Despite some last-minute cancellations, URL delivered yet another successful small room event with "Born Legacy 4." The new-to-URL venue in Brooklyn was relatively compact, smoky, and packed to the brim, which you should recognize as the ideal formula for a battle rap event. Many predictions were subverted, a few crowd favorites made triumphant returns, and the event as a whole left plenty to be debated. For that reason, it was damn near impossible to even pin down a single Battle Of The Night. Check out the standout moments from the event below.
1) Jaz The Rapper
Two years after Jaz' high-profile loss to O'fficial, the URL crowd was more than ready to see her back in the ring. Did we go a little overboard reacting to her at times? Perhaps, but it was hard not to given how polished her rounds were, which made clear that she had been studying the game throughout her absence. It was overall the same Jaz we know and love, but her writing was notably sharper, and her third round in particular seemed determined to cover all viable ground.
As usual, you really can't take anything away from E Hart, who probably edged Round 2. She treated Jaz like a kid who was acting up, and that approach definitely had its moments. Notably, some mic issues seemed to drain some of her energy in Round 3 (more on that later). All that aside though, Jaz was fairly unstoppable at BL4 — you might even say "too much." Just about every line was expertly crafted to Hart, and she took the opportunity to make the most of several of the angles that could be used against her.
Jaz' first round was explosive, and the crowd was uncontrollable before she had even finished speaking on her loss to O'fficial. While the same mic issues took away from her Round 2, her third round featured her own father who claimed to have gone to high school with Hart, and it was hilarious (Dad The Rapper definitely could use some work on his delivery for next time, though). Jaz' game-winning third was absurdly long, but a lot of that was due to the hysterical crowd.
2) Chef Trez
Chef Trez had some work to do in the wake of his last URL outing versus Ryda, which despite being a great battle, seemed to show him slightly off his game. Maybe he was just caught off guard by the strength of Ryda's performance, but Trez rushed through his rounds to a noticeable extent in that battle and delivered some of his freestyles less than perfectly. Against Mike P, however, those issues were out the window, leaving only a dominant, freestyle-infested performance that made it hard for Mike to stand out despite having plenty of big moments himself.
After Mike's tone-setting Round 1, it was looking something like an uphill battle for Trez. Right off the bat though, a couple of sharp rebuttals seamlessly led into a freestyle that threatened to collapse the building. Nu Jerzy Twork had tripped and fallen while getting on stage a few minutes earlier (he was a great sport about it, don't worry) and Trez used the idea that "the wrong stare/stair will get you dropped on stage" to his full advantage. Although Mike's first was probably a stronger overall round even in light of Trez' freestyles, some fans even had Trez 3-0.
Interestingly, while Mike seemed to limit his usual approach to aggressive but more generalized punches and patterns, Trez did the opposite, which seemed to be the winning strategy. Joking and using angles in addition to consistently punching throughout the second and third, Trez walked away with a clear 2-1 in the building.
3) Nu Jerzy Twork
"I'M STRAPPED IN! I'LL CLAP YOU IN A COMA! MADNESS! I COULD SNAP AT ANY MOMENT!" Already, those statements are a slogan for Nu Jerzy Twork. Considering he just uttered them in his last battle (his first URL showing ever), it's extremely impressive how eager the crowd was to chant along at BL4. With the exception of his third round that seemed slightly cut short, Twork fixed the issues of stumbling and choking — or "Jersey"ing as it's come to be known — and delivered another haymaker of a performance.
Many fans recognized that Glueazy had the potential to win this off sheer consistency and predicted that if Twork slipped up significantly, he'd lose. Ironically, Glu stumbled pretty conspicuously in the middle of his second round, which was tragically shaping up to be his best ever. In light of Twork's casual slip at the end of Round 3, the fumble was a reminder of how crucial it is not to acknowledge when you fuck up in a battle.
Depending on how much a clean performance means to you, you might give Glu Round 2 in addition to Round 3, but the live result was pretty clearly in Twork's favor. Twork brought plenty of memorable and unorthodox lines like in the Dougy battle, but maybe even more importantly, he was also much more well-rounded than previously, making the crowd laugh (in addition to punching holes through walls).
Upset Of The Night: Steams vs. Danny Myers
While he certainly had plenty of support in the building, relatively few fans predicted Steams to beat Danny Myers, who was returning after his longest break from battling since he arrived on the scene. Despite a hesitant crowd, Danny managed to take Round 1 with some phenomenally personal material that pushed the bounds of his typical approach, but it was downhill for him from there. It wasn't because Danny was wack — far from it — it was that Steams delivered arguably the best three rounds of his career, treading far more ground than he has in any of his previous bouts.
In Round 2, it became clear that Steams was not treating Danny like a typical opponent and was instead bent on making a much larger point. It's hard to say what exactly turned this into such a grudge match, but it sure ended up feeling that way. Steams hit Danny with constant personals in Round 2, which was pretty surprising on its own but hit harder and harder as the round went on. Danny undoubtedly had some solid material in the second, but a lot of it failed to reach the crowd, and his energy wavered a bit from Round 1.
In Round 3, Danny made a critical mistake: addressing angles on himself that Steams hadn't even mentioned (Danny went second, making his the last verse of the battle). He started the round by addressing battle rap as if it were a woman who treated him badly (are you cringing yet?), and it did not land. Steams was trying to take Danny's head off in Rounds 2 and 3, and he put more thought into it than anyone probably expected, and Danny's counter approach was just not going to cut it. This will look better for Danny on camera, but Steams undoubtedly shut some people up with a clear 2-1 victory in the building.
Debatable Of The Night: Prez Mafia vs. Money Bagz
Debatable Of The Night is usually a proud label, and Prez and Money Bagz certainly didn't have a bad battle, but the crowd did seem to get tired starting in the middle of it. You certainly can't blame either emcee for it; Bagz had the crowd spazzing in Round 1, and Prez' Round 2 was arguably even better than that.
For probably no other reason than standing up for a long time, the crowd suddenly seemed exhausted when Bagz began his second after Prez had just earned a ton of reaction in Round 2. It wasn't exactly a weak round from Bagz, but a big step down from his first. Bagz' third was slightly more dynamic, but the crowd seemed disinterested by then, as Prez had stumbled through much of his. Prez' third had higher highs and lower lows, clearly having the potential to make some grand statements on battle rap but seemingly cobbled together pretty recently. It was a tossup, with a slight majority calling the battle for Bagz while admitting it was far from his best work.
Cancellations & Technical Difficulties
A few days prior to the event, URL announced that Ave's sister had tragically passed away and that his battle versus O-Red would be postponed. Of course, fans were disappointed but completely understanding, and there was a moment of silence for Ave's sister during the event. Our thoughts are with Ave and his family.
Although never officially announced at the event, word got around relatively quickly that Franchise, a rising star from BeastMODE's Toronto roster who'd been making moves in KOTD and who was set to make his URL debut, could not get over the Canadian border to battle Brooklyn Carter. This was a huge disappointment to many fans who were excited to see BC finally get another URL plate after many cancellations, in his namesake hometown no less. Obviously, these difficulties put Franchise in a tough spot as well.
Although some minor technical slips popped up here and there throughout the night (par for the course in battle rap), they became problematic during Jaz vs. E Hart. As well as causing long delays, mic issues drained a lot of the energy out of Round 2 in that battle, simply because it was so hard to hear. To make matters worse, Hart ended up rapping her entire third with an extremely muffled mic. Jaz began her third under the same conditions, but her mic quickly came back to life, along with the crowd. Jaz would probably have won the third regardless, but this had to have been frustrating for Hart.
Despite all the above, the event was packed and had a positive atmosphere right up until the last battle, Mr. Wavy vs. Bill Collector. By that time, right after Jaz vs. Hart, the crowd was exhausted. Bill was doing everything he could to wake the crowd up but to little avail, and Wavy clearly took it in the building. Still, there were some questionable moments in Wavy's performance (particularly his third), and the clash probably has to remain in tossup territory until it drops. It didn't leave the crowd with a bad taste though, and most fans called the event a success.