Chilla Jones Reviews Dizaster vs. Cassidy

The Boston emcee reviews the mega "Ether" match-up.

Whatup! Chilla Jones on the check in. I was asked by my good friend Chris (BR's editor-in-chief) to give you guys my perspective on the Dizaster vs. Cassidy battle. I had already watched the battle twice, and upon deciding to contribute this piece to, I made a point of watching it a couple more times to fully appreciate it for what it is. This article is going to be designed more like a commentary where I'm giving you guys a play-by-play but inputting my personal thoughts as well, so let's get into it.

Even from the introductions, you can feel something's a bit off about this setting. It starts as Dizaster introduces himself, only to add in some shoutouts it appears he almost forgot, seeming noticeably bothered or distracted by something. Cassidy, looking comfortable, introduces himself as "Mr. Chicken" before taking a swig straight from a champagne bottle. Dizaster is up first.

Round 1

In the first, Dizaster begins by talking a little about the previous night's events. A few bars later he switches into a monster rhyme scheme that he carries on for about 32 bars, showing flashes of vintage Dizaster. My favorite bar from Diz in his first round was the "You got famous for killing a Freeway and then a freeway almost killed you" bar. I appreciate that bar because in this era of wordplay and indirect material (that even I am occasionally guilty of) that's one of those super direct bars that ONLY applies to Cassidy, a definite haymaker and in my opinion his heaviest bar in that round. Overall, a decent, but beatable round.

Cassidy starts off also with talking about the previous night's events before getting into his bars. Instantly I notice one thing about Cassidy that stands out, which is his poise. Compared to Dizaster, he looks comfortable and unphased by any of his surroundings. He, not Dizaster, looks like the battle veteran that has been in 60 filmed battles and has spent the last four years travelling the globe, taking on the world's best. In my opinion, this allowed Cassidy to come off a lot cleaner and more polished than Dizaster. He ends the round with a spot-on impression of Dizaster. Whether or not you thought it was well done, I think most of us appreciated the idea of it more than the execution because we realize that it meant Cass had actually studied Diz, and put effort into learning his style.

For me, he had just enough to edge the first round. But if you had higher expectations for Cass, I'd expect you gave Round 1 to Dizaster.

Round 2

In the second, Dizaster appears to have warmed up and seems a lot more comfortable than he was at the onset of the battle. I'm not sure if he felt he had lost the first and felt he had to strike back harder in Round 2, but he most definitely did that. My favorite bar of Dizaster's entire battle was in this round: "Since when did claiming someone else’s body count as a body count?" This was another example of a crazy bar that only applied to Cassidy.

Cassidy begins his second round talking about the Math Hoffa situation, not only daring Dizaster to punch him in the face, but double daring, and triple dog daring Dizaster to make a move. Of course, he didn't. Cassidy appeared to have orchestrated a couple parts for some of the people with him, where they each stepped up and said "I'll knock him the fuck out" before Cassidy comes in and finishes the bar, but that was very quickly disrupted by people backing Dizaster who I assume were unaware it was just a part of Cassidy's round and a nod to Hitman Holla's first round against Tsu Surf.

Content-wise, he gave us bars like "Showstopper, flow hotter than Nigeria / Chicks like me, wrist icy like Siberia," which lyrically aren't anything to write home about, but when delivered with Cassidy's signature cockiness and aggressive cadence, they end up going over really well with the crowd. He ended with another Diz imitation, this one much more brief than the last. He asks Diz if he knows what rhymes with "Trash Dizaster," which of course is a signature line of Dizaster's, before proceeding to rhyme "swagless rapper" and "catholic pastor" among other things. Overall, this would turn out to be the weakest of Cassidy's three rounds. Another debatable round, but I had Dizaster edging the second.

Round 3

In the third, Dizaster has a strong start, and looks to be in control of this battle. Towards the end of the round, he appears to have been rattled and lost his composure. This really killed the momentum he had built throughout Round 2 that he had carried into Round 3. He ended the round very weak and left the door open for Cassidy to take the win.

Throughout the back-and-forth talking in between bars, the noisy entourages and all, Cassidy maintained the same composure, poise and cockiness displayed from his first bar, and to me, this made the difference in this battle.

He started weak but gradually got stronger throughout the round. He had a couple of notable moments when he spoke about Dizaster's loss to Daylyt and post-battle breakdown on Total Slaughter, and also a unique car scheme.

Despite continuing to have spots with mediocre content ("I'll pop and make you shit on yourself, that's why I pop shit"), he still had a stronger round than Dizaster and managed to edge this round out to take the win, 2-1.

Final Thoughts

For those wondering if I enjoyed the battle ... well, I enjoyed it for what it was, but it's not a battle I plan on watching again. It is probably not in the Top 25 battles of 2014, which is a bit of a letdown considering it cost more than $250,000 to put together.

I was honestly more disappointed in Dizaster than I was in Cassidy because of Dizaster having so much time to prepare, then stating in an interview just days before the battle that he "outwrote Eminem," and then when it was said and done, giving us three normal, typical Dizaster rounds.

I understand selling a fight but, to me, aside from a few brief flashes of greatness, he was very underwhelming, overall. I've been hearing there were outside factors that may have affected his ability to concentrate on the battle, factors that those of us who weren't there may be totally oblivious to. Still, it's hard to imagine these circumstances would only affect one of the battlers in this battle. Personally, I found Cassidy to be just a little better and little more consistent, combining outstanding delivery and presence with average material through all three rounds.

Now, with that being said, I am very critical of people's writing ability, in regards to how creative and original the content is. I do genuinely feel that Cassidy had some stretches of writing that felt a bit outdated, like 2008-2010 mixtape Cassidy. To some of us, this was a good thing, something we wanted to see, a live and in color example of how Cassidy would sound going against a giant in today's battle rap world.

But some of us expected more. We expected a 2014 version of that Cassidy. Since he was paid so well to make his return to battling, I think we as spectators expected punchlines at the same caliber as B Magic, schemes at the same caliber as Charlie Clips, or wordplay at the same caliber as Conceited.

I'd like to think that I expected a medium between the two. In all honesty, this is a debatable battle and I don't see this as a possible 3-0 either way. I could see an argument for Dizaster edging out the first and second, or for Cassidy edging the first & third. For me, and I believe a majority of the battle rap world, it was the latter, in favor of Cassidy.

Was I too harsh on Dizaster? Too lenient with Cassidy? I'd love to hear your feedback on my review of this battle. Hit me on Twitter (@chillajones), Instagram (@chillajones) and Facebook or in the comments section below.