This weekend, Ultimate Rap League held its first Big Stage event since the start of the Pandemic.
The event, titled “Civil War,” was spread over two days with the faceoffs on Friday and two battles immediately afterward. The other seven battles took place the next day.
It all went down in Raleigh, North Carolina in front of a crowd of about 700 who were said to have rivaled the Houston audience, widely accepted as one of the best cities to play host to rap battles. The crowd was central to the atmosphere and the battles didn’t disappoint with plenty of “big-crowd moments” you only get in battles like these!
North Carolina Native, T-Top had one of the biggest moments of the night in his battle against Long Island, NY’s Mike P. In an unexpected move that shook the building, T-Top brought out fellow North Carolinian, Anderson Burrus to spit a couple of bars to Mike P in his second round.
Nu Jerzey Twork made his return after losing in the first round of the Ultimate Madness 3 tournament to Casey Jay following a choke-filled performance. Any doubts as to whether the battle rap superstar still has it was left firmly behind! And it’s just as well because Smack was said to be face timing well-known Twork fan, Drake so that he could watch the battle live!
In his battle against Christian battle rapper Loso, NJ Twork rocked the stage with two of his legendary “I’m strapped in” moments and had some room-shaking haymakers. Loso was no slouch either and put on a consistent three-round display of punching and angling.
Also bringing the house down was the two-on-two battle between Danny Myers and Tink Da Demon against Ace Amin and Swamp. The talk beforehand was, “would there be chemistry?” as both teams seemed initially unlikely pairings. Again, the doubters were silenced as Tink and Danny put on a captivating performance going back and forth delivering big punches every round with Tink having some of the stand-out bars of the entire event.
Ace Amin and Swamp had moments of their own including one that could have shut the whole event down, literally! Ace is known for aggressively shoulder bumping opponents mid-battle and gave the North Carolina crowd what they wanted.
However, he took it a step further this time in a move nobody saw coming and bumped URL league owner, Smack himself!
Battle of the Night is widely regarded to be the heavyweight clash between Norfolk, Virginia’s Ave versus New Jersey’s Real Sikh. The two punchers delivered six back-to-back rounds of room shakers in a debatable battle that was everything we hoped it could be.
Friday night saw Coffee Brown and Lady Caution go head-to-head in a dope battle which involved both women’s respective partners getting into a little situation after Caution’s man, battle rapper TayRoc got a bit too enthusiastic with his hype! In the only all-female battle on the card, Caution showed why she belonged on the main stage, leveling up against a Coffee Brown who as usual, did not come to play!
Also on Friday, Salt Lake City’s Emerson Kennedy took on Richmond, Virginia’s First Lady Flamez in what was a close battle. Some fans unfairly took points away from Flamez’s otherwise flawless performance because of a little throwing up situation in the first round!
Jey the Nite Wing and Kid Chaos opened the event on Saturday in another close back and forth that set the tone for the night.
Ryda vs. Don Marino came next with Don putting on one of the best performances of his career. The general consensus was that both clearly took a round each with the third being debatable.
Lu Castro vs. Jakkboy Maine was a good battle however, it was unable to reach its full potential due to health reasons. Jakkboy Mane is living with the autoimmune disease Lupus and put in an incredible effort, going through immense pain during the battle, but understandably could not give one hundred percent.
Smack announced on the night that all of Saturday’s battles would be released on the URLTV app this coming Saturday, September, 4.
Battle Rap Twitter was lit up after the event with attendees heaping praise on the league, the event, the battles, and the battlers themselves.
Every battle on the night was fire with Smack agreeing that the battles were, “seven for seven” in an interview with Unkle Ra on “15 Minutes of Fame”
Explaining what’s next for the worldwide leader of the emcee battle culture Smack says, “First night back outside! I’m working, I’m focused, I’m tunnel-visioned. I got 9/11 next – Queen of the Ring,” referring to the upcoming URL/QOTR “No Holds Barred” event. He continues saying” I got Summer Madness after that, then I got “Death Do Us Part.”
Summer Madness 11 goes down at the Bayou Music Centre, Houston Texas on September, 25. The card for the marquee event, headlined by Murda Mook and Reed Dollaz just got bigger with the addition of the young vet Chess versus Philly native Eazy The Block Captain. Chess put on a crazy three-round performance against Loso recently and Eazy has made himself a fan favorite. He’s been racking up wins since making his Caffeine TV debut in the first Ultimate Madness tournament in June of last year.
Interestingly, Smack also mentioned a “Death Do Us Part” event that has not been announced previously. Similarly, few details have been disclosed about the month of events URL have planned for October save for a small hint. At the very end of the Mook vs. Tay Roc battle, there’s an announcement that “October is the most important month within the emcee battle culture,” and that in October, “we will deliver a massive event every single weekend!”
Speculation began immediately after the announcement that Drake would be involved. October is the month URL was launched and is coincidently the month Drake was born and named his “October’s Very Own” label after.
In an interview with Hip Hop Is Real following his “Civil War” battle, Twork added to the rumors saying he wants a battle with Tay Roc next. When asked if the battle could go down on the “OVO card, Drake card,” in October NJT replied with, “If Drake want to book it, Drake got my personal number.”
Drake’s affiliations with battle rap and URL, in particular, are well established, he played an instrumental role in URL’s partnership with the streaming platform, Caffeine. The rapper’s most recent appearance at a URL event was at N.O.M.E in July. He even stumped up the $150,000 cash prize for the UM3 tournament final winners on the night!
The countdown to SM11 has begun with URL dropping the official faceoff for SM11’s headline battle, Mook vs. Reed Dollaz.
Ultimate Rap League: Summer Madness 11 is going down on September 25 at 3 pm ET at Bayou Music Center, Houston, TX. The event will be streamed live and for free on Caffeine.