Tsu Surf And JC Are Contrasting Masters

The Day Has Arrived

The match that a lot of battle fans have wanted for years, is finally on the horizon. Tsu Surf and JC is officially lined up for the Summer Madness 12 stage, in Charolotte, North Carolina. You’d be hard pressed to find a battle with two more rabid fanbases than this one. The debates between fans of both emcees might be as entertaining as the battle and I mean that in a good way. This is a fascinating matchup for a variety of reasons, the timing, the styles, the setting. There are potential massive implications in this battle and honestly, that’s what a Summer Madness battle should be.

Two Different Masters On The Stage

One of the interesting things about Surf vs JC is how different their styles are but how they both have the same goal. One of the best abilities of both of these guys is their power to make their opponent seem irrelevant. Their mastery of the stage is exceptional and they send a message to their opponents that says “You don’t belong here with me.” The captivating aspect of this is how they both accomplish it. To paraphrase The Wave “It’s like football.” These two are masters at controlling the pace of the battle, Tsu Surf is like the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s a high powered offensive attack with incredible moments of explosion that just break and wear down defenses. JC reminds me of the 49ers, a slower paced attack that lulls defenses to sleep before bombing the top with play action and scoring points in a devastating and efficient manner.

Pace is everything.

Tsu Surf does an interview on Hip-Hop Is Real, were he details what a style match up against JC would entail. We have seen countless clips of Tsu Surf finding a pocket he likes, where he proceeds to get into a chain punch every bar, while keeping the same cadence, rhyming with multis and sometimes internal rhymes in between the bars.

When Surf gets in this bag it gets the crowd going because each bar hits harder the next one, which forces the crowd to react to every line before Surf can finish the rapping pocket. Surf has to bring back the lines and now the crowd is reciting the bars with him in anticipation for the next punch in the chain. AMG Mode is electric and quite frankly, borderline unstoppable. Surf creates a mountain of momentum with his chain-punching and his opponent is smothered by an avalanche of his rapid fire haymakers.

JC gets surgical with his pace & cadence. He delivers his bars leisurely at his own tempo, so that the dexterity of his layered material can marinate with the audience, which then creates a more deliberate and calculated eruption of crowd reaction. JC can build up to get to any spot he wants for reaction, whenever he wants. JC’s slower pace has shown it has not only rendered to be effective with controlling the crowd countless times, but his pacing has displayed dominance countless times as well.

JC Is A Better Big Stage Battler Than Small Room Battler.

“You ain’t never battle no one that owned the house.”- Tsu Surf
“Because I own the house. Do you hear the room when i say Yo!?”- JC

The buildup for this battle has been going on for a few years, a misconception I believe fans have is that JC is at a disadvantage on the big stage and would have a much better chance in a small room vs Surf. I’ve never believed that, if you look at some of JC’s losses since his URL resurgence, they’ve mostly come in smaller settings, Twork, Loso, and Ave all got consensus clear wins off of him in battles where he was the favorite going in. On the contrary he’s had some of his most dominant performances on the biggest stages, his battles vs. Chess, O-Red, Rum Nitty, DNA and Shotgun Suge are all standouts. We have this tendency to automatically lump all the “Writers” into a small room box but JC defies that logic and has proven it repeatedly.

The timing of this battle could not be better, obviously we have JC coming into his first battle after his incredible Ultimate Madness performance. Beyond that he’s bringing in a historic winning streak on the URLTV App, at 15 wins in a row. Then we have Tsu Surf, who we know last year put on three of the most dominant app performances we had seen and did so well he launched himself from unranked to top 5 in the COTY standings. 

The Implications Of This Battle

This battle will have ripple effects on the rest of the year in the culture. It’s been a quiet year but we’re headed towards a largely impactful fall and winter season as COTY approaches. A clear win here for JC makes him the prohibitive favorite for the crown. Beyond that, a win here makes it almost impossible for anyone else to deny him(looking at you Aye Verb, looking at you Loaded Lux). However a clear loss almost destroys all the momentum and good will he’s built up and reinforces what some of his critics have said about him, there is just a level he can’t reach.

By all qualifications, JC is a top tier name with top tier talent and yet, some may not revere him in the same light as some of the biggest names in the culture. Some of JC’s toughest losses were handed to him at the level of elite competitors. Names like Arsonal, K-Shine, Tay Roc and a loss to Charlie Clips on the App in their rematch. These clear losses against legacy names could be a showcase there may be some separation between being elite vs being a master.  

A clear win against Tsu Surf could re-open a window that was once closed. in 2017, JC hit the peak of his career. He had one of the most dominate streaks of his career, and right now in 2022 he has been able to tap back into that same career momentum. 

For Tsu Surf this is a unique test, since his resurgent run in 2021 that reestablished his place amongst all time greats we haven’t seen him face a pen. The reality of it is that even as a self-proclaimed waver I have to say, his record all-time vs writers is interesting. Of his battles Rum Nitty, Conceited, Big T, Calicoe, Loaded Lux and 40 Barrs, all people I consider to be pens you can argue he has a heavy debatable record at best, and a losing record at worst depending on how you feel about the choke vs Nitty. It feels weird saying that someone as accomplished as Tsu Surf has something to prove, but he does.

I don’t know what the rest of the SM12 card is, but in analyzing the potential matchups that could be left, I don’t see anything overshadowing this battle, this is the clear headliner and potentially the most impactful battle on the rest of 2022. I can’t wait to see how toxic the fanbases get and how this battle plays out.


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