Chrome 23: The Grudge Card Recap

The Grudge Card


Event Recapped by staff Writers Titus, J Smo & France

LTBR Award Recipients

Battle of the Night: Toni Blanco vs Cheyraq

Best Individual Performances of the night:
 #1 First Lady Flamez | #2 Toni Blanco | #3 Cheyraq 

The Biggest Win of the Night: Chayna Ashley over Tori Doe 

Highlight Rounds of the Night:  Chanya 1st round | Toni Blanco 2nd | First Lady Flamez 1st round | Cheyraq’s 3rd Round | |40 BARRS 1st round | Yoshi G 1st  | Kausion 3rd 

Full Podcast Recap

First Lady Flamez vs Kausion

Rcapped by J Smo

First battle of the night, Kausion led off the 1st. Kausion 1st, and really her 2nd and 3rd, all follow a bit of a formulaic build. She raps well, couple peak bars (ex: Bless Her Heart haymaker), but mostly jabs and very strict to the time limit. Couple of angles/real talk segments that she also had time turning into an overarching point or punch, leading to an already short-ish round having drying spots.

Flamez response in the 1st was filling up a lot of those gaps in her showing that Kausion lacked. Off rip, Flamez pen is respected for a reason and the difference in writing was always going to be one of the main pathways to Flamez getting a W. Her “I hope it dies” haymaker was start of the real incline in her round. Layered writing, peak aggression, and just an overall better level of battle rapping. Flamez took the 1st clear.

The 2nd plays out extremely similarly, Kausion rounds are not bad but a lot of material is just the textbook jabs (count on my character like a long tweet rant / nail my target like a crucifix). Explosion is needed to create separation, especially with a round that’s hitting 3-4 mins max with reaction. Flamez keeps her foot on the gas in her 2nd, her delivery just so crisp and clearly a battler who’s fully found herself. Another round of clear separation, maybe even leaning toward domination heading into the 3rd.

As for the 3rd and final round, Kausion has her best round. Caught good momentum towards the 2nd half starting from her Taquito bar all the way to her Blanket Statement bar her witty writing started to land at a more consistent level. Finally, ending her 3rd with the “fighting Flamez is a childhood memory”, was the spark she needed to stop this from ending as a body bag. Flamez 3rd continues to display just how good she is, with an Azealia Banks haymaker out the gate that may have been the bar of the battle. A quote machine, Flamez just showed throughout the battle that she is currently the better battler in multiple ways, and that didn’t stop in the 3rd even though it was the closest round. 

Flamez gets another great win, and Kausion takes her 3rd straight loss to high-level competition. Still potential for her but it may be time to reevaluate what her current trajectory is and what plates she should take on next.

Toni Blanco vs Cheyraq

Rcapped by France

The battle between Toni Blanco and Cheyraq was an intense match that exceeded all expectations. As the two competitors stepped onto the stage, tension in the air surrounding an individual that has had relations with both ladies, was palpable. Both artists were known for their unique styles for an interesting clash.

Right from the start, Toni Blanco seized the spotlight, captivating the crowd with her diverse range of flows. She effortlessly switched between rapid-fire delivery and a high-pitched melodic cadence, displaying an impressive command over rhythm and wordplay. With each line, she cleverly worked the audience.

On the other side of the stage, Cheyraq stood poised and was armed with potent punchlines. Her delivery was sharp, packed with wordplay and some clever metaphors. She skillfully weaved personal jabs into her verses, regarding the elephant in the room, if you can connect the Dots.

The battle between both ladies became a back-and-forth exchange of blows. Toni Blanco’s ability to captivate the crowd with her flow and stage presence was undeniable, and in the building, it felt like the battle was a clear 2-0 in favor of Toni, but on the playback, Cheyraq’s punchlines were strong enough to have kept the battle competitive. Cheyraq was able to rise above a bit of a hostile environment in the third round and really showed she was able to stay focused to deliver a sharp round that is arguably in her favor. 

In the end, the crowd was treated to a thrilling display of talent from both Toni Blanco and Cheyraq. Easily the battle of the night and despite there being some tension in the third round, Cheyraq showed a level of resilience to edge out that round, but I have Toni Blanco leading the charge and winning the first two. The battle showcased the diversity of their rap styles proving that even in the face of tension, a clash of flows and punchlines could create an incredibly entertaining battle and both ladies were able to put their differences aside to get the bag to put on a peaceful & professional end to their issues. This battle really set the bar for the rest of the night. 

Chayna Ashley vs Tori Doe's Rounds

Rcapped by J Smo

Before talking about the first ever in-person no-show, Chayna Ashely deserves praise for a performance that was cut short and overshadowed by things out of her control. Chayna’s delivery really will have you mean mugging before the content really kicks in, true rappers’ rappers. The cadence and pockets she caught in examples like the Greek house scheme in the 1st and the Obi Toppin bar in her 2nd showed Chayna still has great pace, aggression, and haymaker ability. Her first 2 rounds were fire, and even her explaining how a rap battle works to Tori gave us a level of entertainment “I go, you go, I go, you go”. True professional that did her job to the best of her abilities.

Tori Doe on the other hand is an embarrassment to the art and sport of Battle Rap. We see battlers fall from grace through years, of all different tiers. We’ve seen battlers choke, 1 round if not all 3. No-shows are (sadly) still a part of the culture, but Tori took it one step further: she showed up with no intentions of rapping a word. An in-person no-show. This girl said, “…Round”. This shameful, fallen talent has been considered a battle-rap-flight risk for some time, synonymous with no showing and giving basically no effort at this point in her career. But to waste everyone’s time, money, effort, and attention. It’s one of the most unprofessional acts in the history of battle rap if not the most. 

The ramifications aren’t just bad for Tori, as in turn it stains the card which ultimately hurts the league and others trying to get opportunities. Not just bad for female battle rap, but battle rap as a whole. These are the types of situations that make a mockery of the art form but also go viral and take up the attention span of the culture over great showings like First Lady Flamez or Toni Blanco. Instead, Tori Doe being a disgrace is a main talking point. Booking Tori Doe is basically putting money in an open fire. The remote is indeed not working.

40 BARRS vs Yoshi G

Rcapped by Titus

Disappointment: that’s the only word to describe the main event. Tension and controversy sell, that’s the entire reason something like a Grudge card can even exist, but the quiet part is that as much as we love the intensity, we love it when battlers can channel their energy into great performances. We got nothing like that; instead, we got chokes, unpreparedness, and a rendition of the water toss game. 

At its best, this battle could’ve been a legend again, showing levels and why she’s regarded so highly, or we’d get the ascension of a new star finally breaking through the gates and becoming a refreshing face for a new era in female battle rap. We ended up with a battle marred by so much sloppiness on both sides that there’s no real positive conversation to have either way. And the sad part is we were so close to seeing the best-case scenario version of this. 40’s aggression and delivery were on full display, Yoshi solidified that her pen could compete with the best.

The first round was extremely close and could go to either woman, but in the 2nd round, Yoshi got clear after she took things up to another level and 40 had a choke in her 2nd round. There was a little bit of something you could feel in the air. That after being such an underdog, the scent of an upset was lingering with an arguable 1-1 going into the 3rd. 

But the good here doesn’t outweigh the outright nasty, including how clear it was from the get-go that there was some overwhelming 40 support in there, to put it mildly. It damn near ruins 40’s first round because of how egregious and obnoxious it feels and it did 40 no favors on cam. And there’s no choosing sides here, both women were wrong in this battle. 40’s wrong for reading off of her phone during a battle and talking through Yoshi’s rounds. Yoshi is guilty of the same with talking through rounds and she has to wear that choke in the 3rd and the water bottle tossing.

This is a true shame for two extremely talented women; certainly, both of them are fully capable of bouncing back and making this nothing more than a really ugly moment, but we’ll always be stuck with what could’ve been here, and that’s the disappointing part about it all. 

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