By Dylan Deprey
Sometimes in battle rap, it’s not about what you say; it’s how you say it.
When Killa B is in the ring, his ability to move the crowd from a standstill is uncanny. His witty set ups lead to room-shaking punchlines. Even on some of the more biased out-of-state stages, by the end of the battle, his opponents’ fans are joining in on his infamous “Ooooorrrrrrrrrrr!” tag line.
His energy in the ring is infectious. His ability to successfully rebuttal his opponents’ material from the previous round gives him an edge that keeps fans on their toes. He dismembers his opponents. Between clever gun bars and slick street schemes, even the toughest of crowds give props.
Killa B is a staple in Milwaukee battle rap. His headline battles are highly anticipated. Whether it’s a one-off or three-round battle, win or lose, he will literally shake the room every time he steps on stage.
Killa B is one of the Black Ice Cartel battle league’s heavy hitters. Along with battling on other local leagues like Underground Battle League, Say Mercy and Art of War 414, he travels across the country. This includes his Proving Ground (PG) battles on the most prominent national battle league: the Ultimate Rap League (URL).
He is the Body Gang general, and reps his hood to the fullest. The battle rap crew originated in the Hampton Heights neighborhood, and has grown into a nationally recognized squad of lethal linguists. He has also pledged ties to the New Midwest Movement. It’s an extensive network of battlers elevating the Midwest battle rap scene to the next level.
Over the past eight years, he has amassed 53 battles, 451,855 views and averaged 8,500 views per battle, according to Verse Tracker.
While he would forever rep his Body Gang associates and his hometown, he decided it was time for a change.
Killa B made the move to Arizona in early 2020. The decision was all about growth, he said.
“I wanted to get out of the city,” he said. “Even outside of battle rap, I was already going back and forth, and I liked it.”
The fresh change of scenery and warm weather put him in grind mode. Though COVID-19 basically decimated battle rap for several months, he consistently worked on music.
He considers himself a “young-old-head.” Like many old school hip-hop fans, bars, schemes, word play and substance are a must. As autotune and trap beats saturate the airwaves, for Killa B, it’s about finding an even medium.
While in Arizona, he connected with producers online and eventually crafted his “Height of Success” mixtape. The 11-track project dropped on mixtape sites May 2020.
“My s*** ages well. It sounds relevant, even though the whole rap world is far from what I grew up with, which is real spitting and talent. It wasn’t just about money and gimmicking your way to the top,” he said.
Killa B has been dropping mixtapes for years, but he said that recently, it was battle rap that really pushed him to invest in his music.
“Once you get to traveling and see music on a bigger scale, it ain’t enough. I’ve got a lot of people to vouch for me, and I’m just building a fan base,” he said.
For the most part, he has sat back and watched the local talent grow in Arizona. He said their skill level hasn’t matched up to his tier yet, but their hunger and passion for battle rap pushed him to keep working.
Since his move, he has battled twice on local leagues. In early June, he took on Ohio native, Rich Thawtz, in a crowd-less battle at an undisclosed venue for BattleBorn MC’s. He also took on Alaska’s own Sosa for a three-round battle back in mid-July.
He also has a battle in the works with LA’s Yak Da Rippa. As he prepares, his plan of attack is to “kill it,” and verbally annihilate his opponent.
As for his battle rap future back home, as long as he can step in the ring, especially on Black Ice Cartel’s stage, he’ll continue battling.
His ultimate goal is to push his pen game to the next level in music and battle rap.
“Just because there isn’t a new project or battle every week, doesn’t mean I’m not writing or recording,” he said. “I’m just getting older with the music, I’m maturing, and it sounds good.”