Artwork By Battle Rap Bum
In The Building Rating
Staff Writer: J Smo
LTBR Award Recipients
Battle of the Night: Geechi Gotti vs Jey The Nitewing
Best Individual Performances of the night: #1 Rum Nitty | #2a Geechi Gotti | #2b Jey The Nitewing | #3 Danny Myers | #4 Hansel
The 6th Installment of URL’s signature West Coast series, Traffic 6 on paper is a bar-heavy card with major themes of giving shots and of course, the fact every battle contained a member of the illustrious group EFB (Every F*ckin Bar). Even with a couple of matchups I personally doubted the quality of coming in, I can say that every battle gave you something (even if at times one-sided) and there was no flat-out wasted performance on the card with every battler delivering at least presentable material while most exceeded and had good to great performances. In the building, experience will nearly always make battles more enjoyable, so my 8/10 for the event may be a little more amplified than what is experienced on cam, but with multiple career and year-high showings and one of the stronger battles of the year, think this score does the card justice. With that being said, how did the battles go?
We will be introducing our new rating system for individual battles. Similar to the 5 Mics concept, We will give a 5-star rating per battle on the card. ☆☆☆☆☆
Real Name Brandon vs Holmzie
The opener of the night was Holmzie vs Real Name, and I have to say as someone who thought this matchup was odd coming in, got to say it ended up being one of the more competitive battles of the night and a good opener. The battle started on Brandon, who took the first to mostly punch back to back with a mix of mostly good Holmz/Homes and God name flips.
“Break his jaw / have Holmz (homes) leaning / His foundation off”
Solid round content-wise but 2 big issues, 1 that would affect Holmzie’s 1st as well. 1st, Brandon had a few notable stumbles in his 1st. Didn’t feel like a flat-out choke, but enough to note and stifled his momentum at times. 2nd, early mic issues that required multiple mid-round fixes. This all culminated in a solid but not too crazy 1st for RNB in my opinion, but well received by the building. Holmzie’s 1st was similar in the sense it was back-to-back punch-heavy, a much cleaner round but the mic issues affected him even more with at least half the crowd saying they couldn’t hear his 1st. A solid round himself but neither reached their peak, and while most of the building seemed to lean towards RNB I edged Holmzie the 1st. The 2nd is debatable for a much different reason with both going up another level and delivering high-quality 2nds. This round Brandon started to get more in a real talk/substance bag and it’s segments like this where he provides his best content as a battler, being very believable and relatable with some of the life concepts he brings up. Holmzie 2nd is also high power with more of what he did in the 1st but much better, with a well-written 2nd with much more consistent writing and peak haymakers.
“It’s bipolar this and bipolar that cause that’s the only way they can attack me
Until I’m in his house on some bipolar shit / mad guns/trigger happy”
It’s up in the air 2nd, but like the 1st, it must account for some stumbles for Brandon, one border-lining a choke, while Holmzie had a clean round. I had it 2-0 Holmzie edge going into the 3rd, which was easily the clearest round of the battle. Once again in the real talk bag, Brandon shows his uphill writing again with his strongest round in the 3rd while Holmzie’s angle-heavy 3rd fell flat. Solid opener that results or not acts as a very positive performance for RNB and Holmzie showing up and doing his part as a professional.
1st – Debatable, Holmzie Edge
2nd – Debatable, Holmzie Edge
3rd – Clear, Real Name Brandon
Shotgun Suge vs Hansel
In the 2nd matchup of the night, we saw Suge giving Hansel a shot and his first top-tier look up to this point, putting all the eyes on Hansel who’s had some good but not as notable URL performances as some of his other classmates. Starting on Hansel’s 1st, I thought his 1st was solid but nothing special or anything too different from a usual back-to-back punching round. You can see this difference clearly when Suge raps and a shorter but much more energized and efficient 1st, showing an immediate level up in performance and pace. Although I thought the round was closer than some I gave Suge the 1st comfortably still, putting a lot of pressure on Hansel heading into the 2nd down 1-0.
The 2nd is a night and day difference for Hansel, as from the opening haymaker of his 2nd this energy felt completely different
“You think they care about your star power at the hospital when ya skull bleeding?”
“You ain’t got no slogan? Well, you ain’t got no f*ckin pulse either!”
The 1st 2-3 minutes of Hansel 2nd is NON STOP attack, putting together one of the strongest rounds he’s had when he needed it most, clearly elevating his performance and conviction as well. The latter half of his 2nd was solid but the explosiveness did tail off, leading to a bit of a cool ending to a strong round. Not enough to take the round down, but maybe just over-rapping a tad bit too long. Suge 2nd didn’t take matchup though with or without the extra minute of Hansel rapping, with a strict 2-minute round that was solid but didn’t have the same peaks or pace of his 1st. It was a clear 1-1 heading into the 3rd.
And the 3rd is probably the most impressive part of Hansel’s showing, cause after a statement 2nd he still levels up and gives his best round of the battle in the 3rd. With back-to-back punching but also punching out of angles, he has a complete round start to finish to round out an extremely impressive career high. The 3rd once again for Suge played out similar to his 2nd, with a round that’s formidable but limited by the constraints of time. Worth noting Suge said on stage and after the battle he was contracted for 2 mins and Hansel rapped over time, but Hansel even with a chopped 2nd and 3rd still probably goes on to win this battle in the same fashion. A solid Suge overall but this one was all about Hansel making an “I’m here” statement.
1st – Clear, Shotgun Suge
2nd – Clear, Hansel
3rd – Clear, Hansel
JC vs Awthenic
JC vs Awthentic
Next battle of the night was another original Top 6 member with a top-tier challenge, with JC vs Awthentic. Awthentic led off the battle and his 1st quite simply was light, a back-to-back punching round that had a very minimal connection with the crowd or connection in general. JC 1st from out the gate, similar but even more extreme than Hansel vs Suge, was just a clear level or two ahead. Back-to-back punching but with elevated presence and crowd control, it was a very dominant 1-0 to start the battle.
Awthentic 2nd was a very instant and evident step up material-wise from his 1st, only a few bars in was rapping better before landing any material of value. The highlight of this round though is the Movie Studios scheme, with about 10+ studios included, which landed gradually until it developed into an all-out haymaker by the end. This consistency and ability to leave the crowd with a true quotable was very needed and impressive. JC’s 2nd is response is equally effective. In these heavily favored matchups, JC has always had a long history of just nickel and diming his way to a W by using his usually overwhelming pen to walk down his opponent. In this 2nd, I thought he exemplified that and just kept landing to the point I thought he surpassed Awthentic’s 2nd and then some. I had the 2nd clearly going to JC, but it’s worth mentioning there was a fair amount of the building that called this 2nd close and debatable.
The 3rd ends being the peak of the battle from a material and competitive perspective, as this was easily Awthentic’s best round and possibly JC’s as well. Awthentic 3rd felt like he was finally in full rhythm, especially the back half of his 3rd when he began to chain a couple of bombs together.
“How JC walk on water but died tryna Surf?”
JC 3rd was still in line with the consistent and witty rounds his 1st and 2nd were. Whether it was Awthentic/Authentic name flips, general bars, or vet talk it was just a clean and textbook vet showing. The 3rd was very debatable, with many edging it to Awthentic in the building, but I still found JC just had a bit more, and I personally edged him the 3rd as well. Called it a gentlemen’s 30 for JC, but also a good look for an Awthentic who performed well and wrote uphill, with some giving him an argument for the 2nd and 3rd.
1st – Clear, JC
2nd – Clear, JC
3rd – Debatable, JC Edge
Danny Myers vs Sheed Happens
Danny vs Sheed was an instant favorite by many for the battle of the night when Traffic 6 full card dropped. The animation in both their performance plus the bar-heavy writing styles they have made for the ingredients of a bar fest and great back and forth, but that wasn’t exactly the result we got. Danny would start 1st, and his round 1 is an elite round of Danny Myers raps. Patent punching Danny he was back to back with no dry spots, ending with a major haymaker from his signature “Parallel Universe” move. Perfect opening round and put the energy in the air for Sheed to snatch in the 1st, but that’s not how it played out. It’s not that Sheed’s 1st is bad, it isn’t. A standard bar heavy round of his own, Sheed lands a fair amount of his material and gives his unorthodox patterns and delivery. It was solid, but it just didn’t match up to Danny’s 1st in any facet. To get out barred a bit by Danny is one thing, but it felt like a really steep 1-0 to start a battle that was expected to be a bit of a war.
Early in the battle still, Danny would start the 2nd and give a good but much more down-to-earth round. Still punching back to back, this time Danny included some comedy about Sheed’s animation, at one point saying he was a mix of Daylyt and Bill Collector. Not nearly as many peaks, but this opened the door for Sheed to steal the momentum back at the bottom of this 2nd. Sheed’s 2nd is better than his 1st, finally catching some momentum chain punching and putting 1 liner together.
“Sliding / With a Trey and a Stick / Like a Brick Oven”
Rapping even a little bit longer, it felt like Sheed had jabbed his way to a close round, but really didn’t take the momentum of the battle either. He worked his way to a competitive round, but at the same time didn’t really feel like he reached Danny’s level but landed a few more in-between bars over the length of a round. It’s close, but I still found myself edging Danny this round and putting him up 2-0.
Back on Danny in the 3rd, and this is where the result becomes definitive. Danny opens with 3 rebuttals and all 3 were haymakers, but the last one was really a room rocker in every sense of the word. It just felt like Danny’s 3rd was already fire after 4-6 bars, and to make matters crazier his round matched this quality. The pockets, energy, and quality of material were his best of the battle and the Happens flips started to rain in and make this Danny’s best round and one of the best of the night.
“Splatter you on the crowd / Sometimes that happens to people!”
After this onslaught of a round, Sheed would have one last chance at the bottom of this 3rd to make a statement and have that elite round the crowd was waiting for. For his 3rd, he opened with what would be a near-round long concept breaking down Danny Myers as a person, pulling from the previous angles about Danny’s family and about his status in Battle Rap being worse than it should be. Once again, a round with good content, but it just wasn’t the time for a long built-up angle after the flurry of a 3rd Danny had. This made it so not just the round for Danny was clear, but Sheed really struggled to connect with the crowd in this 3rd. Danny put a bow on what most called a clear 30 with a bit of room for debate in the 2nd. Great showing from the always-busy Danny Myers and a battle that may leave us with more questions than answers on the current trajectory for Sheed Happens.
Gechi Gotti vs Jey The Nitewing
The 2nd to last battle of the night and the advertised main event, Geechi vs Jey is a matchup no one foresaw getting booked but gave a very interesting and potentially impactful contrast in styles that could make something special. And I can say after watching, whatever vision seen was achieved with a fantastic battle and easy BOTN pick. The first round started on Jey and I would note Jey opening the round slow, but at this point, this is just part of the Jey experience, although that doesn’t stop the fact it puts him at a disadvantage when he takes as long to heat up as he did in this round.
The 2nd half of his round had some heavy punches towards the end, showing the upward trend in writing although maybe a bit late in this specific round. Geechi 1st was also a straight rapping round, taking an approach full of punches which in the more recent years of Gotti’s career has taken a step back compared to some of his other skills in the ring. And for a straight punching round, it was one of the best of this variety Gotti has had in some time. Haymakers galore, and jumping in and out of different pockets, Gotti put on a clinic of how to just overpower an opponent with nothing but rapping at a higher level. The battle started with a very clear 1-0 Gotti lead.
2nd was back on Jey, and this is where he starts to show the parts of his style that make Jey such a unique talent. He starts with the classic selling hair angle that has been attached to Gotti since near the start of his career. Starting as a comedy angle, Jey is able to turn the energy and get the crowd on his side by making the crowd laugh more and more with the incorporated hair scheme and jokes about Gotti’s mannerisms in battles. By the end of the angle though, he was using the same angle but was landing in a much more bar-heavy and attacking way, a rare tone changes in angles you only see from some of the greats like that of Hollow Da Don or the late great Pat Stay. Great and complete round that could only be followed by an equally good Geechi 2nd as well. Geechi got into his drug talk and real talk bag, another elite ability he has in the realm of BR. Bombing throughout and giving an entertaining but not too messy of a freestyle to close it leaves this round as a purely debatable and even preference-based round.
“I seen fiends light up in the cold while they was cheesin”
“Crack in the cold (cracking the code) while they smiling / like Face Recognition”
Live, I found myself edging Gotti the 2nd, but as the material has sat with me I have a large appreciation for the type of angle Jey pulled off and the uniqueness he brought to it. By a razor’s edge, I gave Jey the 2nd and had it 1-1 going into the 3rd.
The 3rd from Jey, like many of his 3rds, is a deep message 3rd, this time tackling gang culture and the negative effects of the cycle it. While an angle that at 1st glance has been done many times, you really just have to see what Jey did for yourself to understand why I consider this one of the best rounds of his career. Real dialogue, great pure rapping, and pace, all while still being direct and producing a collection of haymakers, it was Jey’s best round and the perfect round to close, also tying in a theme of the Matrix at the beginning and end. Writing in a way only Jey and a few others can. Geechi’s 3rd in response starts as a very direct one, as Gotti scrapped significant portions if not his entire round to rebuttal Jey’s angle directly, most notably to me with “The things he’s up here rapping about doing to help / we really do in real life”.
While this didn’t diffuse or negate the power of Jey’s 3rd it did bring the momentum into Geechi’s round who spent the 2nd half of his round with a full career breakdown of Jey, working the angle of his shortcomings and inconsistencies in Battle Rap to perfection. Another close round, I loved both their work but thought Jey raised a bar with his 3rd that Gotti fought hard to reach but just came up short of. Incredible, debatable battle where each showed off 3 rounds of 3 different approaches, this is what Battle Rap should be. Career performance for Jey and a Geechi showing that may have booked him a place amongst the top 5 battlers of 2023.
1st – Clear, Geechi Gotti
2nd – Debatable, JTNW Edge
3rd – Debatable, JTNW Edge
Rum Nitty vs Kyd Slade
The final battle of the night, Nitty vs Slade was an uphill battle for Slade, taking one of the better battlers in the world in a rare home game for Rum. Nitty went 1st and from the start of his 1st to really the end of the battle, Nitty had the crowd fully with him. Nitty’s approach to this battle was simple and between 2 things: punching and angling the obvious when it comes to Slade. Nitty went 1st and his 1st round was high power and consistent, rocking a room that already was fully on his side to begin with. The 1st round of this battle plays out really as most of the battle did, as Slade 1st is decent but drastically outmatched in all aspects by Nitty. Slade’s delivery is nice, and his bars were good as per usual. However, this wasn’t a battle where good would be good enough, and going in everyone knew an elevated Slade would be required to potentially make things competitive in this one.
The 2nd is even more lopsided as Nitty has his best round of the battle and possibly the best round of the night. His Harlem Knight haymaker was the statement point of the round but that’s just one of many peaks Nitty had in what felt like an already battle-determining round. Once again, a solid Slade 2nd too, but this was a pure mismatch being displayed. Nitty 3rd is even a step down from his previous 2 rounds, but even then still a very formidable round versus a Slade who was struggling to land anything by the time the 3rd came around. Don’t think Slade could’ve done much considering the opponent and situation but it does beg the question of how giving someone Rum Nitty in Arizona can be seen as a shot that has any chance at benefiting the newer talent.
Slade starts to stumble slightly in this 3rd but by then the decisions are clear. Nitty gave POTN level 3 rounds, with a display of dominance even more lopsided than his win vs Bill Collector on the previous Traffic card in the same venue a year ago. The rare body bag win for Nitty, versus a Slade who I thought was decent through the battle but just outgunned from the gate and took his clearest and toughest loss as a battler up to this point. Great performance to end the night from the legend at home, and a great event overall with a good mix of dominant showings, career-high efforts, and even a top 20 (if not higher) battle of 2023. Salute to the talent and URL for one of their better cards of the year.
1st – Clear, Rum Nitty
2nd – Clear, Rum Nitty
3rd – Clear, Rum Nitty