Event Recapped by France & Titus
LTBR Award Recipients
Winners of the night: Yogi | Rocq Lee | Kapo | Dolla
Battle of the Night: The God Yogi vs Hustle
The biggest win of the Night: Kapo over B-Mac
Best Individual Performances of the night: #1a & 1B Yogi & Hustle | #2 Rocq Lee | #3 Kapo |#4 Dolla
Salute to Hitman Holla and the Ruin Your Day Production team for a successful event. This would technically be considered the first battle rap event for Bags and Bodies, excluding Season 1. The Intruders event is a themed event to show various contestants that want to put in a bid to become a cast member for the second season of Bags and Bodies. And they have to complete this challenge against the emcees from Season 1, who will serve as the gatekeepers for entry to the mansion. Which one of the Bags and Bodies veterans will stop the intruders from entering the house?
All of these battles are judged battles with the ‘money on the floor’ concept. It’s a poetic feeling when you realize that Bags and Bodies is having a Midnight Madness-inspired event, on Tsu Surf’s birthday. (Free Da Wave)
Rocq Lee vs Blve Diamond
Recapped by France. $1000 on the line.
The ladies set the tone for the evening by being the first battle of the night. It was great to see Blve get back in the ring after a bit of a hiatus from battle rap and this was one of Rocq Lee’s best performances to date.
Rocq immediately launches into the sky in the first round and is showing improvements to all of her traits as a battler. She is delivering her material at a better pace, with a perfect balance of performance, and hard-hitting punches. And ring awareness. She is projecting confidence and it’s visible she was having fun and enjoying herself at the moment.
Blve certainly showed some interesting flashes in her performance. Both her first and second rounds took off to a bit of a slow start. In a judged battle, there is no time to dawdle, but once she found her footing and got comfortable with some of the built-up momentum, she started to land big haymakers. And Once she got red hot, her material was clicking on all cylinders with the crowd, and most of her punchline would register with the crowd. The most powerful part of Blve’s rounds was the way she ended each round. She would have a good enough haymaker to leave the round with an impactful impression.
Blve’s rounds may have seemed shorter than Rocq’s, but Blve stood to the time limits of 2:30-minute rounds. Rocq Lee’s rounds were certainly a little over the 2:30 mark. Was it an unfair discrepancy? The answer is no, we need to keep in mind Rocq Lee’s rounds also felt that much longer because of how much of her material was landing. She was getting a reaction for her punches every so often, which extends the length of the round with stoppage. But then this raises an important question, Should leaguers enforce a strict clock when it comes to judged battles? The answer should always be yes. Once you review the stage time and see a bit of a disparity in the clock, Blve can make a valid argument for feeling like she was at an unfair disadvantage, but again regardless of the clock, I still feel her first two rounds took a while to heat up and she started getting in rhythm a little too late. It wouldn’t have made a difference for me, in my opinion.
Rocq Lee has raised her floor with this performance. She has shown massive progression and leveled up and this will now be the new standard she will be held to. She is 1 month removed from her first year of being a battle rapper. In her sophomore year, it will be pivotal she shows a leap in her content, delivery, crowd control, and performance. So far, she’s off to a great start to reaching the next level.
Banxx Tha God vs Dolla
Recapped by Titus. $1,000 on the line.
My favorite thing about Bags and Bodies is seeing this fresh talent take shape. Dolla shook the battle rap internet last night with an extremely unorthodox style, a real southern feel, and loads of content. The scariest thing is there’s still so much room to improve for him.
When Dolla opened his first we didn’t even know he was rapping, once we understood what was going on it was captivating. Typically the way to counter someone like Dolla who is more content over everything is to blend in material, performance, haymakers, charisma, and basically do everything your opponent can’t. Banxx was interesting because he showed flashes of most of the intangibles. He projected well and performed solidly, but there was a lack in those moments that could steal the room, and with that, he wasn’t able to counter Dolla’s content.
This theme continued for all three rounds of the battle. Overall Banxx showed he understands the fundamentals of the game, if he can improve on the content aspect he can raise his ceiling. For Dolla, this was a coming out party, the people loved him and are excited to see him again, like I said earlier he’s got a lot of room for improvement, in all the intangible aspects of battle rap but what he does have now are great building blocks for the future.
The God Yogi vs Hustle
Recapped by France. $3,000 on the line.
The most competitive bout of the night, and honestly a net positive performance for both parties. This battle has so much replay value from both contenders. Yogi has such a layered pen with such a unique pocket of rapping and really breaks the boundaries of wordplay. He has such intricate schemes that are rapped naturally and he finds an instinctive pace that makes it easy to follow his wordplay but still has so many gems available on the playback. But in a situation where you have to win on the spot, in real-time, layered writing isn’t always the most effective method for victory in these types of battles. But Yogi doesn’t compromise his style, and he compensates for the intricacies of his pen with high intervals of aggression and performance to keep the crowd engaged in his rapping whirlwinds. Meanwhile, across the stage from him, Hustle is weaving in and out of so many pockets and while he has a different rap style, he raps so fluidly and does so many multi-syllabic acrobats in his rhyming pockets, that he is able to match the level of rap that Yogi is presenting to him.
There is certainly a separation in content. Yogi is bringing layered wordplay vs Hustle’s chain punching. What makes Hustle unique, is his pacing. Hustle can find himself using Outdated Bars or old references, but if you are chain punching in a 2-3 syllable rhyme pattern for more than 8 bars at a stretch, it’s possible you find yourself using old references as jabs, to continue to build up momentum for yourself. And what stood out the most from Hustle’s performance is his ability to regain momentum and control of the room. Make no mistake, Yogi set the bar very high every single round because his stellar writing packs so much content. It could be overwhelming for his opponent to try to compete against. And yet, Hustle found a way to meet the bar Yogi set, and arguably exceed it. Truly feels like every round in this battle is debatable.
The first two rounds can really go either way, so you’ll probably have the battle 1-1 going into the third. Yogi has his best round to put a ribbon on his performance. And Hustle is fighting back and really catches fire in the mid-section of his round. He chain punches an angle about Yogi’s boat crash. And it made me realize how good Hustle can be when he chain punches mixed with direct/personal references to his opponent. Hustle puts a perfect end to his third round with a buzzer-beater type of Haymaker. Ending a competitive round on a big bomb could be enough to snatch the round back in your favor. And I did have Hustle winning this battle. Although I will say, this seems to be Hustle’s second judged loss with money on the floor. If some of his chains punching could be some more unique references or be as tailored as possible to his opponent, it may give him more of an advantage. If he develops his angling skills, he could be a problem in this game within 1-2 years.
If you love the pacing and punching of Hustle, you’ll prefer his style. If you are a part of the Pen Patrol, and love layered lyricism with easter eggs, mixed inside some fluid rapping, you’ll prefer Yogi’s style. Easily the battle of the night and I look forward to seeing how both emcees capitalize off this performance.
B-Mac vs Kapo Bravado
Recapped by France. $3,500 on the line.
The main event takes the stage and boy there is a lot to unpack from this battle. B-Mac had his battle on Bags and Bodies against FoetDev drop this past week, and he has received a lot of positive feedback from his performance in that battle. And yet in this battle, he brings the same style of performance, and the results were completely opposite. So what went wrong? His style is catered to one-liners and while he does have a lot of potent punches and good bars, there felt like so many fundamental flaws in his style and his composure in this battle.
He has obviously rendered success in the past from this game plan, so why would he abandon it? Well, it’s important to highlight the nuance of his previous battles. He’s often in an environment that is very enamored by his material, and he’s become accustomed to receiving reactions for every line, which has probably hindered him and prevented him from being more fluid with his cadence and flows. And the one-liners don’t have much of a transitional point or transition rhymes to connect them. He doesn’t emphasize or focus too much on the build-ups, so staying in the same cadence for the majority of his performance while dropping some intricate punches, can become monotonous when you aren’t registering with the crowd. He is throwing uppercuts, and he’s throwing hooks, but he doesn’t have a jab. A jab sets up your whole arsenal of attack and leads to you connecting your haymakers. And it’s as if he didn’t have any combinations in this performance.
To shoot B-Mac some bail, the room was certainly in favor of one emcee more than the other, but that doesn’t excuse his inability to garner any attention or command the crowd. With no different flow pockets, and no chain punching, his method of attack keeps him limited in a lot of components. it prevents him from gaining momentum and because he’s so receptive to reaction, When he isn’t getting any, he visibly shows his frustration constantly and repeats his lines or pauses and looks at the crowd to fish for engagement. While I will say, he showed much more pockets in his FoetDev battle, in this battle, it was all one track, and with no other gears to get into.
But my critique of his style is all subjective because if this same style has rendered success in the past, there are certain aspects to still keep. He doesn’t even have to entirely change who he is, just keep building on what he has already. But there is a lot to develop and enhance because when he’s being matched with someone that is able to exceed him in performance and brings a variety of flows or humor, it instantly diffuses what Mac brings. And Fundamentally, Mac lacked composure for this performance. All of his constant pauses and ad-libbing for reaction took him out of the battle, It became a battle against himself. He had no command of the room and wasn’t able to establish any presence. It all went wrong and it was a very amateur performance.
Kapo did a fantastic job at exhibiting all the qualities that Mac lacked. He was able to project more to establish an early presence, Kapo isn’t necessarily an excellent puncher, but is showing so many different rhyming pockets with his flows and transitions and he would implement different cadences or voice inflections when he would introduce a new flow, which is pleasant on the ears as a watcher. He showed a lot of Fluidity in his pacing and it kept you on your toes because you didn’t know what direction he would go in. He put the nail in the coffin in his second round when started to have a setup to a math scheme where he’s mentioning “division, subtraction, addition/ What good is a pen when you can’t draw attention.”
And the battle was finished after that because the bar literally described everything Mac demonstrated in his shortcomings in this performance. Kapo showed confidence and really took off to an early lead in the battle and kept increasing the distance between them as each round progressed. Kapo displayed extreme awareness of knowing when to amplify his intensity and instantly started every round projecting as loud as he could, so he could dictate the room. Little intangible details like that, give you a competitive edge. Although I do think he can def step his bars up, he has a nice versatile skill set to build off and it can create match-up problems for opponents. He can tower over his opponents and talk to them, he can get animated to enhance his performance, he can get very direct, and he has multiple flows to switch into.
Living in this era of social media where anyone can open up a forum to discuss how you didn’t have your greatest performance, it could be very overwhelming and I do look forward to seeing how B-Mac bounces back and makes the necessary adjustments to tap back into some of the success he’s previously experienced.