Narratives: Summer Madness 13

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 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 Summer Madness 13

Editorial Written by Staff writers: France, J Smo, Titus & Q Moody.

Tay Roc vs Ave

After everything that took place last year with Ave, him expressing frustrations with his place on  URL he’s finally here with not just a Summer Madness battle, but a main event the fans have wanted for years. Ave has been in talks with plenty of the greats before and suggested that there’s been a lot of ducking from certain people. He fell into the classic battle rap avoidance tactic of “High Risk, Low Reward” Which really just means someone is a great battler with no easy way to attack so you just have to be better than him. Of course, the legend not afraid of this challenge is Tay Roc, We’ve delved into his history and legacy before on this site, last year in Houston he put on a masterclass vs. T-Top that served as a reminder that Roc is still not to be played with. 

The storyline of this battle is a natural one, Ave was once Cave Gang, but he left for his own reasons which gives this battle a natural grudge match feel, however, that isn’t the most interesting part of this. This battle represents a bridge to the opportunities Ave and fans of his have clamored for, this is battle and the stage and the moment that Ave can show the world why he’s regarded as one of the most feared in the game. A great showing here eliminates any of the how can I put this, reasonings? Forget that let’s be real, A great showing here eliminates any of the EXCUSES that some battlers have used to avoid getting in the ring with Ave. After all the talk and faux concern about SM struggling to find a headliner, it managed to find one with massive game-changing implications for the future of battle rap.

DNA vs Jerry Wess

Jerry Wess is one of the battlers on the card that has stakes of “this is now or never”. Jerry is from the same PG class as guys like Ave, Mike P, Bangz, etc. He is very much a URL veteran, but it probably doesn’t feel like it to some people because of how inconsistently he’s battled over the last few years. Jerry had a run in 2020 where he saw John John Da Don, Rum Nitty, Chilla Jones, and Arsonal and there are people out there who think he lost all of those battles. For Jerry, this is a chance to show that he can do more than beat up on the people of a lower tier and that he can put numbers against one of the best to ever do it. At some point, it stops being potential if it’s never capitalized on, at some point you stop being underrated. This is that moment for Jerry. 

It’s hard though when the person across from him is DNA, who has been having an incredible last few years. We just saw on NOME Impact and Kings vs. Queens, how scary big stage DNA still is and that is an uphill task for Jerry. Another dominant performance might also help keep DNA’s name in the running for who is called for the next Lux or Mook battle. Jerry vs. DNA is a battle of someone who can’t afford to squander this opportunity and someone who needs to keep his momentum to keep working towards higher goals.

Dizaster vs Real Sikh

One of the 2 late additions to SM, Sikh vs Diz is a truly surprising matchup not many saw coming. Previously almost booked on GTX BOTBX card, you can just look at both names and immediately understand there will be an extreme emphasis on technical rapping with a lot of different pockets and rhyme structures from both. But as for what it means to each battler and the effect it can have, it’s more urgent than some realize.

Starting with Dizaster, he’s currently in the middle of all things battle rap drama, and he’s been very vocal about it. This noise surrounding his name for any other Battle Rapper usually puts them in a high-stakes situation, but Diz is so far into the game of Battle Rap that his career will always be solidified, despite wins and losses at this point. Transitioning into the half-league owner of GTX as well, Diz mind is mostly elsewhere in Battle Rap and his being competitive hasn’t been a priority, and it has shown. Although having some solid showings, Diz losses to Eazy, NXT, Geechi have all been clear and predicted by the masses by large margins. This will be no different as Sikh’s already a heavy favorite going in. The only thing a Diz win can really change is a prior winless record on URL. Only 2 battles, but Diz’s performances vs. TRex and Roc have been viewed as underwhelming considering his high stature in Battle Rap, so a win or great battle with Sikh can check off a final highlight he hasn’t claimed.

Like a few other matchups on this card, the real pressure is on a UM1 Class member, as it’s all eyes on Real Sikh. After a long hiatus from the URL stage, he’s returning in a big way taking Dizaster on SM. It’s a match vs a well-respected name where the level of difficulty is probably a bit under the tier of the name itself, setting up a path for Sikh to get a big win. That right there is what this is all about for Sikh: a big win. Against a plethora of top-tier names, Sikh has put on a ton of great battles, but the consensus just seems to rarely lean his way. His body vs Danny Myers was fantastic but too many is masked by the fact Danny basically didn’t rap, which is probably unfair but is the nature of Battle Rap. Good to great vs DNA, Pat Stay (RIP), Ave, JC, Chilla but mostly on the losing side. Coming off the rough loss to Shine, Sikh winning here 180s the momentum on his name and sets him up for possible top-tier status and great momentum heading into the 2nd half of 2023. 

Dizaster vs Real Sikh may not have the same stakes as other battles on the card, but when someone is debuting on SM the stakes always have to be somewhat high, and makes for a great addition to an already great Summer Madness card. 

Shotgun Suge vs Fonz

Fonz and Suge have been going back and forth about battling for what feels like every week over the last year. So many different face-offs you could lose count, This matchup of the big guys has become a pseudo-grudge match sheerly off the competitive nature with which both battlers approach the game. Suge is a big stage specialist and a legend at his craft, there is no career-altering result here for Suge but just another important fight in a long career of them. With an improved pen, prior woes Suge has had vs. punchers may not be as prevalent as he can nearly match the haymaker count with his own name flips and punches. This paired with a high-energy delivery is a staple top-tier challenge for anyone and why win or loss Suge will always be in the talks come NOME/SM time.

But the real focus of this battle is all on Fonz. One of the top prospects and winners from UM1, Fonz career is full of as many wow moments as it is question marks. One of the game’s best punchers and in many ways, URL’s puncher of the future, his ability to purely come up with creative hard-hitting punchlines is up there with the best. His ability to punch out of angle also seems to separate him from the pack, counteracting the classic “punchers aren’t direct/have no substance” critiques you’ll see about this type of style. He has everything ability-wise to become a top tier in Battle Rap, but the results vs fellow top tiers have been on worrisome factor in him taking that next step. Post UM1 Fonz has battled Ave, JC, Rum Nitty, Danny Myers, and O-Red in 3 round battles, Danny Myers most importantly being on the big stage on SM12. So, with a mixed bag of results that brings in the 2nd half of the equation: the stage.

Last year Fonz had his SM debut vs. Danny Myers, and it was not one of his better showings. After a great 1st which he took clear, everything that could go wrong did. Not connecting with the crowd, choking, booing, the whole 9. Recently on NOME Impact, him and Ave’s 1st 2 rounds with the crowd also really struggled to connect in a large room, although his iso portion of the 3rd was crazy. He clearly has the ability to shake the stage, but it’s about carrying that over 3 rounds. Fonz is next in line to join Club Top Tier, and one can argue beating a top tier on a big stage is what gains him access, which is exactly what this battle vs Shotgun Suge presents.

Suge vs Fonz is high energy, high stakes, and with both motivated can easily be one of the best battles of the night. 

Rum Nitty vs Ace Amin

The best campaign in battle rap in years after not being on the initial card, finally got announced for Summer Madness and really completed what was already a great card. It wouldn’t have felt right to have a Summer Madness without the COTY and after the 2023 Ace has had, he’s a guy in the next tier who has really earned the opportunity. 

With these two guys though, there are some things to think about. For Nitty this will be his 3rd Summer Madness appearance and even though he’s been far from bad in these battles, Nitty would have an 0-2 record on SM to most people you’d ask between the JC and Reed Dollaz battles. Will this finally be a year where Nitty’s Summer Madness performance is on the level of what we’ve seen him display on other big stages or will the Nitty SM “curse” continue?

For Ace, this is 4 years in the making. I won’t say anything that wasn’t already covered in the Ace Amin article on the website, but the time is now for Ace. He’s finally made it back after fighting against stigmas and unforeseen circumstances that held him back from these spots while the rest of his class thrived. He also has to be aware of the short leash he is on with a certain segment of fans and how he can’t give them any reasons to downplay him or use this as a “See? I told you so” moment. Ace can’t afford a slip up here and a great performance here would really solidify Ace and maybe even put him back on track for where he was supposed to be a long time ago.

John John Da Don vs T-Top

A riveting and full circle moment is happening within this rematch between John John Da Don and T-Top 

Their first encounter transpired a decade prior, back then, as John John Da Don had just made his debut on the Summer Madness stage, he extended a hand of opportunity to the hungry & talented T-Top. After the battle, John John further facilitated his ascent and bridged the ties between T-Top and the URL, which essentially helped T-Top to get drafted into the league.

You are looking at two perennial Summer Madness battlers, John John with 8x appearances, and T-Top with 6x. Each of them has illuminated previous performances. Both of them have had Battle Of the Night. Both of them have been dominant on Summer Madness.  Both had stood at the apex, headlining these colossal events, and both of them have had difficult nights on this stage and have struggled.  They are well-conditioned for this moment and capable of performing at a high level. The two tacticians stepped into the spotlight with their styles & strategies intertwined as high-level anglers. Both of them have full intent on exorcising their demons from their previous clear loss on a URL Houston stage. 

In the end, it becomes apparent that this rematch is less of a grudge or confrontation; and it’s more of a celebration of growth in their careers & resilience. 11 years ago, a leading Rookie in the league gave an under-the-radar prospect and amateur an opportunity, and fast forward 10 years later, they are some of the most decorated battlers not just on URL, but of al time. At the height of their skills, both emcees are tacticians and masters of executing angles, especially in front of a big crowd, but this battle will all be about who will execute their game plan the best

Hollow Da Don vs Nu Jerzey Twork

Co-Main Event, there’s no lack of star power in this matchup as you get a God Tier vs one of the biggest current stars in Battle Rap. Hollow legendary career seems to be forever evolving as he has one of his most active years to date, with Twork being his 4th battle of 2023 (and were only in August!). Hollow has proven all he needs to as a professional, and at this point he just furthers his all-time body of work by battling the emerging stars that pop up as the years go on. The master of strategy, every battle is just another chapter in his storied career.

As for Twork, he comes in as a heavy favorite over his biggest opposition since Tsu Surf. On the most consistent run of his career, Hollow is the big plate that the last 9-10 battles have led too. Twork’s career is a mix of some of the highest highs and lowest lows in Battle Rap, with some great moments vs the greats followed by some chokes and 3-0 losses to the same tier. With maybe the most momentum of his career, a win over a God Tier on SM opens the door for Twork to battle some of the last few legends and constantly find himself in a big card headliner spots. A loss as a favorite vs your first top opponent in some time could be very damaging and could further play into a lackluster SM catalogue that he’s had up to this point. With this said, expect a high level Twork in one of the bigger battles of his career looking to cap off his year plus run with his biggest win yet.  

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