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Chief Brian Ware, aka “B Ware.”
Chief Brian Ware, aka “B Ware.” (Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Freestylin’ on the mic isn’t usually where you find 37-year-old white guys. Or U.S. Navy chiefs.

But that’s exactly where Chief Brian Ware, aka “B Ware,” will be Friday in his khakis. First, he’ll deliver a public service announcement. Then he plans to surprise the rap out of those vying to be “King of the Mic” at Yokosuka Naval Base at the Alliance Club.

“I’ve been rapping since I was a kid, but no one really knows that,” Ware said. “So when I start freestyling, it tends to catch the eye.”

He’ll perform “Think Before You Drink,” a song discouraging drunken driving.

Then, the competition starts. In the spirit of Eminem’s “8 Mile,” rappers duel two at a time in rounds of rhythmic insult and wit. But to win this high-stakes contest, you have to can the cursing. Swearing is grounds for immediate disqualification.

“We want the radio version — anything bleeped out on the radio would be bleeped out here,” said Alliance Club manager Godfrey Johnson. “We’re not messin’ with it.”

The “No Curse” rule has been in full effect since the contest started three years ago. Last year, use of off-color language culled two contestants out of 15.

This year, Johnson expects about a dozen people to come out for the contest.

“We usually get a pretty good turnout,” he said. “And the crowd gets really excited.”

Two contestants take the stage in round one, each getting 45 seconds to show off their skills and, more importantly, wax harsh on the other person. Only one will continue to the next 30-second round. Bracket elimination continues until the final two people are left. They’ll have 45 seconds to a minute to convince the judges to crown them “king.”

The judges are new this year, Johnson said.

“We used to let the crowd cheer for the winner but then that started being unfair as anyone there from the USS Kitty Hawk always had better odds,” he said. “This year we’ll have three judges.”

First prize is a $600 worldwide travel voucher. Second place is an iPod and the third-prize winner will take home $100 in Morale, Welfare and Recreation gift certificates.

Contestants can sign up until 9 p.m., when the competition begins.


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