Battle Rap's Favorite Word...
What do you know about narratives in battle rap? Did you know anyone can create them just by merely 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 reason the word stretches its boundaries in battle rap is because of the subjectivity of the culture. The opinion of an emcee’s performance is within the eyes of the beholder. 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, 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 if you are as detailed, methodical, investigative, speculative, using your preference, or a track record, or simply just guessing. You are indeed contributing to some narrative that exists 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 the URL Outside 2 Card.
Editorial Written by Staff writers: France, J Smo, Titus & Q Moody.
Rum Nitty vs Saflare Sole
Reigning COTY is back outside, and his first matchup: giving a shot to one of the best new-class battlers in Saflare Sole. Many fans were puzzled and predictably asked why Nitty first battle back wasn’t a bigger opponent etc. you know the drill. But 2 things: 1) when those battles are booked, it will be on a NOME/SM event, not Outside 2) Nitty is not about to not battle for 7 months to wait on someone else to MAYBE battle. Nitty is a consistent symbol of ducking no smoke, and in a battle where he is expected to be amazing and clear his opponent, this battle for him is just Nitty vs the last Nitty.
As for Sole, his objective is to be his best version and make this battle as great as possible. While it is possible for him to win, this battle is more to see if Saflare can meet one of the best in the world upstairs and put on a good, rewatchable battle regardless of the result. Many debate if Saflare or Footz is the lead talent of their class, and performances in big moments like this can shake up that debate and further excel Saflares profile as an upcoming talent. This battle is more than likely going to be one of the best on the card and has the potential to be the best if the new talent can rise to the occasion.
Nu Jerzey Twork vs Chef Trez
This battle was once booked on Battle Academy back in 2019 and now 3 years later, both of them take the stage. Two emcees from the 2016 PG class will take the stage. Both of these 7-year veterans have found a consistent footing on URL so far in 2023. Nu Jerzey Twork has been rated the performer of the night for the last 3 URL events on Let’s Talk Battle Rap (Civil War 3, Outside & Kings vs Queens 4) And he is a man on a mission. He has let his work and consistency speak for themselves. Twork is someone who is equipped with a unique skill set that will always make him a dangerous opponent when he’s clicking on all cylinders. He is pen-heavy, can rebuttal, has high intervals of energy in his performance, he’s electric, can angle, and he is a name-flip master. Twork looks to continue his reign of dominance & may be a leading candidate for Champion of the Year after the first quarter of 2023.
Chef Trez makes his return to the league and has been pretty consistent thus far. He is coming off one of the biggest battles of his career against John John Da Don. His first URL headliner against an all-time great, where he is arguably the victor and is currently registering a win against John John on the app. Chef Trez finds himself in consecutive headlining appearances for an interesting style clash. Chef Trez looks to continue to climb the ranks of the league and potentially find himself making a debut on one of URL’s marquees’ big stage cards like NOME or Summer Madness.
Arsonal vs Ace Amin
The 2020 UM Class is held in high regard by battle rap fans. You look up and down that roster and see endless stars and potential superstars. Ace Amin is one of that group’s most talented members, and this is the year for him to have his true breakout. Many forget that in 2021 when the question was how well this class could compete on a big stage, Ace Amin was the first to show and prove that they could when he battled John John Da Don in Atlanta. There was a time when he was ahead of his peers; now, as time has passed, he’s fallen into the middle of the pack. Now here we are on Outside, and he is finally getting a massive name on the URL stage.
This is Ace’s most significant moment on the league thus far. Even though his opponent Arsonal is more name than content at this stage of his career, Ace going out and excelling will send the exact statement that fans have been waiting for from him. This battle isn’t a make-or-break career moment for Ace, but it is a moment that could take him to new heights and break him thru to another tier in the game.
Bill Collector vs Sheed Happens
What do you know about the unorthodox ? Since Sheed’s entrance into the League, Bill Collector’s name has been linked to his career. Not so much because of a false comparison of their styles, but more so because this is a challenge that we all knew Sheed would have to face one day, especially since he intends to be one of the top battlers in the league. Sheed Happens was voted the LTBR Most Improved Battler (MIB) in 2022, he found himself on multiple media lists at the end of the year, has dominant wins, quality material, and has leveled up enough for this moment. Sheed was one win away from making a NOME Debut, and very close to making a Summer Madness debut against K-Shine, he is someone that can potentially be a Main stage consistent act and this battle will be a career-defining moment for Sheed.
Bill Collector is one of the best battle rappers in the world. He is coming off one of the best years of his career in 2022 just like Sheed. Bill Collector won the KOTD S1 Tournament, was a Top 6 Emcee in Champion of the Year rankings, and upon resigning back with the League, his first battle was a headlining battle against the URL Alien. Bill Collector has been an elite battle rapper for the last few years and even tho Sheed Happens looks to make a career highlight against Bill. Best believe, Bill is very capable of shutting all of that down.
Footz vs Jerry Wess
In a compelling style clash, one of the leading faces of The Crucible Footz makes his solo return to URL. To some people(me), Footz is the best of his crucible class, so seeing Saflare Sole get a name like Rum Nitty and headlining the event while Footz is facing a solid but not great name in Jerry Wess is a bit confusing. Nevertheless, this is a chance for Footz to show and prove why he’s held in such high regard & why fans should view him as the face of his class. Jerry Wess isn’t outside often, but he puts on a show every time he is and can create building-breaking moments at every turn. A great showing from Footz here places him on the fast track to the marquee URL events; his placement on Smack Volume last year proves the company believes in him. Now is the time for Footz to become a face.
Mike P vs Kid Chaos
O-Red vs Fonz
The heavyweight bar-fest of the weekend, O-Red vs Fonz is simply some high-quality wreck and another opportunity for Fonz to prove himself as top-tier. A battle that’s almost happened on multiple occasions, O-Red is a top-tier pen who’s made his back to URL and seems to be willing to take on a variety of competition and tiers. While the crowd factor could lead some to bet against O-Red, it’s worth noting he has a pretty impeccable track record vs punchers, with wins on B-Magic, Rum Nitty, and Bigg K as well as a debatable but high-quality battle vs Ave. He did die to Danny, but the point is, for the most part, Red seems to lock in heavily for punchers and Fonz most likely won’t be different.
As for Fonz, 2023 is all about back-to-back top-tier challenges and starting to rack up wins/high-quality debatable vs top comp to solidify and upgrade his spot within the world of BR. Starting off 2023 great with a dominant win vs Mackk Myron, Fonz already is looking like he’s in a different mode to start the year following his milestone battle vs Nitty late last year. Talent and development have been undeniable, so the final step for Fonz is to use his abilities to build a resume that one can say is that of a top tier. A clear win on O-Red could be a signature win for him, boosting momentum as he heads towards NOME/SM with battles like Shotgun Suge possibly on the horizon. Fonz has the opportunity to make us look back and say “aye Fonz in 2023 is when he really made the jump”, and battles like this are what create history in real-time. The important and competitive battle, expect this to be one of the best of the weekend.
Snake Eyez vs Coffee
A battle that will be filled with violence, inventiveness & aggression. The reigning Women of The Year in Coffee Brown has made her return to the league after taking 2022 off for maternity leave. She made her big stage debut against Nu Jerzey Twork, and while she was assigned a tall task that was very improbable to conquer, she certainly showed flashes of what she can do on a big stage. And in less than a month, she makes a return to the ring to showcase the adjustments she will make. And she has stated that “I will embarrass him, I don’t like him for real he does a lot of b**ch ass sh*t behind the scenes.” This lets me know that there is a conversation that Coffee has been waiting to have.
Snake Eyez is on his 3rd installment of the Outside series. He kicked it off with his main event battle against Tay Roc, and followed it up with a good win against Anderson Burrus. And this will be the first time he has been involved in an inter-gender battle. Snake Eyez battling Anderson really showed that he can peak into some fun and entertaining creativity. He has far more experience than Coffee on a big stage, so when you combine experience with another opportunity to showcase some creative angles and a new method of attack. Snake could still pose to be a difficult obstacle for Coffee. Not to mention if Snake Eyez has an inkling of what Coffee wants to address, there is a perfect opportunity to counter-write.
JC vs Klutz
Klutz has found himself in probably the most dangerous situation of anyone on the card. JC’s return opponent, 2nd real plate on URL, and the largest crowd he’s dealt with to this point. While he has a very good pen and shows a natural strength in creativity, he himself has admitted he has a ton more to learn when it comes to presence and crowd control, which just so happens to be JC’s main strength at this point in his career. Klutz was in need of plates, but many would say, this may have been a little too big of a shot this early in his career, and now the ownness is on Klutz to prove he’s ready to be battling at this level.
As for JC, while he is an overwhelming favorite to win, he most certainly needs a W here. Coming off a year that started with so much promise in 2022, we’re all aware of what transpired with JC battles against Tsu Surf & Ms. Hustle, and the break he has taken after. Medium size room, low experience, and tier opp, situations like this have been the bread and butter of JCs career and this battle should be no different. The fans will be watching closely to see if JC has picked up the pace of his delivery, but with or without, a JC win is still expected by the consensus.
Hansel vs Holmzie Da God
One of the sleeper matchups on the card, Hansel vs Holmzie presents us with a traditional straight bar vs angles matchup on paper. Hansel has shown flashes with his back-to-back punching prowess, and like many other rookies are just working on his game and perfecting his craft vs a variety of opponents. This battle is another early test that will give Hansel a shot to show some versatility as he faces an angler, traditionally the “counter” to a more traditional puncher style. Coming off a loss vs Eaze in this same venue in his last battle, this could be a good opportunity for Hansel to get his momentum back on track.
Holmzie has been truly underrated in the past couple of years, winning at a high % albeit not against all high-level competition. But his performance rate has been good, he’s one of the better anglers in the game. One of the final pieces it seems may be holding Holmzie back from top-tier opportunities is the ability to perform on bigger stages at the same high level. Battling in a venue holding about 300-500 people is a good opportunity to perform with a level of explosiveness that he’s yet to showcase with larger crowds. Good matchmaking stylistically and should lead to a good battle both ways.
T-Top vs Tru Foe
One of the dopest things an established tenured vet can do is give shots to the less established talents. T-Top has been doing just that for his recent battles, facing names like Real Name Brandon, Holmzie, Loso & now Tru Foe. The reality of modern-day battle rap is that not every single matchup will make sense; they won’t have long built-up stories. The Outside brand is built for these exact battles, and T-Top is the perfect vet to represent that. For Tru Foe, this is a giant opportunity after the disappointing performance vs. Ave. Foe’s 2022 saw his greatest moment with his win over Geechi Gotti in the UM tournament, which should have been a launching pad towards superstardom.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t fully capture the momentum he garnered. His last time in Orlando, he faced O-red and put on a solid performance leaving with one of the moments of the weekend. The Ave battle was a huge setback, and Foe is at a point where he has to decide on whether he wants to be the star many see with him or whether he wants to be another “What-if” story. Truthfully this entire Outside card is an audition for the bigger events URL has planned this year and guys are getting the opportunity to walk thru the door to career-defining chances. Does Tru foe want that? I hope so.
Swamp vs Stumbles
Stumbles is getting another shot. Many are going to say he doesn’t deserve it after a slew of losses post-Snake Eyez battle, but one thing seems clear: URL believes in his potential. And while the results aren’t showing, there are flashes of that potential with haymakers scattered throughout some unstructured rounds. And that’s really what the wait is on with Stumbles: structure. He has some elements of a natural entertainer, showing strengths in comedy and stage presence, and has a creative pen with a great real talk bag. But his inability really game plan and put it together correctly has led to some disappointing results during his push.
Swamp, while not the most structured himself, is still a way more polished and accomplished talent who should be the extremely favored battler going in. Recent complaints about the level of comp. he has received can make you side-eye this battle a little more, but Swamp has shown that even when not fully motivated he can win the battles he should (i.e., Dot, Arsonal, Qleen). Somewhere in here, there’s potential for an unorthodox, entertaining matchup, but that result will really rely on what Stumbles we get in the battle.
Prep vs Eaze
One of the stars from the Civil War 3 event returns with Eaze coming back outside after his stellar performance against Hansel at Civil War 3. On paper Prep is a step up in competition, I think? Overall, this battle is a test to see if Eaze can produce back-to-back powerful performances on a URL stage. He has all the tools, powerful delivery, slogans the fans love repeating, and a natural energy that controls the room almost effortlessly.
URL is looking for its next wave of stars, and a matchup like this is an opportunity for Eaze to showcase why they should trust him with bigger and better looks in the future. Prep isn’t a pushover as an opponent; he hasn’t been seen on URL in a long time, so he’ll have a bit of a shock factor if he’s able to land and get into a new bag, but the onus is on Eaze to show levels.