Event Recapped by France
The semi Finals has arrived and history was made. We got to witness some redemption, a thrilling Ultimate Madness classic, some career high performances and we now have the finals match up set for UM5 between JC & Swamp at NOME 12.
* JC making his 4th NOME appearance
* Swamp makes his debut.
And we have a NEW Midnight Madness Hardcore Belt Holder.
LTBR Award Recipients
Battle of the Night: JC vs Sheed Happens
Biggest win: Stumbles over Snake Eyez | JC & Swamp Advancing to the finals
Best Performances of the night: #1 Stumbles | #2 JC | #3 Swamp | #4 Sheed Happens |
STUMBLES VS SNAKE EYEZ
Recapped by France
We got a title match! A belt is on the line. This battle was originally an under card battle on a App event and evolved into a Caffeine main event, title match. Salute to both of these gentlemen for being able to set differences aside from their past altercation to settle their conflict with words and not violence in the spirit of the culture and for hip-hop.
Stumbles loses the coin toss and sets the tone for the battle and he is picking up right where he left off at in his previous performance in Atlanta vs Real Sikh. Stumbles puts on a great performance and understood the assignment. He knew exactly what type of content the audience wants from him and he brought that to the battle. He was able to control the crowd, go back into some of his tactics that was effective against Real Sikh, show his charisma and how entertaining he can be.
Beyond the content, Stumbles showed a higher battle rap IQ than Snake Eyez in this performance. It was almost brilliant to see how much stage awareness Stumbles had acquired from just one battle. Stumbles uses a fake stumble to fool the crowd and transitions to a bar, he has a ton of banter in between his bars or while he’s on defense. He has found the pristine sense of timing for executing his punches and he puts a bow on a career high performance by bringing in his own speaker system and playing the Hit Em Up Instrumental at the end.
Against Real Sikh, Stumbles was able to tap into a level most of the world didn’t know he was capable of. He was even shocked in that performance once he started to see how much the crowd was rocking with his material, he truly felt he was able to beat Real Sikh that night, had he delivered a clean performance, So Stumbles knew every adjustment he needed to make. Without the experience he gained from the Real Sikh battle, I’m not sure if Stumbles would’ve been capable of not only understanding the moment but seizing the opportunity. He was in complete control and never turned the ball over this battle.
As for Snake Eyez, he tried his best to make stride of the pressure that Stumbles presented. Snake Eyez first round was in the direction of story telling/angling and after Stumbles set the tone with so many haymakers, Snake wasn’t able to stay in the pace of what the crowd wanted. Snake’s 2nd round is filled with dope punches and a fire And-1 scheme that didn’t get much reception from the audience. I do think this round is the most competitive out of the 3 and you can even make an argument for this round, but it doesn’t change the outcome of the battle.
Prior to this battle, Snake Eyez was able to showcase his relentless energy and method of attack in the Midnight Madness environments. He will have to make some adjustments for the URL Stage in terms of captivating the audience.
Stumbles walks away with a unanimous decision and is now the new ! Midnight Madness Hardcore Belt Holder.
SWAMP VS FONZ
Recapped by France
Swamp & Fonz take the stage and are ready to go to war in efforts to make it to the UM5 Finals. Fonz sets the tone for the battle by going first and he is landing punch after punch to start the battle. He isn’t stuck on name flips or going for the low hanging fruit and while he has a good round to start the battle, Swamp is able to completely neutralize the punchlines with his directness.
Swamp doesn’t need to reach into a toolbox of metaphors or similes and is able to defuse his opponents with the authenticity of his ebonics. He speaks his own language and marches to the beat of his own drum while establishing his presence and staying aggressive. Fonz is arguably down 1-0 and has a very hard stumble/choke in his 2nd round. It wasn’t a case of Fonz not knowing his material, rather he had some verbal slippage which tripped him up for a moment. He recovered and finished the round strong but by this point, many score cards are indicating a 2-0 score in favor of Swamp.
Chokes in judged battles have such a strong hold on momentum. Not only do you surrender a round by not being clean, you also create an atmosphere of disappointment amongst the audience, especially if your round was fire before the stumble/choke. And while the crowd has been let down by your inability to sustain your energy, it opens the door for your opponent to pick them right back up. Chokes in these battles are virtually detrimental. In the 5 seasons of Ultimate madness, no one has ever choked in a battle and won against an opponent that was clean all 3 rounds.
Swamp puts the nail in the coffin in the third round in the building, but Fonz still has an AMAZING third round. Personally, I have fonz winning the third round and I thought Fonz had better material in the second but he left Swamp off the hook and gave up the round. Fonz was very capable of winning this battle. None the less, Swamp did everything to deserve this win and will be making his NOME debut.
JJDD- Swamp (1,2)
Calicoe- Swamp (1,3)
Quest Mcody- Swamp (2,3)
Polo (BCM)- Fonz (1,3)
Caffeine Fan Vote: Swamp (4580) Fonz (778)
JC VS SHEED HAPPENS
Recapped by France
The battle of the night and arguably one of the best in the tournament. JC & Sheed Happens absolutely go to war.
Sheed loses the coin toss and in my head I thought to myself, having to go first against JC has to be the hardest assignment in the world. JC has such a imposing presence and an immaculate ablitity to control the crowd, it makes him a difficult opponent to try and set a tone for. It’s a rare sight that anyone ever sets a bar so high that JC can’t at least make valiant effort to match.
Sheed has an awesome first round but JC effortlessly snatches the momentum away from Sheed. In the 2nd round, Sheed is literally unconscious and arguably has the best round of his entire run. Sheed is chain punching and performing every bar while rapping in the same pocket for over 2 minutes. Each punch kept delivering and adding equity to the next punch. The entire pattern completely paid off as he finishes it with a powerful Sweet Jesus haymaker. JC’s 2nd round isn’t as potent as his first but he still gives maximum effort. JC 2nd round did have some highlights but at this point, we were on pace to have both of our index fingers in the air and call the battle 1-1.
Sheed opens his 3rd round with a drug addict angle for JC, which in my opinion hasn’t rendered to be effective enough to be considered a strong angle. For his own benefit, Sheed doesn’t harp on the angle for the entire round and puts a perfect end to the angle with a “You were in the rain the last time you got served.” bar that landed and was effective. Sheed’s third round continues to display a great variety of his skills. Unique flows, original punchlines, performance/theatrics. Sheed set a very high bar for JC in the 3rd. And the only way JC would win this round is for him to snatch it!
First half of JC’s round wasn’t up to par with Sheed’s 3rd. It was almost looking like Sheed was going to edge this battle! Until JC drops a buzz-beater haymaker, “The crowd don’t even think you nice. Every time they came, they pretended to give fuck like (DJ) Envy’s Wife.” The crowd instantly erupts and that bar might have been enough for the judges to edge JC that round.
I personally would still edge the round to Sheed. I’m Not a big of a fan of when JC is in constant stoppage in between his material to patronize or praise himself, it takes away from the fluidity of his flow in my opinion, but there is no denying the lyrical dexterity of his pen.
JC was able to hit the clutch-est shot of the game at the bottom of the 3rd round to seal him a win with a majority decision amongst the judges & dominates the fan vote.
JJDD- JC (1,3)
Calicoe- Sheed (2,3)
Quest Mcody- JC (1,3)
Polo (BCM)- JC (1,2)
Caffeine Fan Vote: JC (4056) Sheed (1572)
O RED VS NUNN NUNN
Recapped by France
A solid back and forth between two contestants who were eliminated from the first round of UM5. Nunn Nunn sets the tone for the battle and seems to be well received to start. While Red first round was creative and he gets in his Professor Red bag, the battle seem to lose a lot of energy as it proceeded. Both Nunn & Red complained about the energy from the crowd at the end of their second rounds and it didn’t look like neither of them received the engagement they were looking for.
They were both incapable of sustaining the momentum they built for their selves at the start of the battle.
I give O Red the first round, Nunn Nunn the 2nd and the third is a toss up, with the Caffeine Fan vote favoring Nunn Nunn.
RYDA VS KYD SLADE
Recapped by France
A battle that left most of us desiring more.
Ryda starts the battle with an amazing first round. He is performing, punching, using his wittiness, controlling the crowd, breaking down Slade and staying aggressive all at once. He was showing how complete his skill-set was in the first round. Kyd Slade is able to instantly respond and lands his first 4 bars. He is off to a great start and has some major highlights in the first, but Slade doesn’t keep the same level of energy in his content or potency through out the rest of his round. It also felt like his round was much shorter than Ryda’s round.
They both began to dwindle the rest of the battle, Ryda got progressively worse as the performance went on and Kyd Slade never recapture the peak he touched from the first round. Was a little disappointed in both performances and was expecting more. Ryda first round is a great testimony of his experience and understanding of how to execute on a stage and he kind of strayed away from it.
While Kyd Slade needs to make the adjustments to his performance to entertain an audience more. Slade always will need to get more effeicent with his set ups. He has powerful punches, but his build up to the punch doesn’t invigorate the crowd and if the punch doesn’t land it leaves him very vulnerable for dry spots. He can compensate for this with a few more punches that are a little faster in pace or enhancing his performance just a notch. He is still developing and will have some things to work on.
Your Honor vs Steams
Recapped by France
A very lackluster battle. Your Honor showed much more highlights of being entertaining and having good material and won the fan vote, but this battle wasn’t much of a win for either emcee.
Your Honor is a tantalizing talent. He has a ton of charisma, can rap very well, is clever, ordinal, funny, entertaining, can talk that sh*t too! But his lack of consistency makes fans reluctant to invest any mental or emotional energy into him. It seems like we are always let down and he takes accountability but doesn’t make the adjustments. An apology Without change Is manipulation and mistake made more than once is a choice. Your Honor whole class is thriving and he’s been left behind on his own merit. When you look at Lu Castro, Eazy, Real Sikh, Swamp, Jey The Nitewing. Talent wise, there is no reason Your Honor shouldn’t be amongst them as a top battler in this league. We know he can be good, but at this point, it’s him vs himself.
Steams is a long time 9 year veteran on the league. He has nights where he is capable of showing how good he can really be and then he has some nights like this where nothing seems to click or connect. He’s inconsistencies has always been an issue but we know when steams is on point, what he’s capable of bringing to the table. His pacing this entire battle was off-beat. It never looked like he was comfortable. Steams has not been able to deliver a clean performance in all of the 3 appearances on caffeine. He has really struggled on caffeine. It may be worth the question, if the lights are just too bright for Steams.