The female battle rap scene is in disarray after QOTR's "Watch The Throne 2" this past Sunday (Feb. 7). The event ended after only three of six scheduled battles went down, with several fights getting in the way of what was supposed to be a big night for female battling.
The consequences of the night's negativity have caused major waves already: there's the real possibility that the league lost the B.B. Kings venue (a large, mainstream, centrally located spot near Times Square in Manhattan), fans who spent money on tickets and travel are upset, and league pillar Debo said recently that he's done with battle rap.
Efforts are already underway to bring positivity back with a movement to #FixTheBrand, and there are legions of fans pulling for the league to bounce back.
The last thing anyone seems to be talking about right now is the battles, so here are the breakdowns of what happened.
Tay Roc vs. C3
Tay Roc’s first major battle off URL and C3’s first battle against a male top tier lived up to expectations. Roc was a ruthless, misogynist villain and C3 had no trouble returning the disrespect. The clash was extremely tense throughout and, frankly, it often seemed like the two were on the verge of strangling each other.
Roc has been known to snap from the gate and carry that momentum to Round 2, and he showed out in the first two rounds of his QOTR debut. Round 1 was debatable, as C3 had plenty of fire lines and an approach that was probably more cohesive overall, but Roc still managed to get a bit more reaction. Not surprisingly, his second round was particularly strong (and disrespectful), and there was little C3 could do to overshadow it.
After being arguably outdone in the first two rounds, you have to salute C3 for the truly wild shit she said to Roc in Round 3. Assuring him that she was going to “fuck his face” and “send him back to B-More with his butthole sore,” she may have made history with female-to-male disrespect in battle rap. It worked perfectly, partly because the tone of the battle was already extremely aggressive and partly for sheer shock value. It felt like Roc 2-1 in the building, but Round 1 was close, so look out for the footage on this one.
40 B.A.R.R.S. vs. E Hart
First of all, it’s kind of a miracle that this battle even happened. It went down with the house lights on a few minutes after a couple of fights broke out, and it was during a very obvious struggle between QOTR and venue staff to keep the night going (the event was shut down mere seconds after this battle ended). More importantly, it marked what was probably E Hart’s first in-the-building loss.
Anyone familiar with Hart knows that it doesn’t make sense to bet against her. She went first, giving no reason to doubt that assumption, and the pressure was immediately on 40. Surprisingly though, she lost steam in the second round and found herself fighting her way out of a 3-0 by the third. It’s practically impossible to imagine Hart not winning at least a round, and we won’t have to for now, because she fought back hard and pretty clearly took Round 3 through sheer power of will.
After reportedly fighting with QB backstage (which Hart addressed in an opening-bar freestyle), 40 B.A.R.R.S. was in rare form. She actually had a small stumble in Round 1, but she was simply unshakeable, and she amassed a huge amount of reaction in the first two rounds. She made a smart move in staying lyrical, and the unending punchlines and multi’s she rattled off gave Hart no room whatsoever for dry spots. Footage may complicate things when it drops, but 40 succeeded where many others have failed.
Morawsha vs. Ms. Murk
These two approached one another with a lot of confidence after trading shots before the event, and it showed. This was Morawsha’s first QOTR battle after strong showings elsewhere, and it turned out to be the typical case of a newcomer holding her own against a still-hungry emerging staple of the league. Ms. Murk seemed to have much of the crowd on her side, but the constant competitiveness of the match-up kept things interesting.
Part of what’s made Morawsha stand out thus far is her humor and ability not to take herself too seriously. Even in front of the somewhat skeptical QOTR crowd, she stuck to this approach and sprinkled some hilariously self-aware rebuttals and freestyles into her focused attack on Murk. When the crowd wasn’t paying as much attention as she would have liked, she kept it moving and was still able to gain momentum throughout the battle, taking at least the third round convincingly.
Accepting battles with newcomers isn’t always just a favor for battlers who have put in work; it can also be an opportunity to show fans why there’s no doubt that they belong. Murk did just that by expertly clowning Morawsha with wordplay, punchlines, and good old-fashioned cruelty, saying things like, “I’ll admit, you got some nice tits … But I bet if you lift them up, you’ll see some white shit.” Though Morawsha caught up with her by Round 3, she did exactly what vets are supposed to do in the first two.
All photos by Smart Alix for BattleRap.com.
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