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#7 Chess


Bars/Wordplay 10

“You hype now, Mario game, pipe down” yet when you hear people say they haven’t been this excited about battle rap in a long time, more often than not they’re talking about Chess, and a lot of that has to do with how he pushes his pen. Clever word play, double entendres, sports references, gun bars, you name it, Chess does everything and does all of it well, therefore when he spits it goes without saying that everyone’s listening.

Delivery/Performance 10

"Chill out, after the kick back, he might relax, open mic, poets night, I like to snap, keep the ratchet under the bed, like wifey back" Perhaps even more than his pen Chess has a delivery that’s immaculate. With incredible aggression behind his words you can tell Chess means what he says, and furthermore you can tell that he’s speaking from his soul. Add to that body language and hand movements that had been done long before him yet never with more intensity and fervor, thus behind the power of his voice he has one of the most complete delivery/performance styles in battle rap.

Originality 9

"Switching the color in the Uno game, the shit I draw wild, bars" Although he’s not the first and won’t be the last to spit gun bars in battle rap, Chess overall demeanor on stage is what makes him unique in his own right. Perhaps it’s the power of performance behind the word play, or it’s the obvious fact that he’s still in his teen years and on the main stage, Chess ultimately stands out from his peers and that’s saying a lot in today’s era.

Versatility/Jokes 8

"Backing out the sawed-off looked like I was removing a sword from me, Wave, because my shotty was tucked in the leg, and you couldn't tell at all dummy, cause I already walk funny." Chess can put humor behind his words no problem, yet mostly he’d rather just paint a picture of his world where nothing’s funny, with street knowledge and an overall demeanor that suggests he has more life experience than his age represents. Many would admit however that it would be interesting to see him switch up the content, although his theatrics with Steams in the 2 on 2’s are more than good enough for now.

Freestyle/Rebuttals 8

“I don't know where your moms at....but where mine at… besides THAT… “ Chess can hit you with a slick rebuttal from time to time, even if that’s not exactly what he’s known for. Therefore while it may seem strange for his score to be only one point less than the likes of Dizaster, you can’t fault someone for their style when it’s working, therefore thus far he’s proven himself to be able to pick his spots and only freestyle when it’s necessary.

watch the interview

Impact/Brand 9

"I was affecting myself, and giving my mom pain, ***** was in the 9th grade letting the 9 bang" Chess is without a doubt the most notable rising star in battle rap, and he’s managed to gain this reputation in an unprecedentedly short amount of time. With his first national exposure on BET’s UFF Chess made the most of the opportunity and officially put his name on the map. Followed up by a very strong performance vs DNA, Chess was officially placed in the forefront of the PG class, whereas now he’s battled multiple legends while still at the age of 16. Chess embodies the idea that age ain’t nothing but a number, especially when somebody is staring you in the eyes and spitting that real.

Views/Numbers/Multiple Formats 9

"Cakes Up, wait fuck, let's bring the bars back, let me guess you couldn't bring it in here, it's in the car scrap, Smack we can take this battle to wherever the fuck he parked at" Chess gets more than decent views, with all his battles in the hundreds of thousands and one with DNA over a million. That being said while he’s battled on URL, UFF (on behalf of URL), We Go Hard, Traphouse, and a few other off brand leagues, they’ve all been within the same environment, and it would be interesting to see how he’d fare at KOTD in comparison.

No Stumbles/Chokes 8

"It's ironic when the ratchet pull, it broke bitches... it broke bitches, it broke bitches, it broke bitches, it broke bitches, it broke bitches, it broke bitches, it broke bitches.....ahhhhh *flatline*... " Chess achilles heel is that he unfortunately chokes and stumbles all the time, often forgetting his verses for seconds which in a battle rap feels like an infinity, and it’s a detriment to his otherwise immaculate performance leaving us to only hope that with experience he’ll one day grow out of it.

Stays Active/Consistency 10

"When it comes to the streets, why they put my age in it, dickhead, since when the fuck did the streets have an age limit." Chess has been very active since he came on to the scene, and at a time where Hollow, Lux, and Calicoe usually battle once per year (and Mook battles once every 2 years), the younger MCs have been given a major opportunity to climb the ranks, in which case Chess has taken full advantage.

Bodybags 10

"You goin up, good, well your jaw goin with you, I keep bringing it up like I'm forcing the issue" The performance he puts behind that bar is incredible and while we haven’t seen too many convincing bodybags as of late, Chess does have a few on his resume without question. Still however most would say Chess finds himself edging debatables, yet if there’s one that in fact leaves no debate it’s with Prep, where on national television he barred his life into oblivion.

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