Summer Madness has returned with its 6th installment. After a one year absence, Smack/URL brings back its biggest event of the year. Called the “Super Bowl of Battle Rap,” this year’s Summer Madness has potential to be one of the best in recent memory. As always, the card features some of the top names in the culture and should produce many classic matchups.
Here are the full battle previews and predictions:
Tay Roc vs. Hollow Da Don
Headlining the event is one of the biggest matchups in the history of Battle Rap. It’s no secret Tay Roc has been the URL’s number one MC the last few years. No one has done more to earn their spot as Smack’s top gunner than Roc. The Baltimore native is one of the most prolific battlers of the new era. Alread y the self-proclaimed “Gun Bar King,” Roc is also the consistency king, taking very few losses throughout his career. This match with Hollow is the next step for Roc if he is looking to solidify himself as one of the greatest of all-time.
On the other hand, Hollow has already established himself as one of the best of his generation. No conversation about the Mt. Rushmore of Battle Rap can happen without including him. Hollow is one of the rare MCs who has been able to transition from multiple eras and still perform at a high level. Known for his clever use of personal angles in his battles, Hollow is also one of the toughest battlers to beat.
Prediction: Tay Roc wins (Debatable 2-1)
The smart choice would be to bet on Hollow. But when is it ever smart to bet against Tay Roc? Many fans might have Hollow winning because of his more advanced skill set. Roc might be a great battler, but he still is very one-dimensional. He sticks mainly to his strengths: bars and performance. However, the more straightforward approach may be the best option in this battle.
The biggest momentum killer in Battle Rap is a bad angle. Using fake personals or angles that don’t resonate with the audience is an easy way to lose a battle. Hollow is extremely effective at using angles, but one mistake could leave him vulnerable. Especially since Roc doesn’t have many weaknesses to exploit.
But the biggest reason to back Tay Roc is the nature of the matchup. For the first time in a while, Roc is facing an opponent who is a tier above him. Roc has enjoyed being the undisputed champ of the URL for the last few years and has spent that time facing opponents who are either beneath him or on par with his status. Although still consistent, he hasn’t reached the level of performance from his days as an up-and-comer. Knowing his opponent is above him is the type of motivation Roc needs to push himself and regain some of his old energy. There is no reason to believe the Gun Bar King won’t bring everything he has.
Calicoe vs. Brizz Rawsteen
This is about to be a dogfight. Both MCs are perfectly matched for one another in that they are both disrespectful, aggressive, and not afraid to invade their opponents personal space.
Brizz is one of the fastest rising battlers on the URL right now. His battle with Ill Will recently broke one million views, and he is looking to capitalize on his momentum. Every battle Brizz brings showstopping performance and powerful delivery that has made him a fan favorite in the battle rap community. Finally receiving his first Summer Madness appearance, Brizz Rawsteen is ready to take the jump into Battle Rap’s elite tier.
However, his obstacle is only one of the most feared MCs in all of Battle Rap. Calicoe is a veteran from the early days on Smack. Back then, he used to run through competition with his physicality and hard-hitting punchlines. Having been on four Summer Madness events, Calicoe is most at home on the big stage. Although he doesn’t battle as often anymore, he only returns for an opponent worthy of his attention. It says a lot about Brizz Rawsteen that Calicoe hand selected him to be his next opponent.
Prediction: Calicoe wins (Edge 2-1)
This matchup has “Battle of the Night” written all over it. Both of these MCs will come ready for a fight, and this should be the best back-and-forth of the event. Assuming Calicoe and Brizz are even when it comes to their performance skill, this battle will come down to substance. While both will bring plenty of haymakers, Calicoe should have the edge. Cal does more street talk than Brizz, and that should be the difference in keeping the crowd’s attention.
Hitman Holla vs. K-Shine
The URL has a way of making things happen. Just when it looks like this battle won’t be going down, Smack pulls this one out of thin air. On what is already a stacked card, adding Hitman Holla and K-Shine turns a great card into a potentially epic one.
K-Shine is coming off a dominant victory over T-Rex and a battle with O-Red at Alpha N Omega. One of the more consistent veterans, K-Shine isn’t often seen on the URL battling one-on-one. Before the T-Rex battle, his last one-on-one Smack battle was against Aye Verb at NOME 5 over two years ago. Although when he does battle, he looks more than comfortable on the big stage. Shine buries his opponents with his fast-paced style and draws crowd reaction with his animated delivery. As long as Shine comes prepared, he should be able to hold his own.
Hitman Holla has achieved fame only a few other battlers have been able to match. He’s among the top-five highest average viewed battlers and is also a star on MTV’s hit show Wild ‘N Out. But views and recognition don’t win battles. Bars and performance do. And Hitman has those attributes in good supply. Hitman has four Summer Madness appearances, each more memorable than the last. His most recent, against Tsu Surf, has over four million views. A monster on the big stage, Hitman will bring his crowd control and impeccable performance to a crowd desperately missing his presence.
Prediction: Hitman wins (Clear 2-1)
This isn’t as complicated as it looks. Hitman is almost guaranteed to win the first round on the strength of his performance alone. While K-Shine has signature moves of his own, he’ll be facing tough odds to win back that round. After that, as long as Hitman maintains his momentum and takes one of the next two rounds, he should win the battle. Although not usually praised for his pen game, Hitman should have plenty of motivation to write on after being involved in an issue with NWX member Rain. Although they settled their drama, fans can only hope there isn’t a physical confrontation.
JC vs. Rum Nitty
For these two MCs, this battle is well deserved. JC and Rum Nitty have put in work while on the URL and represent its new wave of talent. Excitement is high as both battlers are making their long-awaited Summer Madness debuts.
For JC, this is the culmination of everything he has worked for the last few years. After leaving Smack for a time to build his stock back up on smaller leagues, he has now returned better than ever. Combining elite pen and stage presence, JC believes himself ready to take on battle rap icon Loaded Lux. While some fans might agree with him, JC still needs to win more matchups and raise his stock to push the matchup further.
Rum Nitty made his big stage debut last year against Tay Roc at NOME 6. The matchup had massive hype around it because of the rivalry built upon it. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet expectations. The battle turned ugly because of multiple on-stage confrontations. Rum now has a second chance to prove he’s ready for the main stage. One of the more sophisticated punchers, Rum should have no problem keeping pace with JC.
Prediction: Rum Nitty wins (Edge 2-1)
Despite the improvement he’s made over the last few years, JC still has trouble against punchline-heavy opponents. A recent example is when he struggled against Bigg K on RBE. Rum Nitty is one of the top punchers in Battle Rap. Although versatile, JC still lacks experience on the big stage.
Also, massive expectations are being placed upon him right now. With comparisons to Loaded Lux, fans are expecting big things from JC. His clear win over Chess further inflates his stock. If he doesn’t meet the high standards of fans, then he could be digging himself into a hole early into the battle.
T-Top vs. Ave
Although expected to go down a while ago, fans aren’t complaining now that the URL announced the battle. Both MCs are the top of their respective classes, and this matchup helps to settle which prodigy has learned more since their debut.
Despite coming off a tough loss to Goodz at NOME 7, T-Top is still one of the top MCs on the URL’s roster. He has a strong resume for the amount of time he’s been around and has mostly been able to deliver classic battles throughout his career. However, now that Top has reached his peak, it’s time he gave a shot to an up-and-comer. With his trademark street talk and charisma, T-Top offers high upside in every battle.
One of the best prospects to come out of the Proving Grounds, Ave has punched his way to the top of his class. His classic battles with Rum Nitty and Chess are examples of his handiwork in the main stage. Only six battles into his URL career and many are already including him among the likes of Conceited, B-Magic, and Bigg K as a top puncher. Now that the allegations of him stealing bars are behind him, he can start to build his momentum and lay claim to the punchline crown.
Prediction: T-Top wins (Edge 2-1/ 3-0)
This may seem strange considering T-Top just lost to Goodz, but to be fair, he didn’t look like himself in that battle. He was too serious and tried to out-street Goodz, which backfired. When he battled Tsu Surf, Top looked like he was having fun and was much more charismatic throughout his performance. I expect him to return to form in this matchup, drawing on his humor and charisma while still showcasing his street talk. Ave is reliable, but he’s still somewhat one dimensional as a puncher. T-Top making his comeback might be too much for him.
There are always rumors and predictions going around in the battle community about what will the surprise matchups be on the next event. For Summer Madness, the URL hasn’t given away any hints, although fans can always connect the dots.
Word has been going around that Shotgun Suge and Chess are due to battle. Although this matchup would be an excellent addition, the timing might not be right. Chess took a rough loss to JC because of his stumbles and chokes. It would be for the best if Chess took some time off to get his mind right, although the time between Born Legacy Supreme and Summer Madness might have been sufficient to clean up his technical errors.
Fans have also mentioned Nu Jerzey Twork. Twork was in a surprise battle with Mike P at NOME 7. A match with DNA should be intriguing to many fans. DNA is often called the “PG Killer” for his record of beating up-and-comers. Twork is one of the top prospects to make his debut. This would make a generational clash worthy of Summer Madness. It also makes sense from a league perspective. DNA was supposed to battle Daylyt at NOME 6. That battle never happened, which means the URL still has a deposit for DNA. A battle with Twork would satisfy both DNA and the URL.
Another interesting nugget to consider, Smack and Beasley were on Sway in the Morning on September 8th to promote Summer Madness 6. With them were Big T, Cortez, and Math Hoffa. Why bring these M Cs along to do promo for an event if they weren’t on the card? Just a thought.
Considering the current state of Battle Rap and how 2017 has panned out so far, Smack and the URL deserve credit for putting together one of the best cards of the year. With names such as Hollow Da Don, Tay Roc, Calicoe, and Hitman on the card, it’s clear the URL spared no expense for this event. This is combined with the addition of some new faces to the legacy of Summer Madness, faces such as Rum Nitty, Brizz Rawsteen, JC, and Ave. As long as the URL can start the event on time, maintain a solid PPV stream and avoid any confrontations, Summer Madness 6 has the potential to go down as the biggest event of the year.
Summer Madness 6 is going down on September 10th at Irving Plaza in New York City, NY. The event is available to stream on www.watchbattlelive.com.