In The Building Rating
Event Recapped by staff Writers Q Moody, J Smo & France
LTBR Award Recipients
Battle of the Night: #1 Ave vs Clone | #2 Jaz The Rapper vs Loso | #3 Shooney vs Cash Flo Rizzy
Best Individual Performances of the night: #1 Ave | #2 Geechi Gotti | #3a Jaz The Rapper | #3b Loso | #4 Clone | #5 Seven J
The Biggest Win of the Night: Geechi Gotti over Bad Newz | Seven J Over Yung Herb
Top Bulls Of The Night: #1 Seven J | #2 Clone | #3 SuperBlack |
Salute to John John Da Don & The entire staff at Bullpen Battle League for putting on a fun and successful. And a special shoutout to John John for committing to a relentless amount of marketing and promotion towards this event. The Bulls found themselves on a billboard in Atlanta! And John John found a way to step up and call an audible for making last-minute adjustments upon losing two marquee names (Ms. Hustle & Shotgun Suge) for this event and was able to find replacement opponents for Loso & Bonus.
On the day of the event, Nu Jersey Twork did announce he couldn’t make the battle happen, but we were still fulfilled with 9 jam-packed battles. We were in for a fun evening of performances and good back-and-forth battles.
Alias vs Philly Haze
Recapped by J Smo
To kick off the night, Alias and Philly Haze brought a standard but serviceable battle to the table. Alias showed some standard back-to-back punching and aggression, some of his better lines of the battle coming from self-name flips “I’m Alias, and John all I’m asking for is a real name.”. Haze was also solid, writing uphill and clearly having his best round in the 3rd, with solid bars like “My strip tough like turkey bacon.” Both battlers displayed freestyling ability, but Haze really stole the show in that regard and clearly had the heavier hitting ones of the battle. With that being said, I thought Haze cooked a little late while Alias edged the first 2. Overall decent opener.
Seven J vs Yung Herb
Recapped by J Smo
Next up on the night would see a 1k on the line judged battle between Yung Herb vs SevenJ. Battle would start after a length and bizarre delay waiting for Yung Herb, but the battle still had tons of energy throughout. The story of the battle is really SevenJ performance, from 1st to 3rd really bombing at high levels by ways of punching, angling, and even a room shaking freestyle in the 3rd. Herb was decent too, turning up in the 2nd to make it close. But Seven’s 3rd round angle about Herb alleged custody battle really brought it home, landing very efficiently with the crowd, adding a freestyle off Herb trying to FaceTime his child mid battle. Judges would go on to award SevenJ the money after a very complete 3 round performance.
Superblack vs Reggie P
Recapped by J Smo
Another solid match to add to the fold, Superblack vs Reggie P is one for the deep South BR fans. Similarly to the SevenJ battle though, this battle really showcased one of the performers heavily as Superblack from 1st to 3rd had the battle in his control. While maybe a little over-aggressive with his delivery, he bombed from his 1st to 3rd and left no room for debate in the battle result. His 2nd and 1st set the bar super high, landing heavily with some drug talk “whipping in the bathroom like 6ix9ine” being out of the standouts. Reggie was okay, having his best round in the 2nd, but his delivery was just somewhat awkward, giving his rounds spotty pacing compared to Superblack’s. Decent battle overall but Superblack clean sweeps all 3 in a showcase performance.
OG Grizzly vs Moon
Recapped by J Smo
In the battle of the old heads, OG vs Moon is really a fun battle that lets you enjoy a specific sub-style of battle rap with some pure old talk and with a true old feel to it. While Grizzly doesn’t have the body of work Moon had to put faith in, he does a really good job holding it down for his side of the battle. Neither battler has the smoothest pace to their round but I’d say Moon showed a little more separation in that regard.
Content-wise, both were talking that talk we wanted to hear. Moon 1st round-ender about OG getting them to the bottom of the card hit heavy in both of their weaker rounds, giving him a bit of an edge. The 2nd is where OG really steps up, his opening rhyme pattern leading to his Umbilical cord line being one of the better pockets he catches all battle. He carried that through and had his most complete round of the battle, and in that same round, Moon was stumbling and losing a bit of direction (while still very entertaining). That leaves the 3rd, which is just solid work with both bringing one of their better rounds of the battle. Very debatable, and although not the most explosive battle, a fun one that fans can appreciate.
Xcel vs DFlamez
Recapped by J Smo
The always outside, pen-heavy XCel took on one of Bullpen’s staple talents in D Flamez, an aggressive battler who’s drawn a lot of similarities to NY talent Snake Eyez. XCel as usual was on the more layered side writing-wise, jabbing at a consistent rate and chain-punching with witty references. But the difference in the battle came down to 2 things: energy and haymakers, in which DFlamez both showed some separation in. Particularly in the 1st 2 rounds, from his exponent haymaker to his X in a box/Family Feud bar, his delivery and name flips landed heavily.
The 3rd round is the closest as XCel chained punches together nearly every line (“Bottle Service/I’m a 5th sparker”, “Click on X/I make ya window close”), but Flamez also had a very strong 3rd, adding elements of real talk and substance as the round went on. This 3rd round from both was proficient & high quality and a debatable round that could go either way, while DFlamez clearly took the first 2.
Shooney Da Rapper vs Cash Flo Rizzy
Recapped by J Smo
The ladies take the stage and set the bar for the battle of the night, thus far. Cash Flo Rizzy is a bullpen staple name that has always been able to maximize her talents matched with effort whenever she is given opportunities to perform on big Bullpen cards. She has solid punchlines intertwined with multiple rhyming pockets that build up a crescendo of momentum for herself, and she’s always able to put on a good performance. I can honestly say every time I’ve ever seen her live, I’ve never been disappointed and that’s something to very much take a lot of pride in.
Shoney has been extremely active in battle rap, taking about 15 battles over the last 18 months, and her reign of staying outside continues! While I was nervous at the top of her first round when she stumbled with her opening bar due to her history of being stumble-prone. But she instantly got focused, she was clean through out the entirety of the battle, and she puts on an exceptional performance. Shooney shows the separation between her and Cash Flo with the potency of her punchlines and the precision in her set-up bars, being able to utilize your set-up lines with maximum efficiency to keep your audience attentive, captivated, and anticipating your punchline, is truly one of the most difficult things to do in battle rap. It’s that skill that categorizes somebody from being a good battle rapper to a great battle rapper. Shooney’s name flips, schemes & back to back punches were on point enough to secure her a victory, but Cash Flo put on an entertaining and valiant effort in staying competitive.
Clone vs Ave
Recapped by J Smo
The premier punch-fest of the night, Clone and Ave lived up to the expectations. Ave went 1st and off-rip delivered an explosive round reminiscent of his 1st recently vs Tru Foe. Chaining haymakers at a rate very few can, Ave gave you every bit of the performance you expected with more versatility than he will probably get credit for. Clone also rose to the occasion, although put in an uphill matchup he showcased the waves and developments he’s made over the last year that’s brought his buzz back up. The closest round of the battle is the 2nd, where Clone had a flip on Rocs “I’ll be back Ave”, using it as a sound effect to set up a haymaker. This also is probably the round Clone looked most comfortable, using his pure rapping ability to have much more control over his pace and build-ups, giving the round a lot more of a fluid structure.
Even in the 2nd though, Ave has what may have been the bar of the battle with his Footsteps in the Dark/Isley Brothers room shaker. Clone brought 3 very competitive rounds with some good approaches and concepts, but Ave is simply Ave and showed levels between him and another fellow puncher. Even his career breakdown round in the 3rd was effective, working an angle based around Clone turning on Miltown Bloe. This goes to show that even though the punches are the backbone of his style, Ave has multiple ways to attack an opponent with effectiveness and simply isn’t a one-dimensional battler, and he has showcased this versatility for quite some time, I am glad the world was able to capture it in its full essence. And for those who disagree, the tape is there, you just got to actually watch it. This was the first time we have seen Ave on a Live PPV since his battle with Danny Myers, and it feels like the culture got a refresher on how special Ave can be.
Ave is easily a perineal Top level battler whenever he is active. He always shows separation whenever he has the role of a gatekeeper or he is battling lesser experienced opponents, he is arguably a better battler on a big stage despite how dangerous he can be in a small room. He has multiple main-stage appearances, dominant wins over legends, and classic battles to match, he’s even got a solid amount of platinum battles in his catalog. It’s time for the culture to be reminded of just how great Ave is.
Loso vs Jaz The Rapper
Recapped by J Smo
The superstar substitution, Loso vs Jaz is an explosive 1 rounder that can match nearly any 3 rounder on the card in quality. Jaz would rap first, and off rip she lands a “Charlie Horse” haymaker, covering her last battle and Loso’s recent leg injury within the set-up, already covering ground in an efficient amount of time. The most impressive part of the performance is its smoothness of it, as there is no real hiccups or extreme dips in quality. The punches are solid with standout haymakers, and the pace and confidence are on point, and she even produces what some may argue as moment with her shot as Ms. Hustle backing out of the battle that landed as a room shaker. That’s all without mentioning her strong suit, angling, where she covered a multitude of topics from Loso not being top tier, RyhmeZone, his use of gun bars and many more, further showcasing the elite strategist she has built her career around. There’s a reason Jaz is one of the best, and on 5 days prep, she still looked like the elite force she is.
Loso would open with a funny rebuttal (incorporating her “Time too”) slogan about Jaz rapping a long time, which she most certainly did, which gave him some good energy and a transfer of momentum to start his round. Contrary to Jaz round, Loso showed a little more variety inflows, coupled with his usual use of angles and witty lines in between the more topic-based attacks. Covering topics like Jaz just being outside, landing it with an Angle Reese/Caitlin Clark bar that was one of the better of his round. “Coroners laying the blanket over Jaz, its sheet music” also displays some of the pure pen work Loso can give outside of his well-known angling prowess. Coupled with a last 3rd of the round angling about Jaz sex life, Loso covered all the expected bases but with enough creativity to land effectively and not have it come off as redundant.
Rapping time difference can make it look a little lopsided for Jaz, but in a battle on 5 days prep to save a high-value card spot, the fact both battlers can each bring THIS good a version of themselves is a win in itself. Both emcees showcased their warrior spirit by pushing themselves through timely and excruciating processes, and most importantly they both displayed their dedication to the culture by stepping up to bring one of the better battles of the card. This is a good look for both.
Geechi Gotti vs Bad Newz
Recapped by Q Moody
In the main event of the night, we saw Geechi Gotti put together another strong performance to start off 2023. With how great he was vs Febou on iBattle and here against Bad Newz, there seems to be a renewed hunger for Geechi and that’s a cause for concern for any battler.