Narratives: NOME 14

Battle Rap's Favorite Word

Have you ever considered that you could be a part of the narratives in battle rap? It’s not just the emcees and the big names, but anyone, including you, can contribute simply by sharing their predictions on a battle. 

A spoken or written account of subplots that connect events to lead into a story is probably the most textbook definition of a narrative. But the word stretches its boundaries in battle rap because of the culture’s subjectivity. The opinion of an emcee’s performance is in the beholder’s eyes. The voice of every consumer, character, or personality in battle rap shares their own unique perspective on how they provide analysis or projections for the future outcome of matches. And I am here to let you know that no matter how you preface your prediction or how descriptive you may get to the conclusion of your prediction, whether the evidence you use is true, false, or incomplete without nuance, you have contributed to a narrative. 

Not all narratives are negative, despite the connotation of how the word is used in the culture. At the end of the day, regardless of whether you are as detailed, methodical, investigative, speculative, sticking to your preference, using a track record, or simply just guessing, you are indeed contributing to some narrative in this world for a group of people sharing similar sentiments. 

So, in our attempts to have some fun and paint the picture of the narrative Canvas to the best of our abilities, let’s look at the track record, storyline, stakes, style analysis, and projections of each battle on Night Of Main Events 14. (NOME)

Ms. Hustle vs Swamp

Two people who very much belong on the card make for an awkward battle to predict or wrap my mind around. 

Swamp handled business at Chrome in his grudge match with Aye Verb and answered whatever silly questions might have been left in regard to Swamp’s talent level or status in battle rap. This Hustle battle wasn’t on the list of big Swamp battles from 2024, when you think of names like Calicoe, or a recent call out against Eazy, but Hustle has been performing at a higher level than both of those names and has been more consistent so she is a more than formidable as an opponent of the high caliber of competition and Ms. Hustle isn’t someone he will just breeze past. 

Hustle has been in peak form for the last two years now and she’s started 2024 just as strongly. The thing to look out for in this battle is how incredible Hustle has been against her male counterparts, she has the capacity to completely own a battle. She’s been great against Aye Verb, Tay Roc, Yunus, Arsonal, and Chess. There’s no question about how Hustle can handle the men. The last big Swamp intergender battle we saw was infamously against Casey Jay and that battle wound up being a notable setback for him. Does Swamp look at this battle as a chance to redeem himself? Do we trust Swamp at this point not to take his foot off the gas because he’s battling a woman? I trust that he takes it seriously because if he doesn’t, Hustle can take the battle over fast.

Tay Roc vs Jerry Wess

The last time we saw Jerry Wess, it was Summer Madness 13 against DNA. He shocked the world with a level of dominance and crowd control against a legend that no one would have expected. Jerry left Houston as arguably the top performer of the whole event.

It’s been a long 10 months since we last witnessed Jerry in action. His battles have always been sporadic, but the buzz generated by his standout performance at the year’s biggest event has made his absence more pronounced. There was a palpable anticipation for a battle between Roc and Jerry at December’s Homecoming II, but for reasons unknown, it didn’t materialize. 

With Jerry having spent the past 10 months as a spectator and Roc enjoying his most active year in 2024, the narrative of this battle is intriguing. Will Jerry’s well-rested state give him an edge, or will Roc’s momentum propel him to victory? The setting of the battle in a smaller venue than the usual NOME stage, adds another layer of uncertainty. While Roc might have a more straightforward path to victory on a larger stage, the change in setting could level the playing field for this encounter.

For Roc, he’s the #1 in the COTY rankings for the year so far. Between his volume and the level of content he’s producing, Roc has come into 2024 with a vengeance and a point to prove. Is Jerry the biggest Roc battle ever? Of course not; in theory, it’s just another day at the office. But for the warpath Roc is on and his mission for the year, making sure to handle business at NOME is essential to leaving 2024 as his year with no doubts about it.

T-Top vs Danny Myers

With both battlers shooting at each other for what feels like a couple of years now, T-Top vs Danny is just some solid top-tier wreck that fits in perfectly on any major card, but the elite T-Top we’ve been getting in 2024 just adds fuel to the fire.  All year, Top has been one of the three best battlers pound for pound through 5 months. His performance vs Chef Trez might be the best 3-rounds of the year. His collection of performances against Snake Eyez, Twork, Gemin1 and now, vs another respected name in Danny, Top can continue this run and add a big piece to what could be building up to be a severe and competitive COTY case. T-Top has had success vs a lot of great punchers in the past, and this matchup gives him a chance to add to that pattern. 

As for Danny, his start to 2024 is something I thought I’d never say about Danny: quiet. Danny has battled a few times this year but not with too much impact, battling MyVerse in a battle where many gave MyVerse the upset Win and a battle vs Awthentic, clearly handling business vs lower comp. But Danny has been very vocal about wanting to battle T-Top, and with promo from skits to freestyles he seems as locked in as ever. With NOME being in a small room, Danny back to back punching can be even more emphasized and gives him an excellent chance to put a dent in T-Top’s momentum. 

Geechi Gotti vs Fonz

The only way top tiers could climb the ladder and make it to where they are is by battling other top tiers along the way and cementing themselves through fight after fight, style after style. In this situation, Fonz is the one climbing the ladder. This is Fonz’s 4th NOME, so at this point, he is sitting in the middle of his prime, and for him, it’s all about great debatable battles or clear W’s from here on out. I would say Fonz is a top-tier battler right now, but for some, it takes a few signature wins till it’s beyond undeniable where you rank. So, while there is no flat-out grudge, both of these battlers have a heavy competitive nature, which you can see building up with their promotion, and this does mark as Fonz’s biggest test yet and possibly his star solidifying shot. 

As for Geechi, he’s been where Fonz is at 10x times over. He’s also been in this exact same spot many times before, with a nearly impeccable track record vs Fonz classmates as well (vs Eazy, Jey The NiteWing, Swamp, Bad Newz). Geechi is maybe a Hitman Holla battle away from completing the entire Battle Rap game, with not much more to do but compete with new stars and those trying to stamp themselves. While the battle pressure may be lopsided, we’re talking about an all-time great who respects his opponent and knows he has to be great to win. Expecting a traditional heavyweight fight, and with both starting with some key battles in the first half of the year, the result could have heavy effects on some of the higher COTY rankings come year-end. 

Jaz The Rapper Vs Coffee Brown

The highly anticipated battle between Jaz the Rapper and Coffee Brown is finally set to go down; the rivalry between these two has been simmering for years! This is the biggest battle for female battle rap in 2024. Both women winning the prestigious WOTY belt in 2021 & 2022 has increased the desire to see them compete, and most glaringly, both of them were just prime contenders to possibly win a second belt in 2023. There were endless debates amongst them from the year they had in 2023, as far as their material, performance & win/loss record, and to spice things up, Coffee ended up ranking a placement above Jaz on the WOTY panel. In recent years, Coffee Brown has been making waves, climbing the ranks, and earning recognition as one of the top female battle rappers, and she has cemented her name amongst the pantheon-level names. Over the last few years, she’s battled Ms.Hustle, 40 BARRS, E-Hart, Shooney Da Rapper, and now adds Jaz to the resume. 

This is a big battle for female battle rap, and it’s indeed a battle that would’ve flourished on a big stage and certainly been more advantageous for Jaz, but barring the environment for NOME 14, the playing field is more leveled. While Jaz is a dynamic performer, angler & strategist. Coffee brings a level of intricacies, aggression, and presence that allows her to project with more impact in a pit-style, small-room setting.  Both styles contrast in this room in an unpredictable manner that makes you wonder…Who will be the one to bring the more effective material for the occasion?

For Jaz the Rapper, this battle is not just a return to URL after a year-long hiatus, it’s a comeback to the NOME stage since 2015. Her absence has only heightened the anticipation and curiosity surrounding her return. This match is not just about facing off against her first female opponent in over a year; it’s about proving her mettle and reclaiming her position. The stage is set for a thrilling match that will not only answer all questions between the two, but also have significant implications for both of theirs career.

Loaded Lux vs Rum Nitty

“God Tier battle”. A phrase in battle rap that usually signifies the highest levels of excitement for a battle, an iconic legend stepping back outside, and a killer on the other side ready to add a level to their legacy. Lux vs Nitty fits the traditional battle rap mold, with Lux returning to battle “who’s #1 right now”, in his own words. Both battlers get to share the rightful spot of headliner for NOME 14, but with that, they also both face the most pressure of anyone on the card. There is a lot at stake for both sides in this battle, and a lot of it centers around the debate of nostalgia vs. greatness in real-time. 

Loaded Lux is a name that is as highly valued as the one you will find in the history of battle rap. From hardcore fans to celebrities, legendary industry rappers, and even the casuals who know a handful of names, the one constant is everyone knows Lux. We’re all aware of the foundation he helped set and the legends he put on, but above all else, the great accomplishment put to his name is his being the original “Pen”. Being considered by many to this day as the best writer in battle rap history, it has been an honor for any battler to earn a Lux plate, and to this day, his accepting of a battle is still seen as one of the top milestones you can have in the sport. However, as time passes, and we get farther from his masterclasses vs Cal and Hollow in 2012 and 2014, people begin to question the work more and more. While he still has wins vs. Clips and Surf, adding Wins vs. other all-timers to the resume, the quality of work has come into question. Many believe that Lux’s performance has been declining over the years, with the Tsu Surf and, even more importantly, the Geechi Gotti performance being his only work for the last 4 years and being heavily critiqued live as time has gone on. Performances like this happen to some of the best when they’re active; it’s part of the game. But Lux is the opposite of active, and when he does battle, he gets some of the most prep time you will ever see, one of the key factors of battle rap. Even with some solid or good showings, people expect greatness when discussing 2+ months of prep for a battle. People want to see Lux back in form and give another truly great showing as opposed to the solid or, at times, average rounds he’s brought in his last 2 battles. 

As for Nitty, although all the storylines lie on Lux’s side of the table, there’s an argument Rum still faces the most pressure on NOME 14. It is his endgame plate. While he is beyond stamped at this point in his career, he’ still writing his story as a battler with this a handful of other legendary battles still available and reachable for him.  A Lost? Many will say while Nitty is one of the greats, he struggles to be as dominant as the legend tiers and will add to the evidence of bar heavy/low promo battlers not being cut out for the #1 guy on the league type of stardom. But a W? Nitty gets maybe the biggest win of his career with all eyes on him, proves that with a proper amount of skill you can truly bar you’re way to the #1 spot, and has a real case as to why he’s not only the greatest puncher but maybe the greatest pen in Battle Rap history. 

Both these men beyond established, but this one is about legacy. Old icon trying to dust off the crown, or the new legend trying to take it. The biggest pen vs pen matchup we’ve gotten in Battle Rap History.  

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