Bear with me on this one, because the breakdown is going to be pretty substantial. I’ll try to cover everything from round to round, including elapsed time (I’ll do approximate subtractions for crowd reactions too).
Before we get started, let’s just get this right out of the way and say that this was a good battle. I don’t like using the word “classic”, because I think that such a distinction should only be reserved for the highest caliber matches. That in no way is meant as a slight against Diesel or Nov, but fans & battlers alike have really watered that term down to the point that having a full 3 rounds against a bum on the corner can result in a “classic”.
3 complete rounds from two battlers is not a classic, cut that shit out.
Nov comes out swinging a lot better than I expected him to. The cheese fries punchline connected because he gave himself a long enough build in the set-up for the delivery to take hold. The fire drill punch could have been worded better than “whenever I fire, drill”, in my opinion. That just seemed like a lazy connection to the “clear out the building” portion of the line. There’s a little bit of textbook Nov filler after that (speedier delivery, throwaway lines, etc.), but I was surprised that the “Deez’ll do/Diesel do” flip didn’t get a better reception; I rather liked that. Couple of missed punches after that. I wasn’t big on the gym scheme that was attempted, and what followed after that wasn’t successful either. The ‘embrace yourself’ punchline was fuego, as he personally tailored the punch to Diesel and it landed flush. There was a really good chance to build some momentum after that, but while the delivery on the divorce court punch was good, I didn’t like the wording on it. The phrase “split up bodies” was just a bit too vague of an association for divorce court. Nov’s reality show “Honey Boo>Duck Dynasty” line was decent. The lead up into the “stop actin’ Sour, Diesel” was very dope, the multis were simple and effective. His follow-up with the Cal line was a bit shakey for me, mainly because Cal/Calamine, skin/lotion associations or anything remotely closed to it reeks of being played out. I think with a better lead up into the ‘bitch at the beach/top off’ punch, it would have connected better. Nov’s close was pretty solid too.
To me, it seems like Diesel built that optimistic punch to be haymaker worthy, but it didn’t connect as one. It was a decent line, but didn’t resonate the way that I think he meant it to. Also, peep Bobby Lee Swagger in the background moving his head side-to-side while Diesel’s setting up like it’s the wildest shit he’s ever heard in his life. His double-punch follow-up with ‘not forbidden/not for kiddin’ was pretty good. The Diamond Dallas Page line irritated me, because it was another example of vague association.
1.) The DDT has been overused, especially in relation to ‘head’ or ‘head first’. 2.) The DDT wasn’t one of Diamond Dallas Page’s signature moves. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts used the DDT as his finishing move, Diamond Dallas Page was known as DDP. That could have been phrased a lot better, or removed entirely. I really liked the “Aah! Real Monsters” punchline, but there could have been a bit more room to work with in order to set that up better (I didn’t miss that line, but I have a feeling some people can and will). The tone scheme was okay, but that jaundice punch was nice, good delivery there. FYI though, it’s Bagger Vance… not “Badger” Vance. Pulitzer Prize was alright. Everyone must have gone crazy for that Apollo line because of the delivery, because it honestly didn’t carry that much weight in my opinion.
Overall, Round 1 was pretty solid. A couple of hits and a couple of misses from both Nov and Diesel. Two of the major things I noted between the two, is that Diesel seemed to be doing a slightly better job of setting up his punches, as if he was trying to formulate more haymakers. Unfortunately, he also hit a certain octave and stayed there for most of his round, which is textbook Diesel, and is one of my biggest critiques of his performance. Nov on the other hand, kept his delivery varied, but sometimes picked a casual tone for what could otherwise have been a potential haymaker, or didn’t set-up some of his punches with the right level of efficiency.
Nov Time Elapsed: 3:36-6:23 – Approximately 2 mins & 45 seconds given crowd reaction.
Diesel Time Elapsed: 6:32-9:10 – Approximately 2 mins & 45 seconds given crowd reaction.
Round 1 was pretty damn close. I liked Nov’s delivery just a bit better than Diesel’s because his was more varied. That said, both guys had their dry spots, and by the counts I had Diesel connecting just a few more punches in my opinion. Thus, I scored Round 1 in favor of Diesel by a fraction.
Nov fires back in his 2nd round, but a lot of his opening jabs just weren’t connecting for me. He was delivering them well, but the material just wasn’t matching the way he projected. ‘Live right/Dead wrong’ was dope, and the Chili/Applebee’s ‘slide in your ribs’ jab was nice too. And at this point, Nov started cooking (no pun intended). ‘Rest your aunt’ sounded stupid. I don’t care how it fits the scheme, but my eyes almost rolled out of their sockets when I heard that, especially since he wasn’t trying to be ironic. Regardless, Nov was throwing back-to-back jabs by this point, and his ‘take your word for it’ uppercut connected very well. And yo, I know that the ‘two choices: die or dead’ line was just a set-up… but UGGGGH that was grimey. Then we’ve got the follow-up with the Tosh.0/Soup “clips beside his head” punchline? Very nice, the momentum at this point is undeniable; Nov’s snowballing… ‘my clip looks like an apostrophe’ (I’m surprised so many people got that when they don’t know how to properly use an apostrophe in their everyday lives) was dope. There’s a lot to count here, ‘spring forward/hours back’, the MC Hammer line was corny as f***, but there really wasn’t going to be much to stop his momentum, Nov could have probably said some shit like, “the sky is blue” and people would have shit themselves by that point. He ran into a dead spot right up until he brought in a bit of humor with the ‘split the cash/tip ya ass’ line, followed by the ‘draw/trace it’ punch. ‘Two cans dumpin’ in ya mouth, I’m Stone Cold’ was a good close too. Crazy round for the veteran Nov.
Again… long set-up that doesn’t really go anywhere for me, until Diesel hits that Al Snow punch. Gotta hand off the credit there; it was tough, as was the Triple H punch. The Fax/Simile/Copy punch was poorly delivered, in my opinion. I understood it, but I think Diesel just powered through it just a bit too quick for it to take hold.
Clockwork/Quarter to six/Approaching Eleven scheme was nice. Vatican/Holy/’Holey’ Ground was tough too, I f***** with that. The Zangief punch was not that dope, not really sure why Diesel’s quoting that with a picture of Zangief in the Facebook group like that shit was fire like a Ken Shoryuken (ugh)… ‘cause it wasn’t. ‘I’m in the Kitchen with the Wrench like Colonel Mustard’ was NICE. The Charlotte/Hornet stuff was a miss for me. I honestly can’t remember if or where Nov said the ‘wiggin’ on you’ line (he mentions that he’s said that before in the battle, and it’s been a bit since I’ve reviewed old footage), but Diesel’s set-up and usage of that punch was effective and connected well.
Round 2 was miles ahead of the 1st round from both Nov & Diesel. Nov swung from start to finish and built a nearly unstoppable momentum that allowed even his weakest lines to sneak past simply due to the fact that he was throwing and landing a lot of doubled up jabs. There’s really nothing more to add than that. Even in the spots where he wasn’t saying much, he was still snowballing so well that it really didn’t matter. As far as Diesel is concerned, he made the round competitive, with 5 or 6 connected punches (including the Colonel Mustard punch, which was probably the best line of the round).
Nov Time Elapsed: 9:16-13:04 – Approximately 3 minutes & 35 seconds given crowd reaction.
Diesel Time Elapsed: 13:16-16:20 – Approximately 2 minutes & 50 seconds given crowd reaction.
Even if there was more time/substance added to Diesel’s 2nd round (note the discrepancy), Nov’s momentum was just a bit too much to stop here. I’ve got him taking round 2 decisively, despite Diesel keeping it competitive.
Nov starts off with some real talk, and the pay-off is nice. ‘Making the driveway’ had ME making the “somebody shitted” face. I liked his ‘bullets will teach you a lesson/get it through your head’ punchline, but it did sound like his delivery fell short. Compared to other Nov battles, it sounded like his voice was hoarse there, and that might have contributed to that punch falling a bit flat. The Daylyt/Math ‘sleep by my second round’ line was solid, and the Pringle jab was dope as well, and helped set-up the Englewood punchline despite their being no real connection between the two (just one multi handing off to the other, really). The Cavalier/King is back line didn’t resonate for me, and didn’t he bring up the Cavs in round 2? It’s kind of backwards to refer to yourself as Jordan & Lebron in the same battle, especially when you used one as the object of a diss previously… The deodorant/D owe da rent line was decent, tell Rachet to calm the f*** down about it though, please. Jesus Christ, all I saw in the video footage was the flash of his teeth and his soul lifting up into heaven for no reason whatsoever. The football team/3 backs punch was a complete miss, and he re-used the bucket/ice challenge material again. Not a strong way to close.
Oh look, Diesel’s taking a long time to set-up his opening punch, what a surprise. His ‘con, tents’ phrase was nice, I liked that quite a bit. His 9/11 plane/plain/bomb shit punch was a fantastic follow-up as well. His XP punch was solid, but not as strong as I think it was treated live, but holy shit the return on that measuring height uppercut was fire. The Ronald Goldman/Nicole/Running Back (shout outs to OJ) punch was nice. By this point, Diesel was doing the same thing that Nov did in round 2: building momentum. ‘Nose in the air/you the arrogant type’ was cold. A lot of dead space after that until the ‘make a snail’ line, which was delivered like a strong uppercut/haymaker but honestly connected as a strong jab. After that, a lot of Diesel’s material didn’t really resonate with me.
Round 3 was solid. Nov started well and was throwing some good jabs, but began to taper off midway through his verse. Re-using the Cavs & the Ice Bucket Challenge material was a bad move, especially since he closed with that and then handed the round off without a solid punch to finish. Diesel on the other hand took control of the round and began to build momentum. However, after his ‘arrogant type’ punch, he, like Nov, tapered off and hit a lot of dead space with material that just wasn’t connecting for me. I think he closed a little bit better than Nov by at least re-using his slogan, but you could also see that he was a bit winded as well.
Nov Time Elapsed: 16:30-18:50 – Approximately 2 minutes & 10 seconds given crowd reaction
Diesel Time Elapsed: 18:59-22:48 – Approximately 3 minutes & 35 seconds given crowd reaction
That’s a substantial difference in time for the 3rd round, and is a clear indication of Nov’s weaker close.
The all important third round was the deciding factor here, with Nov & Diesel tied up coming into this one. But it was pretty clear after running the footage back 4 or 5 times that Diesel ended up powering through with more material and a more consistent performance. He had more time to spend in his phase of holding momentum, to the point that when he tapered off, it still ended up not being as noticeable as Nov’s, who had less time in the round, and closed poorly in my opinion.
This was a good battle, and very enjoyable to watch. There’s a serviceable level of replay value, and this was easily Nov’s best showing in a good while. There’s strong evidence that THIS Nov has studied the game-tapes and adjusted his punching prowess to meet a guy like Diesel head on to trade bars. His varied delivery was also much better than Diesel’s in my opinion. Despite the claim that his is the ‘best of all time’ (it isn’t), Diesel normally hits one octave, finds one style of pace, and sticks with it. It’s okay to utilize sarcasm & irony, it’s okay to utilize humor and tailor your bars to your opponent. Nov did these things and has done these things for a long time, and in some cases it really does work. We need to detach ourselves from the notion that ‘bars’ only equates to writing entendres & metaphors that are carefully packaged in violence & gunplay. That approach is flat and has little variation, no matter how obscure the metaphors start to get. Now, that aside, I did notice that Nov’s voice seemed to be hoarse throughout the battle. I’ve had that happen to me before, so I know how irritating that can be, and it noticeably affected a few of his lines in the match.
Those comments said, the 3rd round was a matter of substance and consistency, and Diesel showed both of those more than Nov did, which earned him the 3rd as well as the victory in my opinion.
2-1 Diesel in a very close and competitive battle. Keep in mind that this is my respectful opinion, and that the match is and I’m sure WILL be debated quite a bit. That said, if anyone tries to debate the battle WITH me… I can and will shut your shit down undoubtedly.
Lastly, I’m absolutely positive that if I did video blog breakdowns of battles like this, I would destroy everyone else doing it.
Good shit fellas, much respect.
to watch the battle that was referenced the link is as fallows: