I typically don’t do reviews of events such as battle rap but there was a slight buzz around this particular battle and I felt compelled as a writer to provide my humble opinion. The battle I speak of was between two Baltimore artists, one who is moderately well known in the Baltimore hip hop world by the name of J-Law and another rapper who’s working on building his own acclaim in the industry by the name of Rexx Ruga. This duel of words was hosted by the well-known Chaka Pitts in his infamous “Pit Fights Battle League” on February 26th as a part of the “No Love 5” event where battlers from all over the city stand toe to toe and match bars in front of a crowd of fans. Even before the actual video was posted, there was an electricity surrounding the battle that sparked a mild social uproar that included several memes and jokes made about Rexx Ruga by some of J-Law’s fans who were in attendance. When all was said and done and the votes were all counted up, the final decision was that J-Law was the victor of the battle where most of the judges agreed that he defeated Rexx Ruga in all 3 rounds, and a few were a bit more split feeling that J-Law only one 2 of the rounds and Rexx got the better of him in one of the rounds. As I sat and watched the battle I’d have to agree that J-Law was definitely the clear winner, however, I don’t agree with the fact that it was a landslide victory. I definitely believe that Rexx took the advantage in the second round, as far as his bar quality and performance went. As far as the battle overall goes, by that I mean all three rounds from both artists, I feel that they both had their strong points but the types of rappers they were, along with the different levels of experience they have in the Pit is what kind of tipped the scales in J-Law’s favor. Rexx approached the battle with a more calculated and laid back flow which in that kind of crowd can work against you because, while he did have some creative and witty things to say, if the crowd can’t hear what’s being said they won’t feel or react to the punchlines when they’re delivered. J-Law, on the other hand, made his return to the Pit after a 2 year hiatus and debuted with a new delivery that was more aggressive than people were used to and it definitely helped him to grasp and maintain the momentum in his performance, the only downside to his was that the excess aggression tended to come off as a bit too showy and even though the crowd reactions did have an impact on some of his bars being heard, he himself sometimes was a bit difficult to comprehend due to the heightened volume. Another advantage taken in this battle was in confidence, now granted being that J-Law has been battle rapping for the better part of a decade, Rexx made a fair attempt in maintaining a strong face throughout the battle until the 3rd round where there was an obvious shift in not only his confidence but also his stage presence as the battle reached its conclusion. You can see that he already felt that he’d lost and while he continued to deliver his bars with no mistakes or “chokes” he was visibly deflated. J-Law maintained his confidence the whole time, and also took the opportunity to flex his on the spot skills by starting the 2nd and 3rd rounds by taking and flipping lines from Rexx’s previous rounds, which in battle rap is something that can really take the crowds attention as most battle rappers come with their rhymes pre-written, rehearsed, and memorized. So taking that chance and freestyling against an opponent can only be respected, especially when it’s done well because I’ve seen/heard other rappers attempt to do the same and they did not go over as well. I will say that both rappers did great jobs, for the level of the game they are in their battle was for sure one of the most entertaining I’ve watched in a long while and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them both. If you would like to watch the battle for yourself, the link will be below as well as the social media information for both artists so that you can check the rest of their catalog out and decide for yourself who is truly the better MC.
J-Law: Instagram: @jlawtheone