• Tristan Acker


Updated: May 6, 2020

When we last left off in my journal series about my watching the battles of Carter Deems he had been humbled by some choking and what he revealed in battles after to be battles with epilepsy but I’ve been thinking on it and there’s more to it.

Up until the battle with Urban, he’d mainly battled people who weren’t ready for the kind of thing that he did, or people who stubbornly thought they wouldn’t have to adapt more to rise above it.

In turn, like a lot of dope artists with bright personalities Carter was kind of stubborn as more and more artists came around gunning for him and prepared for him specifically. Like stubborn in the sense that if he would have grappled with some of the angles these guys were bringing up, he probably could have been more effective than just barelling ahead with indirect hits and an unchanged style, doing exactly what opponents just called you out for doing (which is honestly, still a defensible strategy considering how good dude is). Some were more prepared than others. Breakneck was more prepared than Status but ultimately besting both were steps back to confidence for Deems, it seems to me just as a viewer anyway.

Some of these guys were obviously fans of his and were probably even influenced by him. A good example of all of this phenomena would I think be this Chedda Cheese battle. Cheese is another brilliant and self-deprecating nerdy white-boy MC like Carter. He’s prepared and he ultimately falters less than Carter. I’m biased towards Carter’s humor (I suspect many of his fans feel this way) so I feel like he was coming strong enough to transcend his false steps anyway but then in the end of the battle he dropped bars that turned this battle into his manifesto, his response to the emergent counternarrative about him that Urban the Element had been among the first to crystallize and weaponize against him.

“and this is real life so I don’t care if you’re asking who won

after it’s done

cause my life is an average one

I just like to get people laughing with puns

I don’t do this to make fun of battling

I do it because battling’s fun”

This shit right here made me shed a tear. Fun is hip-hop AF. Don’t forget that.

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdculture hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers

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