Is Lu Castro’s Decline Real or Temporary ?

From October 2021 to June 2022, Lu Castro’s record in his last 6 battles on the URLTV App is 1-5. These past 8 months have demonstrated the erratic turn his career has taken as of lately. 

Coming off having a career year in 2021, where Lu Castro hit many milestones like debuting on Double Impact, NOME & Summer Madness, having one of the best battles of that year with his 2on2, Getting a Champion cover and being ranked as a Top 20 Battler via COTY & The Source.

There has been an immense decline in performances. But not all declines are in a linear direction pointing downwards. Sometimes they zig zag, with showing slight improvements alongside major regression. And best believe there is a lot to unpack from these numbers. How far has Castro plummeted with his inconsistencies ? Let’s examine his statistical output and complicated first half of 2022.

App Stats From Sept'21 - May'22

First let me start by saying, I understand that many people don’t give much weight to the analytics from the URLTV App, but when these numbers are compiled and inserted into a visual scale, I truly believe it’s a compelling  presentation with the perspective I have on Lu Castro’s recent performances. Numbers tell a story but they don’t always provide the full context. So let’s try to review this a little further;

Throughout the first 3 quarters of the year 2021, Lu Castro was on a 3 battle winning streak on the App with his performances on NOME, Civil War & Summer Madness. After he has a statistical career high performance against Arsonal, Castro’s App record improves to 6-3. This 3 battle winning streak boosted his rank on the App from #69 to #32, he was hitting significant milestones and was becoming a staple for being one of the forefront talents of the league.

His streak was snapped at the Fonz battle and it seems like ever since he took that loss, Castro takes 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. This principle is discordant with the equity he’s built for himself by being consistent. Which is what got him to be in this position in the first place.

For context, let’s review this sample size of his last 6 battles.

Fonz: A battle where his material may have not been catered to the environment (Chris Brown’s house), but it doesn’t change the fact that he wasn’t clean in his last 2 rounds, so fundamentally that battle was out of reach. In addition to Fonz putting up a round of the year caliber performance against him, only to magnify this loss. 

Rum Nitty: Lu Castro’s 2nd career Headliner against the #1 ranked battler on the App. Lu Castro makes all of the adjustments to give a vigilant effort against Rum Nitty and registers his 2nd highest statistical performance on the App (at the time). You may even find some fans that will edge Castro this battle. He put up a good performance vs the fan favorited UR-ALien. No shame in losing to Rum Nitty with a respectable attempt.

Drugz: This is where things start to get bleak. Castro aimlessly wanders in a disappointing performance. Unlike the Fonz battle, he’s incapable of delivering a clean performance in any of his 3 rounds. He had a hard stumble in the first round and you can physically see the confidence leave from his body. This performance is a career low in reactions on the URL App.

Big T: This battle actually did not take place on URL. This battle happened on the Midnight Madness platform but it was licensed on the URL App. A little stat padding never hurt nobody and who better to do it against than the battler with the lowest winning percentage on the App, in Big T. This was a judged battle with money on the floor and a Midnight Madness title on the line. With an unchallenged effort, Castro secures a win to revitalize his momentum and is now a Title holder of the Midnight Madness Undisputed Belt.

Charlie Clips: Out of all of the losses Castro has suffered, I actually believe this is the one that deserves the least amount of criticism. Lu Castro puts up a career high showing in material, performance and entertainment, on a big stage against one of the greatest battle rappers of all time. Charlie Clips is a difficult assignment for anyone and Clips showed flashes of his prime and gave a vintage level performance. Castro did hear a 3-0 chant from the building in favor of Charlie. But I felt it was an unwarranted chant because he performed at such a high level. Not all losses are equal and to his defense, anyone on that card would’ve probably lost standing in front of Clips that night.

Jerry Wess:  Lu Castro reverts back to his old ways. Instead of tapping into his Arsonal/Charlie Clips level, he channels his Fonz/Drugz level. Preparation seems to be a real struggle for Castro at this point and he fails at delivering a clean performance while being on the receiving end of Jerry Wess putting him in a highlight reel. 

A big concern for me is that if you remove the Midnight Madness performance, he’s lost his last 5 battles on the league, according to the App. It gets a little more concerning when you review the reaction numbers within the battles.
The URL App has Lu Castro being 0-15 in rounds in his last 5 URL Battles!

Winning Margin vs Losing Margin

Following the loss to Drugz, Tsu Surf stated in a Twitter Spaces that “Lu Castro is losing at a higher rate than he’s winning.”

I highly doubt that Tsu Surf, sat down and crunched all the numbers on the App but to his credit, he was 100% accurate in this assessment. Lu Castro has a higher margin of defeat than margin of victory once you add the reactions from his battles. 

In his 7 registered wins
(Riggz, Prez Mafia, Kid Chaos, Mike P, Jakkboy Maine, Arsonal, Big T)
Total Margin of Victory: 103K Reactions

He has a total of 8 Losses on the app, but if we just factor in the previous 5 from the sample size
(Fonz, Rum Nitty, Drugz, Charlie Clips Jerry Wess)
Total Margin of Defeat: 269K Reactions

To be fair, We should remove the Jerry Wess battle from being accumulated in this total, since the battle has been out for less than 24 hours. Let’s remove the Jerry battle from this total. HECK let’s even remove the Charlie Clips battle from this sample size, his Total Margin of Defeat would still surpass his Victory Margin at 112K Reactions.

The disparity within the margins of his battles serve as an indication of his inability to remain competitive in devastating losses. Nor does he possess the characteristic of being dominant in his wins.  

The Root of the Inconsistencies

It’s no secret, Lu Castro battles too much. From January 2021 to this current date, he has battled 23 times.

Three names that come to mind when you think of battlers that have battled 23 times or more in the last 18 months and their names are Danny Myers, A.Ward and Dre Dennis. Being a work horse is commendable in battle rap only when you’re winning or consistently giving quality performances. But the cost of over saturation can be physically and mentally taxing when you are struggling to get your material out or losing at a high rate. 

While Lu Castro did battle a lot over the year 2021, he spaced out his schedule to give himself enough prep time, until August came around.

He battled 4 times in 8 weeks, having only a 2 week window in between the battles. Castro was already starting to show some fatigue after a clear loss to A.Ward, in a battle he couldn’t deliver a clean performance. You can make a case that the A.Ward loss may have been the starting point of his spiral. The short preparation time seems to have finally caught up with him when he imploded vs Fonz.

Tracking the Highest Battle Volume Within The First 5 Months of 2022.

Castro carries his high volume habits into 2022 for a turbulent start to his year. From January to May he averaged the 2nd most battles per month. He registers 9 battles within 5 months, with an average window of 16 days in between battles.  In 4 of these 9 battles he struggles to deliver a clean performance.

The short prep in between battles has presented a obstreperous path to his career. The burnout from this volume doesn’t allow Castro to fully retain the experience he’s gaining from all of these battles. Because he has such a quick turn around time between battles, it’s like there isn’t a moment to stop and process the game tapes.

This high usage of his battles makes it’s easy to disentangle the contextual elements of his outlier performance vs Charlie Clips. Castro’s two best career showings have been on display when he performs on a big stage. It’s frustrating as a consumer, because you are well aware of how much more value Castro can have if he preserved himself to only perform in that setting.

Moral of the story, less is more.

Lu Castro has shown flashes of being a high level battler, he is extremely entertaining, has a unique skill set filled with special moves, original transitions, visual punchlines, wrapped up in a good flow and he also makes great music (Go stream his music, your ears will thank you.)

He has all of the attributes that you can’t teach, it’s either you have it or you don’t. When you factor in all of his intangible skills within his artistry, alongside his witty and joyful personality you are presented with most of the items you need to become a star. Consistency is the final threshold required to embody that title. Despite the rocky end to his 2021, he was still considered an All Star and one of the top battlers in the world.

Ultimately his decline is a temporary result of too much energy output and not enough energy being self-invested or preserved. This is all amendable with new habits. Sometimes it takes being burnt out for you to discover aspects about yourself that you do not possess. Battling at a high frequency is unsustainable for many rappers for a reason. There are very few emcees that are even capable of doing this. And even the few that are capable of doing so, eventually hit a wall at some point.


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