When Mos Def, the dean of brainy hip-hop, calls a free-style rap showdown “one of the dopest battles I’ve ever seen,” you know you’re in for something of Biblical proportions. Quite literally, in this case: When West Coast rapper QP met Brooklyn’s Soul Khan—a mustachioed, bespectacled Jew who looks more like a summer intern in an accounting firm than an MC—the rhymes soon came down to Old Testament vs. New.
“His dad’s name is Judas,” rapped QP, “the same dude who betrayed Jesus / ‘Cause that’s the type of shit a Jew does.” (“Jew does,” “Judas”: Not a bad rhyme.)
Reaching back into his own tradition, Soul Khan quickly retorted with the perfect comeback. “You spit the ten plagues,” he rapped, “I can’t really lose / ‘Cause that was dope, but guess what / The plagues came from the Jews.”
A few quips later, Khan was even more definitive: “I’m part of the chosen people,” he shouted, “We wrote the Old Testament, you followed a phony sequel.”