Gutta City: The Trenches Recap

The Trenches


Event Recapped by staff Writers J Smo

LTBR Award Recipients

Battle of the Night: Eazy The Block Captain vs Reed Dollaz | K Walker vs Riggz 

Best Individual Performances of the night:
 #1 Eazy TBC | #2Reed Dollaz | #3 E Ness | #4 Riggz | #5 K Walker 

The Biggest Win of the Night: E Ness over Dot 

Highlight Rounds of the Night:  Eazy 3rd | Reed Dollaz 1st | E Ness 2nd | K Walker 1st | Real Deal 3rd | Riggz 2nd  | 

K Walker vs Riggz

The first battle of the night was a fair matchup with low expectations, but I think the exceeding of these expectations on both sides and the initial boost this battle gave shaped the energy of the event going forward. KWalker went 1st with what aged to be his most explosive round of the battle. Although there was a lot of Philly pandering through Walker’s round that’s expected during a home game and doesn’t take away from his material either, landing his Switch The Topic, Rocky Statue and Can’t Trust a Soul/Sole bars heavy. In contrast to that, Riggz 1st was by far his worst of the battle, not matching the energy and having very few memorable lines. Early in the battle, Riggz was down a dominant 1-0. 

KWalker continued to rap well, although taking a step down in the 2nd. The Philly cadences went over well with the crowd all night, and Walker had one of his best battles from a pure rapping ability standpoint, once again landing in his 2nd with a shot at Danny Myers “trade on the trenches” bar as well as his Old DVD/Played Through The Scratches bar. Had some more dry spots and misses than before but still a competitive round. Riggz would wake up in the 2nd though, delivery much better and expected material as being a writer is considered his strong suit. Much better pace and aggression helped him land more haymakers while overly just being a more fluid round. The round wasn’t a blow out, but Riggz comfortably edged the 2nd

The 3rd Walker starts and towards the beginning of his round, has debatably what would be bar of the battle with his “Double Entendre/Plug Wear a Wire” bar that was crafted perfectly. His round wouldn’t keep the momentum though, as similar to his 2nd he has a personal portion going at Riggz family members. The execution had some shock value, but neither was executed to the point that they were defining moments in the rounds. Riggz 3rd in many ways was the opposite of Walkers with a bit of a slow start but finishing out his round and the battle strong. His” I ain’t move my pivot yet” haymaker was his peak, and his “Eazy Way Out” closer was the perfect line to end on as he took the 3rd clear. Dope battle overall, probably the most competitive of the night, and a good W for Riggz to build off as well as a very positive performance for K Walker. 

1st –  K Walker Clear
2nd – Riggz Clear
3rd – Riggz Clear

Real Deal vs Dubb Da Feenom

An obscure battle to say the least, Real Deal filled in on the Trenches card adding some needed name power while Dubb looked to show his style and gain some buzz. From the start, this battle showed it may have a limited ceiling. Neither 1st showed much sign of energy, as Real Deal set ups were a bit long winded early and Dubb simply didn’t connect with the room.

After a dull 1st, Real Deal was able to step up and taking the 2nd and eventually the 3rd clear. His angle about Dubb being a line cook in the 2nd started to land as he took comedy-based approach to close out the battle. Short prep battle that gave you the results you’d expect, Real Deal secured an easy win over comp that didn’t put up too much of a fight. 

1st – Real Deal Edge
2nd – Real Deal Clear
3rd – Real Deal Clear 

E Ness vs Dot

Somebodies are classics that show off the best of both opponents, some are body bags where one opponent steam rolls the other in dramatic fashion. Sometimes though, you get a battle that’s entertaining although not objectively the most organized. That is where ENess vs Dot falls of the spectrum of battles. 

The high level, animated energy from the faceoff carried into the battle. ENess from 1st round to 3rd gave you exactly what you ask for as a Ness fan. The theatric performance with incredible flow pockets and a couple standout haymakers, Ness style is a fun watch that’s based less in the typical set up – punch format of BR and truly unique to himself. His 1st round is the weakest of his 3 with a couple stumbles and some of his lightest material across his 3 rounds. Dot 1st is also not much to talk about, with his first bar just not rhyming. But as said, this battle was about entertainment, and while Dot didn’t land effectively either in his 1st you cant help but laugh at his exaggerated delivery and borderline confusing bars. Edged Ness the round due to it being a little more coherent but the 1st could go either way. 

The 2nd is where Ness begins to show separation, his 2nd taking another step-up energy wise. He lands my favorite bar of his in the 2nd, “keeping dragging Dot, etc. etc.” which landed as a strong haymaker. Weaving in and out of different unique flows while landing worthwhile bombs at the end Ness was really showcasing how much he’s improved over the last few years by delivering a much more competitive round. Dot 2nd also has his peaks of the battle, with his Lockness and Lateral bars. Near the end of Dots round after making it a very close round to decide, he chokes towards the end of his round. Close by material, but the turbulence was the deciding factor as ENess takes the 2nd clear. 

The 3rd is all about Ness continuing his momentum, once again hitting Dot with a flurry of different flows that is like a 3-level scorer giving you a bucket with every move in their bag, just overwhelming Dot as the battle went on. Dot went in the other direction, choking multiple times in his 3rd and conceding the round with 0 pushback, further cementing Ness’s win. 

Not the craziest battle but had good energy and was had a side of good raps with a comedic theme. Ness gets another win on this great run he’s doing on the smaller circuits, and Dot well, he’ll always be Dot. 

1st – E Ness Edge
2nd –E Ness Clear
3rd – E Ness Clear 

Eazy The Block Captain vs Reed Dollaz

The main event. The battle for the city. Eazy vs Reed is a battle that encapsulates elite Philly Battle Rap, Reed’s peak and now Eazy’s being the 2 true all time runs that are synonymous with Philly in modern day Battle Rap. Reed was coming in a heavy underdog, which many took as disrespect. Reality is this was more about Eazy being on what is becoming almost clearly the best streak in Battle Rap history, amounting what could be debated as a 13-0 streak vs top tier comp heading into the battle. Would Reed be the one to put a pause to the greatness or would Eazy add another legend to the W column? 

Reed started the battle off the battle and immediately his message of his 1st bar gives the theme of his overall attack: “I’m the General/The Captain gotta learn from me”. Reed wanted to talk to Eazy, and the very much predicted Old Philly to New Philly talk was used early and went on to be used as a recurring angle for Reed the entire battle. Naming blocks and parts of Philly in a classic “you wasn’t…” concept, Reed was able to not only be direct to Eazy but get the crowd on his side, which was never going to exactly be hard for Reed to do in Philly, but similar to strategy you’ve seen in matches like Mook vs Gotti its just good to get the crowd with you early as possible when you’re a beloved underdog. Towards the end of his round, Reed keeps taking the same approach but lands some definitive haymakers. “What’s that track Meek Mill diss me on? yeah Block Captain” lands extremely heavy and showcases the best version of Reed: combining talk about his life with a tad of creative wordplay to redirect it back to his opponent. Solid 1st from Reed.

Then it was Eazy’s turn, and immediately lands jabs to start his round. His “Green on Bread/Molded” bar lands early, and then soon after lands an inevitable haymaker shooting at URL, “they can’t send a cease and desist to my own shit!”. From there, he rode the momentum and in classic Eazy fashion, really walks down his opponent the rest of the round. The Caviar, Money Gram, Ego Trip, and Hotel Suite bar all land with Eazy’s surgical approach. Eazy just had a little bit more, and in one of the closest rounds of the battle I edged Eazy.

The 2nd is the peak of the battle, as both battlers took it up another level material wise. Reed 2nd is right back to the history talk, opening his round talking about how his era made YouTube matter, transitioning into a “Window Watching” bar, further working the angle about Eazy not being outside when Reed era was working. The New Choppa and Fresh Prince/Writing His Will bars landed as standout haymakers too, as Reed’s pace hit peak form. Another very compact but good round, Reed was showing a formidable effort through his first 2 rounds of the battle. 


Bottom of the 2nd on Eazy, and his 2nd continues a pattern he’s been having in his battles for a minute: The Character Assassination round. Eazy has been carving out very tailored and detailed 2nds based around some of the most creative angling currently in Battle Rap (ex. 2nd vs Hitman, 2nd, vs Calicoe, 2nd). The best example here is his angle about Reed doing bad business with ARP and walking that into the “Illiterate/Not Reed” wordplay that is a direct, heavy, and image chipping haymaker that Eazy has mastered as a talent. Following this with bars about Philly hierarchy, him bringing Philly back to the forefront of BR, and another hard hitting and somewhat comedic line about Reed being the reason John John thinks he can talk crazy to Philly battlers. Eazy 2nd is a well-planned, forceless barrage of great angles and takes a round clear in which Reed was good himself.

The 3rd is the only drop off from the battle, but still has its moments. By the 3rd, Reed’s constant working of the Old Vet angle had worn think, with his “I’m the reason…” concept falling a little flat by the time we hit the 3rd. While probably the lightest, most “filler” based round Reed had he still was able to produce 1 more standout haymaker “Friends doing the Robot up the whole block”, using his classic Reed cadence and a bit of performance to get it to land. Eazy exemplified another underrated strength of his in the 3rd, and that’s clearing the beatable rounds by his opp even when he’s not that crazy himself. Sounds like silly thing to praise but Eazy getting these “boring” rounds clear is the difference in him having as many clear wins as he does and not getting lazy and allowing a battle to be debatable that shouldn’t be.  His Distant Cousin, Logan, and best of all his Alexa bar all were highlights of the round and ending with a very interesting and explosive callout for Geechi Gotti it was clear Eazy had just secure himself another victory. 

Really good battle and all you can ask for from a main event like this. Eazy proved the predictions right with a clear win but as many who truly love the sport expected, Reed was fire himself and did his part to make this a battle as good as it needed to be for the legacy of Philly. Running out of words to describe what Eazy has been doing in the ring, as this level of clearly winning simply hasn’t been seen at this high of a clip vs this level of comp. All eyes are on Eazy next move, and by the sounds of it, the much-anticipated mega matchup of Eazy vs Geechi may be next on the chopping block. 

1st – Eazy Edge
2nd –Eazy Clear
3rd – Eazy Clear 

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