Battle Rap

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A Battle Rap occurred on the 1/17/06 show between MC Steinberg (Defending Champion, having defeated John Junk the previous week) vs. Professional Rock Star Ted Leo (Challenger).

Calm Before The Storm

Ted Leo is in the studio trying to makes sense of how he managed to get mixed up in a Battle Rap with Steinberg and fears his stentorian falsetto will sound silly in the format. Mainstream entertainer MC Steinberg, fresh off cracking 1,000 Friends on Myspace, is focused and confident (he compares himself to Apollo Creed), warning Ted about his extensive training (including potentially inconsequential weightlifting) and predicts a KO victory.

Round 1

MC Steinberg: Crisp dis track, suggests The Pharmacists are now part of the Steinberg posse and that Leo's records would not sell even if they cost 50 cents. Notes that Leo is lucky it was delivered in the acappella format since if married with beats, Ted would shake in his sheets.

Ted Leo: Dirty Jersey vegan! Very solid, robust dis focusing on how Steinberg's Best Show calls and Myspace graffiti waste time better spent watching the NBC televison program, Law & Order.

Celebrity Judge Panel:

Petey: Liked Leo's rhymes but felt he was trying too hard and preferred Steinberg's flow.

Philly Boy Roy (using a hoagie as a pacifier to stay silent during the raps): Goes with Steinberg since the Garden State is #1 on his S Hitlist.

Marky Ramone: Favored Ted's deeper voice and flow. (Also refers to Petey as an "infant".)

Timmy von Trimble: Notes that he hates this "music"; declares a draw since both combatants had cool stuff, but it was often hard for his little ears to process the rhymes. Mentions that Hitler was also a vegetarian.


Round 2

MCS: "Your career's runnin' out/And so are your hairs" + "Tiny Tim called/He wants his high-pitched voice back" + "Your biggest hit to date was a Kelly Clarkson COVA". The last dis references Ted Leo's acoustic cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone".

TL: Ted begins this rap by exclaiming GOMP!, and dishes lines like "Overgrown man-child/baby with a rattle" + "And like my man Corey Harris/I knocked your mother 13 times" (Line of the Night, and it hit too close to home for Steinberg, who retorts" "My Mom's in rehab, jerk.")

Celebrity Judge Panel:

Petey: Claims Leo reminds him of a California-based Chinese rapper that he used to correspond with and was impressed by his transitions into verses (i.e., "flow"); docks Steinberg for a short rap, which sets off some fireworks. Steinberg was under the impression that the rules stipulated three rounds of four verses, which Leo disputes. Petey suggests a 4th round of freestyle raps and is dismissed from the panel for insubordination. This does not disapoint Marky: "The voice was kinda gratin'."

PBR: "Steinberg was pretty cruel, but I gotta say Teddy was a little crueler, which I'm sorta into." This prompts PBR to mention a feud he has with his cousin who borrowed a lawnmower in 1984 and has yet to return it.

MR: Favored Steinberg's more concise rap, which hit him in the "hot", and felt bad about Leo's maternal zing.

TvT: His gut reaction to Steinberg's brevity was "Hey, kid, where's the beef?", but the rules crack-up has him on a quest to crawl inside the hard drives of Leo and Steinberg to research any electronic messages exchanged about Battle Rap guidelines. He also reiterates his longstanding threat to jump in Tom's mouth and stab him from the inside. TvT's vote: DRAW.


Round 3

MCS: Great off-the-dome referencing of Ted's round 2 rap ("Your rhymes are too long/You're breakin' the rules") and a stunning, brilliant "Me and Mia" sing-song sample.

TL: In a bold, controversial move, Ted does an acoustic cover of Big Star's "The Ballad of El Goodo". Immediately following the song, Steinberg admits defeat and laments his big head ("The celebrity ate me up"). Ted proves a good sportsman by offering to concede victory due to rules violations, but the damage was already done -- Ted Leo dethroned MC Steinberg.

Celebrity Judge Panel:

Petey - DUMPED

PBR - "It's a draw to me -- you're both losers". PBR suggests settling it with a push-up contest and reveals that he's currently doing some "irregular ones".

MR - Praises Ted's tuneful, original song and offers to add fast drums to the track in the future; can't recall Steinberg's rap.

TvT: Not pleased with Ted thumbing his nose at the rules by doing a musical song and recommends disqualification.