Meet Matt Webb, an Ed Sheeran dead ringer who dominated a surprise freestyle rap battle before Kendrick Lamar’s Hangout Fest set.
Sorry, Action Bronson. There’s a new ginger rapper on the come up. You probably hadn’t heard of him — and still haven’t — unless you were one of about 10,000 people under the Boom Boom Tent at the Hangout Festival waiting for Kendrick Lamar’s set to start. One of the few drawbacks to having a music festival on the beach is that, well, it takes a little effort to get to paradise, and Kendrick Lamar was running about 30 minutes late to his set due to a travel delay. So Sway, who was introducing Kendrick, took to the stage to keep the masses entertained. And what better way to keep an Alabama hip-hop beach party going than to stage an impromptu rap battle?
Which is where my new favorite ginger comes in. Sway scanned the audience for any potential young MCs in the crowd. A few young hopefuls rose up and spit a few bars and quickly sputtered out. Sorry, kids. No Kanye contracts for you. Until the final MC — a redheaded Floridian in a black tank top — stepped up to the mic and, without even a beat to rhyme against, dropped some “8 Mile” knowledge all over the stage in what was, if I may, probably the fifth-best hip-hop performance of 2013 Hangout Fest right behind Kendrick himself, Macklemore, The Roots, and Public Enemy.
Watch the rap game Ed Sheeran win Hangout Fest’s spontaneous freestyle rap battle after the jump.
The young unknown rapper’s name is Matt Webb, he’s 19, he’s from Florida, and while he sounds like a young Eminem, he looks like the rap game Ed Sheeran. And considering Ed Sheeran’s next album may be more hip-hop than coffeehouse, maybe he could set up a guest verse by the hip-hop bizarro version of himself if Matt (who goes by the rap name Tempoh), isn’t too busy finishing up his degree in physical therapy. Or maybe Ed and Tempoh can team up for a “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” mixtape. Maybe Tempoh will end up battling Ed Sheeran in next year’s Musical March Madness. And you never know — perhaps we’ll even see hip-hop Ed Sheeran on next year’s “Hottest MCs in the Game” list. Of course he’ll have major contenders to battle for the title, like this year’s Hottest MC… Kendrick Lamar.
Photo credit: Getty Images; Sarah Ward/ MTV