Saturday saw the Ultimate Rap League take over Manhattan’s S.O.B.’s for an afternoon of some of the year’s most highly anticipated battles. While the rest of New York was celebrating Record Store Day or 4/20 festivities, S.O.B.’s was all business as battle loyalists packed the house to witness four showdowns, some several years in the making.
The main event saw Shotgun Suge finally square off with Bill Collector. After years of tension, which almost resulted in things turning physical mere moments before the battle, the two got personal both with their rhymes as well as by getting uncomfortably close to each other during the battle itself. Suge mentioned several times that this battle would be his last, and if that’s the case, lines like “[I’ll] find out where Eric be [Eric B] and ‘rock him’ [Rakim]” and “You mean nothing to PA - Eric Snow” he went out with the crowd supporting him. Despite the animosity between the two, even Suge had to give props to Bill during his third round when Bill said, “I got knocked out and woke-up more famous than you.” Miraculously, as soon as the battle was over, tensions immediately diffused and the two dapped up as a show of sportsmanship.
Math Hoffa Versus John John da Don
The evening also saw Math Hoffa face John John da Don. Both of their first rounds set things off with Hoffa accusing John John of stealing from other battlers to the point where Hoffa speculated John John would take from him as well, while John John opened with the stunning subtle visual of rapping while removing his watch, glasses and turning his hat around as if he were preparing to fight. While the end of the battle saw the crowd largely turning pro-Hoffa, John John still got a big reaction with his third round line “even though you snuffed Dose, it didn’t look like it hurt.”
Dose Versus Lotta Zay
Speaking of Dose, he was in action as he took on Lotta Zay. It was interesting to see how the crowd watched Dose and hung on his every word as he switched up styles, cadences and flows and rhymed like a man possessed. Whether it’s the URL audience really rooting for his comeback or just trying to follow what was happening, he had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand. While Dose was edging the first two rounds, Zay’s final round came packed with non-stop knock-out blows, namely “The only reason Smack put you back on SMACK / is cause you got Smack famous for getting Smacked on SMACK.” Dose’s third round saw him teasing addressing the infamous Math incident from years back, but ultimately didn’t capture the momentum he had in his first two rounds as people began leaving before he was finished.
Sco Versus Nuborn
But perhaps the biggest story that will emerge from the day’s battles is the star-making performance of Sco as he took on Nuborn in a last minute addition to the card. While it was the first battle of the night, both set the day off right from the start. While the crowd enjoyed Nuborn’s style where he breaks down and explains his own lines, S.O.B.’s gave some of the day’s biggest reactions to Sco, absolutely exploding during his second round where he stated “I don’t need to be a wrestler to hit you with a ‘clothesline’... I would never wear those jeans with that shirt” and going on to quickly dress-down Nuborn’s attire. SMACK co-founder Eric Beasley told HipHopDX he considered Sco’s second and third rounds to be among the day’s biggest highlights, adding, “He had been on a URL stage when we first got started...and he showed [today] that he really wanted in...he showed that he belonged on the stage.” HipHopDX also spoke to Sco who felt the day was “a classic” and added, “To me, the crowd understands real Rap. I’ve been through a lot of that street stuff, so when I bring that to a crowd, they relate to me.”