Kevin Beacham on Scribble Jam and Its Influence on Battle Rap
Hip hop activist and Rhymesayers marketing manager, Kevin Beacham, explains how he became involved with Scribble Jam. Founded by Nick Accurso, Jason Brunson, and Mr. Dibbs, Scribble Jam was the largest hip hop festival of it’s time, with five competitions designed to highlight the aspects of hip hop culture (freestyle battles, DJ battles, b-boy battles, graffiti battles, and beatbox battles). The freestyle competition later became one of the most influential events in the battle rap community, paving the way for future stars like Eminem, Juice, Rhymefest, Brother Ali, Slug (Atmosphere), Illmaculate, The Saurus, Mac Lethal, and more. In this video, Kevin Beacham explains how he joined the Scribble Jam team while on a road trip to Atlanta for a record deal opportunity with the hip hop group he was managing. He read in Rap Pages Magazine about a Mr. Dibbs mixtape and drove to Cincinnati on his way back to Chicago to pick up the tape. Kevin found Dibbs at an event which was the release party for Scribble Magazine. With Dibbs being eager for Kevin to help expand the event into more than just a magazine and a b-boy competition, Kevin promoted Scribble Jam on his Chicago radio show and the festival ran each summer from 1996 until 2008. Kevin talks about the influence of the freestyle competition and how it has evolved into the written format with giant leagues such as King Of The Dot and URL. He also expresses interest in seeing battle leagues experiment in a triathlon competition, where emcees battle on all levels of the art form, with a freestyle round, written round, and song performance.