Top Moments From URL's "Born Legacy 2"

Our picks for the best battle, performance, bar, comeback and more from URL's March 6 event.

So URL’s “Born Legacy 2” was pretty incredible.

The last few small-room PG events had some excellent bigger-name one-offs, and this latest card mostly expanded on that concept with impressive results. The venue (New York's Black Bear Bar, where in the adjacent room skateboarders dipped into a small halfpipe while Brooklynites looked on with a beer in hand) was packed with battlers and diehard fans, which led to a knowledgable and well-behaved crowd that added to the positive atmosphere.  The turnout was even better than expected, and many in the line were turned away at the door.

Credit is due for Norbes and the team for setting up battles that meant something — not necessarily from history between the emcees — but where a win, a loss, or a good/bad performance meant everything. The line-up featured guys who were either hot in their last few URL battles and who wanted to build on the streak (Ave, Chilla, Rum Nitty, Chess), or cold and who wanted redemption (Reed Dollaz, Cyssero, Young X). Being on either side of that equation was clearly enough to inspire some fire.

Here are our picks for the standout moments from the event.

Battle Of The Night: Rum Nitty vs. Ave

Rum Nitty vs. Ave.

In our prediction article, we said this battle would launch at least one star, and maybe two. It was the latter. After the battle was over, people were comparing it to such classics as Danny Myers vs. Rum Nitty (x5) and JC vs. Chilla Jones, although the best comparison would probably be Rum Nitty vs. B Magic. It was such a classic exhibition of pure writing skill that our Twitter followers were saying that our live updates were better than most battles.

Both of these emcees showed how much more room there still is for creative wordplay and didn’t really spit a wack bar between them over six combined rounds. Not every line hit with the whole crowd, but every line hit hard with whoever in the crowd caught the reference.

From one perspective, both were winners. From another, Rum Nitty won the battle clearly. Though the writing was essentially a tie, his aggression, intensity and stage experience made the difference.

Performance Of The Night: Rum Nitty

Smack introducing Rum Nitty. Photo by Smart Alix.

We’re not out of good things to say about Rum Nitty. Ahead of this battle, there was a question about whether the NYC crowd would rock with the West Coast emcee. Stuey Newton and Emerson Kennedy fought uphill battles for reaction at the last PGs, and both Dizaster and Danny Myers were met with skepticism from NYC purists in their URL debuts.

Rum Nitty dispelled all worries of that by connecting heavily with his first line, and after that it was smooth sailing for three rounds. It wasn’t just that he convinced the naysayers though; he had plenty of fans in the building, who shouted along with his “suicide or I’ll do the job” slogan at the end of his first round.

He’s certainly ready for a main stage shot, whether it be against Tay Roc or one of the other names that have started calling him out.

Debatable Of The Night: Mike P vs. Tink Tha Demon

Mike P vs. Tink. Photo by Smart Alix.

This style clash felt a lot like a tie in the building, and when the footage drops there will be many who call it 3-0 on both sides. Every round was debatable, with both guys starting strong, having several epic moments (Tink's callout of an in-the-building Shotgun Suge and Mike P's Street Fighter scheme both sent the crowd into a frenzy) and then struggling to get past the finish line in the third.

Photo by Smart Alix.

Photo by Smart Alix.

That's not to say that their content or memorization fell off, but they gassed out their voices and by the third were struggling to project with the same energy and volume that they started with.

Either way, it was a phenomenal battle between two unique personalities that we want to see more of on the URL stage.

Newcomers Of The Night

Jerry Wess

Jerry Wess rapping against Bangz. Photo by Smart Alix.

In Jerry Wess' last URL battle‚ at the "Perfect Day" PGs in the same venue, he earned a ton of crowd reaction (too much, if you ask some fans). As we said back then, it's not like it's his fault; his animated style in a small-room setting is bound to draw huge reactions. That was even more the case this time, as Jerry had bars that involved him momentarily crowd surfing on his entourage and disappearing and reappearing in a different outfit mid-round, for example.

Although these kinds of moves — antics, you could call them — seem more suited to winning over the live crowd, they'll probably help online viewers understand why the audience loves Jerry so much. Stealing the spotlight from Bangz is never easy, but Jerry's writing was also tighter this time around, and he seems to be about one URL battle away from being the next breakout star.

Nunn Nunn

Nunn Nunn rapping against Bonus.

Last time we wrote about Nunn Nunn (also for the "Perfect Day" PGs), we noted how dangerous he would be when he increased the frequency of his haymakers. That definitely happened, and it seems like he's officially here. Instead of waiting until Round 2 to do something unusual or Round 3 to get fed up and start spazzing, Nunn was snapping from the gate versus Bonus.

Though arguably outdone in Round 1, he clearly got the second and third with improved stage presence and overall succinct but effective rounds. His writing is sharper now too, and he had the place losing its mind over a slow-it-down about flowers. If that doesn't sound plausible, just wait for the footage.

Comeback Of The Night: Reed Dollaz

Reed Dollaz vs. Chess. Photo by Smart Alix.

Full disclosure: the main event between Reed Dollaz and Chess was looking like a classic until mic issues just before Round 3 seemed to throw the emcees off, causing both to stumble. Still, though virtually no one predicted that he'd beat Chess, Reed far exceeded expectations and made the battle debatable with a performance that looked nothing like his loss to John John Da Don.

Reed Dollaz and Chess after the battle. Photo by Smart Alix.

His second round was everything you could ask for, like a truly updated version of the dude that was running through competition more than 10 years ago. He went at Chess specifically with his classic brand of punchlines that hit much, much harder than they did versus JJDD, and he clearly won that round. Doesn't "you don't know the shooter but the shooter know YOU" take you back to the golden era?

Bodybag Of The Night: Young X Over DOT

Young X rapping against DOT. Photo by Smart Alix.

We don't want to say the DOT wave is over, because there are surely plenty of leagues still eager to book him, but man, this crowd was not feeling him. The glow just wasn't there; his rounds seemed to drone on and on, without the usual absurd brilliance that makes them entertaining. It's hard to say if he just had an off night (can DOT be "off?") or if fans have suddenly turned on him. At one point, someone in the crowd muttered something like, "He's reaching for reaches; he can't even reach anymore." It felt strangely accurate.

More importantly, Young X cooked DOT like no one else really has.  This was actually a URL "return" for him as well after losing badly to Uno Lavoz, and he killed it. Were many of his lines laughable? Of course, but he planned it that way, and it worked perfectly against DOT in the building. Even though all of X's material was at least vaguely personal, this approach made it much more alarming and memorable when he really started talking. "Only New Yorkers lovin' ya, so you not a reach God, more like a reach Governor." Ouch.

Quotable Of The Night

If you hadn't seen that bar yet, you probably don't have Twitter. Anyone who has seen or heard about Reed Dollaz vs. John John Da Don, in which Reed assured JJDD six times that his gun was "in the car," knows how heavy this line is. The very idea of things being "in the car" practically went viral back then, and this haymaker playing off of it got Chess the huge reaction he deserved.

Chess vs. Reed Dollaz. Photo by Smart Alix.

Also Of Note

Two other BL2 battles could have gone in the debatable category, but unfortunately, neither of them quite lived up to expectations.

Cortez vs. Chilla Jones was close, coming down to Round 3 with most fans in the building calling it 2-1 Cor. The problem was that this battle went down directly after the exhaustingly fire Ave vs. Rum Nitty, in front of a reduced and evidently tired crowd. It will probably look better on camera, though, so still keep an eye out for it.

Ty Law vs. Cyssero had the building split extremely evenly, and the battle came down to preference. But like Cor vs. Chilla, it never quite got the momentum it needed to stand out. Of note, Cyssero had zero stumbles (he lost his place almost every time the crowd reacted when he battled Cortez), and Ty Law had a crazy quotable first round.

Ty Law vs. Cyssero. Photo by Smart Alix.

Ty Law vs. Cyssero. Photo by Smart Alix.

Words by Chris Mitchell and Jackson Yates. Photos by Smart Alix.

Thoughts? Questions? Let us know in the comments below.