Published Nov 12, 2018Producers from around the globe converged on Toronto from November 7 to 11 for the 13th annual Battle of the Beatmakers — a competition that has helped launch the careers of producers such as diamond-selling producer Boi-1da and multiple platinum-selling producer WondaGurl. After two days of preliminaries, the top 32 faced off in an exciting showdown at the Opera House, hosted by comedian Trixx, on November 10.
With celebrity judges Mannie Fresh, !llmind and the legendary Just Blaze seated on stage behind Toronto-staples DJ Mel Boogie and DJ P-Plus. Beatmakers went head-to-head in a late night battle of beat supremacy.
Trixx told fans he was looking for moments, and — much like the lively crowd — he wasn't disappointed. Round one was filled with standouts, such as 14-year-old Dallas producer lucyclubhouse (pictured), Brooklyn, NY native Kryptic Unknown, Qatar-based Bombay, and local producer Sarcastic Sounds; all four producers fought their way into the final four.
One low-key winner — despite losing in the first round to producer Kryptic — was GoldRush. After playing his second beat, Just Blaze asked Mel Boogie to play it again, and told the sound man to turn it up because it was "special." After a second spin, and some positive response from the audience, !llmind announced he would purchase the beat — a first in the competition's history.
Bombay, with his high-energy dancing to match his mind-blowing beats, was a crowd favourite going into the final four. "I decided to play all my best beats first, the ones with the most energy and character," he told Exclaim! "I was confident in my beats, but in these beat battles, anything can happen."
After an additional round, as the judges couldn't come to a decision, he was bested by Kryptic, who went on to face lucyclubhouse in the finals. "With all the great talent there, I honestly wasn't sure I was going to make it out of the preliminary round," Kryptic told Exclaim!, adding that this was his first battle — and the first time in the city.
Ultimately, a star was born as 14-year-old lucyclubhouse took the crown, becoming the youngest winner in the competition's 13 years. The rising star also won competitions at SXSW and A3C just last month.
"Keep going, y'all can do it," she said emotionally to the audience as she held the cup — joined on stage by her mother. Although a late night, fans of the art of production left feeling both satisfied and inspired.