Ultimate Madness 5: Respect and Validation

As we approach the semi-final round of the Ultimate Madness tournament and gear up for NOME it’s time to sit down and think on what is taking place amongst our Final 4 contestants. Already we’ve seen some potentially career defining wins, epic battles and of course the controversial moments, but now we’re here with 4 emcees being 2 performances away from a 100k prize and a chance to be apart of battle rap history. JC, Sheed Happens, Fonz, Swamp, four unique battlers with no similar sounds meaning no matter what the outcomes are the next three UM battles will feature amazing style clashes. The most interesting thing about this weekend isn’t just the variance in styles, it’s the similarities in what’s all these guys are fighting for.

JC vs Sheed Happens: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

JC has been one of the most consistent and willing battlers in the culture since he stepped on the scene. From his PG days we all saw the potential and once he battled Chilla Jones it was official, he was about to be one of the next greats in the game. Battle rap like life isn’t always that smooth, so the road for JC was more difficult than many thought. We saw JC spend years away from the URL platform and when he returned he was more dangerous than before and put together the best stretch of his career with a peak that could rival any of the best in the game. In spite of that it still feels like there’s a level he has yet to reach amongst the culture and his peers. Being a star isn’t easy, being a SUPERSTAR is even harder, there are battles JC is 100% worthy of yet he doesn’t get them. Most notably we’ve seen Loaded Lux, Aye Verb, and Tsu Surf downplay matchups with the Michigan wordsmith, winning this tournament and putting on two more incredible performances would make him undeniable and push him further into the superstar realm of battlers.

Sheed Happens is the man standing across from JC in what is a clash of styles and also eras. Sheed’s burst onto the scene in UM4 what I consider to be one of the most disrespected talent classes on URL in recent memory. The UM4 tournament was less than a year ago and yet even though the URL has been a content machine with plenty of cards to fill, it was rare to see any of the talent from that class one the platform. It created the belief that the league didn’t believe they had anything to build off of with them which in my opinion was the wrong approach. Regardless of that, Sheed Happens is here after his “controversial” round 1 victory over Nunn Nunn and his performance of the weekend in round 2 his fellow UM4 battler TruFoe. Sheed’s pen and performance were on full display in round 2 and it woke a lot of people up to what a high level talent he can be. Something most people wouldn’t have guessed based on how his class has been relegated. A win for Sheed here and next week is a win for not just him, but for an entire talent pool of discredited battlers. Sidenote if Sheed Happens does win this I need a “Revenge of UM4” poster made, thank you all.

Fonz vs Swamp: Validation

Ohio’s own Fonz, the very first winner of Ultimate Madness is the last remaining champion after Rum Nitty’s elimination. The Landlord comes from the 2019 PG class and UM1 class which is already one of the best classes in PG history with multiple stars emerging from it. That class represents a transition in battle rap as they exploded in the quiet room covid time in battle rap and showed they can compete with anyone. Through UM1 Fonz took command of his class and showed himself to be the face and early leader of his peers. As time passed and other names from his class got more active and built strong resumes on URL, a picture was painted that Fonz had been lapped by his classmates and was now behind the names he was once ahead of. Well in round 2 in a tough battle against a standout member of his class Real Sikh, Fonz got the win and sent a message that there is a reason he was the first UM champion and was the face of his class. He is two wins away from being the first two-time Ultimate Madness champion and validating why he should’ve never been doubted as the leader and face of his 2020 class.


Let’s jump in the battle rap time machine, the year is 2019, URL has just put on the Banned Legacy event, you’re hearing all this buzz about these two new cats, one named Ace Amin, and the other named Swamp. Their battles finally drop on the URL channel(Remember that?) and you watch Swamp vs Your Honor. The thought you immediately get is “Who is this dude and where did he come from?” Swamp has one of the best debuts in URL history and he quickly established himself as a top draft pick in his class. His path got rocky there has been a lot of ups and downs but as of late he’s shown why he was viewed the way he was and his incredible upset of tournament favorite Rum Nitty showed his talents on full display. Make no mistake Swamp is still one of those guys, his battle against Fonz this weekend puts the 2019 PG class in the spotlight once again and a win for Swamp here places him right back where he was in 2019, at the top.


Final Thoughts

When UM5 was announced and the lineup was given many people had doubts and questions about it. No doubt things felt rushed and the events themselves have hit some snags but the storylines we’ve gotten and this final four we’ve gotten can make all of that go away. This weekend and the finale at NOME can erase all negative feelings we’ve had during this run because we all know winning fixes everything, and if we get high quality battles for the rest of this tournament it will absolutely be a win for URL. Good luck to the emcees.

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