On Saturday June 10th LOC Battle League’s “Coronation” event went down in downtown Richmond. Despite some cancellations and no-shows, the event went down smoothly with a few highlight moments over the course of the night. Battlers like Blacc Ab and Trey 8 continued to build momentum as up-and-comers while others like Preme really put their name on the map. Overall, it was another strong event from a league that has been on the come-up in RVA.

Leek Bucks vs BKS

Since the scheduled opening battle didn’t go down, Leek Bucks and BKS opened the night for Coronation. Leek Bucks came down from Brooklyn, NY and made his trip worth every bit. Leek brought three rounds of solid punches, aggression, and performance, which did more than enough to earn him the first 3-0 of the night. BKS fought through stumbles and chokes all battle and ended up calling time on himself every round. It was a tough loss for BKS to stomach but one he can hopefully use to better himself in the future. As for Leek Bucks, he’s someone to keep an eye on for future cards.

Gooby the Baby vs Preme

This was one of the more anticipated battles of the night. Before the event started Preme didn’t hide the fact that he hadn’t written a complete third for the battle. Despite this he assured fans that his first two rounds were enough to take Gooby. The buzz for the battle built as fans argued whether Preme was putting on a front or actually capable of winning with two rounds. And the battle didn’t disappoint either.

The first rounds from both Gooby and Preme could feasibly be considered round of the night. Gooby started the battle with back-to-back punches and built up his momentum throughout the round. By the end he landed an oxymoron scheme that shook the building. By the time it went to Preme the pressure was on but he didn’t drop the ball. Preme came right back punching and rapping with the comfort and confidence of a vet. Like Gooby, Preme’s round built up until his last few punches where the haymakers stacked up and carried the round home. By the time the first was over attendees were already calling it Battle of the Night.

The second round saw some of the momentum die down but the quality of material was still high from both rappers. Gooby’s second verse was a lot like his first: lots of punches delivered quickly and smoothly. While the quality of bars took a dip from the first, Gooby did more than enough to keep the crowd fully engaged with his performance. Preme also followed suit with a second that mirrored his first round. Preme’s bars and performance remained as clean as his first and by the end the crowd was fairly sold that he took the round clearly.

Unfortunately, the battle took a considerable dip in the third round. Gooby struggled to get through his material cleanly and eventually called time on himself. Preme on the other hand did no better. It turned out he wasn’t lying about his lack of a third and spit about a minute and a half of OK bars before calling it. Despite the poor ending the battle was a success. Both Gooby and Preme looked great most of the battle and will undoubtedly see their stocks rise when the footage drops. Overall it was a great look for two battlers looking to build their name.

Showtime vs Blacc Ab

This battle was among the more anticipated before the event. Blacc Ab has been steadily building up his name over the past several RVA events. In fact, this was heavily predicted to be battle of the night prior to the event.

The result was not quite what was expected.

The consensus in the building was that Ab took the battle decisively. Showtime delivered 3 solid rounds a skillful rapping but ended up looking like the lesser battler to Ab’s polished performance. Ab’s lowkey cadence and more soft-spoken aggression went over better than Showtime’s NY inspired battling style (akin to We Go Hard vets like Chess and Steams). In the end, it seemed to come down to the crowd preferring Ab’s abnormal battling style compared to Showtime’s.

If Blacc Ab can continue having performances like these he could very well be on his way to being the next up from the DMV. Fans at the event universally adored him and even Ryda was impressed with the performance. With URL increasingly drawing from the DMV region, performances like this one from Ab are huge steps towards getting recognized.

Sandman the Heathen vs Tre 8

This battle started off incredibly shaky before becoming performance of the night for one of the battlers.

Tre 8 came into this battle with a lot of hype surrounding him. Many fans at the event said that his battle was their reason for going and Tre didn’t let them down.

The first round was shaky from both MCs, with Sandman and Tre stumbling a few times in their rounds. But both battlers got their bars off and went into the second round with the crowd engaged with their material. The second is where things began to pop off. Sandman began to choke in his second and after trying to get it back for a few minutes called time. Tre didn’t waste this opportunity and absolutely left earth for the entirety of his round. Halfway through the verse the crowd was reacting so much that Tre couldn’t get through his set-ups without stopping. He ended the round on three haymakers that could have easily taken the round for him by themselves.

In the third, Sandman struggled to get through his round and called time again before his choke became too long. Tre once again made the most of the chance and delivered another incredibly strong round. While not as room-rocking as the second, Tre’s third did more than enough to put the punctuation on his win and solidify his performance as must-see when the footage drops.

Nailz vs Favio

The main event of the card was fairly underwhelming after a solid build-up all night. Both of these battlers ranked among the most popular on the card but neither delivered a performance that resonated with the fans. Favio choked all three rounds and Nailz—by no means bad—didn’t capitalize on his opponent’s mistakes the way Tre 8 did. Additionally, by that point in the night the crowd was beginning to tire out and reaction became much harder to come by than earlier. Both battler’s showed flashes of potential but were unable to maintain momentum in their rounds. In the end, the crowd called it an easy 3-0 for Nailz but nothing to write home about.

This was a solid event despite some underwhelming performances from the battlers. The fans were lively and excited to be at the event while still maintaining respect for the battlers. Even though there was a lot of chokes the crowd never gave battlers a hard time and always showed love when time was called. Ignoring the occasional drunken outburst, fans in attendance didn’t take away from any of the battles and added a great deal to the atmosphere. In the end, it was a good look for LOC and the Richmond battle scene in general.

-Mac Konrad

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