The second installment of Midnight Madness has arrived. With a bit more structure to the platform. Tsu Surf, Bill Collector and Jakkboy Maine put together another intriguing card filled with style clashes, hunger, and passion.
Midnight Madness is the perfect environment to reinvigorate a nostalgic aura for battle rap that built the foundation for this industry to be born. High stakes, high energy, in a room full of your peers, surrounded by all time battle rap greats, celebrities, selective media and small entries to fans. It makes you feel special for being in attendance and everyone performs in this setting as if their life depended on it.
It was a fascinating sight to see Tsu Surf, Bill Collector and Jakkboy embody the managerial role that Midnight Madness demands of them. The big 3 split up all of the responsibilities of running this event.
Jakkboy was setting up the venue, getting tables together for vendors, chairs for the judges, lighting, and equipment prepared with the production team. Bill Collector was organizing the admission to the event, getting the battlers prepared for their call time to perform while hosting battle. Tsu Surf has his hands in every aspect of the event, watching the cameras, the lighting, watching/hosting the battles and is in charge of all the cash that goes on the floor and much more.
When you combine the stress of putting together an event alongside the fact that all 3 of them were just in preparation to battle right before this. Tsu Surf who was just preparing for a battle with Cortez that got rescheduled, Bill Collector who just won the championship over at KOTD and Jakkboy who just battled Squeako a week ago. The 3 headed monster still posed the bandwidth to handle the logistics and coordination.
Everything Midnight Madness provides is for FTB (For The Battlers). In efforts to create a unique and exclusive atmosphere, reinforce the competitive nature in battle rap and give the battlers an opportunity to be showcased Youtube. So that these battlers can leverage their performances to other opportunities. Midnight Madness 2 was a success.
LTBR Award Recipients
Battle of the Night: KD vs Wise
Performance of the Night: NJ Twork
Surprise of the Night: Philly Swain
MANI VS CAROLINA NIGHTMARE
Mani from Florida & Carolina Nightmare (from guess where, if it isn’t obvious) kick things off with thrilling back and forth. If there is one thing that we have already learned after 2 events of Midnight Madness is that the usage of your energy is infectious to the room and translates the most with the judges. Being a compubox puncher will get drowned out by personality, charisma, energy and even humor in some cases.
Mani sets the tone and starts the battle with a solid first round. But Carolina Nightmare understood the assignment out the gate. As he led the charge to control the room, his delivery and eye contact between the camera and judges was enhancing the feel of his haymakers and in that first round, he landed haymakers and got crowd reaction in every pocket he wanted. And gains a commanding lead to the battle.
To Mani’s credit his 2nd round was filled with enough potent punches to regain the momentum and even the score. Mani opens the 2nd round with some humor and makes fun of Nightmare’s lisp. Mani also had a lot of effective 1 liners, that set a high bar that Nightmare could not exceed in the 2nd round.
Mani’s 3rd round isn’t as powerful as his 2nd but it was still filled with some heavy punches. And he did just enough for Nightmare to have to work to win the round. It’s difficult to sustain the same momentum of high level punching as an up and comer in battle rap. You usually peak early into the battle. Despite Mani’s solid 3rd round, Nightmare seems to have complete awareness of the room and realizes that momentum is not currently on his side and decides to open his 3rd round with a rebuttal in order to snatch it back. From there he displays a ton of personality,charisma and wins the crowd over to secures the win.
The implications of this battle, is that the winner would contend for the Underdog Belt against Bad Newz. So Carolina Nightmare next midnight Madness plate will be against the Underdog Belt holder.
Round 1 Carolina Nightmare (Clear)
Round 2 Mani (Clear)
Round 3 Carolina Nightmare
KD VS WISE
KD from STL vs Wise from Baltimore take the stage and put on an absolutely fantastic battle.
The quality of a battler is displayed by the standard they set for themselves. And these two brothers have set a new standard not just for Midnight Madness, but for anyone who is looking to transcend to the next level. Two talented battle rappers that have not yet hit the main stage, poured their hearts out on the floor against each other. Make no mistake, this battle thus far is the best battle on Midnight Madness since their installment. It was action packed, intense, competitive, filled with replay value and room rockers.
KD is a creative battle rapper that uses little to no gun bars and yet he finds perfect setups to lead to explosive haymakers. Every single round he was landing bombs, jumping into various cadences, had some slick wordplay, made some jokes to break up the monotony and would get right back into his punching bag. KD set the bar so high for wise and seemed to be overwhelming. But somehow, Wise was able to match the intensity, content, energy and output. Wise kept the margin of every round razor edge close. (For the first watch)
The battle was so amazing all of the judges struggled with picking a winner and felt that both emcees deserved the win. Tsu Surf even dropped an extra $2,000 on the floor. Now the total of the winnings was up to $8,000. KD wins the battle by a majority decision with 5 judges edging the battle to him but KD & Wise agreed to split the money for the outstanding performance they both put on.
Some feedback for both emcees. For Wise, this would be the 2nd time I have witnessed him battle in a judged setting and was unable to secure win in neither performances. It would be interesting to see Wise add a few more tools to his game to expand his versatility as a battle rapper. The high energy punching he brings is enough to establish himself as a competitor but not enough to take him over the top.
As for KD, he has been on the scene for some years and has performances like this and doesn’t take advantage of the momentum or doesn’t stay consistent. He should definitely go on a promo run after this performance.
Both of these guys are battle tested and have legitimate all time greats on their resume.
KD clashed with names like Danny Myers, Hitman Holla & JC.
And Wise clashing with names like Tay Roc, Geechi Gotti, JC, Bill Collector
I’m sure after this battle is released, their phones will have more incoming calls than they anticipate. Opportunities will be on the horizon for both of these battlers.
Round 1 KD (Edge)
Round 2 Wise (Edge)
Round 3 KD (Edge)
PHILLY SWAIN VS BANDIT MONTANA
I was selected to be a judge for this battle. So my notes aren’t as extensive for this one. However Philly swain wins with a unanimous decision over Bandit Montana.
Bandit Montana, based out of Jersey, is a pure puncher with the canning ability to freestyle/rebuttal and has great projection.
Philly Swain is a Philadelphia veteran, that has been in the culture for over a decade and has battled in multiple eras such as Grindtime, Lionz Den, KOTD etc…It was refreshing to see him step back in the ring. And Philly was in attendance to support him. There was concerns if his style would be able to adapt to the new pacing of battle rap being so punch heavy. One thing that will always stand out in battle rap is originality.
Philly Swain is filled with such a variety of flows, rhyme patterns with a unique delivery and an unorthodox approach. Philly Swain came from an era where you would battle until you ran out of rhymes and would even sometimes have to freestyle. And little behold, the cloth that he was cut from was able to give him the advantage he needed. Because Swain rapped longer rounds than Bandit and was able to show his freestyling is still good in 2022.
Swain established his style early in the battle and the room got used to his slow delivery and caught on to his animated performance. Swain was simply able to out shine Bandit. It’s almost like the aura Swain created for himself was like a bulletproof vest for all of the punches Bandit threw at him. Unfortunately Bandit didn’t land enough potent haymakers to really stand out through Swain’s rounds. Swain had a commanding presence in the room. And there was nothing Bandit could do to stop it.
Round 1 Bandit (Edge)
Round 2 Philly Swain (Clear)
Round 3 Philly Swain
SNAKE EYEZ VS NU JERZEY TWORK
The main event of Midnight Madness took us through a roller coaster of emotions. At 1:23am, we got a tweet from NJ Twork, that he left the venue due to Snake Eyez not arriving and it being late.
IF YALL WANT ME TO DROP THESE ROUNDS ON YOUTUBE LET ME KNOW .. I JUST LEFT THE VENUE , SNAKE AINT THERE , HE MISSED HIS FLIGHT EARLIER , I BEEN IN ATL FOR 3 DAYS .. I AM FULLY PREPARED .. IM WILLING TO RESCHEDULE.. BUT TONIGHT IS OVER ...— ROOZY💔 (@NUJERZEYTWORK) April 9, 2022
The first battle of the night didn’t begin until midnight, so even if Snake Eyez had arrived at the venue, it still wouldn’t have been their turn to battle yet. Snake Eyez arrives at the venue around 2:30am. Snake Eyez lets it be known, that he had multiple delayed flights to get to ATL and despite the inconvenience he experienced he still was ready to battle. Battle rap manager & Black Compass Media owner, Tony Bro, was befuddled by NJ Twork’s tweet to not want to battle and could not comprehend the reasoning for it. At this point of the night, everyone in the building is under the impression that this battle is not going to happen. Fans of the culture are online expressing their disappointment, as we seemed to be headed towards another battle rap event ending without the headlining battle.
Suddenly, a change of heart occurs at 3:20am, when Battle rap manager & Champion Co-host, Anwar, makes an announcement that he is going to bring Twork to the venue and we will have a battle in 20 minutes. At 3:45am, Snake Eyez & NJ Twork stand face to face and now the battle is taking place outside of the venue. Giving us a nostalgic battle rap feel. The whole culture is wide awake for a battle they aren’t even watching just to get all of the updates on social media from this highly anticipated main event. Battle rap twitter was so eager for the result. And because there was so much discussions prior to this moment, Twork ends up trending #13 on Twitter.
Snake Eyez sets the tone of the battle by going first. And he introduces an angle about Twork being a failure, Smack White wanting to sit Twork down and is very direct. Snake Eyez is landing his material with the crowd and his first round laid the blueprint for the direction of his approach. While Snake Eyez had a stellar first round, NJ Twork opens his 1st round with a rebuttal, a couple of haymakers and is in control of the momentum.
I do have Snake Eyez still edging this 1st round but it was evident that Twork was now putting all the pressure on Snake Eyez to open his 2nd round and immediately fight back. Snake Eyez shows some highlights in his 2nd round, he lands two big haymakers, while also throwing some shots at Anwar. Snake is picking up right where he left off in his 1st round. But NJ Twork is overpowering Snake in the 2nd round with haymaker after haymaker. He just brought too much firepower for Snake in this round.
While NJ Twork did rap longer rounds than Snake Eyez in the first two rounds, it didn’t help Snake Eyez when his 3rd round seemed to be cut short at the 3:30 minute mark, right when he was gaining momentum. And NJ Twork brings out the Midnight Madness Belt, that Snake Eyez lost possession of, from an altercation that took place in Houston.
NJ Twork is catering his whole 3rd round to the altercation, talking to and about the belt while also throws shots at Tony Bro and the whole Black Compass Media. And at this point, Twork was just clicking on all cylinders. Twork also has the biggest moment of the battle, in the 3rd round and Convincingly wins this battle amongst the judges. Talent is never the question with NJ Twork, the only concern is execution and tonight, he gave the world a reminder of what he is capable of when he is fully prepared.
Round 1: Snake Eyez (Edge)
Round 2: NJ Twork (Convincingly)
Round 3 NJ Twork (clear)