No Coast tests its boundaries

The local rappers have plans to spread outside of Missouri.
Florida rapper Hindu Rock battles Wisconsin rapper Special T on Friday night near Stankowski Field. The rap battles were a part of No Coast vs. The World, a rapping competition presented by No Coast Battles.    

The fervent atmosphere, the multifarious crowd, the exuberant greetings from the rappers and the luminous spotlights from Stankowski Field set the stage for another No Coast rap battle. As the mass begins to settle, side conversations end in abrupt silence, the routine circle forms quickly as host Kelly Betz, aka Dr. U.G.Z., announces the beginning for No Coast vs. The World.

Usually made up of Missouri rappers from St. Louis, Kansas City and in between, No Coast has broadened its borders. Featuring rappers from across America and representing all coasts and states from Alaska to Kentucky, rappers came together for a night of friendly, comedic entertainment and good times.

“We all have positive mental attitudes,” Betz said. “And we’re trying to help each other out, help people pay for their travel expenses and just give them places to sleep at our pads and party together and become friends.”

Everyone in the rap battling community shows immediate respect and good will toward each other. This adds to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and illustrates what the rappers are about and what they represent.

“We are trying to represent the battle scene which in fact is a tight knit community that keeps in touch online and by phone that’s an international scene only recently developed in the last couple of years,” Betz said. “We represent that scene and hope to make it diverse.”

No Coast has had significant turnout for its events. Attendees range from newbies to the battle scene to veterans who already know the game. With every event the popularity is steadily growing and catapulting No Coast into recognition.

“This event is us stepping into a national organization,” Betz said. “We have become a national organization, like we said, we would and we hope to go international soon.”

No Coast has a bright future and big aspirations, with the ambitious plan to expand the organization and with new strategies for becoming better known to the public.

“No Coast means no limit for as much as we can do,” Betz said. “With Facebook you can just find someone and call them and tell them you want to get involved.”

But with all these good vibes, the group has been faced with some controversy of new people not understanding the scene. Naysayers call the group racist, homophobic and sexist, but members say this is not the case. No Coast is open to discussion about this issue, and is still sympathetic to the crowd.

“The thing we have to remember is that most of the people haven’t seen battles before and don’t really know,” said rapper and MU sophomore Steve Eanet, aka XQZ. “But for people who are real battle fans, it’s the norm.”

Despite the controversies and the traditional backlash, No Coast is still growing and gaining more followers. It has strong plans for the future and wants to express and represent itself as a neutral ground for rappers. No Coast intends to show Columbia a good time and dominate the world by storm.

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