On May 6 RBE threw the fifth iteration of their Blood, Sweat & Tiers event, headlined by a highly anticipated battle between JC and Bigg K. Not only did that clash generally live up to pre-match hype, but it was a solid card overall, with a number of strong performances. We were in the building for the battles, and our review is below.
Bigg K vs JC
JC took the first in his usual JC Fashion, lots of punches, bar after bar, very little if any filler. Bigg K seemed to use the 1st round to warm-up and turned in a solid round, but his writing was not on the level of JC's. The 2nd and 3rd rounds were dominated live by Bigg K. JC's second round seemed to be lacking direction and cadence. He had no stumbles or stops, but it did not seem like he could get his round in tune with the audience. Bigg K's 3rd round live was a perfect mix of jokes and punchlines. It was almost like he alternated joke with punch with every bar and the crowd loved it. It had a tinge of Bigg K's epic 3rd vs Big Kannon but this time it was a full round of balanced performance. I picked Bigg K 2nd and 3rd for a 2-1 victory.
O Red vs Showoff
I give this battle to O-Red pretty clearly. Showoff turned in a much better performance vs O-Red than he did vs Math. He crafted some really creative schemes and punches but unfortunately the time needed to build them up could not compare to O-Red's searing punch count. O-Red could have taken all 3 rounds clearly were it not for a second round choke that gives Showoff the 2nd round. It did not matter because O-Red's 3rd was so good that it almost became an O-Red exhibition and not a battle. Fans of O-Red will not be disappointed and should probably expect that O-Red's future battles will be like this performance.
40 Barrs vs QP Sons
40 Barrs took this lackluster battle pretty clearly. QP just could not seem to get through his rounds without stopping in utter shock at the lack of reaction. His typical mix of punchlines and sexism just did not seem to stir the audience and moments of no reaction were met with QP saying "put an RBE bomb here" 40 systematically outrapped and punched at QP leading up to the 3rd round. QP, probably exhausted from the lack of response tagged Qleen Paper in for the highlight of the battle. Qleen in turn fired of material for 40 Barrs and C3, who was also in attendance. The crowd immediately awoke to hear the 8 to 10 bars Qleen shot and again, it seems like a veteran's return improves on their second showing. What I got most from this battle? 1. 40 Barrs has arguably not lost any of her recent battles vs men and 2. Qleen Paper's next battle will be a must see.
Swave vs Heavy Half
Swave Sevah,as usual turned in three consistent rounds of pain and reality bars. His material was clearly crafted for Heavy Half, judging by his name flips throughout the battle. Each round he turned in a memorable line that incorporated Heavy's name while also having a resounding impact on the live crowd.
Heavy Half was also very consistent with his mix of hard punches, schemes and reality material. Scoring live, I gave Swave the 1st, Heavy the 2nd round and the 3rd was debatable. Heavy's 3rd round began with an explanation of his name story then continued into a final assault of Swave. Swave on the other hand, turned in another round similar to his first two.
J Murda vs Floss Da Boss
Floss Da Boss is very unorthodox, and all of his rounds had moments of excitement mixed with moments of confusion and no cadence or flow. J Murda gave an uneven performance, lots of street aggression mixed with spots of random humor. There was an aura of uncomfortable the entire battle due to the physical interaction between the battlers. Each round seemed to be a new antic for J Murda. Recalling from memory, he took selfies during one of Floss rounds. He also twirled a spinning toy. During Floss' 2nd round, J Murda let loose a rippling belch that conveniently was picked up by Floss mic and caused an immediate outburst of laughter. Through it all Floss never lost composure and completed his rounds. This battle was hard to judge and the extra-curricular activity makes it hard to call a winner. Debatable
Eazy Da Block Captain vs Trakz
Eazy Da Block Captain went first with a solid round. Not much direct material, lots of references to just being released from jail and the reality of readjusting to freedom.
Trakz responded with an endless barrage of haymakers and punchlines that made him the clear standout of the battle. Keep an eye on Trakz because if he can be this consistent, he will be on the radar shortly.
What battle are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments below.