also a banger.
posted by reenum at 7:59 PM on June 13, 2013

If you were interested in just listening to this, Listen to YouTube makes a handy take-away MP3 (256 kbps). In this case, it's a 93.6 mb file.

And for reference, Grooveshark has Boxcar Sessions and The Hit List.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:34 PM on June 13, 2013

I was just reading a bunch of the summaries you linked about the battle, and I didn't know Hiero was freestyling and Saafir was using written rhymes before. I guess I agree there's nothing wrong with using writtens, but frankly Hiero writes much, much better battle rhymes than Saafir and the Hobos do. It's like all they do. If Casual and Souls had come in to the studio with written rhymes, this would have been no contest, but Hiero had a bit of a handicap in that they weren't prepared for a battle of written rhymes.
posted by Hoopo at 9:10 PM on June 13, 2013

Anybody else having trouble downloading the file?
posted by Going To Maine at 9:57 PM on June 13, 2013

There's playable audio at the "better" link.

Did this really go out over the radio? It sounds at some points when they're saying they need to stop for commercials, or somebody asking if people call in to vote to see who wins. This is pretty raw for broadcast.

I'm amazed at performances like these, particularly as someone who often has trouble completing verbal sentences. Great writers attempt to evoke similar mental responses when they construct sentences, and I can at least try to ape that when given lots of time to prepare and trial and error, but god damn, on-the-fly continuous spewing of words like this is some intelligence indistinguishable from deep magic. In the early 2000s a girlfriend took me to a Del show, and I've just spent the past hour exploring that scene again. This is good stuff, thanks for the post.
posted by Llama-Lime at 11:01 PM on June 13, 2013

I have Fear Itself and Trigonometry on cassette tape. I have never actually heard this battle before, only heard about it.
posted by ChuckRamone at 8:29 AM on June 14, 2013

Llama-Lime, this battle was on live radio. Not sure whether there was any blowback from the FCC.
posted by reenum at 11:23 AM on June 14, 2013

Llama-lime, so long as you're riniscing about Del, I can't help but recommend his recent collaboration album with Tame One from Artifacts. They are both in fine form. "Dude, You'd get booed saying grace over food"
posted by Hoopo at 5:35 PM on June 14, 2013

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