“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
Potential: an ability that someone has that can be developed to help that person become successful. Being described as someone with potential is the rare description that comes with an invisible time limit and a set of pressures to live up to the expectations of others; if you are early in your career, it’s said with a positive, hopeful energy, later on, it becomes a reserved critique if you haven’t met whatever goal or level people felt you should. Make constant mistakes or show a lack of effort or disinterest, which becomes the worst result of all, “Wasted potential.” Once you reach that point, people are pretty much finished with you; they’re done believing and no longer trust you to be what you could’ve been. Truthfully, we all have potential; some are naturally able to excel and reach the most incredible heights, and some people can’t get out of their way or don’t believe in themselves enough to achieve their ceilings. Others might take time and slip up on the way, but eventually, they realize the greatness within them and become what they always could be, and for the last year, that has been the story of Nu Jerzey Twork.
Lessons in Setbacks: Navigating Life's Challenges Amidst Moments of Failure
Let’s flashback to December of 2021. Smack Volume 9 is headlined by Tsu Surf (Free the Wave) and Nu Jerzey Twork, both coming off great showings on the Til Death Do Us Part event a month prior, and this battle was highly anticipated. Yet, it ended in extreme disappointment due to NJT’s choking, and it wasn’t the first time this had happened; it wasn’t the second; it was a constant risk with him to the point where many fans, even some of his die-hard supporters, couldn’t trust him anymore. He followed up this poor showing with an even worse performance on URL’s Banned event on caffeine, featuring a bunch of one-round battles. He faced Real Name Brandon and spent more time in the battle trying to remember his material than he spent rapping. The Surf battle was stumbling down a cliff; the Brandon battle was falling down the mountain with nothing to grab onto to save you. At this point, the culture was pretty much finished with him, to the point where Smack made a public statement in an interview on URL’s YouTube channel about how Twork wasn’t taking his talent seriously and would not be booked on the platform indefinitely.
It was shocking to hear, but no one could dispute the message; it felt like the only course of action to get through to the uber-talented star. Twork wasn’t seen on the URL for months. His most notable battle in this timeframe was against Snake Eyez on Midnight Madness, which made some waves but not enough to regain trust; we didn’t see him in a URL battle until December of that year, where he battled Real Sikh on Civil War 3, an app only event which in all honesty seems like a decision that was made because of the distrust in NJT. That battle ended up being one of the best battles of the year, and Jerzey showcased every element of his talent that made people cheer for him since day one; it even featured a heartfelt round from him addressing Smack’s message earlier that year. Ever since that day, he has been on a run, which leads us to now.
The Power of Unwavering Consistency
2023 has been a career rejuvenation for Twork, facing every level of competition, from up-and-comers like NXT to COTY contenders like Chef Trez, WOTY contenders like Jaz The Rapper & Coffe Brown, to legends like Hollow Da Don on Summer Madness. This year, he’s displayed a few qualities that could not be used to describe him in the past; those words are consistent, focused, and disciplined. In every battle we’ve seen him in this year, he has been flawless, executing on every level with zero mistakes; in a time when URL desperately needed stars due to circumstances surrounding some of their bigger draws, this revitalization and professionalism from Twork couldn’t have happened at a more critical time.
Twork has headlined 4 times this year on URL against NXT, Chef Trez, TayRoc/Geechi & now Murda Mook. 4 URL headliners in a single year is not only a career-high for Twork but it’s the 2nd the most events anyone has ever headlined in a single calendar year on URL. (The record being 5x headliners in a year, which is currently held by Tay Roc). He’s also ranked 2nd in total wins on the URLTV App for the year 2023. This isn’t just an ‘okay year’; this is a potential COTY award-winning historical year; this is like watching your favorite player finally cut down all the turnovers and poor shot selection to eventually become the All-NBA, MVP-level talent you always believed they could be and now they’re in the Finals with the chance at a legacy-defining win.
Homecoming 2 in New York will be the stage, and Murda Mook will be the opponent in a battle that will have lasting consequences for the year and the future. Nu Jerzey Twork finally has the moment to show why his supporters always believed him to be one of the most extraordinary talents this game has ever seen. I’m not entirely sure what finally clicked for him, but we know he has people in his corner to hold him to the standard he is supposed to be at. Specifically, his manager and close friend Anwar, whom he has called his brother; if you’re ever at an event while Twork is battling, you’ll see Anwar somewhere rapping Jerooz’s rounds right along with him.
It might seem like nothing, but that level of care and knowing someone is in your corner to that extent adds extra accountability and motivation. You don’t want to let someone like that down, and Twork has ensured he doesn’t. After years of flashing his ability, he’s finally showing he’s ready to step into greatness. In a lot of ways, it’s inspirational and relatable, seeing someone given the potential tag wake up and realize how good they are and stop standing in the way of their success, to embrace every opportunity their God-given talent has granted them; it serves as a reminder that it’s never too late to be who we are supposed to be. Win or lose, he’s shown us that he understands the burden of talent and potential and is prepared to walk in excellence. December 10th is the chance to put a feather in the cap of an incredible 2023, and the culture will be watching and waiting.