Podcast producer for 247 Sports, host of SpeshFX, goofball extraordinaire.
Prepare to have your face melted clean off as you enter a whole new world of mouth noise, with guest Tani Levitt. And remember, if you’re sitting in the plash zone, you will get spittle all over you.
Tani presents SpeshFX, a narrative podcast that dives deep into the fascinating world of competitive beatboxing. If you’re familiar with the rap battle scene, it’s like that but nicer, and where people make their O face when being hit by several megatons of sick beats (just helping ease you in with the lingo).
Tani got into the scene via his brother, and started charting not only the beatbox battle scene, but also his own education, through SpeshFX. If you want a primer, start with his Beatboxing Basics YouTube playlist.
Beatbox battles are judged equally on musicality, technicality, originality and stage presence. Both Tani’s and Mark’s picks have these qualities in spades, and especially for Tani who’s well-versed in this world, it can be difficult to rank performers when they’re at such a high level. So, mad props to all those spittin’ bars. (Is that a thing?)
In order of discussion:
This French master is Tani’s first pick for his technicality. He’s a multi-award-winner, having taken trophies home throughout the decade. Tani says his battle spirit and technicality are unparalleled.
Tani believes this Frenchman has the best singular set in beatbox history, and cites his 2017 battle against Two.H as “a masterstroke of technicality” and “90 seconds of non-stop power”. Check out the linked video, and watch for the tennis ball drop.
This super-young and confoundingly-talented South Korean beat NaPoM to the finals in 2017. Tani describes him as a human metronome with a wide range of sounds. His studio album /Voiss/, released this year is available now.
This Boston beatboxer, originally from California is Tani’s favourite, for his pure musical talent. Ha made his stamp on the beatbox world in 2015 with his set entitled Jigsaw, for the Grand Beatbox Battle.
In order of discussion:
Hailing from the US, Neil Patrick Meadows (NaPoM) is Mark’s first pick as an entertainment powerhouse. He learned much of his technique from Tani’s #1 pick Alem, and Mark’s guest says he “redefined, with his lip roll, what it meant to be a cultured beatboxer”.
Mark’s second pick caught him by surprise, which is why he placed perhaps higher than the other battler he was up against the first time Mark saw him. Mark enjoys the Aussie’s swagger and his ability to lift the energy of a room, and as of two weeks before this episode was recorded, his YouTube channel passed a million followers.
Mark appreciates this Brit’s stage presence, entertainment value and sense of humour, and his ability to drop out of a beat, make a goof and unfailingly return. He won the Under-18 UK Beatbox Battle in 2014, and made it to the 2015 World Championships on the back of his wildcard video submission. Tani appreciated his moves in his battle against Colaps in this year’s Grand Beatbox Battle.
Frenchman Mohamed Belkhir, better known as MB14, is Mark’s final pick for his “amazing mouth gymnastics”, but he’s not been a solo battler for more than 15 months, having come up as part of Berywam. You can also check out his loop station album.
If this has got you ready for more, you can follow the scene
via SwissBeatbox, the host of the Grand Beatbox Battle, or Beatbox Battle who host the World Championships every two years,
via Alem, Hiss, and Madox for the shoutouts, or Swish Beatbox for the goofs.
You should subscribe to SpeshFX (via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts), to learn infinitely more about the beatbox scene than you will here.