"I told you to warm it up, not burn it up," joked Idris Goodwin as Stoney Bertz handed him the mic onstage at Goodwin's CD release show earlier this year. An emcee, playwright and professor, Goodwin has the upper hand when it comes to having his works reviewed in the pages of The New York Times and other high-profile media outlets. But onstage in Colorado Springs, it's a different story. The fact is, Bertz couldn't not burn up the stage, even if she tried.
Bertz, the Springs' only solo female hip-hop performer, could hold her own in a battle-rap against any other local emcee — and do it without breaking a sweat. Her lyrical flow suggests a soulful resolve that can stop the most skillful boasters in their tracks. Last year, Bertz tied for first place in the Hip-Hop (Solo) category. This year, she's sharing it with no one.
Second place: Che Bong
Third place: Idris Goodwin