Never has a card like Summer Impact packed such a dynamic punch. With only six major battles slated to take place, the promise that this All-Star roster would be the experience of a lifetime was kept. It almost seemed too big to be true, and with a few minor set backs the fulfillment of that promise was almost not met… almost.
But Smack and his team of champion producers, despite a couple of hiccups along the way, have a way of making the most impossible tasks look easy… and continue to throw cards that satisfy the erratic cravings of the battle rap enthusiast.
Let’s not get it twisted.
There were a few things that happened leading up to and during the battle that made most irrational fans beet red with frustration (insert cartoon image with steam coming out of the character’s ears).
The first frustration: Superstar Tsu Surf, and one half of the battle rap duo GunTitles, got locked up. In the most suspiciously ironic case of “WTF,” on the year anniversary of an attempted assassination that almost took his life, The Wave found himself locked up. The particulars are not important, but reeks of pronouncedly excessive targeting of a Hip-Hop star. But with one of the major players in GT being put away so closely to the match, the team and producers decided that the best thing for the competition and fans was to bringing a substitute for the battle. They tapped young Chess, 21, out of the Bronx. Fans were mixed about the choice, because so many wanted to see Surf and his partner, Tay Roc get busy together. BUMP IN THE ROAD.
The second frustration: The event started late and did not afford one of the most anticipated battles time to happen. The Murdaland (Murda Mook & Calicoe) and Dark Lyfe (T-Top and Brizz Rawsteen) contest was nixed (or better stated postponed). The venue, The Fillmore, was not gracious enough to extend an additional 30 minutes to the league to tape the battle, leaving fans who ordered on Pay Per View sour and those in the audience disappointed. Why? Because in addition to Murdaland being some of the first generation SMACK titans, Top and Brizz are hometown heroes. Imagine how triumphant it would have been to have Top and Brizz dance like warriors in their home state, against two of the best that ever did… YUP… SAID THAT. The battle would have just been epic, but despite their hopes to do it even at another venue, it just did not happen.
Regardless of these two setbacks, Summer Impact proved to be one f*cking amazing event, and anyone that let any of those aforementioned reasons taint their perspective on this show must be smoking crack…. Speaking of smoking crack.
The night started off with Jaz the Rapper & O’fficial aka The Bardashians against TOQ (40 B.A.R.R.S. and E Hart), and one of the defining bars was when Jaz-O asserted that 40 was smoking crack. Battle rap (female battle rap in particular is brutal).
Many did not believe that Jaz and O’fficial would have the chemistry to beat such bar heavy victors as Hart and 40. But Jaz and O’fficial showed at least one of the two why they are URL’s main stage ladies. With bars like the crack line, they had 40 shook, so much so her partner could not help her. But it was not because of the choking that these two won… they just were better.
It was like watching the birth of Wonder Woman and her twin sister Nubia united in a sinister twist of unbelievable girl power magic. Instead of of using that rope of truth, these battle rap amazons tied their opponents up with lyrical lasso of “leave them alone” causing TOQ to forfeit their last round (which did not matter because this had already been the body of not only the night, but the year).
— Rap Grid (@rapgrid) August 10, 2019
O’fficial: You taught me how to set em up
Jaz: And you taught me how to punch a bitch
The teamwork is looking dope!#SummerImpact
— Rap Grid (@rapgrid) August 10, 2019
— Rap Grid (@rapgrid) August 10, 2019
Rap Grid pulled the right quotes. Because 40 B.A.R.R.S., who made her premiere on the URL stage showed how ill prepared she was to stand before a crowd of 2,000 people. And the crowd smelled insecurity, quickly jumping to a boo and later dividing the team… sympathetically cheering for Hart, while alienating the heralded “Queen” of The Ring. If we could quote Cortez, this was “nasty.”
The second battle was NWX vs Every Fuccin Bar featuring DNA, K-Shine, Geechi Gotti and Rum Nitty. This might have been one of the greatest back and forths of the night. It was light-hearted and filled with good sportsmanship. It was refreshing to see professionals take the stage and demonstrate for the culture what fierce rivalry, but civility looks like… even as you are coming to take your opponents heads off rhyme for rhyme.
The seasoned NWX controlled the stage with their wordplay and performance. It is to note that while the gifted DNA could have freestyled the entire battle and won, he played off of a carefully crafted Shine- matching his high-energy performance like a good tag team does. It has to be said… Shine looks like he was born to be on the stage, and DNA looks like the proud coach making the possibility of stardom a reality for his partner. They matched up like Kobe and Shaq, Jordan and Pippen, like Lebron and Dwyane… just seamlessly. But they were not on their stage alone. Newly formed EFB were very much there. It seems like a no brainer: Two Crips coming together… both from The West Coast… both on a galactic rise in URL… both super creative with rhyme construction. But again, people were unsure if this match-up was more about homeboys catching a vibe, or two competitors linking to make a mega motion picture.
Well… EFB were the stars of this movie that played out before our eyes in Charlotte. If the sports references are true for NWX, it has to be said that EFB went together like Pacino and Dinero, The Rock and Kevin Hart or Will and Martin.
Effortlessly, the two teams put on a classic. #CantCallThisOne
The next battle was Good Clipz vs. Multiple Remixes featuring Goodz da Animal, Charlie Clipz, Hitman Holla and John John Da Don.
The definition of a preference battle, the two put on for the camera. What did you expect with two emerging TV stars, a swag god and arguably one of the most dangerous artists in battle rap? Another first time team-ups was Hitman and John John. Clever. Entertaining. Masterfully delivered. There is something about when two series artists look at their craft with respect, and show up prepared to do what they have said they would do. Or if it wasn’t that respectfully crafted, them dudes sure made it look so. Perhaps it is because both of them are athletes and bring the discipline needed to win the game, or it could have been the added adrenaline running through their veins that pushed them off the charts… after all… they were going against Goodz and Clips.
Clips and Goodz are scary together. The fear comes from Houdini Goodz the Hypnotist, who has a way stirring that cup of Henny, staring out into the crowd and making them react whatever way he pleases. That has to be terrifying for a battler going up against him. He is charming and talented. Equally, Charlie Clips is gifted. The Harlem native combines all his natural charisma and meshed it with the valuable lessons he is learning as a principal cast member of the hit Nick Cannon, Wild N’ Out show (a show that he co-stars on with Hitman). They had jokes. They had punches and out of the two, Clips had one of the best 3rd rounds of his career, maybe the year, maybe ever…. Nah… not ever… the 3rd against T- Rex at Summer Madness 4 was exceptional.
This battle could go 2-1 either way. #AnotherClassic
After this epic battle, fans were almost exhausted from cheering so hard for this well developed roster. The first three battles where intense. They offered surprises, after surprises and could have been too much for the average battle rap fans. But this is URL… fans are different here. They are use to WWE type events. They are used to mega stars being on high voltage. This next battle had two sets of those mega stars, but like the first match the verbal contest did not bring glory to one pair.
Quest McCody and Marv Won are legends. For years they were the most prominent 2-on-2 pairing. They are contemporaries of Eminem when he was on the battle rap scene. They are again, legends. But against two of Jersey’s finest, Shot Suge and Nu Jerzey Twork aka The Monstars, they looked amatuer-ish. It made you feel that feeling that you felt when Jordan came back and played for the Wizard. Indeed, while not garbage, they were not the superior level battlers that you have come accustomed to seeing. They were good, but their pace was slow. Battling is about who would you want to be in the stage… Suge and Twork were young and fresh. They had performances that matched the Monstars persona that they impressed on the industry early on in the promotional season. They had bars.
Quest and Marv had some bars too… especially in the last round where it seemed like they caught some fire… but it was not enough to match the authentic magic that those two Jersey boys, Crip and Blood united, had on that stage. It was truly a battle that showed the passing of the guard to a next generation (and yeah… Suge been around but he is emerging in the last few years as one of those voices that you have to respect… and do so without any bully tactics).
The title match-up was between two undeniable Mt. Rushmore battlers and faces of URL’s future. We went into the complications associated with this battle. Quite a few believed that Chess was not ready to take on Hollow or Lux. Even more believed that he did not deserve the opportunity.
Chess not only stepped up to the plate, but he eat ever single crumb, sopped every bit of gravy, damn near licked the saucer during this battle. And Dracula was the perfect person to usher him into this victorious performance. Don’t let that statement fool you. There needs to be several reviews of the battle to call a winner, but without a doubt and with all clarity, Chess is a victor on that stage with three legends.
BAR/PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR #NODEBATE let’s see if y’all copy cats can remake this like y’all took off wit the Before the Shot/After The Shot it’s A CAVEWORLD ??? #GunzNCake @TheRealTayRoc https://t.co/aVghme3eSm
— #GunnaBaby1K™ ???? (@SLIME_Gunna1K) August 11, 2019
— Ade (@champagneade) August 11, 2019
Tay Roc and Chess have a brotherhood. The Cave Gang collective was in full effect giving their gun heavy spitting brothers the energy that propelled them into battles barking on Lux and Hollow. Tay Roc had been there before… remember he killed a god before on Summer Madness 6.
Lux and Hollow were god-like on the stage. Prophet and Prodigal Son. Preacher and Drug Addict. Shaft and Sweetback (pause). Zeus and Poseidon. When these two started rapping an aura encircled them and you could hear the battle rap gods whispering “Beasley, you thought the app was genius, this is platinum level excellence, changing the face of battle rap forever.”
Check out Loaded Lux speak on battling the young gunner, Chess.
In their third round, Lux and Hollow started off talking to these “little n*ggas,” and then genius-ly turned on each other and went at each other. Astonishingly, fans watched as these two created Hip-Hop euphoria with theatrics and showmanship par excellence. But that can’t and does not take away from Tay Roc and Chess…. who were out of here with no missed steps… with no dropped balls (pause again)… with un-see-able errors and the grace that the two needed to remind people that they are battle rap KINGS. Both Chess and Tay Roc reminded the community who the f*ck they are, and could only do that by having a debatable classic with two stellar and divine caliber opponents. Yes, Surf did not perform… but again… if you love the sport… you were more than satisfied… dare we say gleefully delighted with the performance that this re-imagined team put forth.
Summer Impact was blissfully amazing.