Event Recapped by Titus & Tai Tai
LTBR Award Recipients
Battle of the Night: Loso vs T-Top | JJDD vs Chef Trez
Highlight Rounds of the Night: Loso’s 1st | Chef Trez 1st | Shotgun Suge’s 1st | Kyd Slade 2nd | Danny Myers 2nd | Charlie Clips 1st | Swamp 2nd | T-Top’s 2nd
The biggest win of the Night: Swamp over Kitchen Qleen | Geechi Gotti vs Jae Millz
Best Individual Performances of the night: #1 Shotgun Suge | #2 Swamp | #3a T-Top | #3b Loso | #4 Chef Trez | #5 JJDD
Loso vs T-Top
A surprising way to set the night off, we get T-Top vs Loso, a battle that’s been bubbling for years, and man it delivered. From the opening moments of round 1, Loso sets it off and puts on a high pace round of blending multiple angles, hard-hitting punches, and a ton of performance. His “ask me how that’s Christian” segment will be a hit once this drops. T-Top came out SWINGING and gave us that vintage feels we’ve come to know and love him for. If anyone thought he was on a decline he quelled those rumors today.
In round 2 Loso got right back on the attack but it didn’t land as strongly as his first did in the building and T-Top came back with another really strong round introduced with humor, crowd control, and participatory angles, Top’s “You know how I know Jesus is black?” segment that will likely be the highlight of the battle and rocked the building. T-Top is a complete showman and will always give the crowd entertainment, while being direct to his opponent, and most impressively, T-Top doesn’t have a ton of punchlines and yet he is able to be effective with his method of attack It’s quite methodical.
In typical battle rap fashion, we had a good old 1-1 heading into the final round. In the lead-up to this battle, T-Top said he didn’t feel Loso was a top angler in battle rap. Insert the Michael Jordan meme because he clearly took that personally. He really came out with a strong point to prove in this battle. Both third rounds didn’t hit as strongly in the room, but the truth is they set such a high bar in round 1&2 it would’ve been impossible to match that level. Both guys came with powerful, fresh angles and approaches to one another. This was a real high-level clash that could go either way and will be a treat to watch back
Swamp vs Kitchen Qleen
The streets need a body. Let’s get right to it.
It’s evident Swamp felt insulted by his rankings on 2022’s, Champion Of The Year list. And this performance was a perfect example of disrespect fueling motivation. Swamp leads the charge in this battle by putting on a commanding performance. He instantly imposes his stage presence, and he is slowly connecting with the crowd, bar after bar it builds up over his first round and leaves a very strong impression and puts pressure on Qleen to have to snatch this round. But less than 2 minutes into Qleen’s round, he chokes, and while he is struggling to get the energy back, Smack cuts Qleen off and says “Round 2, Swamp it’s on your !”
This was thrilling to see because it’s not often you see Smack or any host just cut off the rapper for choking and end their round. Would like to see this more often. Swamp follows up his first round by smelling blood in the water and ramps up the energy and intensity and bars and has a better round than his first. “If I’m becoming a household name, why tf are you still giving me paper plates.”
Swamp turns on the mamba mentality and puts a nail in the coffin after his second round which is followed up by yet again another choke by Qleen. a very disappointing showcase from Kitchen Qleen. He was just getting back on the verge of staying consistent and now in his last two battles, he’s only rapped 1/6 rounds, choking in his last 5 rounds on the League.
Swamp took the time to lean over to Qleen while he was choking and told him “I’m glad you’re f**king up. But get it back tho.” Swamp would’ve really liked a good back-and-forth battle because the potential for this style match-up was high, but this performance was very reminiscent of his Dot performance. He opened the night with a dominant performance and reminded the folks he can turn on the jets and handle lower-level competitors with ease.
Shotgun Suge vs Kyd Slade
This was a highly anticipated battle for obvious reasons. And let’s just make this clear, no matter how you feel about Kyd Slade, one thing is for sure, the community will always feel split in regard to this. And to his benefit, the percentage of the culture that supports him was in attendance and he got a fair opportunity to get through his material.
People were anxious to hear what Kyd Slade had to say after the fallout of his Tay Roc battle. After the Smack intros Suge jumps right into his classic “LETS GET ONE THING STRAIGHT!” Slade stops him and wants the coin flip to go down, the crowd reacted with boos but Smack flips the coin and Suge grabs it off the ground and gets right into his round.
Shotgun’s first round was flawless execution, he attacked Slade as direct as humanly possible, addressing the obvious elephant in the room and Kyd’s subsequent interviews after the Roc battle. He had the building in the palm of his hand and was on fire. Slade responds and addresses everything he needs to address, and the crowd let him rap he eventually jumped into the usual battle content but he never really gained any ground or momentum on Suge in the first round.
Suge’s 2nd round follows up from his first round and he is rampant with the angle again, but Suge is spreading some variety in the way he is dissecting this angle. Kyd Slade’s 2nd round was a valiant effort and his best round of his performance. He had some of the hardest-hitting punch lines of the battle in this round, His Brett Farve Bar, The General Provide Life Insurance, Buss the whole Damn family like the lakers. Slade really regained the crowd and fought back in this round, Slade is a skilled enough battle rapper to have moments like his second round, but this was the peak of his performance. Many fans felt the battle was 1-1 at this point, but Suge was in complete control of the tempo of this match.
Truthfully all three rounds felt similar to this, Suge was landing at a high clip all night, and while Slade was in an uphill fight he did have some bars that will stand out and hold up well in playback. Suge puts on a masterful performance and is by far the best performer of the night. Suge deserves a ton of credit for being the first one to take an obvious angle, use it every round, and have a creative and entertaining approach to where it never got redundant. He never stood too far away from punchlines and performance, and he found ways to incorporate his special moves and storytelling to dissect Kyd Slade.
Slade did his best to earn the crowd’s respect and energy. Slade did have some stumbles in his third round, but by the end of his third, it still felt too short. It will be interesting to see what happens next for him. He is skilled enough, punches hard enough, and has enough of a supporting group of fans in person & online, to stay the course. Slade will still get plates on the league. He fought back to the best of his abilities, but he didn’t put on a definitive enough performance.
Geechi Gotti vs Jae Millz
The streets need a body, part 2. Let’s get right to it again.
if you have seen any of the Prediction polls leading into this battle, Geechi Gotti was a 95% favorite to win this battle. Just know the results of this battled validated projections. Jae Millz was able to land one bar, no exaggeration, literally just one bar. And it was a current event bar in regards to Kyd Slade, outside of that one line, none of this material was able to connect with the crowd. In fact, I’m quite surprised that his entire first round was met with complete silence. The crowd gave him the complete green light to just rap his entire round without being met with any negative reception or feedback. But it was very quiet in the room you can hear a pin drop. Geechi Gotti doesn’t even have to turn on the Jets for this battle, he pressed the autopilot button and was in complete cruise control and easily snatches the first round in a matter of a few minutes.
What makes the battle most entertaining is the banter with Geechi Gotti had in between his rounds. He would look at the crowd and try to have them encourage Jae Mills by saying “Hey y’all he’s trying his best!” And then Geechi Gotti finished his second round by telling Millz “Hurry up and finish because the crowd trying to see something else.” OUCH
At one point when Jae Millz told the crowd to hold it down you can violently hear somebody in the crowd scream out entertain us!!
Jae Millz just may not be cut for this era of battle rap when you look at the sample size of all of his battles since returning in 2018, there hasn’t been any steady growth in his skillset, content, or performance. I was always alarmed by his inability to adapt to this era. You can watch videos of Jae Millz on Ruin Your Day, actively seeking to try and improve, but something about the way battle rap is in this era, doesn’t register with him. You can see him watching a battle on Ruin Your Day and doesn’t react to any punchlines, make any commentary or understand how the performance or material connects with the crowd.
Jae Millz is obviously a pioneer in the smack DVD era, so he will always be recognized for his classic Smack DVD battles with Murda Mook, Sire Castro, his legendary battle on TV against E Ness, and some more of his legendary performances during that era. With that being said, it’s been close to two decades since he’s been that battle rapper and if he had to try out for the Crucible this time around, I’m not confident that he would get through the process. That should speak enough volumes.
Charlie Clips vs Danny Myers
The (kind of) third installment of the Charlie Clips and Danny Myers saga was an interesting battle. Both had some really strong high points, Charlie Clips has an entertaining and successful first round that has the crowd fully engaged and it was followed up by Danny’s 2nd round where he took a powerful angle about Clips creating what Danny referred to as the “If factor.” The angle was perfectly executed and gave Danny a ton of momentum. Danny Myers 2nd is one of the best rounds of the night.
Charlie seemed to know he couldn’t match the 2nd he even began with “I’m glad I won the first.” In classic Clips fashion he interweaves freestyles with jokes and haymakers in his third round. He damn near freestyled the whole round and it was so effective, it almost made you feel like he wrote this round. Clips is really one of the greatest freestylers of all time in battle rap history, but Danny’s consistency and focused rounds really carried him in the last two rounds to have a foundation you can stand on to debate this battle is in his favor.
This battle doesn’t have the feel of being a classic but it’s filled with classic moments, humor, high intervals of energy, and a masterful angle by Danny Myers. It will be interesting to see how this is received when it’s dropped on the app. Will Charlie Clips continue his undefeated streak? Or Will Danny Myers be the first one to give Charlie Clips his registered loss?
John John Da Don vs Chef Trez
The first major southern grudge match in battle rap history. A showcase for “Da Nawf” Chef Trez and John John took Center Stage and put on. This was a long-standing grudge match that we finally got to see and both emcees entered with a point to prove. Trez set it off and showed us that he can still tap into the Chef Trez the fans loved to see, elevated energy, heavy punches, and timely haymakers and had the crowd rocking with him heavily. John John countered with some strong rapping and slick wordplay.
His pacing felt very sped up which possibly hurt him in terms of getting a stronger reception from the audience which led to some moments of frustration for Da Don, he even said “Y’all don’t have to react” A few times when the crowd did react and it did create an awkward environment in my opinion.
Round 2 featured was the strongest round from both, Trez opened with those signature rebuttals that rocked the room, landed a lot of haymakers in the back half of the round, which had a great Tsu Surf reference(Free the Wave) and set a really high mark that would’ve been difficult for anyone to match. John’s second took a minute to get to a heavy shot but he showcased some strong rapping pockets and did a fantastic job to quell the narrative of him not being for Atlanta where he landed his bar of the battle.
He ended the round with one of his signature body language moments which had mixed reception. Round 3 might’ve been the lightest from both guys but it still had some strong moments from both competitors. All in all, it was great to see the two leading faces in GA battle rap meet on the biggest stage and do it in ATL. This was a real milestone for Georgia battle rap and I’m proud that we got this one, this battle might not mean as much to those not from here but for us, this was a night to remember.