The Trenches: Unforgivable Recap

LTBR Award Recipients

Battle of the Night:  #1 J-Morr vs K1ng |  #2 Ave vs Rosenberg Raw

Performer Of The Night: #1 Charlie Clips | #2 Ave | #3A K1NG | #3B J-Morr 

The Trenches, renowned for its gritty scene, has continued to take the show on the road with fresh air and palm trees in the area. On to Miami for an entire weekend of battle rap warfare, joining forces with Chrome 23 for a conjunction weekend of events. The stage was set for the high-stakes Semi-finals of the $10,000 Trenches tournament, where the contenders laid it all on the line in pursuit of victory. Alongside these intense clashes, the undercard battles featuring Payzay vs. Loyal Savage, some of the talents from the Miami scene, which added another layer of excitement, the Co-Main event witnessed heavyweight showdowns, including Ave versus Rosenberg Raw and Eazy’s highly anticipated first battle of 2024 against the Harlem legend Charlie Clips. Despite the disappointment of Qleen Paper’s absence, the night was filled with memorable performances, two emcees reaching the finals and some exciting results with the headlining & Co-headlining battle.

Stackboy Chuck vs Z The Dropout

2.25☆ Rating Recapped by France

In the semi finals between Z the Dropout and StackBoy, both contenders showcased their mettle in the heat of battle. Z the Dropout continued his upward trajectory in the tournament, delivering what can be considered his most impressive three-round performance yet, in my opinion. What stands out most about Z is not just his fundamental prowess but also his unwavering composure under pressure. Regardless of the intensity his opponents bring, Z remains steadfast, never backing down and always rising to the occasion. I wish his rebuttals had some more firepower to them. He’s never shy of making one, and he executes them well enough for it not to be a negative,  but they never seem to pack enough power to give him the momentum boost he’s seeking. As he gears up to face Battling K1ng in the finals, Z’s confidence remains unshakeable, even in the face of such a formidable opponent. While he acknowledges the challenge ahead, his resolve remains firm in this high-pressure match in the finals.

Stack Boy also left a lasting impression, also delivering his best performance of the tournament. His ability to strategize and make crucial adjustments between rounds of the tourney showcased significant improvements in his game. However, despite his commendable efforts, Stack Boy ultimately couldn’t last the distance from the onslaught of Z, falling short in this matchup. Nonetheless, Stack Boy’s growth throughout the tournament hints at a promising future in the Trenches, and I would expect to see him on more cards. If he didn’t have your respect in the earlier rounds, I could bet for sure he’s gained it now. 

J-Morr vs K1ng

3.75☆ Rating Recapped by France

There is a lot to unpack with this battle.

First, let’s start by saying both of these emcees were the the two top battlers throughout the entire tournament and it’s unfortunate that they could not meet in the finals because the level of production they put on in the past three rounds of this tournament could easily lead to them to the consensus that, the winner of this battle is probably going to exceed anybody on the other side of the bracket.

This entire tournament was interesting to follow because there were no set brackets, and the matchups got jumbled up again and again every round. This match could’ve been saved for the finals and whoever wins this is going to be the favorite to win it all, but make no mistake, it was not an easy task for either of these individuals, both of them laid it all on the line with their relentlessness, energy, aggression, back to back punches, performance, rebuttals, intensity, man any attribute you want from a battle you name, is probably in this battle.  

If I’m being entirely honest the only thing that takes away from this battle was the excessive length of the rounds. I’ve always been a firm believer that tournament battles should have strict time limits, and it felt like these guys were going for seven, maybe eight minutes per round at a time, but I will say they were bombing throughout the entirety of their rounds. It was just an excessive amount of content being dumped. It’s wild because if any of these two guys came with even a minute or two less of material, they would be going home, so it’s interesting to see they both pack so much ammunition for each other, but it is also puzzling to see that Eazy did not take advantage to call time or tell both of these guys to have a limit, I’m sure going forward he will do that.

Getting the biggest bang for your buck, this might have been the best battle over the entirety of the weekend. Especially on Day 1 of the Miami Trenches/Chrome weekend.

This isn’t a battle to break down round by round; all I can simply say is that King was able to get a split decision from the judges in the building, a very narrow victory. K1ng has a very bright future. I was very confident that his style could translate to winning in this format, as I have stated throughout the coverage of this Tournament. J-Morr will most certainly be consistently in rotation on the platform; J-morr knows how to take full advantage of a room that is receptive to him, but sometimes the overreacting to every 4 bars is a bit much and disrupts the flow of the battle, but he is savvy and skilled to be a threat. He will undoubtedly have to try to be a little more tailored moving forward, as K1ng being more direct than him is what got him the edge in this battle. 

Don Marino vs Kutta

2.00☆ Rating Recapped by France

In the battle between Don Marino and Kutta, two emcees hailing from the scene of Florida/Miami was a good addition to card to have the city’s energy pulsating through the venue. Marino, coming into this from three consecutive battles in 3  weeks, put on a performance that showcased his experience. His delivery was on point, punctuated by a flurry of chain-punching sequences and with stage presence. He isn’t lying when he says he’s got Miami on lock, and the room showed it. While Kutta brought some solid bars, particularly shining in the second round, Marino’s firepower proved too much to handle. With each round, Marino maintained complete control, leaving a mark on the battle by asserting his dominance in the ring, and putting a nice ending to a solid 3-week stretch of battles. 

Ave vs Rosenberg Raw

3.25☆ Rating Recapped by Justin Smolenski

 One of the premier battles of the card, Ave vs Rose, is a matchup that both have wanted for some time. The battle starts on Ave. There’s only one way for him to start the battle: punches. 1st round is a punch-heavy and consistent round from Ave. Even when he’s not maxing out in a round, he almost always gives a formidable round that isn’t a walk in the park to beat. Rosenberg’s 1st round, in hindsight, was his best round, though, mixing his punches with real talk and landing with power nearly the whole round. Another underrated part of Froze’s game is the straight ability to rap, giving the effect he’s talking directly to his opponent’s character with the cadence and voice inflections. Close 1st, but I found myself edging Froze the round 1-0.

The 2nd is where the tides quickly turn, with Ave doubling up on an already good 1st with an excellent 2nd. Punching again but at a higher level, Ave was bombing with Rose/Froze flips, upping the energy in his delivery and giving the best round of the battle. Rose’s 2nd in response was heavily angle-based, discussing Ave trying to get on RBE and off URL at some point and asking Rose for help with a transition. Executed well at first, the angle started to fall flat and outside of that was a very beatable round. 2nd went to Ave, meaning you can call it 1-1 or 2-0 if you gave Ave the 1st.

The final round is the easiest to summarize, with Ave having a good angled-based round of his own while Froze choking in his weakest round of the battle. After a close 1st, just felt like a level was shown in why Ave is considered a year in and year out top tier and some still have Froze fighting for that title in battle rap. Ave simply kept his foot on the gas while Froze started great but ran out of firepower as the battle went on. Good but clear battle, with Ave continuing a nearly 2 year long stretch of not losing a battle, and nearly winning all his battles in that time span clear, including this one. 

Charlie Clips vs Eazy The Block Captain

3.25☆ Rating Recapped by Justin Smolenski

The highly anticipated main event of the night, featuring Clips vs. Eazy, was a matchup that many believed had a predictable outcome, with Eazy entering as the clear favorite. Clips, who had faced significant criticism in his recent battles, saw this as an opportunity to redeem himself against one of the most formidable talents.

The battle started off on Eazy, who gave a solid but not robust first. Bit of a slow burn, starting with some jokes about Clip’s recent lack of effort and a little bit of his patent trap talk, but it didn’t honestly pick up till the very end of his round, his Paper Clip haymaker being the standout and very needed best bar of his 1st round. While serviceable, the door was open, and Clips 1st started off immediately with a bit more energy. He uses a dentistry scheme to parallel Eazy getting his teeth fixed with the rise and controversy of his battle rap career. Paired with a Drake/Kendrick current event bar that landed as a haymaker and the charisma and perfect pace that makes Clips the elite talent he has the capability of always being. Had him up 1-0 going into the 2nd

Eazy, in need of snatching the momentum back, needed a better 2nd, and that’s what he did with a much better round. More aggression, landing with more power and even a more tailored round. Closing out a tremendous 2nd, Eazy gets lost on his last bar. If he had cut even just a couple of seconds earlier or right when he forgot, it could be chalked up to just an abrupt ending, but with too obvious and prolonged a pause, a great round, unfortunately, ended with a choke. Clips 2nd in response is his weakest of the battle, falling back to some basic Philly-based schemes and what seemed like could be freestyled material. Clips never fully loses his pace or turns the round into a disaster, but content-wise just didn’t give too much. Eazy would’ve taken this round clear, but as stated, he choked, so even by default, it was 2-0 Clips.

The 3rd is the best quality-wise from both sides of the battle. Eazy has a heavy 3rd, getting back into the bag he was in in his 2nd and deeper into the real talk with his “Lesson In Every Bar” segment. In this round, he also reveals that his mother has recently passed, which is very real and shows the man’s dedication to his craft to still perform well with such a thing happening personally. Our prayers and good energy go out to Eazy at this time, and finishing the 3rd,  he wrapped up a genuine and perfect final round of his performance. As mentioned, this was also Clip’s best round, as he got a bit surgical. Giving his rendition of the Eazy/Pap/Remy angles, Clips provides a breakdown with everything from describing Eazy’s “fall off” in a very tailored liquor scheme, having a couple of bars and a convo for Remy, and even saying Eazy was the one topping Remy in the Lean Back video (LMAO). Towards the end of the 3rd Clips loses momentum a tad bit, he ends it still firmly with the lead and completes the clear win.

Some have argued the 1st, but the last two rounds are clear for Clips, even admitted by Eazy himself in a post-game interview. Clips showed up with a great showing in a massive battle and got the upset win and a 3-0 win for many. Surgical, Clips shows for the million times that he can show up and compete with the best at any moment. 

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