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Chapter 4: The Underdog

“I gotta say, Robin, tha nickname A-Dwag suits you

Coz when you said you were gonna be tha bigger man

Man, you sucked at bein a man – you a wolf!”

'

 The randos wait with bated breath while the hip-hoppers have meh written on their faces. It’s probably because Alex sounds like he’s already conceding when, in battle rap, you’re not supposed to give anyone any quarter.

'

“You’re great at fine whinin ’n denyin

You’re nastier than Two-Face ’n Dr. Jerk-ill

… when he’s hidin Hyde in!”

'

The crowd reacts uncertainly; a sign that Alex’s writtens are flying over their heads. He needs to make some adjustments…  

'

“You said you were gonna show tha Gentleman You

Turns out, you showed everybody tha Despicable You.

If you’re Gru, then are these yo minions? 

These yellow-belly bananas with perfect fashion coordination?”

'

He makes a sweeping gesture at Robin’s gang members, who are quick to flash him the finger and hurl insults.  Scattered giggles in the audience. Every Cage Dawg is scowling.  

'

“Tha DJ sits there quietly ’n ponders

Are they gangstas or backup dancers?           

From Minions tuh Cage Dawgz

It took just two snips

You ditched dem straps

’N rode yo overalls down down

all tha way down yo butt crack

24/7 booty call fo’ tha cellmate

Yeah, prison got you hard

You forgot it’s all just roleplay

Of course none o’ you ever saw tha inside o’ jail  

Tha closest to jail you know be tha Red Room

where Anastasia Steele comes tuh play

You come in yellow ’n you come out fifty…”

'

“Shades of Grey!” the women in the crowd finish Alex’s sentence, roaring in delight.

No one expected he could rap – not Robin, who’s probably doubting his choice of battleground right now; not Karma, whose eyes are shining; and not even Alex, who’s only experience is freestyle rap in his childhood and the movie "Bodied" hastily watched last night.

'

“Yeah, they look like bananas but they eat bananas.

That’s sum gender confusion.

Cannibalism. Neo-Nazism.

Let dis be a lesson on dissin.

I still prefer the original Despicable Me,

’ Least Gru wears his chrome dome proudly 

Not hidin it ’neath a whole lotta do-rags ’n stocking caps

… like dis shaved pussy.”

'

Alex points at Robin’s dark face, which is sending him If-looks-could-kill vibes. Where she’s standing, Karma bursts out laughing along with the rest of the audience in an ever widening radius around her.

'

“You call yaselves Cage Dawgz but I know

you puppies, yuppies, preppies.

You say you from tha streets

but you study in Enderun U…

Opps, that’s private!  

You as green as mommy’s money

Y’all pay 6-digit matriculation

fo yo gansta masturbation

Do us all a favor why doncha?

Quit actin what you ain’t

coz we all know y’all got motherfuckin maids

Nah, nah, wait, hold up

Yo daddy’s fuckin yo maid ’n yo mommy’s fuckin yo chauffeur.

So yeah, I’ma turn a blind eye ’n apply fo a menage-a-four!”

'

Deafening howls of laughter and applause from 90% of the people in the club, including the bouncers, all the servers and bartenders; even the DJ, who was supposed to be on the Cage Dawgz’s side.

Alex can feel the adrenalin coursing through his veins and he decides then and there that he loves the feeling. He’s running purely on the stuff now. He’s merely following his instincts. He’s like a creeping brain-mouth creature with absolutely zero filter.

'

“ ’N what bout his rap name Rumpelstiltskin?

I don’t get it. Is dat really from Rob ’N Steal King?

Nah, dat can’t be it coz tha only thing he be straight-up hustlin

Is Daddy’s credit card PIN ’n Mommy’s Netflicks login.

'

Oh I know! He’s Rumpelstiltskin coz he’s tha best

at poundin flesh ’n then takin his pound o’ flesh.

His dream’s tuh be a Daddy ’n have Rumpel Junior

But he been at it fo years he got quadruple juniors.

They be all firstborn kids. He don like no second ones 

Dis guy’s MO be hit-and-run

He’d spray his seed wit his short Uzi

Like a drive-by from a blacked-out van

Wit no clear window or number plate

Just tha mixed-up names o’ all his streetwalkin babes:

Karen, Tasha, Nina ’n April…

Bianca, Chelsey, Trixie, Sam ’n Angel.”

'

Alex counts the names on his fingers. The names of Robin’s actual side chicks. They make the audience go wild and the faces of Robin and the Cage Dawgz go murderously dark. In her cramped corner, Karma’s crying full-on rivers of joyful tears.

Alex walks over the side of the stage and stands too close for comfort, in Robin’s face, as he delivers the next lines.

'

“Fo real tho, homies, I prefer his handle Robin…

Coz if you tha Boy Wonder

I’ll be Daddy Dark Knight

I’ma bitch-smack you like in tha meme.

Or I’ll be tha Joker

I’ll body you like I’m a meat tenderizer

I’ll hit you wit puns ’n lines so fast yo head will spin

Like you in tha Exorcist

Then I’ll vandalize yo corpse wit a billet-doux fo Batman

The Joke’s on ya

– yo short Dick is Gray… son!”

'

The DJ actually blares the air horn FX at this, to Robin’s annoyance. More enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.

'

“Fo real fo real…

Heavy is tha head dat wears tha crown

Yo best bet is tuh win sum ’n lose sum

So, Robin, go ahead ’n lay all tha eggs you want

You know I can’t be makin no FlipTop overeasy

Without breakin sum bad ones. 

Tha yolk’s on you

– Here let me wipe sum off you, man!”

'

As Alex facetiously wipes an invisible discharge from Robin’s nose, the gangster slaps his hand away. The audience roars in laughter.

'

“Tuh top it off, you wanna know whutz mindblowin?

It’s dis dude’s real name. It’s Christopher Robin

I swear I’m nah even messin!

So fo you, sweet sweet Christopher

I’ll be yo BFF Winnie tha Poo.  

In case it’s still nah clear, let me spell it out fo you:

You a kid who likes tuh have tea time wit his ’maginary friend…”

'

Alex tips an invisible cup to his lips, complete with the erect pinkie of aristocrats.

'

“Walkin round wit no pants on, I’m tha shady bear

You do tha math: You think I be wipin?

Tha Poo’s on ya

– dat ain’t honey you’re sippin!” 

'

The crowd erupts in riotous jubilation.

Phenomenal Pen

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