GTX: The Prelude Recap

Event Rating

Recapped by Ca Lowe & France

GTX held their first ever event since it’s inception earlier this year. GTX serving as a revival and modernized version of Grind Time, it was refreshing and nostalgic to witness this again.

“Can I get an UNOOO?” The familiar call-out from the legendary host Lush One before any battle that happened last night. Joined alongside him was Plex Rock who also helped host the battles. Here is a picture of Lush & Plex hosting battles together in 2009 vs 2022.

We had an audience filled with old school fans and a lot of battle rap fans from Mexico, traveled to L.A to support Aczino. All of the fans from Mexico packed out the building !

The building seem to filled with positive energy and a fun atmosphere, but as all things related to battle rap, the building doesn’t translate to the camera. Viewers at home had expressed their critiques of the GTX crowd on social media. It seemed that the crowd was not being reactive enough to some of the material that fans felt warranted and deserved a reaction.

It became evident early in the evening, this was not a battle rap crowd we have seen…in a long time. This was a crowd full of fans from the early years of Grind Time. From 2008-2010, the crowds that attended battle rap events were a bit different than the ones we are accustomed to now.

Fans from the late 2000s would express their interest in the material, not by reacting but by closely listening, to devote their attention to your lyricism. And they would react in big moments of someone’s rounds. The crowds of this old era would listen to listen, instead of listen to react.

it’s important to highlight that battle rappers in the 2000s, did not write their material with the mindset or intention to actively seek for crowd reactions. Mainly because during this decade of battle rap, a lot of the events were held in private locations, weren’t promoted heavily on the internet or happened in the street. Many of these events weren’t open to the public, so for the fans to be in attendance, you had to be in on the know, on internet forums or in the streets to be plugged in. So because many events during this era didn’t take place on stages, the idea of having crowd control wasn’t a conscious factor, until battling on stages became the new norm.

With the expansion of the culture, now most events occur on a stage and they’re open to the public. Battle rap has evolved as an entertainment industry, so battlers of this current era are conditioned to write and perform their material in efforts to receive reaction and entertain.

Through out 2008-2010, you had various platforms for battle rap such as Grind Time, Fight Klub, Street Status, Lionz Den, plus the early inception of URL and KOTD. You could watch the game tapes of old school battles and realize that battlers during this era used to write their rounds to rap it straight through and they weren’t seeking crowd engagement.

Also worth noting the crowds during these years weren’t overly generous with loud reactions. So its say to say, there was a learning curve for some battlers to adapt to. This was a great test for many to show their versatility, mastery of crowd control and personality as a battler.

Beatz Gatlin, RX, & Drect held it down with commentary in between the battles & June providing the quick translation for the Spanish speakers in attendance and those at home watching the PPV.

Event checkpoint Grades:
 Venue- B
 Crowd- C+
 Stream Quality- A
 Hosts/Commentary- B+

LTBR Award Recipients

Battle of the Night: Dizaster vs Aczino | Aye Verb vs Pass
Body of the Night: Mackk Myron
Surprise of the night: Aczino | Kitchen Qleen
Best Performances of the night: #1 Aczino |  #2 Dizaster | #3 Mackk Myron | #4 Aye Verb | #5 Holmzie Da God


Recapped by France

Don Marino, from Miami, Flordia takes on a Grind Time staple name in Reverse Live, from Hollister, California.

Don Marino’s resume is decorated with multiple house hold Grind Time names like Marv Won, Pass, Madness, Johnny Storm and now Reverse Live. He was eager to step up to the challenge and set the tone for the GTX event. While Don Marino had some dope rebuttals, used the lovely RX as a prop and was also able to land some heavy punches. He had 2 rounds where he had very hard stumbles, that required him to take a bit of a pause and the crowd applauded for him to get it back. Don Marino’s performance certainly had highlights but was overshadowed by a not being so clean.

Reverse Live was able to assert himself early in this battle and build off the confidence and momentum from his material landing with the crowd. Reverse knows what a Grind Time crowd is looking and he was able to provide it. A perfect balance of punchlines, multis, and jokes. His humorous slander for the way Don Marino enjoys his Mexican cuisines, really had the crowd going.  Reverse Live is back  home and has been showing some consistency over his last 3-4 battles.

Round 1: Reverse Live clear
Round 2: Reverse Live clear
Round 3: Reverse Live (edge)


Recapped by France

Holmzie Da God, Former Ultimate Madness champion, straight outta of Jersey will be faced against Fate from Modesto, California for an interesting style clash of wits, angles and bar heavy punchlines.

Fate sets off the battle and starts to flex his pen and immaculate writing abilities. He doesn’t assert himself in the first round to start and he has a bit of a tough time getting engagement and momentum from the crowd. The crowd is listening closely to Fate but they’re subtle with their reaction to the material. Holmzie is able to sense and feel out the crowd by going 2nd in the battle and realized he had to amplify his projection to max volume to garner the attention of the crowd. Holmzie starts to show off a variety of tricks in his bag. He is matching Fate’s pen with his schemes, transitions into some humor and referenced things related to the environment and Grind Time.

Fate has proven that he can write uphill and will gradually increase his tempo, energy and potency of his content through the battle. He did have some stumbles in this round, but his 2nd round was better than his first from a writing stand point. He still lacked the necessary authority in his performance and delivery to impose his will on that round. Holmzie continues to build on the momentum he has established in the first round and also shows off his range to jump in and out of different rhyming pockets.

Holmzie was in control of this battle and his delivery was sharp enough to make even his weaker lines have a lasting impression. Fate has a good 3rd round and Holmzie opens up with angle to Fate about having Fate. It was a creative approach, this is the closest round of the 3 and I have Fate edging this.

Round 1: Holmzie
Round 2: Holmzie (Clear)
Round 3: Fate (Edge)


Recapped by Ca Lowe

Saynt, from Inglewood, CA, had the tall order of facing off against the heavily favored Atlanta native, Chef Trez, in a battle of versatility. Similar in style, they both had great schemes seemingly intertwined in their rounds as well as some haymakers in between that woke up the crowd a little bit.

Both did show some struggle to get reaction from the audience in their first round however the crowd was paying attention to the intricacies of their writing and while they may have not reacted, they were committed and engaged to listening.

There was some lackluster material from both and a handful of dry spots to start off the battle. Also both were adjusting to the crowd. But Chef Trez turned up in his 2nd round and Saynt displayed some great counter writing in the 2nd round with a scheme to compliment all of the bars Chef Trez touched on.

That being said, both rappers could stand to polish the already great tool kits they possess. Chef Trez will continue to garner attention when he steps into the battle scene again, and Saynt will look to gather momentum after securing KOTD’s first $50,000 tournament winnings some time ago now.

Very possible we see more of Chef Trez on GTX, as he tells HipHopIsReal, that he wants to be a staple on this league.

Round 1: Chef Trez
Round 2: Saynt
Round 3: Saynt

Mackk Myron vs Big T

Recapped by Ca Lowe

A clash between two of the cultures more unique voices, Big T from Chicago is challenged by new fan favorite Mackk Myron, out of Pontiac, in what was deemed by some as a potential battle of the night.
Big Terrence has been seemingly, as of late, showing the wear signs of a legend in battle rap who has been doing this for a long time. He had a lot of his signature sound in gun effects and was in attack mode during his round, but appeared fatigued the whole battle. Losing his footing in the first and stumbling throughout his following rounds, with brief pauses to recover. Mackk Myron could have been on cruise control and still taken the battle…except he did anything but that.
(Makes a hand gesture like this 🤌🏼) “this Big T’s gang sign, lemme get a lil piece of that” -Mackk Myron 
Mackk seemed to be the only emcee so far at this point of the night to have unlocked the crowd. He noticed the lack of reception from the previous battles and before beginning his round, he commanded engagement, acknowledged them and even had bars for the Mexican fans in attendance. Mackk displayed full awareness of his environment and complete mastery of crowd control and performance. His humor and charisma carried him through the rest of the way.

Mackk came out a little slow in his first round, but he exploded in both his 2nd & 3rd rounds. His ability to control the room and pluck reactions out of this crowd was an exciting sight. He put his punching arsenal on full display,as if writing for the best of Big T, and it shows why he should be one of the most feared battlers so far this year.

Round 1: Mackk Myron
Round 2: Mackk Myron
Round 3: Mackk Myron


Recapped by Ca Lowe

We got Geechi Gotti versus… Geechi Gotti? Kitchen Qleen, one of Detroit’s best, came into this battle against Compton’s superstar and 3x Champion of the Year, Geechi Gotti, with a chip on his shoulder.
The long time veteran had built a sour reputation and many fans thought he would show more of the same..but not tonight. Qleen started with an impersonation of Geechi Gotti that frankly..I don’t think will ever be matched. If you closed your eyes you couldn’t tell who was rapping! Qleen has one of the most charismatic, naturally funny, and talented personalities in all of battle rap. He came with a vengeance and clearly wanted to show that despite the past, he is not to be taken lightly and Geechi didn’t think so either.
Gotti came into GTX’s first event ready to give the world another demonstration of why he is a 3x Champion of the year & one of the most feared battlers out of the west. His ability to rebuttal some of Qleen’s best material gave him an edge to diffuse any momentum Qleen had gathered. He also freestyles out of a couple chain punches where he otherwise would have had a flat spot. 
This battle was a great showing from both and told everyone to look out for a continuously consistent Geechi Gotti as well as a Kitchen Qleen comeback. Fans on social media are actively debating the winner of this battle.
Round 1: Geechi Gotti
Round 2: Qleen Paper
Round 3: Geechi Gotti


Recapped by Ca Lowe

Aye Verb, AKA Cocaine Veezy, hailing from St. Louis, against Oakland’s own Pass.. What. A. Battle. Rarely are there battles that have long histories without any bad blood live up to the hype, but that cannot be said for Verb & Pass.
Two emcees with careers spanning more than a decade showed off just how incredible “rapping” can be. 
Pass, who is fresh off a finals appearance in KOTD’s S1 tournament, gave a dazzling display of pure penmanship. His ability to string together multisyllabic rhyming while  performing at a fast pace, while engaging with the crowd, is elite and he stands amongst a very select few who possess that combination of skill. His defense is also incredibly underrated as he rarely shows a sign of “amazement” but rather a calm and poised demeanor that only shows he’s waiting to show the world what he has to say is better.
Aye Verb, the menace on the premise (yes it rhymes), showed that after all these years with no breaks that he can continue to evolve and give the people what they need and not what they want. Pass, who smelled blood every time he was rapping, didn’t seem to phase the newly dubbed Veezy who responded with a cadence that said “I know you’re here but it’s my turn”. Verb showed that he will not be knocked off his top spot in battle rap and for that those who “want to come for us, become dinner for us.”

Round 1: Aye Verb
Round 2: Pass
Round 3: Pass

Dizaster vs Aczino

Recapped by France

Dizaster is back at it again. Making his return to battle rap after taking off for the last year and half and he will be face to face with the highest viewed battle rapper from Mexico, a two time Red Bull Batalla International champion and one of the biggest superstars in the world, in Aczino.

This battle was reminiscent to the Dizaster vs Oxxxymiron battle. Oxxxymiron is a Russian battle rap super star, who battled Dizatser on KOTD, in Los Angeles, California. The Russian super star packed out the venue with his supporters, who traveled out the country just to watch him performance against Dizaster. The exact same situation happened here, to the point where now, a home-game for Dizaster has turned into a road-game because the venue was over populated by International opponent’s supporters.

ACZINO ! ACZINO ! ACZINO ! ACZINO !  The crowd chanted upon his arrival, they chanted before he began the battle and they chanted when he ended his round!

The implications set for this battle would be that, the first round of this battle would be in English, the 2nd round in Spanish, and the third round would be a Spanglish round. It was an masterful display of two battle rappers learning a new language to step outside of their comfort zone to put on a battle.

Aczino makes his English speaking battle debut and shows off how polished his multi-syllabic rhyming is and he perfectly able to capture and express his battling style in English. While Dizaster shows the exact same output in Spanish. He is able to smoothly translate his flow, aggression, angle of attack and rhymes in Spanish just as efficiently as Aczino was able to in English.

Dizaster continues to be a global ambassador for battle rap. Dizaster has rapped fluently in 3 languages and has an absolutely outstanding battle, that will bridge the gap of many battle rap fans across the world.

Round 1: Aczino (English round)
Round 2: Aczino (Spanish round)
Round 3: Dizaster (Spanglish round)

Dizaster vs Aczino is now available on the Red Bull Batalla Youtube Channel, and has done 400K views in 18 hours.

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