Have you ever been at a job and had that moment where you can tell someone is over it and starts to give the minimum effort that causes the quality of their work to diminish? Or watched an athlete get fed up, go through the motions, and now you see them making low-effort plays on both sides of the ball so you question what’s going on with them? That is where we’re at with Charlie Clips, widely regarded as an all-time great with a resume on paper that speaks for itself. In spite of that, for years it’s been a question of “Will he take the battle seriously?” Or “Does he care? Will he write his material or freestyle every round? Will he try?”
The Everlasting IF-Factor
The prediction or analysis of a Clips battle announcement always begins with “If he shows up on 100%.” During the battle vs Loaded Lux, he even made light of this in his opening round, saying he suffered from “I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck-in-titis.” The crowd laughed and then subsequently, they cheered at the announcement that the person they paid to see was going to actually try and be entertaining in a job based on entertainment and we moved on. That battle was eight years ago, yet we’re still here and the self-appointed affliction seems to have gotten worse, the IDGAF-Symbiote has seemingly taken over Charlie Clips’ entire being like his name is Harry Osborne in Spider-Man 2 except instead of shouting “WE ARE VENOM” It yells “WE ARE BAD FREESTYLES.”
Clips’ notable opponents in 2023 have been Danny Myers, Jaz the Rapper, Rosenberg Raw, A.Ward and QB Black Diamond. Outside of the Rosenberg Raw battle, you can argue he has 2 of the worst battles of the year in 2023 with Jaz and Danny, and if you want to go back to the Calicoe battle near the end of 2022, you can say he has produced more unwatchable content than a battle of value in the last calendar year. Sometimes in battle rap, or anything when the content is consistently bad, it’s likely that a battler just isn’t that talented, it happens in everything people can give their best efforts and it just not be appealing and that’s okay. What isn’t and shouldn’t be accepted under any circumstance is someone with talent and ability intentionally not living up to the standard they set for themselves. This is the case with Charlie.
High Volume Year in 2023.
Charlie Clips has been regarded as an all-time great by any of the respected voices in the game. Some have even labeled him as their GOAT, which means this isn’t someone who struggles because of their lack of anything, this is someone who chooses to underperform consistently which moves it from unfortunate circumstances to what my brother France would define as “Weaponized incompetence” I think that’s a nice term, I prefer to call it “Content Terrorism.” I had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing the Danny Myers battle in person, I’m not joking when I say I literally went to sleep in the middle of the battle, that’s how lackluster it was, the best thing about that battle was that Center Stage theater had comfortable seats to make sleeping possible.
Charlie is always a name that can draw and sell tickets, his stardom is beyond battle rap and his consistent views reflect that he’s someone who will always be booked because he can always deliver an ROI in the views department. The trade-off being made here is that this constant production of unserious nonsense affects the legacy he built for himself. Maybe that’s a trade-off he’s fine with and I won’t knock that, the checks clear the same way regardless, and ultimately money is the most important thing. As a fan, consumer, and talking head the main thing we’re discussing is legacy, top 5, top 10, etc… In fairness, anything could be going on personally with Charlie Clips, there could be things that we aren’t privy to in his life and I do want to acknowledge that. That being said we can only go on the information we do have and if this was a one-year occurrence with him I wouldn’t even be writing this, but as we said earlier this is a multi-year saga at this point which is why this critique seems fair to me.
In 2023, Charlie Clips has been booked to battle 16 times and has completed 11 battles. He has 1 upcoming battle with C3 on Chrome 23 in December. Also worth noting, he has 4 battles that did not go down, those battles not happening were out of his control and unforeseen circumstances. He was booked to battle MyVerse on KOTD’s Blackout, Chef Trez & Rum Nitty on Bullpen, and was scheduled to battle out in the U.K against Moak, on Don’t Flop Battle league. 16 Booked battles is the most he’s ever been booked in a calendar year. When the year is over, assuming he doesn’t try to squeeze in one more battle before the ball drops, he would have a total of 12 battles in 2023, which would be tied for the most battles he’s done in a single calendar year, dating back to 2015 & 2017.
Fallen From The Graces
Recently there was a topic on Twitter about who the best battle rapper from Harlem is, before 2023 I believe a lot of people would’ve had Clips as the number one with very little pushback, however, the prevailing answer was K-Shine. Now Shine absolutely deserves that recognition, but it’s difficult to see something like that and not think about how Clips has fumbled so much of his own standing. When you look at other all-time greats that are frequently mentioned, names like Shine, Tay Roc, Hitman Holla. Each and every one of them has had losses, but what none of them don’t have are multiple examples across the years of low-effort performances and those things matter.
The ultimate question here for me is how far is Charlie willing to spiral. Having already fallen out of the conversation for being the best in Harlem, to falling further and further out of GOAT discussions, when will enough be enough? Does he even care enough? If the answer is no then that’s fine honestly, a lot of those talks can be written off as superficial or just debate topics with no ultimate award besides the recognition of people.
That being said I think most people who have been to the highest level of any competitive activity care to some extent about how they are viewed by the masses. Being considered a top 5-10 ever in anything and to have your battle announcements or appearances be greeted with apathy is truly a shame, and as a fan of battle rap and someone who truly admires the craft and the creativity of these artists, it’s sad and irritating to see someone put forth so little effort. When does it end and how can you restore your legacy after doing so much damage? Only time will tell.