The Final Four of the Isabuhay Tournament
By Dante Romero
From 16 emcees, we are now down to four. The quarterfinals of the 2018 Isabuhay Tournament took place last September 8 at B-Side, and it had its fair share of surprises. Everyone thought Batas will once again dominate, but it was Fukuda who went home with a 7-0 victory. Pistolero gave a performance so impressive it was enough to counter Plazma’s brutal lines. Resurging vets Abra and Shehyee proved that they still got it by defeating Invictus and J-King respectively.
While waiting for the semifinals, let us take a closer look at the remaining battlers who will be competing for the crown. Each one is determined to be called the champ, so we’re all expecting them to bring their A-game in the next event. Make some noise for the final four!
He still has a tendency to exceed the two-minute time limit every round, but no one can deny Shehyee’s power on stage. Whether it’s pure comedy or all out personal attacks, he can make it much more effective thanks to his confident delivery. You can always expect his punchlines to be hard-hitting, even without being overly technical. If he maintains this performance level, within the time limit, then we may see him in the finals.
Consistency won’t be a problem for Shehyee. He never choked in his previous battles, and when he’s about to stumble, he easily bounces back with a sick freestyle. His next opponent should definitely come prepared with not only quality lyricism, but also raw aggression.
When the official bracket was released, CDO’s Fukuda was rarely mentioned as a favorite to win the tournament. Everything changed at Bwelta Balentong 5 when he beat the two-time champ Batas. He now has a more intense delivery, and his bars hit harder than ever before. Isabuhay has witnessed plenty of unpredictable moments, and Fukuda becoming champion can surely be one of them. He just needs to be open to other battling styles, especially if he’s facing a versatile opponent.
Like Fukuda, Pistolero was underrated when the tournament lineup was announced. He silenced his doubters at Bwelta Balentong 5 when he won against the veteran Plazma. The Tondo-based emcee had a stronger stage presence, and his rebuttals were effective as ever. He also showed improvement in constructing angles, which will definitely be useful in the semifinals.
Based on his previous battle, it’s obvious that Pistolero is serious in getting that 100k prize and winning the championship. As long as he stays consistent, there’s a huge chance of it happening. Battle rap enthusiasts better not sleep on him from here on out.
Abra finally ended his losing streak when he joined the 2018 tournament. He defeated Poison13 in the first round, and became a much bigger threat in the quarterfinals after beating Invictus via unanimous decision. The fan-favorite no longer stumbles in his rounds, and his mixture of jokes and technical lines blend more effectively than ever. As for his complex rhyming style, it remains intact. If he adds more aggression to his delivery, then we may be looking at the next champion.
The Isabuhay Semifinals will go down on the 20th of October (Unibersikulo 6) at Quantum Makati, where the very first FlipTop event was held. We all have different predictions, but one thing is certain, it will be a historical night for Hiphop. Check out the Promos section of the website to avail your discounted ticket!