If you’ve been following Arizona Hip Hop lately then it’s likely you’ve come across the Marked Up Challenge. Hip Hop artist Trap House and DJ John Blaze called out the AZ underground to spit their best bars over the Willy Northpole classic “Body Marked Up”. Arizona brought the heat so I put together my top 10 favorite Marked Up Challenge’s that are on YouTube. Let me know your favorites in the comments below!
1. Mega Ran
Mega Ran crushes his verse on the Marked Up Challenge while paying homage to Arizona’s underground. He carries quick witted multi-syllable rhyme schemes over the street anthem and executes each bar with flawless delivery. Mega has already earned his spot as the godfather of modern day nerdcore and his brilliant flow on this record earns him the top spot on my list.
2. Deztini Farinas
Deztini Farinas is one femcee not to be slept on. The Phoenix rapper delivers a melodic head nodding flow over her Marked Up Challenge. At one point she reminds her listeners it’s Deztini with an “I” not a “Y” and to go to her Youtube and please hit subscribe. On her YouTube you’ll find a lot of great music and quite a few active subscribers. She was definitely a standout on this list giving her the #2 spot.
Pyro brings the heat on his Marked Up Challenge with a smooth chicano flow reminiscent of Cypress Hill or Lil Rob. He does Arizona Hip Hop proud with confident claims to his home state. His flow has a recognizable sound, but is just unique enough to leave you curious and wanting to hear more, earning Pyro the #3 spot on my list.
4. Bag of Tricks Cat
This cat steps into the booth swinging for the fences and hits a home run with his Marked Up Challenge. Taking no pity on the bitter critics of the Arizona Hip Hop scene he delivers swift confident bars about AZ’s status in the game and it’s heavy hitters. Letting his doubters know that if they haven’t paid their dues then their opinion is less than worthless to him. Bidding them farewell with “You ain’t Collins, you ain’t Vee, or even Atllas to me. So I don’t give a fuck who you think you happen to be”. Bag of Tricks Cat body bagged this beat bagging him the #4 spot on my list.
5. Trap House
Coming in at #5 on my list is the man who started this madness, Trap House. This was the Marked Up Challenge that started a wildfire in our scene. Trap House and John Blaze got the streets buzzing with this record and resurrected a nearly decade old beat that bleeds AZ. Trap delivers heavy bars over the Willy Northpole beat gassing up the classic street banger that shook Phoenix streets over 8 years ago.
6. Hot Rock Supa Joint
Lyrically this might not be the best Marked Up Challenge on this list. Although, I will say it’s one of the most creative and entertaining. Hot Rock Supa Joint is somewhat of an enigma to Arizona Hip Hop. His weed crazy antics and comedy style rap videos make for great entertainment and he definitely knows how to draw in the spotlight. His hilarious video and awesome editing skills grabs Supa Joint the #6 spot on my list.
7. Thug Style Devastation
Thug Style Devastation flips Willy’s flow on his Marked Up Challenge and gives us a great animated visual to accompany it. The Phoenix rapper showcases his skills dropping witty bars for just over a minute and a half on this record. The clean sound and creativity lands Thug Style Devastation at #7 on the list.
Now you know I couldn’t make this list without including my own Marked Up Challenge. I decided that a quick turnaround was important for this so I kept the mixing to a minimum and decided to forego mastering altogether. All of my effort for this record went into the writing and I constructed a punchline heavy 32 bar verse, riddled with double entendres, similes, and metaphors. I’m giving myself the #8 spot on this list because I can.
9. DieNasty The Mexican Thuggalo
DieNasty is such a unique character that he deserves to be on this list for that reason alone. His marked up challenge has great production quality, shameless self promotion, and Juggalo rapping. He even gets his body marked up with some fresh new ink. He lands at #9 on my list and I’m sure that he’ll land at #1 in your heart.
10. Zona Muzix
Zona Muzix chops through his Marked Up Challenge like a machete hacking its path through uncharted territory. He flips quick rhyme schemes with a smooth cadence and delivery granting him the #10 spot on my list.
(Bonus) Honorable Mentions
Some of my favorite Marked Up Challenge’s never made it to YouTube. These artists and their entries would have made the list or been strongly considered if their entry was available on that platform. Here they are listed in no particular order: