Battling Nice Peter
So if you know me, i will no doubt have mentioned this story once or twice just because either i’m a mark for myself and what transpired that night, or simply because its a damn cool story and its not something that just everyone experiences.
Back in 2014, i had hit one of many low points in succession. The year prior i had left college, and been working as a substitute in logistics and switched between several small time jobs to simply get by and pay bills. When i finally got a full time job, it was less than ideal. Poorly organized by the company, to a point where i didn’t get formal training, at all, i didn’t even have a contract. As well as piss par colleagues that instead of trying to help a new colleague out when he struggled, would simply heckle and be a bitch to deal with. It resulted in me quitting the company before Christmas 2013.
At the beginning of 2014, i was unemployed, grasping at straws and looking everywhere for a job. By the middle of January, i got an oppurtunity at a part time gig with one of the big home electronics chains in Scandinavia, which started off well, however i didn’t have, and still dont have a knack for sales like they perhaps would have liked me to have. And so results wise i fell behind, tried my best in all circumstances and spent hours learning the job and what i was selling, but they started cutting my working hours because my results were a bit lack luster.
Meaning i wasn’t being paid all that much money, i struggled with making ends meet, while it felt like the vast majority of people near me all had some kind of pressure to give me. be it applying for more jobs, writing more CV’s partaking more. spending energy i didn’t have to begin with, because i was exhausting myself already doing the things they were asking me to do more of. I don’t fault none of them for it, and know it was with good intent they asked or adviced, i look back and could have been better about accepting the advice. but at that point i had lost faith and spent unhealthy amounts of the last year being down and wondering what to do with myself.
The Build up
By May in 2014 though, something had caught my eye on Youtube from the channel ERB2. On which, Epic Rap Battles of History creator NicePeter had rudely interrupted his own Behind the scenes for (Rick Grimes VS Walter Whites) to tell the viewers that he and his friend Dante (givememotion on youtube) was going on tour. Much to my surprise and delight, Oslo was on the list. That had me very excited. Also the Rap battle it self turned me on to watching Breaking Bad. Thanks Pete and Lloyd! But i digress.
As soon as i saw the video, it was settled. I would go to the show, no matter what i was going to be there.. as an audience member. Being a timid fool at the ripe age of 19-20 years old, with having not been on a stage in a performing capacity for 10-11 years, and never by myself. Initially it didn’t even cross my mind to ever perform, it was out of the question.
Then came the battle of Edgar Allen Poe VS Stephen King on June the 2nd, It featured George Watsky and Zach Sherwin in a battle that was so absurdly good I for the first time looked up the lyrics to it on Genius.
I learned both Poes’ and Kings’ verse from top to bottom, and would recite it in the car going to and from work. Along with learning this battle, I had a moment of clarity with myself. I realized that I can’t please everybody, And i owe it to myself to challenge myself, or ill be the only one regretting it. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, without a single shred of doubt. If i was given the opportunity during Pete’s concert to step on stage and perform. I was going to take it, and i was going to do Poe VS King.
Facing Nice Peter.
That night was poetic in all its facets. John Dee, the venue where the concert took place was a small concert venue with a bar sectioned off from the actual stage. Giving it the vibe of a waiting room. Once i walked in and paid for my ticket, i sat down, sunk my lips into a unit of beer and looked around the room at the people filtering in. people from all walks of life came in, sat there and spoke with the people they came with or did as me and found themselves a beer or similar beverage. I came alone and sat with my phone in front of me, or glancing through the small and now packed bar.
The venue door opened, the stage revealed itself, and after a little bit of a wait. the warm up band stepped on stage. It was a British based band called “The Jackpot Golden Boys”. The brothers Alex and Jim, Alex on guitar and vocals, Jim on drums and backing vocals. I knew exactly none of their material, but these two guys had energy, intense good and infectious energy that set the room on fire with their varied and very different material. i came for the main course, but i very much enjoyed the starter as well.
I have a story about the Jackpots as well. i will write in a separate post a little later.
Then Nice Peter and Dante took the stage. They performed songs, and they had people come up on stage to do battles with them. i had 2 units of alcohol in me, thinking that it might take the edge off in the case that i actually would get called up on stage to perform. it certainly did take the edge off a little, but the concoction of nerves and alcohol were also nullifying one another, to a point where the edge was gone, but the hints of nerves were still very apparent.
All of a sudden while looking for a new participant. Pete looked me square in the face, and asked me what battled i’d like to do. i said Poe VS King. he responded immediately with, will you do Poe? I had practiced both verses, but certainly liked Kings’ more. Not from a lyrical standpoint, but from a point that it didn’t have the same pressure on timing and delivery as the Poe verse did. However i wasn’t going to decline the challenge, and joined him on stage having accepted my fate, that i would do Poe’s verse.
I got up there, and revealed a thing i had been hiding and covering all night. i had brought a GoPro on a chest mount with me into the venue, i wasn’t aware whether i could do that or not, so i had been making sure to hide it well until i got up there. Once i did, i asked Peter if it was OK that i recorded the battle with the camera. To which he not only accepted, but he also introed the video for me.
After a short intro, DJ Dante dropped the beat. There were no lyrics on a screen, no backing vocals to be heard. i was on bear ground, luckily Pete counted me in. and off i went, “Once upon a mid night dreary”
Midway into the first verse, i had my one fuck up. Which i cant be faulted too much on. In the middle of that verse. Poe has a pause between his sentences. I didn’t time mine properly, started to early, realized i started to early, stopped rapping and shook my head. Pete, the ultimate homie in that moment, recited the lyrics to me to get me back on timing and the battled continued
I finished my verse, Pete took over and bulldozed my performance with his presence and delivery of Stephen Kings verse. In the video above its clear as day who is the runaway winner at this point, yet in the video on top of this post, you see in the corner of the video, This timid norwegian fool, focusing very deeply on his next bit of performance. A verse so fast and wordy that in most cases when practicing, he’d mess up at the second sentence, and it would mean a loss. couldn’t have this American come into my country and beat me now could i?
My mum has this expression for me, whenever i really get into something, or her words have no effect or valid response from me. “The blinds went down.” I blacked out completely and utterly in just focus, and i don’t remember a thing worth of performing the actual verse, just the roar of the crowd as they realized i was nailing the verse, word for word, beat by beat. As well as seeing Petes jaw dropping at what he was hearing.
He finished his verse, and made an attempt to ask one of the audience members who won. as all the ERBS end on a “Who won? Whos next? You Decide!” however this guy in the audience responded “EDGAR ALLEN POE” Pete played along, asking the audience if he won, he got crickets. then he asked if i won. And the room blew.
I took a bow and had the most gleeful smile on my face. I had challenged myself with something i never in my life thought id do, and i had actually done it well. I said how this night was poetic. I came into the venue alone, but coming off stage. I was praised above and beyond, giving high fives, asked questions. Taking pictures. I felt accepted and among friends even if they were all strangers.
A day after the battle. The video in this post went public. i saw, and the grin was right back on me. shortly thereafter i uploaded my gopro video. Which Epic Rap Battles of history put on their facebook page which at the time had 1.7 Million likes. it gained an absurd amount of traction. Thousands of views, comments flowing in from the facebook page and the comment section. i was completely floored at the response, and for the first time i can remember, i cried tears of pride for myself.
Since the battle. I got myself a full-time job, a steady but lousy pay, and developed a proper passion for online content. I want to create more of that then i am doing. I’ve kept teasing and saying that oh I’m definitely going to start making more stuff and i’m definitely doing it every week, or every day, before changing my mind and going back to being a lazy slouch on the content side. The intent is there definitely to create content and make my living from that be it for myself or others. Its my passion and what I love to do.
Which you could argue as a very valid reason as to why I am now studying Media Communication and social media at the University of Winchester in the UK. One of the best universities in the country. To pursue this passion of mine that has its roots in challenging Nice Peter to a rap battle in Norway 5 years ago.
As i said then, thank you to Dante, The Jackpot Golden Boys, everyone in attendance at John Dee that night. and off course more than anything, thank you Nice Peter for the single greatest memory of my life. i will never forget it, and will keep telling the story and singing your praises till my dying breath.
Kornelius, Kings Eyes