Over the course of November Red Bull Studios Auckland and David Dallas reconnect to present a new season of 64 Bars, this time starring local rappers DIRTY (of ENO X DIRTY), Raiza Biza, and newcomer Kid$eb. Following the release of the new three cuts, David Dallas broke the silence and entered the booth himself in honor of 64 Bars Live at Underpass.
As always, the set-up is elegantly simple: one mic, one studio. Originally dreamed up in 2015, 64 Bars is an online showcase where handpicked MCs step into the booth and lay down "64 bars" of straight raps. Styled in the tradition of Sway's 5 Fingers of Death freestyle segment, or Charlie Sloth's Fire In The Booth, it's an outlet for local artists to show and prove their skills for real.
"The sole idea behind 64 Bars was to have a platform strictly focused on the craft of rapping – not songwriting, or fashion or marketing," explains David Dallas. "You've got radio and social media for that other stuff. I just wanted this to be a showcase of people's ability to rap."
64 Bars kicked off strong with two spotlight-stealing seasons, featuring PNC, Lukan Raisey (of MASO Gang), Josh Lane, legendary BK MC Talib Kweli (US), Abdul Kay, INF (of SWIDT) and Rizván. The third season presents equally hearty performances, today’s video from DIRTY, followed by Raiza Biza and newcomer Kid$eb respectively. Taking things back to basics, it cuts straight to, and illuminates, the cornerstone of the MC craft.
"When D.Dot reached out to me, I was humbled and immediately started writing," says DIRTY. "Rapping 64 straight bars with no hooks or breaks feels comfortable to me. I mean, all I really want to do is rap my tiny little hollow black heart out, and what better way to approach it than with the intention to leave a dead body in the Red Bull Studios?"
After season three wraps up, David Dallas and Red Bull Studios Auckland will take 64 Bars live at Underpass on Dec 2 in Auckland. With David Dallas on hosting duties, PNC, Lukan Raisey, Josh Lane, Abdul Kay, INF, Rizván, DIRTY, Raiza Biza and Kid$eb touch the mic. Performing under the spotlight they'll present a short packed set surrounded by an intimate audience – moving the feeling of a crowded street corner cypher into a live scenario.
"I feel like 64 bars has been really healthy for the scene," David Dallas enthuses. "It's shone a light on how much talent we have coming through, it's allowed deserving artists to grow their fan base, and it's made my inbox fill up with DMs from rappers hungry to get on the next round."