GATES VS OSBL: Top 5 Biggest Takeaways

LTBR Award Recipients

Battle of the Night:  #1  Elijah Strait vs Footz | P Black vs J Krooger

Top Performer Of The Night: Footz | Elijah Strait | Holmzie Da God | Saflare Sole | 

The OSBL vs. Gates of the Garden themed event was the occasion of the leagues not only collaborating but competing.  Kelz of Our Society Battle League and Dre Dennis of Gates of the Garden orchestrated a night of intense competition, with the best battlers from their rosters facing off in a series of compelling matchups. The sponsor for the event, Frank White deserves a special shoutout for his pivotal role in making this event happen. The battles showcased a variety of styles, leading to debatable outcomes and memorable performances that kept the audience engaged throughout the night.

Despite the event’s overall success, it was marred by a few notable hiccups. If you have ever been to an OSBL or Gates event, you will undoubtedly find it to be a rare occasion that they actually start on time; a little RNT is expected with all battle rap events, but there is a certain level of commitment to adhere to, once you make your event available on a live stream via Pay Per View. Some of the highly anticipated battles did not take place, causing disappointment among fans. Additionally, there was considerable confusion regarding whether the battles were one-rounders or three-rounders. Although the league owners made efforts through promotion and interviews to clarify the battle formats for each match on the card, some details were still lost in translation, or the knowledge was not grasped by anyone who didn’t watch any of those interviews. There is a standard for people in Media to be in the know or should be able to ask questions when they need to seek clarity. Speaking for myself, I was well aware these battles were 1 rounders. but it isn’t wise to assume all fans will follow every piece of media or promotion leading up to an event. Some fans just want to watch the art and follow the battles, and in a situation where you are now selling your event to be accessible to everyone online, the more communication, the better.

This situation highlighted the need for more effective communication strategies in future events. Sometimes, Small league owners do announce when they book a big battle and let the fans know this will be a three-round battle via social media. Something as simple as a tweet or a post from the league owner or the league’s social pages can prevent things like this. It served as a valuable learning experience for the organizers, emphasizing the importance of clear and consistent information dissemination to avoid similar issues going forward.

A Masterclass by Holmzie Da God

With the most impactful individual performance of the night, Holmzie adds another masterclass one 1 rounder to his catalog, this time against the highly skilled newcomer Yunus. Holmzie flies under the radar for many battle fans while still being mostly consistent and still one of the most underrated anglers in Battle Rap. Against Yunus, he used what felt like could’ve been 8-10 different angles if not more, breaking down Yunus’s current rank, process of inclining in Battle Rap, and of course the commonly spoken on virgin angle which Holmzie creatively not just used to clown Yunus but too breakdown the subject matter he raps about and a lack of believability. It was a genius full character assassination and gives an example of Holmzie at his absolute best, and to do it in your opponent’s backyard no less. 

As mentioned, Holmzie has already proven great in 1 rounders vs Loso and TheSaurus, so this adds to being another highlight in a similar situation. When you add this catalogue to a UM2 winning run, there’s enough of a sample size to see Holmzie can tap into elite level rapping and win dominantly vs formidable opponents. The next step for Holmzie, as has been for a while, is replicating this level of rapping in front of a top tier/high value name for 3 rounds. The talent is there no question, and this victory was another example of how experienced mid tiers get underrated in Battle Rap because their facing a more intriguing storyline. A battler like Holmzie is still a high level pro and can steal the show if given the right motivation/matchup.

Saflare Sole is Back On Track

Photo By DJ’s Lens

Saflare Sole has been one of URL’s best prospects from their recent Top 6 classes but met some extreme adversity vs DNA/JJDD and Danny Myers, which derailed his momentum for a bit. However, Sole has battled in mostly more minor situations, many times as a favorite, and has shown complete dominance—this performance files into this consistency, with a very long but effective round for the Saga. With back-to-back haymakers and comfortable and aggressive delivery, Saflare looks like he’s back on track. This is his 3rd W in a row (Woosaah, Pyrex Jones, Saga), and he seems poised to come back and make another run vs higher-level opponents. 

While the crowd didn’t give Saga the proper respect or even a fair chance, the power of Saflares 1st truly took the energy out of the building, and if you’re going first at home, that is the exact advantage you want to give yourself. With a particularly good ability at landing peak haymakers and improvements in consistent, clean delivery of his content, the second chapter of Sole’s career could be the most impressive one yet. 

Elijah & Footz Put On One Of The Best Battles This Year.

In the clear battle of the night, Footz vs Elijah Strait will be a cult classic that does one of the best jobs of emphasizing new talent over the last couple of years. Elijah Strait quietly is one of the most creative punchers in Battle Rap, having a reference pool and level of wittiness that very few in Battle Rap possess. Footz talent has been known from standout battles vs Saflare Sole and Jerry Wess. Still, after the debacle around his footage vs Rum Nitty, it has been quite some time since many have seen a Footz battle, and he definitely performed like someone who has been sitting on material for a while. Battle is a traditional bar fest, both using rapid-fire punching all 3 rounds and with an almost endless list of haymakers from both. Every round of the battle is very debatable, with both matching each other content-wise while performing great in 2 different ways.

While both were back-to-back with punches, Elijah’s style was EXTREMELY rapid-fire, which built up tons of momentum as his rounds went on. Footz, however, had a lot more flow switching and showed more rapping-wise, having some pockets that led to the biggest bombs of the battle. Personally, I called the battle 2-1 Footz, 1st and 3rd, but you can call this battle almost any different pair or trio of rounds in either direction cause it’s just that close. Both stole the show and snatched the moment, which is the #1 way to progress in Battle Rap, and both got a stock boost from possibly the best battle in both their careers, this will be a great momentum for both of them to build off. 

Yunus is still developing, and that's okay.

Yunus is among the best new talents we’ve seen enter battle rap in the last few years. A true rookie who we watched start from nothing to amassing a dedicated following who’s invested in seeing him succeed. He’s done all the things it takes to make someone think he can become a top-tier battle rapper. 

But he’s still a rookie. It’s not a pejorative or derogatory thing, but despite how special he may be, he is STILL a rookie and has hardships he’ll have to go through and things to adjust to. Whether it’s ways to diffuse an opponent’s momentum or how to steal back a room when the tide is starting to turn, there is room for improvement, and that’s okay. 

People watched Caitlin Clark dominate in the NCAA with her offensive prowess. She left college as one of the most dominant scoring guards the NCAA has ever seen, regardless of sex. In her newfound fame over the last two years, a lot of people who weren’t viewers of women’s basketball latched onto her, and with that fanbase also came lofty claims and expectations. Some thought Caitlin would go in and dominate the league with no adjustment period. As we’ve seen in these first handful of games of Clark’s Indiana Fever career, that hasn’t wound up being the case. Caitlin Clark is just as talented as advertised, but the new fans don’t understand how incredible WNBA players are. 

Clark can still be special and more than likely she will wind up being one of the best players in the league, but no matter how good that rookie is, if we don’t put more respect on the level of comp they’re facing, we’re only setting them up for failure. The WNBA is a world full of adults and professionals, they’ve been here before. And that same thing applies to Yunus. Yunus is just as talented as advertised, but battle rap discourse amongst spaces, fans & media have probably undermined how battle-tested some of the talent that Yunus has been battling. 

If we get so caught up in the dazzling potential of Yunus, we are going to underrate the threats that very established names like Holmzie the God and Franchise both present and that will do nothing, but deflate Yunus in the long run. 

Let him learn, let him grow. Don’t put too much on him too soon. Give him the time to be these things. If we don’t, we might not get to see him realize everything he’s meant to be. 

P Black and J Krooger Both Shined.

One of the better battles of the night, Krooger vs. Black, was probably overlooked by many on the card, but as a 3-round battle, got a case to let both MCs go into their bag and give 2 of the better showings of the night. With J Krooger, although outside-the-ring factors have always limited his consistency in being active when he does show up, it’s almost always some elite-heavy content. This battle was no different as he had consistent 3 rounds, his 1st being his best and his 3rd not too far behind. P Black shocked many, though, as he was competitive from beginning to end of the battle. His 2nd was a trap talk heavy round and was the best round from either batter in the battle. While not as direct as Krooger, the bombs were undeniable, with “We even sold it when it was called Reggie / We knew weed by it’s government name” possibly being the bar of the whole event. 

I called the battle for Krooger 2-1, 1st and 3rd, but the 3rd is very debatable, and some even gave Black the 1st as well. Black got the clearest round of the battle in the 2nd and walked away with a performance that’ll leave people remembering his name and abilities for whatever cards he pops out on next. Krooger shows why he is known as a killer in smaller leagues, and, hopefully, one day, can present these talents on a consistent basis cause there is always a space for that quality of bars. 

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