Marine by day, rapper by night

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In the other? D’Meitz. Wearing, of course, a bow tie.

“It was a classic,” Jason the producer said. “It took D’Meizt to the next level.”

Three rounds. Five judges. One objective: outrap — out-disrespect, really — the other guy. Best MC wins.

Cranium wags his finger. Curses a lot. Rhymes even more. Likens D’Meitz to Doogie Howser, M.D. Looks scornfully at Mr. Meitzer’s outfit — glasses and an argyle sweater.

“Why has Malcolm in the Middle been dressing like Malcolm X?” he asks.

Back and forth it goes, the swapping of creative and creatively profane insults. The crowd oohs. They laugh. Let loose with a few daaaaamns! In his last verse, D’Meitz mimics Cranium’s quick rhyming style, then drops an intricate series of bars referencing Greek mythology.

D’Meitz wins. Afterward, the two shake hands.

“With battle rap, presence and delivery is as important as your bars,” Jason the producer said. “D’Meitz has charisma and bars when he raps. And when you see a white guy who shows up in a bow tie, that’s different.”

Mr. Meitzer competes for GrindTime DMV, the local division of a national rap league that matches rappers from across the country, then posts footage of their tete-a-tetes online.

For Mr. Meitzer and others, the league provides an opportunity to travel, network and get much-needed exposure: Uploaded in July, the Cranium-D’Meitz match already has registered more than 30,000 views on YouTube.

Jason, who works as a corporate vendor andmanages GrindTime DMV alongside Skillz “Paradoxx” Ferguson, said Mr. Meitzer averages about 20,000 online viewers per contest.

“It’s not like it was 10 years ago, when radio was building up rappers,” he said. “If D’Meitz goes and drops a mixtape, he’s like every other dime-a-dozen rapper. Nobody cares. But if he’s averaging 20,000 people per battle, he has a built-in audience that will be interested when his projects come out.”

Mr. Meitzer got his start in hip-hop as a 13-year-old battle rapper in a Cleveland church league. As a teenager, he represented his hometown against a team from Detroit, then joined the Detroit team to take on a team from New York City.

After arriving at Quantico, Mr. Meitzer auditioned for GrindTime DMV at a rap battle in Baltimore. He since has competed in England and Canada.

His Marine background, he said, is an advantage.

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