June 18, 2014


Combatant Profile: Aye Verb's Fatherly Advice

Eminem's Shady Films / watchLOUD.com
Eminem's Shady Films / watchLOUD.com

On February 25th, 2012, in the third round of a battle against Hitman Holla, Aye Verb ended the show with one line.

Hitman had been honing in on footage of Aye Verb allegedly being chased by GSI, another battle rapper, in a parking lot. The title of the video reads “AYE VERB URL [Ultimate Rap League] BATTLE RAPPER GETS BEAT UP BY GSI” and the video shows two guys chasing another one. Their identities are hard to decipher. 

During the battle with Holla, Verb never denies that it’s him in the video. In fact, he admits it is, and he had just broken his foot and was wearing a cast at the time of the incident. Sounds like a cop out, right? I mean, the guy still got chased. Should be easy money for an opponent. 

You can tell Holla is feeling himself. He and his team throw gang signs throughout the battle, and at the end of every round Holla does the same signature bars to rile up the crowd. He’s an entertainer with an arrogant swagger and a knack for flare. Verb just stands there, occasionally pacing back and forth. 

As the battle goes on, it seems like Holla has the upper hand. He tells Verb the guys who chased him are over at the bar while churning out clever punchlines, but something seems off. It feels like the crowd is cheering Holla on without having any loyalty for him. They’re there for the show, not the performer. The matador has thrilled the crowd without killing the bull. Where’s the climax? 

Like a vet, Verb sets up his headshot in the shadows. He starts his now infamous third round by belittling Holla for his privilege—Hitman grew up in a happy home with a mom and dad, something Aye Verb apparently never got to enjoy. He says Holla’s father never loved him, because if he did, he wouldn’t have let his son grow up to be a liar. He begins reenacting a moment when Holla’s father grabs him by the collar and tells him to stop talking all that fake shit, essentially chastising his phony facade. He goes on for over a minute in character, and then he brings out the belt. 

“So n---a, stop gettin’ on camera sayin’ you poppin’ them guns, ay Big Gerald….” 

(Ed. note: Fast-forward to the 31:00 minute mark) 

I won’t ruin the moment. You need to see it to feel the electricity. But Big Gerald is Hitman Holla’s biological father. Blood related. When he speaks up and the roof blows off, it’s like the crowd at an And 1 game when someone gets their ankles broken—pure pandemonium. Big Gerald was the reason his own son lost that battle. Aye Verb was the mastermind who used the pawn to squeeze a checkmate. 

Ever since, it’s been regarded as one of the greatest URL battles to ever go down—top five, easily. Nothing like it has happened since, and people at the after party were allegedly still buzzing about that third round knockout. It will go down as one of the most devastating moments in battle rap history, and the significance is etched on Holla’s face the second it happens. 

Law #7 of the 48 Laws of Power states: “Get others to do the work for you, but take all the credit.” Law #15 states: “Crush your enemy totally.” Aye Verb is a powerful battle rapper. If you ever watch him compete, or if you have the misfortune of being his opponent, keep those laws in mind. Otherwise, you’ll huff and puff and get your house blown down.

– Text by Max Weinstein, originally posted on WatchLOUD.com