Drake’s Til Death Do Us Part event was just as great as it was billed to be. Headlined by a cross-generational battle of bars between Geechi Gotti and Loaded Lux, the card entertained from the opening battle.
Til Death was hosted in Long Beach, CA, and streamed to battle rap fans across the country on Caffeine. The event doubled as a birthday celebration for The 6 God, but also a showcase for URL’s stars, creating the largest event for the spots since the pandemic began.
Drake made his first appearance of the evening, joining URL hero Smack, after the opening battle of Pat Stay and Real Sikh, thanking the artists, battle rap fans, celebrities, and influencers who gathered for the event.
“I want to say it’s great to be in a room for all these people again,” Drake said. “We need this type of energy.”
As the energy radiated off the fans, the hometown hero for the battle, Geechi Gotti, circled the event space with a calm intensity. Knowing that his biggest challenge was ahead of him in the legend Loaded Lux, Gotti was ready.
“It’s battle rap. You gotta have that confidence. This is basically fighting with words,” Gotti said to The Source. “So it’s just like going into a boxing match. Like you gotta know, you gotta knock it out. We know we got three rounds and after that third, I gotta be the one that they cheer for.
“I gotta be the one that they leave this building saying, whoa. So you go in with that confidence that what you wrote down is enough to win this battle.”
That confidence suited Gotti well. Standing head-to-head with a favorite name for the sport’s GOAT, Gotti put on a performance that dubbed him the winner in many eyes, including this writer. Over the course of the three rounds, the judgment could lead to a sweep, 2-1 if you’re a bit more lenient, in the favor of the Gotti.
Geechi wasn’t the only one with a dominant performance. Earlier in the night, JazTheRapper set the stage on fire showcasing her elite skill and blowing past Gattas during their time on the stage. Her mix of bravado and bars was enough for Drake to dub Jaz’s win a “Curry,” a nod to 30 that sits on the jersey of NBA star Stephen Curry.
Amped from the energy of his friend Jaz, Tsu Surf hit the stage with Calicoe and gave a hell of a performance. The last two appearances from Surf have been of another world and once he gets in his zone, it’s tough to match. That’s not a slight at all to Calicoe, who held his own. Corners of the Internet leaned toward Surf, the victor here is a matter of preference and style.
In the clash between Tay Roc and Nu Jerzey Twork, the latter came ready out the gate, proving to be in shape in round 1, launching an intense attack on Roc in a set of gorilla flipping bars. Roc didn’t disappoint the crowd but the energy of Twork was just on a different level tonight.
Rum Nitty stood with T-Rex and delivered bars that put him in the performance of the night category. In the opening battle, Pat Stay delivered a tribute to his late mom who passed from cancer. Pat seamlessly detailed his previous battle as the last stage he was on, revealing that was during his mother’s last stage of cancer. He would go on to draw a crowd reaction by making a correlation of his opponent Real Sikh and the condition of being “real sick.” Did that rattle Real Sikh? Not a bit. He clapped back in the opening round and they both primed the audience for a great night.
Caffeine executives Tori Socha and Illia Flagg spoke with The Source about the importance of amplifying battle rap on their platform.
“The battle rap community is really, really passionate,” Socha said. “It is an art form that hasn’t necessarily gotten the proper light shown on it until we came and partnered and I’m really grateful that we can make it free to the public to watch. It is a true art form that is incredibly entertaining to watch and get invested in with the MCs and stuff. So it just makes for a really great community to have in on caffeine, which is an interactive platform.”
“Tori and I both come from linear traditional television and for me as a half-black woman with a deep appreciation for the culture and the fans of battle rap, it’s really important to allow battle rap to remain true to the art form,” Flagg said. “We as caffeine just seek to give it a platform that traditional television outlets wouldn’t.”
Battle rap is the art form that never sleeps already has the heavyweight battles for 2022 lining up. During the closing of Saturday, Smack surprised Drake with a 2022 match-up:
Additional stars on hand were Charlie Clips, Lil Mama, JuJu, Remy Ma, and more.