Queen of The Ring is making up for lost time with cramming in this first half of the year, a few fire cards.
With the return of Ms. Hustle against Nu Jerzey Twork still fresh in female battle rap fans’ mind, QOTR cooked up a card that would live up to the last one. Panic Room 4, with its star studded roster, was dope.
First up was Jade (from We Go Hard) vs. Panic (from Chicago).
Jade was cooking both in her first and second rounds. Panic came to play, but had some stumble problems throughout the majority of the bout. Her name flips (that whole “green” thing) probably secured her an invitation back to the big stage. She was not wack, but just not better than Jade. The battle was entertaining as both ladies seem to vibe off each other. As the battle progressed, you could tell that both of the ladies were friends. What most demonstrated their bond was when during the bottom on the third, the two of them tagged-team Debo about a prior discrepancy pertaining the two emcees. This was probably the best move in Panic’s performance in the battle. It put the battle in context, reminding the fans that this is a business and not a hobby for these ladies.
Next battle was a co-ed battle between Shotgun Suge and Shooney Da Rapper. The prayer going into the battle was that nothing would happen during this battle that might jeopardize a potential classic. And sure enough… some “technical difficulties” almost stopped the momentum of the battle very early on. Suge started his round, and the lights for the camera went out (a cord was tripped over). That’s ok. The battle rap angels were on deck, and everything got back on track when the Jersey spit-kicker jumped in his bag. He was wigging on Shooney, manhandling her both lyrically and physically during this one rounder. This URL vet did not take it easy on her because she was a woman. And truth be told, he could not. Shooney had bars, humor, presence and an entire cheering squad in her arsenal against the Crip. Shooney stumbled. We can’t ignore that. However, when she got it back her fans were pleased. She stood before the battle giant in a way that no other woman has dared. Giving him a double portion of his own “What’s You Life Likes” and “Let’s Get One Thing Straight.” Good one round battle. Got to give it to Suge.
Tia S and Lexx Banko were the surprise battle of the night. It was good to see the veteran Banko back in the ring. Tia S is making a name for herself with the ways he reps for the new class and how she handles bars. This battle was a debatable. Both ladies came to play. I liked Banko’s wordplay a little more, but I loved how Tia S had presence that is not easily denied. It could go either way.
The next battle was the top billed battle: Ms. Fit vs. Phara Funeral.
Ms. Fit for her return was not taking any prisoners. It has been a while since the Murda Ave. Qing hit the ring, and many wondered if she would have some ring rust. With only eight battles on cam, and over five years out of the field, many suspected that she could not keep up with a Phara who has been relatively active over the last few seasons. All of those doubts immediately were wiped away once she took her position in the ring. If the ring is the jungle, Fit approached the battle like a black panther (not the movie, the civil rights leaders but the wild feline). A black panther is an ambush predator and she relies on being stealth and the element of surprise to sneak up on its unsuspecting prey. As a lyrical technician, she locked in on Phara with a ninja like surprise that was more dynamic than you would expect from her little frame. Yes, shorter and smaller than Phara, but she towered over her with a confidence that was (what’s the word) masculine. Her big cat-ism made her look like a dude picking on the fly girl in the club. But instead of using lines to ingratiate herself with her opponent, she seemed to make her angry. Making Phara angry is never a good thing.
If Fit was a panther, Phara was like a lionness, clearly circling her prey. Like lionesses in the jungle, one half of Shuneral had a pride with her. In her corner, there were the “who’s who” in female battle rap.
Phara is not a crowd favorite just because of her looks, despite what people have been saying. Phara is a fan favorite because we care about what she says. We also care how she says it. Like her best friend Shooney, she stumbled too throughout the battle. Didn’t matter… She with her entertaining self said some “sh*t” and acted out for the fans. There was a lot of talk about the old Phara. Ms. Fit talked about the old waves, even Phara went there for a second but decided to go a different route. She brought back her jean jacket from the Chayna Ashley battle out and that got a cool reaction. The biggest reactions were from Ms. Fit tossing dollars at Phara while she was rapping. But was funnier was the rebuttal, where Phara came out with a fake twerk and picked up a few. Great showmanship from both ladies in the first two rounds. In the third round, Ms. Fit was cooking but broke her agreement to not mention Phara’s mother, thus causing Phara to forfeit the last round. This made what could have been a debatable battle, a clear win for Fit.
The last battle was between Chayna Ashley and C3.
Like Ms. Fit, Chayna has not been in the ring in some time. Also like Fit, this Dot Mob member has only done eight battles. Like Fit, she stepped away to make money with commercial music… music that is fire so if you can go cop it do so… Chayna was up first and she was in her bag. With her Dot brother T-Rex in her corner, she angled her round like a season vet reminding each and every new girl that she was a) first generation, b) the reason they are getting checks now and c) that she is back. It was interesting to hear the narrative threaded throughout her round. It seamlessly stitched up how the vet girls feel about the new girls. She drew attention to how at one point about five years ago, they were neck-and-neck with the master of all battle rap leagues, URL. This was a great accomplishment, but the with those girls not on the scene the newer girls let the league drop and crumble in popularity. Bold statement. Should she have been check? Maybe… if it did not appear to be true. Over the years, without the star studded roster that it had a few years ago, the newer girls have struggled to maintain the same star power- thus the same popularity for the brand. There is plenty blame to go around, and C3 upon her turn was there to address some of it.
C3 is deadly. She is such a swift wit with her rebuttals that many fear her. And to start her round (leading almost until the middle), she started freestyling. However a skill that this gifted emcee needs to learn is how to not let her emotions pour over into the rounds. So passionate about what Chayna said (she retorted that she put herself on and that this battle originally was scheduled as a three rounder and CA at the last minute apparently due to a death in her circle could only do a one rounder), C3 could not get it together to strike like she normally does. This was not the C3 against Tay Roc. She even let Rex egging CA on frazzle her, demanding that she would not finish if he was still on the ring. It would not be fair no matter how dope Chayna was to simply say she beat C3… the real review from my perspective is that this (again) gifted emcee defeated herself.
Congrats to Debo, Babs and Vague for another great event. In the audience was several influencers and battlers; Tori Doe, Torture, Jaz the Rapper, Ms. Hustle, Lady Luck, T-Top, K-Shine, O-Red, Fettuccine20 and more.