Artwork By Battle Rap Bum.
If you haven’t been paying attention, you might not know what is happening in battle rap. The South is booming in culture; Atlanta has become a hub of big-time events and leagues of all sizes coming to the City. From the upstart New Orleans wave to South Carolina with Swamp, Kid Chaos, and even Arkansas with the young talent Klutz, Florida is always in the mix with names like Loso. Then, of course, you have the state of Georgia and arguably the face of the Southern movement Chef Trez.
In case you missed it, Chef Trez is in the middle of a career-high and redefining year, with arguably one of the best back-and-forth battles of the year so far vs. Nu Jerzey Twork, to his consensus win over John John da Don and Performance of the night vs. Showoff. Trez has entered a rare territory of battlers who hit a second peak higher than their first.
Chef Trez’s career has been on an unstoppable trajectory since signing a two-year deal with URLTV, in October of 2022. He has emerged victorious and has registered an impressive five-battle winning streak on the URLTV App. From defeating opponents like Awthenic, Nunn Nunn, JJDD (John John Da Don), Nu Jerzey Twork, and Jakkboy Maine, Chef Trez has consistently showcased his lyrical dexterity and performance skills. Furthermore, he has secured two headlining spots on URL, solidifying his status as a top-tier battle rapper. He’s been ranked nearly within the top 3 of multiple media outlets releasing their mid-year power rankings for 2023, and is one of the front-running names to be a COTY Contender. But how did we get here?
High Volume Battling
Chef Trez’s career in battle rap over the past three years can easily be defined by one word, Workhorse. Chef Trez registers an overwhelming 68 battles in a span of 3 years (2020,2021,2022). Chef Trez averaged nearly 2 battles per month, for these 3 years (1.8 battles per month)
He battled across various premier leagues such as RBE, GTX, KOTD, and more. While he faced off against top talent during this time, it seemed that Chef Trez struggled to generate a significant buzz or make a notable impact in the circuit. It appeared as though battle rap had become more of a job than a passion for him, with the spark and enthusiasm somewhat diminished. Despite potentially winning the majority of these battles, the lack of buzz surrounding his performances left him longing for the rekindling of his true love for the craft.
Throughout the years 2020 to 2022, Chef Trez battled with a persistent struggle to maintain motivation in battle rap. Despite his undeniable talent, he felt consistently overlooked and underestimated. The absence of his name on the top 20 lists since 2019 and the repeated exclusion from end-of-year rankings began to be something that would resonate with him. “Even with the COTY thing, I just wanna be respected and make a list.”- Chef Trez
This began fueling his desire to prove himself and regain the recognition he believed he deserved, rightfully so. This period of feeling slept on and undervalued pushed Chef Trez to strive for greatness and reclaim his position among the elite.
The Value Of a Good Mental Space
Chef Trez’s journey towards a positive mental space has had a transformative impact on his career and personal life. In reference to a recent Black Compass Media Interview, battle rap has become more enjoyable as he embraces a lighter, more refreshing perspective. “I’m having fun with this again.”-Chef Trez. Being a father, appreciating life, and optimizing his talents have given him newfound joy that radiates through his battles and is leaving a lasting impression. Beyond the world of battle rap, Chef Trez emphasizes that his improved mental well-being has had a ripple effect on all aspects of his life. By prioritizing a clear mind, he ensures that any obstacles he encounters do not bleed into other areas, allowing him to remain focused and locked in on his goals.
Recognizing the importance of mental health in a highly competitive industry, Chef Trez’s dedication to his own well-being sets an example for aspiring artists. He acknowledges that maintaining a positive mental space is not only crucial for optimal performance in battle rap but also for personal growth and success in life. By nurturing his mental well-being, Chef Trez has unlocked a newfound level of creativity, effort, passion, and resilience, enabling him to face challenges head-on and continue his upward trajectory. As he continues to excel on the stage, his commitment to a healthy mindset serves as a reminder of the significant impact it can have on one’s overall well-being and professional pursuits.
Defining moments within his high level performances
Chef Trez’s pivotal moment arrived during his highly-anticipated solo showing in 2023, where he faced off against John John Da Don. With John John’s extensive experience and presence on the big stage, the battle became a main event in Atlanta, making it a monumental occasion for the southern battle rap scene. Despite skeptics questioning Chef Trez’s ability to sustain his performance level after engaging in numerous battles throughout his career, Chef Trez seized the opportunity to prove them wrong. Stepping onto the stage with unmatched vigor and rejuvenated spirit, he left an indelible mark on the audience, showcasing a new energy that resonated with fans and proving to everyone, he can show up at a high level for important battles.
Chef Trez’s consensus victory over John John Da Don not only solidified his status as a prominent name for the year but also served as a statement of his resilience and determination. It silenced the doubters and reinstated his presence as a force. With a renewed sense of purpose, Chef Trez demonstrated his ability to evolve and adapt, the battle against John John Da Don not only showcased his talent but also affirmed his return and signaled that Chef Trez was ready to go on an extraordinary run.
3 of Them Thangs In 3 Weeks.
This was the run that catapulted Chef Trez to the top of the charts for 2023.
Nu Jerzey Twork: When Chef Trez and Nu Jerzey Twork clashed in a battle, it was a moment that showcased the meeting of two talented individuals who had made their mark in the league around the same time, entering in 2016/2017. Being considered part of the same class, this clash held immense significance and competitiveness. The battle between Trez and Twork headlined the URL Outside 2 event, and it was a spectacle. Twork brought his signature intensity and explosive firepower, but Chef Trez rose to the occasion, demonstrating his ability to not only match but possibly even exceed Twork’s level of performance. The battle served as a testament to their skill and highlighted their status as elite competitors on the league.
GunPowda Pat: In less than 7 days, Chef Trez gets back on the road to take on a rising talent in GunPowda on his stomping grounds. Chef Trez headlines a WeGoHard event and gives full effort, showing his exceptional skills, delivering heavy punchlines, intricate wordplay, and commanding control of the room, more than the battler who’s home. With every line, he engaged the crowd and left with a victorious performance against the young Brooklyn talent in his backyard.
Showoff: Chef Trez made a return to RBE, fulfilling a prior commitment and marking his first appearance on a Pay-Per-View card this year. The anticipation was palpable as the entire world watched, expecting a fierce showdown between Trez and the formidable Showoff. However, what unfolded was a display of sheer dominance by Chef Trez. With his impeccable ability to think of rebuttals, deliver explosive haymakers, craft clever angles, and showcase some brilliant counter writing, Trez left no doubt about his mastery of the craft, leaving with arguably the performance of the Night. This thrilling performance came at the end of three weeks of battles, giving a subtle reminder to everyone of what Chef Trez is capable of in a span of high volume.
It’s not just the rebuttals, it’s the fact that Trez has been able to show up as a high-level angler and counter-writer that has also propelled him in these situations. He remains competitive in all facets and is equipped with a range of attributes to make him well-rounded enough as a battler to be able to combat any style in any environment.
What's next ?
Chef Trez is a name that needs to be mentioned more when it comes to Summer Madness, and he has his sights set on some opponents, particularly for the prestigious Summer Madness event. In his recent Black Compass Interview, he mentions a lineup of names, expressing his desire to lock in battles with the likes of Real Sikh, Lu Castro, Hollow Da Don, and Charlie Clips. These matchups would undoubtedly be good-style matches. Chef Trez also openly welcomes the challenge of facing K Shine on his return. Recognizing Shine’s stature in the battle rap world, Chef Trez acknowledges the difficulty of such a matchup but declares his willingness to be on the front line for this demanding challenge. His enthusiasm to go head-to-head with top-tier opponents demonstrates his confidence and eagerness as a top-tier battle rapper himself.
It’s pretty wild to consider that Trez has been in the eye of degenerates for almost a decade. His battle against Craig Lamar is a cult classic. Battle rap fans in Georgia immediately felt like we had one and he has yet to disappoint. Chef has always been unique in his career decisions; he marched to the beat of his drum and maintained control over his path in this game, never burned any bridges along the way, which got him on an endless number of platforms and stages, facing everyone from newcomers to top tiers. You scroll through his resume, and you’ll see many high-level opponents from the names like Ill Will, B-Magic, A-Ward, O-Red, Jc, Rum Nitty, Charron the list goes on. He is one of the most consistent talents in the game and a model for creating your own lane in this culture. And the second act of his peak is here.