Top 10 Performances from GTX Battle Of The Bay X

First and foremost. Round of applause for the whole GTX team. Dizaster, Lush One, Drect, Mini Fridge (CannaBree), And all of the folks behind the curtains, your hard work for this outstanding weekend does not go unnoticed.

The GTX team orchestrated a triumphant weekend of battle rap with their anniversary to Grindtime’s signature “Battle of the Bay” event. The 15-year anniversary of Battle of The Bay, dating back to 2008, this series features multiple classic battles like Dizaster vs Organik, Illmac vs The Saurus Rematch, Hollow Da Don vs Pass, Arsonal vs Conceited, The Saurus vs Jaze Juice, Aye Verb vs Marv Won, Okwerdz vs Arsonal, Pumpkin Head (RIP) Vs Dizaster and so many more battles that defined an era of battle that many of us are familiar with before the modernization of the culture.

 GTX’s three exhilarating days were filled with quirky, humorous, masterful, weird, erotic, competitive, and grueling performances across a range of all styles. The careful planning and meticulous execution resulted in an event that left both live attendees and online viewers entertained and satisfied. The seamless stream,  helmed by the dynamic duo of Rone, June PZ, and a lineup of battlers for post-game interviews, added an extra layer of excitement and insight to the commentary of the battles. The commentary team’s chemistry and deep understanding easily enhanced the viewer experience for new or seasoned battle rap fans. Rone & June provided nuanced perspectives on each match-up while injecting the proceedings with humor and camaraderie in the middle of taking some shots of 1942. GTX’s ability to not only deliver a successful live event but also curate an engaging experience underscores their commitment to elevating the GTX brand and giving all of us a chance to relive the old days.

Out of 56 battlers, only 1 couldn’t make it, so a Total of 55 Battlers, (On Hood  Crip  Mac voice) were able to attend the event. so We decide to break down the best 10 emcees, 5 from Day 1 and another 5 from Day 2

Day 1 Rankings

#5 Carter Deems

The clash between Carter Deems and Dirt Bag Dan was a fascinating collision of styles and personas within the Grind Time Realm. Carter Deems, known for his unique blend of stand-up comedy and battle rap, always brings an unorthodox yet captivating delivery to the stage. Beneath the quirky surface of his performance lay a masterful transition that showcased his multi-faceted talent. At one moment, he seamlessly shifted from his role as a battle rapper, launching incisive attacks on his opponent, to transforming into a comedian who effortlessly brought humor to the entire audience. This duality highlighted Carter’s exceptional ability to engage and entertain on multiple levels, making his performance a memorable display of his distinct artistry.

In the battle against Dirt Bag Dan, Carter Deems exhibited his full arsenal of attributes, resulting in a complete dismantling of his opponent. He unapologetically beats Dirt Bag Dan and gives one of the best performances, not just from Day 1, but arguably the whole weekend. Despite him being ranked at #5, best believe he was the biggest standout or takeaways for many fans. Carter’s unconventional yet calculated strategy revealed a deep understanding of comedic timing and audience engagement, leaving the room entertained while cleverly undermining his opponent’s presence.

#4 B Magic

In his battle against Loe Pesci, B-Magic has uncovered a sustainable level of consistency in his performances and its showing. B-Magic’s performance shows that he is at this point in his career where he can demonstrate a newfound sense of stability that allowed him to constantly deliver high-caliber punchlines and captivating performances. His trademark compounded punchlines proved to be as effective as ever, weaving intricate wordplay and clever references seamlessly into his verses. One of B-Magic’s standout attributes is his remarkably smooth flow, which has earned a spot as one of the best in battle rap history.

Right from the opening moments, B-Magic set the tone with an undeniable presence that Loe Pesci struggled to match. The contrast in their performances highlighted B-Magic’s command over the stage and his ability to captivate the audience. However, it was B-Magic’s third round that truly stood out, a testament to his growth and skill. The round showcased his ability to build momentum, delivering a barrage of punchlines that resonated with the crowd and left a lasting impression. B-Magic’s performance against Loe Pesci not only marked a triumphant moment in his career but also solidified his status as a battle rap luminary, leaving no doubt about his sustained excellence on the stage.

#3 T-Rex

T-Rex’s clash against Bigg K was a testament to his evolution. Rex’s performance could be encapsulated in a single word: discipline. The transformation he had undergone outside of the ring, focusing on healthier living and personal growth, was palpable in his on-stage demeanor and it showed in his performance. Throughout the battle, Rex displayed a remarkable level of focus, channeling his energy into a relentless onslaught of attacks and delivering each punchline with precision and A1 execution in his delivery. The contest itself was a textbook illustration of a battle between Angles and Punches, with Rex strategically deploying his punches against Bigg K’s strategic attack 

In a battle of rounds that showcased both competitors’ strengths, Rex strategically put enough points on the board in the first round, establishing a competitive and debatable round. However, it was his explosive second round that truly highlighted his ability to seize back momentum and capture the audience’s attention. This version of T-Rex, I wouldn’t necessarily label as a vintage Rex, but more so a representation of a new-age version of the rapper, one who had attained a heightened self-awareness of his capabilities and honed the art of maximizing his talents within a battle. T-Rex’s performance against Bigg K underscored his commitment to growth and adaptation, leaving a lasting impression on his core audience, fans in the building, and all around the culture. The True essence of a debatable battle. 

#2 Eazy The Block Captain

Once again, Eazy The Block Captain walks away with a top Performance Of The Night. Eazy vs Dizaster was not considered a super dangerous battle for Eazy going in, but the factor of moving a type of crowd he hadn’t been around before in Diz’s league opened the door for a unique challenge where he had to face one of the biggest faces in Battle Rap history in his exact element.

Eazy performance energy-wise started low which he has publicly admitted, almost like he was feeling out the lay of the land in a Grind Time environment he had never experienced. While his weakest round, the 1st was also Diz weakest round having a moment of overleaning into comedy that led to a mostly jabbing Eazy to take an early 1-0 lead. Following that, Eazy stepped on the gas big time. His now regularly scheduled character assassination round was masterful (as they usually have been), taking an angle about Diz overseas work as well as a new interpretation of the fight with Math. Executed with such precision, Eazy angles really make you think about the topics at hand and always come off more as a real dialogue than just an attempt to score bars for points. 

In the 3rd round Eazy gets into his patent “Lesson in Every Bar” trap talk, with his Plug, Judge/Sentence, Cut The Rug, and Different Languages haymakers filling out a masterclass of a 3rd. Also, Eazy shows off a new skillset in this battle adding some mid-round rebuttals and freestyles, further filling out one of the most diverse skillsets in Battle Rap today. Very high quality and debatable 3rd, but most have found themselves still giving Eazy this round as it can be added to what’s becoming a long list of signature Eazy 3rd rounds. While not the best Eazy or even a top 5 Eazy, it goes to show this guy’s good is a lot of people great, and he secures another W to continue this monumental multi-year run as a Champion of the Year Contender

#1 Bigg K

Bigg K’s performance against T-Rex showcased a masterclass in the execution of angles, leaving a powerful mark on the landscape for the Champion of The Year. From the outset, Bigg K’s material was a strategic engagement, he skillfully disarmed T-Rex with a barrage of quotable references from Rex’s own past battles, using them as stepping stones to launch into an attack filled with humor and precise character assassination. 

In the climactic third round, Bigg K unleashed a torrent of punchlines that blew the roof off the venue, delivering what many consider to be his best round of the battle. The sheer intensity and frequency of his punches was a strong ending to his battle. With a performance that blended meticulous preparation, sharp wit, and an unrelenting delivery, Bigg K demonstrated why he is a leading contender for Battle Rap’s coveted “Champion of the Year.” His ability to tailor his verses, and dissect his opponent’s weaknesses felt like a continuation of his Murda Mook performance. His performance was complimented with a competitive effort and dope performance from Rex as well, walking away with Battle of The night. 

Day 2 Rankings

#5 Soul Khan

Starting off the Top 5 is a legend who I doubt many expected here, but Soul Khan performance vs QP truly is by far the best Khan showing so far post return, and one of the most explosive on the Day 2 card as whole. 

Soul Khan struggles with pace, content, and memory have led to a series of unfortunate showings since his return vs Dizaster in 2020. But with a room full of authentic Grind Time energy, Soul found the perfect mix between jokes and angling and gave a vintage showing. His 1st round is clearly the best of the battle on either side, even with an ABSURD pause moment to start which made things look like they would go downhill very early. Working an angle about QP having an underage girlfriend (disturbing) and crafting a character assassination round that was full of angling, haymakers, and flipping the crowd fully on QP going into the 2nd. QP doubling down on the angle and agreeing (even more disturbing) pretty much laid out the rest of the battle and how one sided it would be.

Khan was able to keep this momentum up, taking a clear 2-0 going into the 3rd. The 3rd shared the same amount of lopsidedness, but a choke from Soul Khan in the 3rd does leave the door open for a 2-1 instead of a 30. A true throwback showing and a sign of much more confidence, Soul Khan repeats history and cooks QP on Grind Time over a decade after the initial matchup. 

#4 Hollow Da Don

Main events are given the pressure of having the highest expectations with the latest and most tired version of the crowd, so when a main event is one of the better battles of the night its usually a 2 man job to get it done. And that was what happened in the case of Hollow vs TheSaurus. Hollow gave a performance that could be considered light by his standards but wrote uphill and overall gave the competitive 3 rounds you almost always see from him. Starting a bit slow in the 1st, Hollow picked up in the 2nd with a much more energetic and efficient round, both trading a series of witty punches and creative concepts throughout the battle. His “switch the sport” concept in the 3rd was the highlight of the round he took most clear, and the 3rd as whole was a great close out round after an okay 1st and a good 2nd

While not the most aggressive or lyrical Hollow, it speaks to his greatness that a more reserved version can still hold it down in arguably the most historic matchup of the weekend against a very good version of a legendary opponent. The consensus has leaned heavy towards Hollow, and has he heads into his Summer Madness match vs Twork there is an argument to some that Hollow is 3-0 so far in 2023. 

#3 The Saurus

The other half of the Day 2 Main Event, TheSaurus active 2023 has come with glimpses of prime Saurus mixed with a stumbling/choking issue that has plagued him for a few years now. This performance however arrived with much more of the great and less of the latter. With one of the better 3 round showings, he’s had in some time, TheSaurus energy, bars, and pace all were at a high as he put a clinic on in the 1st 2 rounds vs Hollow. 

From his Vitiligo bar in the 1st to his Saline haymaker to start the 2nd, its some of the best punching and pure rapping you’re going to see from TheSaurus. Efficient 1st 2 rounds with high peaks and consistency, Saurus performance lived up to the level of the matchup. Although his “I respected LOM before it was a slogan” was solid, it fell off due to stumbles starting to kick in and the up and down pace led to him clearly losing the 1st. The 2nd was good from both, but Saurus 2nd was the best round of the battle, even while mentioning an old angle with Hollow and John Johns “through the mirror” altercation, his punches in and out of the angle is some of the best material of the battle. Battle to many comes down to the 1st and for me, thought TheSaurus did more on a content and performance front and walked away with a very arguable 2-1 W over a fellow legend in Hollow Da Don. Shoutout to the legend for rising to the occasion. 


#2 Pass

Once again, when in front of his hometown audience, Pass delivered in spades and never took his foot off the gas. He put pressure on Reed from beginning to end. I might argue this is even better than Pass’ performance against Danny Myers from Town Bidness 2. The moral of the story is, Pass in Oakland is seemingly impossible to beat and it’s such a pleasure to watch a legend like him continue to be so dominant at points.

Someone who sometimes may feel like he is underrated as a legend & pioneer within the culture. He really speaks to this message in his third round by making an exclamation of his longevity, detailing all the eras he’s traveled, what he’s done,  what he’s doing and what he will do in the future to continue to add more decoration to his illustrious career and legacy 

#1 Frak

How many years and moments have to go by before we as a culture truly realize and accept how dangerous and how talented Frak is? Part of this is due to the fact that we don’t see Frak as much as we’d like to but whenever he appears, he regularly leaves with one of the better performances of the card and this was not an exception. Frak displayed some excellent angling ability for all 3 rounds and his freestyling was also solid enough to stifle any momentum A. Ward was building. Frak in the bay is as dangerous as any battler going today.

Frak’s brilliance as a wordsmith transcends the conventional boundaries of just a traditional angler. His pen game is a masterclass in multifaceted creativity, extending far our text book defintion of a “pen” its past the realm of metaphors and wordplay. What sets Frak apart is his ability to craft traps within his counter-writes that ingeniously deconstruct his opponents’ narratives or highlight their flaws while simultaneously constructing his own compelling angles. His writing is strategic weaving of humor and attack that makes each angle a deadly combination of wit and intellect.

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