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#10 Tsu Surf


Bars/Wordplay 10

"Everyday in my hood, I bang, I'm a nice worker, I Kenneth Cole, 3 piece, bow tie, nice shirt ya, choir in the pulpit, momma in the front row, white hearse ya, with a clip bout this long that flip both ways like vice versa." Tsu Surf is all bars and performance, as he pushes his pen so hard that it’s not a stretch of the imagination to say he’s got some of the best bars in battle rap. Clever word play, double entendres, and some of the best sports references you ever heard, Surf has a pen in battle rap that is undeniable.

Delivery/Performance 10

"Say something stupid, I wish you would *****, we could go swing for swing if you could *****, what you about to say? Jersey lost the Nets? good *****, the best shooters still in my hood *****" Right along with his pen is Surf’s performance, in which honestly Surf makes his bars sound even better than they look on paper. To be honest his performance honestly looks like theatre, not to say he’s fraudulent and doesn’t live what he raps about, but instead he just accentuates his bars with passionate delivery from his soul - in which case he undeniably makes art from content as rudimentary as gun bars and basketball references.

Originality 9

"Catch him coming up the stairs I tell the homie like shhh, think it's a game till you are in the middle of that chu chu, see I'm way too advanced for these ***** and it hurts, like that last bar, U R in the middle of the CH CH that's CHURCH" While he’s hardly the most original Surf isn’t the worst offender either, and ultimately when you see battle clones today a lot of them actually remind you of Surf, a testament to how he’s been able to stand out in a lane that so many artists occupy.

Versatility/Jokes 9

"Now why in the fuck would I compare your gang to my gang, when Mook sees Math he still gets migraines." Again he’s hardly the most versatile, and with that in mind a 9 in this category may be generous. All the same Surf can tweak his delivery to be comical when he wants to, moments of course that are few and far between.

Freestyle/Rebuttals 9

"I said I like that line about your fit, it kinda goes with how you dress, camouflage, army, this AR on MY hip make it easier to go across his chest." Like most battle MCs he’s better when he sticks to his writtens, but surf has made an attempt or two at rebuttals that have gotten him good reactions all the same.

watch the interview

Impact/Brand 9

"I come at your whole crew neck, I make you bitches look hood, I guess Joe Budden rubbed off, I make all you bitches look good" Surf definitely is a reputable name in battle rap, highlighted by his celebrity fanbase in Kevin Durant and Joe Budden, while meanwhile he also has songs with legends like Jadakiss, Styles P, and Wale [Salute to Surf for being one of the only battle MCs with music his fans look forward to, and if this was a category Surf would be on top of the list]. Yet despite the traction he's made as a recording artist he's still a long way off from making enough of an impact to get his music sold in stores, which is something every artist wants whether they admit or not. Furthermore he doesn't have any other business entities such as a clothing line or a league of his own, which makes it rather clear that he supports himself with one of the larger purses in battle rap (still less than Mook, Lux, & Hollow) and to date that's really the extent of his brand.

Views/Numbers/Multiple Formats 10

"Ok now Surf ain't in the streets, and Twitter's where you see him, that's cause big homies got lil homies that'll take that ***** off that timeline like a DM, ok, so now Surf ain't come to the block and let it rock when these streets sweep, that's cause big homies got lil homies, that lay that mac round and lay it back down like a retweet, Surf ain't bout that street shit, Surf wouldn't send nothin, that's why big homies got lil homies that walk around with pounds like they trying to trend something, what you say, 100,000 tweets, that's why bitches swallow me *****, and the moral of this, Aye Verb, follow me *****" "Surf most definitely gets views, going triple Platinum twice, double Platinum twice, and Platinum 5 more times with that number likely to rise. All of those numbers are on URL however, with his other battles on UW and Go-Rilla Warfare only hovering in the low hundreds of thousands, which leads you to assume those would be the numbers if he battled on KOTD as well. Nonetheless while the format he exclusively battles on may have a lot to do with his numbers, that success can ultimately be attributed to him as well.

No Stumbles/Chokes 9

"Can he stomach this shit, it should be good cause he heavy there, cops said, it was just DNA in DNA every where.... it was just DNA in DNA everywhere... *flatline*.... Certainly not immune to choking, Surf cutting his rounds short by saying “JERSEY” isn't fooling anyone…

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Stays Active/Consistency 9

"You went to war with Brixx, Heartless, and Fox, that ain't real clever, just like a Conceited bitch hang around a bunch of corny bitches to feel better." Surf stays active enough, even though disregarding 2 on 2’s it’s been a minute since we’ve seen him solo in a battle of any significance, and it’s likely now he’s in a space where he’d rather be strategic than battle more than twice a year. It should be noted that I met Surf last year and asked him what he thought about a future matchup with Chess, an enticing matchup to many yet Surf laughed at it all the same, illustrating the politics and ego involved in the sport and more or less everything that’s wrong with battle rap.

Bodybags 8

"What these fans don't know is Reggie here is from Miami with the Dolphins, I was gettin ready for this lesson I started stretching started looking, searched your name on youtube and noticed all your battles your hometown said Brooklyn, now when I think of hometown I think caught my first charge, got my first pussy, bought my first tool there, not your family visit the city, you move in the summers or move there, we trap, we hang, we bang, skipped a few classes, but safe to say we went to school there, now I wonder what Brooklyn hood gonna admit Con had his heat blowing, where your tool at, where you went to school at, Tilden, Wingate, Prospect Heights, James Madison, Boys and Girls, Canarsie, Sheephead Bay, Midwood, You ain't from no fucking New York, what's wrong with Miami if you live good? And you ain't even from no fucking Miami, you from Pembroke Pine, that's a 20-30 minute drive, what good is bars on top of bars if your foundation is lies, you went to Charles Flanagan High Reginald accept it, A real man once told me once your cards get pulled your hands is what you left with."Surf’s been known to be the king of the debatables, and while that’s partially because he stumbles sometimes and gives away clear victories, it’s also because he also gets the best out of his opponents - in which case he’s been a part of multiple classics (Hitman, Big T, Conceited, etc.) although without many bodies to his name.

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