You Be Killin’ Em: The Best of Blind Fury

**THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARS IN THE MAY 2011 ISSUE OF XXL ON SALE NOW**

Whenever Steven “Blind Fury” Norris enters a rap battle, his competition usually has the upper hand to start. Born without sight, the 26-year-old White battle-rap phenom doesn’t have the luxury of sizing up his opponents before ripping them apart with witty insults and on-the-spot punch lines. Nevertheless, the South Carolina native achieved elite status this past January, when he retired from BET’s 106 & Park Freestyle Friday competition as an undefeated champion. The rare feat has been accomplished by a few MCs, but never anyone with Fury’s assumed handicap. “Being blind really isn’t a disadvantage,” he says. “It’s fun because it’s a challenge. I’ve really got to dig deep. I just listen to people and study them really well.”

At the urging of his friends, the self-taught keyboardist, drummer and clarinet player first broke into the battle-rap arena when he was 19. Graduating from neighborhood ciphers, Fury entered his first battle competition when he appeared on MTV’s MC Battle II: The Takeover in Times Square, in 2003. Going off his keen instincts, BF impressed judges, but his run on the show was short-lived. “I learned a lot about myself from the MTV experience,” he says. “You can’t be big-headed and think you’ve got it in the bag, because there’s always somebody out there who’s going to do it better.”

After losing the MTV Challenge, Fury kept it moving, entering (and often winning) battles everywhere from Atlanta to New York. While recording his 2007 independently released project, Gifted the E.P., Fury auditioned for BET’s 106 and Park Freestyle Friday segment twice, finally making the cut in December 2010. Over the course of five weeks, the unassuming wordsmith destroyed opponents with comical verbal jabs and instinctive insults. Fury was eventually crowned an undefeated champ, joining the show’s hall of fame, alongside Freestyle Friday legends like Jin, Posta Boy and SunN.Y. Currently working on his as-yet-untitled album, Fury is attempting to transition into the business of record-making. And just like he did on the rap battlefield, Fury hopes to surprise a few heads with his talent. “First people say, ‘Oh, wow, he’s a blind, White rapper.’ But then they’re like, ‘Oh, wow, he’s a lot more.’” More than the competition can handle? Check out 10 of Fury’s freestyle video moments below. —Nicole LoPresti


Blind Fury Vs. Moon Freestyle Friday Final Battle on 106 and Park’s 2011 Finals

  • T

    Blind Fury is the truth. Can’t wait to see him in the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards cypher. It was a prize for winning the Freestyle Friday tournament. That’s where Bones Brigante came from (whatever happened to him?).

  • paulus

    yeaaaa, reppin SC

  • lordthfeus

    blind fury is doooppee!

  • slick vick

    Homeboy reps everything to others fake clowns who rhym?….jajaja mad props for BF!!! the kid’s real has talent a money making machine to a smart bussiness men who sings him first?

  • $yk

    THIS IS THE CAT THAT SHOULD BE GETTING THAT LIL’ B BUZZ!

    • megulito

      you aint lying syk this dude is fucking out of this world with how versatile he is great battler and dope freestyler

  • http://xxl 40water619

    ^^ for real for real. it’s all backwards… lil b got a buzz but this dude can’t get any… REAL hip-hop.

  • J

    BF shredded that dude in the video on page 4. Never heard of this dude until now but he’s nice