Black Mafia Battle League: Still Outside Recap

Calicoe’s Black Mafia Battle League hosted a wildly successful event that drew nearly 1000 attendees, packing the venue to capacity. With the assistance of the Ruin Your Day team, the essence of the event was masterfully captured, showcasing the unique energy and excitement that permeated the air. Calicoe’s efforts in bringing this vibe to Michigan deserve commendation, as it created a special atmosphere that resonated throughout the night. 

The matchups were carefully curated and delivered, with the purpose of igniting the room with intensity and skill, It’s like Calicoe knew which battlers had the style to carter to what this type of crowd wants to hear. Calicoe’s dual role as both event organizer and battle rapper deserves recognition, as it’s no small feat to manage both tasks effectively. However, one area for improvement lies in transparency, particularly regarding the Qleen Paper vs T-Rex matchup. While T-Rex’s absence was due to valid reasons, better communication with fans about the situation beforehand would have been appreciated, especially considering it was a highly anticipated battle. Despite this minor critique, the event was undeniably a resounding success, showcasing Calicoe’s in league owner mode.

Selly Sell vs Fat SaySo

The opening battle between Selly Sell and Fat SaySo sets an electrifying tone for the night, getting the audience ready for what to expect from the night from the first moment. Both up-and-coming artists delivered a dope performance, showcasing their grit, bars, and projection. Their exchange not only entertained the crowd but also established a high standard for the evening’s proceedings. With their energy and skill, Selly Sell and Fat SaySo ensured that the audience was fully engaged, using current event bars for some shock in the room, a little bit of wit, and bar-heavy punches.  

Sayso was able to last the distance in the battle but make no mistake, neither of the two dissapointed and you can be sure to hear and see them on more cards like these.


Lady Caution vs Bailey Lee

The ladies of the night all added to the event’s quality, and this early battle with Caution vs Bailey was a lighter but good example of it. Bailey struggled with her cleanliness and delivery through the battle, particularly choking the final 2 rounds, but the content was good enough to earn her some praise. While it seemed it could be a close battle early, Caution turned up her level, as an experienced pro would do in this situation, and handled business with a clear W as the favorite, clearly in the 1st and 3rd and for many getting the 2nd as well. Expected W for Caution and a cool showing for Bailey, battle added to some of the early decent matches of the night. 

O Solo vs Black Fonz

This battle, like most O Solo battles, is bizarre. However, not in a fun way this time around. OSolo had his classic 3 rounds of anything, which entertainment-wise has its comedic moments (ex: your momma got a real foot but a fake leg), but overall was just 3 fairly short rounds of gibberish. Black Fonz started with a good 1st and clear 1-0 lead looking like the OG was going to just take the battle more seriously and win. However, the final 2 rounds were the opposite with Black Fonz putting out bad content or choking. It’s not a very good battle, no one won, and shows the potential downsides of the O Solo experience. 

Yoshi G vs Asi Amora

One of the more standout battles of the night, Yoshi vs Asi added to the card with one of the better battles of the night. Yoshi was the heavy favorite going in and with the performance she gave, in most situations, this probably does end up as a clear Yoshi win. Good scheme of heavy content while also showing the difference in experience with a much sharper delivery, Yoshi gave a good showing as expected. Even facing a formidable version of a formidable opponent, Asi seized the moment and is the story of this battle. Although as mentioned her delivery can use work, her content was some of the best 3 rounds of the night. Real talk heavy with more than a few creative punchlines, she put on a clinic and had one of the best rounds of the night with her 2nd which she won clearly. 

Controversy has somewhat overtaken the battle, with Yoshi cutting off Asi’s 3rd in dramatic fashion leading to the end of the battle, claiming she was rapping way over the 2-minute time limit she claimed was part of the battle. While there are some flaws in the argument, like Yoshi also rapping over 2 minutes each round herself, Asi 3rd while good was getting aggressively long, and especially after already pretty much winning the round or going into overdrive, one can understand why Yoshi wasn’t going to let her double her rap time in the 3rd regardless of the exact time limit or not. 

This does open the door to a conversation to be had about the ethics of time limits in battle rap. For years we have seen it get abused where rappers sign for a contracted limit, and one person will rap beyond the measure of the boundaries both parties agreed to. When two people are rapping at an even level, sometimes that extra time is enough to create an advantage over your opponent, especially if you go 2nd. If you call time on your opponent in the middle of them cooking, you are gonna look like a sore loser or have the crowd upset because they want more content, and the league owner is getting more raps than what they paid for, so they don’t intervene and step in to keep things regulated neither. A timekeeper in battle rap has become a lost art, It’s honestly something I wouldn’t mind seeing more often to keep a fair balance of competitiveness & it also keeps the length of the content in a digestible manner. The moral of Yoshi’s message has some merit, but ultimately the delivery & timing of how she went about it puts her in a tough spotlight. If she sets the tone after the first round about the time limits, she’s able to establish the boundary early. But waiting till the end of the 3rd round, plus the hesitancy of standing on business with cutting Asi’s round off, left a sour taste in the room, and what could’ve been a debatable battle for her fanbase, has lost some leg to stand. 

But with the non-sense aside, both ladies gave very good showings and Asi Amora snatched a lot of people’s attention with a fantastic underdog win, by way of 2-1 or 30.   

Mackk Myron vs K Walker

A late addition to the card, Walker vs Mackk was a 1 rounder that probably takes the crown for the worst battle of the night. Mackk’s round had a couple of haymakers, but for a pseudo-home game, the round still came off very light and left the door open for K Walker to add to the recent momentum he’s found. However, K Walker just didn’t have it that night. 

Just a bad round from all perspectives: pace, content, stumbling, and crowd control. Walker could not get ANYTHING in the building and just leads to this being a battle They’re probably lucky to end up as 1 round instead of 3. Short prep isn’t for everyone, and with Walker’s recent form being much better than this one could attribute his steep dip in quality to just a bad situation for him as an artist to partake in, and Mackk Myron may have gotten a default W but he still is trying to regain his momentum as the last couple years haven’t been his best to say the least. Chalk it to the game, and thankfully most of the card was much better in quality.

X-Factor vs Tru Foe

Some Midwest vs Midwest action, Foe vs X ended up being another good back and forth on the night, surprising some including myself. Foe could’ve really optimized his stock with a good performance coming in with an opportunity vs a name that holds weight, and a returning one at that. 1st round to 3rd, Foe gave the showing he needed, aside from some very tough stumbles/chokes. Content-wise, he was showing separation at times from where he is as a writer in the modern age compared to X, but this didn’t deter the returning legend from doing his numbers either. X-Factor 1st 2 rounds, and specifically his 2nd, is the best material he has rapped in a little over a decade. It was a true vintage showing, with a lot of legacy talk and a fireman scheme that ended up as one of the highlights of the whole event. X too had some turbulence, but not showing up until the 3rd which was his weakest of the battle.

X took the 2nd clear, and Foe took the 3rd (a round both choked in), leading to the 1st deciding the battle. Debatable with X  getting more love from the building, but Foe was a little more direct and sound content-wise and for me edged him the victory 2-1 in a battle that exceeded expectations, and gave a stock boost to the modern battler who needed it as well as the returning vet reminding people why his peers herald him the way they do even with a lack of consistent activity since his prime years. 

Geechi Gotti vs Joey Linwood

In one of the final battles of the night, Geechi gives a shot to Michigan talent Joey Linwood in a 3-rounder. Not the craziest battle, neither artist peaked but neither had a notably bad showing either. Joey Linwood style is dependent on whether you appreciate the unique delivery or not. Content-wise was cool, but whether you thought he was slightly above or slightly below average will depend on how his flow connects with you. Geechi gave a standard 60-70% Geechi showing. First was a clear round for Geechi with applied effort, 2nd and 3rd is him freestyling his way through trying to catch one of the last 2 rounds on the way out. The 2nd and 3rd from Geechi both match up to Joey content-wise but also is delivered not nearly as cleanly, 2nd in particular ending basically in a choke. Edged Geechi the 3rd, but if someone gives Joey the battle 2-1 due to Geechi’s lack of cleanliness it’s a fair argument. Nothing too crazy, but an okay battle overall. 

Tay Roc vs Bill Collector

When great fights are booked, you want a great product from it. I can say with confidence Bill vs Roc lived up to its potential to nearly the fullest. In the Battle Of The Night, Bill and Roc separated themselves from the rest of the card early, with a good Roc 1st but a SPECIAL Bill Collector opening round. In his peak chain punching form, Bill rapped maybe one of the best rounds of his career and not only won the 1st clear over solid Roc, but won by a body bag type of margin. This put tons of pressure on Roc at the top of the 2nd, luckily no battler has seen more pressure than the one in question here. 2nd Round Roc was alive and active, going from Bill’s chain punching to something you could only call chain haymakers. Back to back to back. Roc rapped another classic 2nd and his best round so far of 2024. Bill’s 2nd was good, but like how he overwhelmed Roc in the 1st the favor had been returned, with a very clear and quality-wise nearly perfect 1-1 heading into the 3rd.

While up to this point, it looked like the battle could be en route to being filed as a classic, the dip in quality from both in the 3rd holds it back a bit from getting the highly respected title, however still leaves this as a great battle. Roc kept his name flip-heavy and punch approach in the 3rd, being somewhere between his 1st and 2nd quality-wise. While good, similar to the 1st it left the door open for Bill to take the round and possibly take the whole battle.


Bill’s 3rd was a change in approach compared to the other 2 rounds, going very angle-heavy and comedy-heavy, which while this wasn’t missing through the battle was emphasized much more heavily in the final round. This ended up being a bit of a miss-step, with the first half of his 3rd struggling to connect, something that Roc experienced as well in his 3rd. Bill ended on a better note, getting back more to the back for back and ending on a haymaker, but by then may have been a little too late. There are many picking either side in this battle, showing both brought some of their best material and made it a show. I edged Roc the 3rd, and with a clear 2nd that would add up to a Roc 2-1 win, but both battlers will benefit from giving the best back and forth of the night, as both add to their early 2024 COTY cases as well. 

Calicoe vs Reed Dollaz

The main event of the night, The Cal vs Reed matchup gave the chance for one of the better pure rap/real talk battles one could ask for. Calicoe 1st set the tone for this being his best round, with a signature approach only Calicoe can really pull off, but what no one knew was the opening round from Cal would be the peak of this battle. The spectrum of which Reed you’re going to get in the battle has 2 opposite endpoints: 

The Reed you got vs Nitty, and the Reed you got vs Oun P. Sad to say, this showing was much more in line with the Oun P like performances Reed has given before. There are indirect raps, and then there is what Reed attempts for portions of this battle. Even the delivery and pace while the signature wasn’t that of a fully locked-in Reed vs some of the top competition he’s performed well in the past. From 1st to 3rd, his content just isn’t at a level that’s going to get you a win vs the likes of a Calicoe. 

Cal can’t go without blame either though, even with a good 2nd to follow his 1st content-wise he chokes in the final 2 rounds of the battle adding to the mess. Running events and battling on them has led to many legends’ losses before, and a better opponent would’ve led to one for Cal. Luckily for Cal, Reed choked in his 3rd which content-wise was already looking like as beatable of a round as possible, and while Cal’s 3rd is also his worst it at least gave a little bit of something. Clear 2-1 Cal, with the 2nd going to Reed by default for the choke, it ends up as a disappointing main event that adds more to the minuses of the card than the pluses.

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