To passers-by, Lewisham McDonalds looked busier than usual last Monday night. But locals would be mistaken in thinking that the groups outside were in line for a Big Mac. They were gathered in front of the fast-food joint to see a rap battle.
The clash was due to take place between Novelist, the leader of south London grime crew The Square, and Northampton-based MC Izzie Gibbs, after Gibbs challenged Lewisham-born Novelist on Radio 1Xtra.
Novelist responded by tweeting Gibbs to invite him to “Lewisham McDeez”, the title of one of his top songs, for the rap battle. He said: “I’m the MC doing £1000 bookings right now. If I’m gonna clash a £2 MC then ur coming to me to clash.”
Cuz are you coming Lewisham McDeez at 9pm or not? @izzieGibbs stop being shook and earn your stripes
— Novelist (@Novelist) November 17, 2014
Fans of both artists gathered on Lewisham High Street for the 9:00pm battle. But after an hour wait and a number of taunting tweets from The Square and their supporters, the Northampton MC was a no-show and labelled a “mug” by Novelist. Gibbs subsequently told ELL that his label had advised him to not attend.
— #INVASION (@izzieGibbs) November 19, 2014
Responding to an outpouring of support, the Lewisham grime group has re-released “Lewisham McDeez” which features the lines: “I’ve been here for time bruv/I wanna sit down with my fillet-o-fish bruv/And I can’t see where mine is bruv/You get me bruv?”
A video of Novelist and south London rapper Stormzy performing the song whilst waiting in McDonalds on Monday has been shared on Facebook over 13,000 times and can be watched here.