Randy “T-Rex” Sullivan is a New York Battle Rapper who came up through the URL circuit battling names higher and higher until Danny Myers paid him $12,000 to battle him — which is when Rex ran off with his $12k for a while, delivered a subpar performance (that clearly beat Danny) on the mainstage and solidified himself as a better hustler than Murda Mook (who demands $50,000 per battle). What I’m focusing on in this piece about Rex is the hat throw signature move. It’s nothing incredibly theatrical and usually goes down pretty along-the-lines-of Rex delivering a line, Rex throwing his hat, the crowd reacting and then sometimes, Rex putting the hat back on. (I’ll expand on that later.)
I was watching Yung Ill vs T-Rex and saw Rex did it immediately (like almost instantly in his round) and it got me thinking… what are the best times Rex has thrown his hat? What are the worst times he’s thrown his hat? Does he ever pick the hat back up? What kind of hat was it? Does he reuse hats? Do any of these things correlate with Rex winning? They’re all very important factors in figuring out Rex’s best and worst hat throws, and so I’ve developed a system to decide which are the best. In addition to the system, I’ll probably talk about the more important ones.
- What did he say right before the throw?
- What kind of hat is it?
- How did he throw the hat? Is anything unique?
- What’s the consensus on if he won or lost? (Judged battles don’t matter.)
- How did the crowd react?
- Did he put the hat back on? (Is there another throw?)
Rex has 32 battles catalogued across 12 years and a majority of them don’t qualify for this list. Against NH, Tech 9, G Souldier, Detour, Dizaster, Hitman Holla, Hollohan, Head I.C.E. and Un Kasa he doesn’t wear an applicable hat/a hat at all and against DNA, Arsonal, O-Red and Donnie Menace, he doesn’t slam the hat, but he removes it at some point. Against Math Hoffa, Caustic, K-Shine and Calicoe he reaches for it and flips it around, but it’s never removed. The only one-of-a-kind battle is against Artisan, (where Rex doesn’t touch his hat at all). 18 of Rex’s battles, he doesn’t throw his hat which means we’re dealing with 15 hat throws. (He throws one hat twice.)
15. versus Math Hoffa (2009, URL) (0/10)
- “…He probably got on a vest on under that, but he dead if he don’t wear a teflon fitted hat” in Round 1.
- He wears a New York Yankees Fitted Cap.
- Simple hat drop. Doesn’t make a sound.
- T-Rex wins this one.
- Super, super weak reaction. A couple people go “woo.” but you can attribute that to how reaction culture was for small room URL.
- He puts it on for the rest of the battle, but puts it on backwards-diagonal as to where it was just sideways-right before.
I’m gonna talk about this one. Although it is Rex’s worst hat throw of his career (no reaction, there’s no energy, he drops the hat, he puts it back on pretty quickly) it’s by far one of the most important ones, if not the most important one. This showed that Rex was willing to try something new and he wasn’t far off from what would eventually become a staple in his arsenal. T-Rex wrote that round and thought “you know what? if I drop the hat here, maybe this’ll hit harder” and when it didn’t, he said “you know what? maybe if i throw the hat HERE, it’ll hit harder” and that’s when he found it.
14. versus Okwerdz (2009, Grind Time Now) (3/10)
- since you stupid, i’m gon start rapping STUPID, like you” in Round 1.
- He wears a Cleveland Indians Fitted Cap.
- He doesn’t slam the hat, but he does drop it here.
- Grind Time crowds loved shit like this. After he drops his hat, he just puts on Okwerdz’ canvas hat he wore all the time back then and did a pretty crude impression. It’s very Grind Time. I just don’t think it’s very good.
- He puts it on again after for the rest of the battle, but takes it off a lot.
13. versus Rad B (2017, UDubb Network) (4.5/10)
- “A New York nigga catchin’ a body in Jersey? they gon’ give me the max!” in Round 1.
- It’s a Chicago Bulls Snapback.
- Slams it pretty substantially weaker than the higher entries on this list.
- Not only do I not know, I don’t think anyone knows. I don’t think anyone has seen this battle. I don’t think the people at the event watched this battle.
- Pretty average small-room reaction for something that’s good. Think an average Rosenberg Raw line at the Bunker.
- Puts it back on for rounds 2 and 3.
12. versus T-Top (2015, URL) (4.5/10)
- “Keep shootin, ion care if he movin’ or not // Them two treys, they go PAT! and put you in a box!” in Round 1
- A “FU*K THE SYSTEM* Snapback.
- Audible downward slam.
- Lost bad on the mainstage to a rookie. T-Top ends up taking his place in the Top Tier.
- Crowd reacts pretty mildly, but it gets a good pop from the battlers onstage.
- He puts it back on for Round 2.
It’s worth noting that this is a main-stage Rex very low on the list, and for good reason. He came with what 2015 Rex came with — mixtape bars and bad momentum. The hat throw’s so low because of the crowd reaction and bar it came with, but there’s something inherently special about his bout with T-Top that I’ll revisit near the end of the list.
10. versus Ish Mula (2017, HoneyCombHideOut) (5/10)
- “If he reach? He gone, i’m squeezin’ off, i’ll have him coughin’ out blood, doctors think it’s pizza sauce!”
- A Entourage Cigars Trucker Hat.
- On par with the prior entries. A pretty normal slam.
- Rex takes this, but you can make stylistic arguments for Ish Mula.
- He gets a loud reaction for a small-room. (see: 13. vs Rad B)
- He puts it on shortly after.
9. versus Dizzy $padez (2017, URL) (5.5/10)
- I’ll bury him, I’ll have blood comin’ out his head like water on whales at the aquarium!” in Round 1
- Unidentified hat.
- This is a normal, average slam of Rex’s. Right hand, thumb under the brim, etc. All of the slams around this part of the list are relatively similar.
- I don’t think anyone wins this; it’s a pseudo-classic.
- Crowd pops moderately loud. This battle takes place in NY at a basketball court, which is why the crowd pops. It’s one of the most refreshing URL bouts Rex had been in for a while and he seemed in his element.
- Hat stays off for the rest of the battle.
Now, I’d never seen this battle before today so I didn’t even think I’d have to write this. I didn’t even know Dizzy $padez existed prior to today, but from now on, I really think I’m going to have to watch all of the battles Dizzy $padez is in for the sole reason that against Rex in this battle, he throws HIS hat down too. In an absolutely unprecedented manuever (across Rex’s 32 battles, not one opponent throws their hat), Dizzy $padez, this enormous Shotgun Suge-lite body double voraciously throws HIS hat down HARDER than Rex did and the crowd pops even harder. This entry is only at 10 for Dizzy’s throw. Otherwise, it’d likely be hovering around Okwerdz’ territory.
8. versus Tsu Surf (free the wave.) (2016, RapGrid) (5.5/10)
- “So if i’m feelin’ any type of way, they start playin’ Call of Duty… with real bodies!”
- Can’t tell.
- Pretty destructive Zeus-level volleyball spike.
- General consensus among fans is that a one-rounder 3-minute battle between these two means everyone loses.
- Crowd reacts pretty well, half to the line, but it’s amplified by the throw.
- He doesn’t put it on. This one’s interesting because of the fact this is the only battle where post-throw, you can see the hat onstage for the remainder of the battle.
7. versus Conceited (2011, URL) (6/10)
- “How the fuck he posed to put in work, with no resume?!” in Round 1
- A Boston Celtics Snapback.
- Trademark Rex Slam.
- Con took this.
- Solid URL reaction for 2009.
- He puts it back on when Con is rapping after Round 1 and then takes it off for the rest of his rounds.
Circling back to the point about the first Math hat-drop, this is another bad-yet-important slam. This is the first battle AFTER the Math hat-drop — the one where he actually figures out a good place to put the slam, a good way to do it, the right hand movement (right hand, thumb firmly under the brim, slams it almost backwards-away-from-him). It’s the first time Rex does the hat slam and it’s magnificent.
6. versus Rum Nitty (2015, Gladiator School) (6/10)
- “A nigga can’t have an open casket if his skull cracked… hey Calicoe… his people wanna see ’em, they buried him in his ballcap!” in Round 2
- Actually can’t identify this hat at all. In other unidentified hat entries, I can usually tell if it’s a sports hat or something but I genuinely don’t know what this one is.
- Trademark Rex Slam.
- Rum won.
- The crowd reacts about as well as the Gladiator School crowd reacted to anything which was admittedly pretty poor.
- Rex puts it back on for Round 3.
5. versus T-Top for the Second Time (2015, URL) (7/10)
- “I rap guns, Grandmama ain’t make my biscuits, bricks come in purple tape, you’d think Raekwon shipped it!” in Round 2
- Previously Thrown “FU*K THE SYSTEM” snapback
- another very audible downward slam
- See earlier T-Top entry. (He lost.)
- crowd reacts better than the first time
- puts it back on for round three
This one is culturally important. Rex does something unique here in that he throws the same hat down again in the second round — an action he’s yet to repeat. When you throw the hat down once a battle every 2 battles in your career, people come to expect things from you and here, Rex showed us that we can’t read him at all. He throws the hat a second time (and admittedly, it’s way better now) but in the third round when he’s heating up, the only thing I can think of is if he’s going to throw it again or not. He doesn’t, of course, but now we know something: if you throw the same hat twice, you have a statistical 100.00% chance of losing the battle very badly. There’s a direct correlation of losses and 2-hat-throws-per-battle.
4. versus Marv Won (2015, Barbarian Battle League) (7.5/10)
- “Only reason Detroit respect you is ’cause you flowed with Em… well I’ll make sure your next battle’s with Soldier Slim!” in Round 1
- Twice-pre-thrown “FU*K THE SYSTEM” Snapback (see: 12. versus T-Top and 7. versus T-Top for the second time)
- Backboard-shattering slam.
- Won convincingly in what I believe is a classic.
- Small venue, but the crowd reacts more than they did to anything at the event.
- He puts it back on for Rounds 2 and 3 and at the end of 2, it nearly falls off, almost causing the first indirect slam.
Alright, here’s where the big boys start to show up. The slam versus Marv is cool because if I can follow through on my point with even numbers in the T-Top battle, there’s a 100.00% chance you’ll win 3-0 if you slam that same hat a third time in ANOTHER battle. Not only that, but the bars that start this slam are incredible. It may just be my inane fetishism for fantastic filmography in battle rap (Thanks, Avocado!) but this is one of my favorite slams and one of my favorite Rex battles.
3. versus Cortez (2014, URL)
- “You’ll find his brains on a-wall (AWOL) like a runaway!” in Round 1
- Can’t tell.
- Rex had to cock his arm back and get a certification from the government to drill into the ground with how hard he throws this one.
- This is a really bad battle for really weird reasons. No one really wins.
- Crowd goes pretty nuts for it.
- He never puts it back on, but it’s not like he has time to.
This battle is really, really bad. It’s riddled with time limit issues sort of like King of the Dot’s Back 2 Basics 3 card was — an overzealous timekeeper except this time, the timekeeper is Smack himself and there’s no one to check him. The rounds get stopped mid-sentence half the time, almost as if Smack is being rushed out of the building and doesn’t want to just postpone the battle. However, the one redeeming quality of this battle (if you don’t count this is when Chubby Cortez started showing up) is that Rex gives us a hat throw to believe in when it kicks off. If this battle hadn’t been tagged with all of the problems it had, I think Rex would’ve taken it but because of the awful cutoffs and everything to do with the management of it, Cortez sort of edges him out.
2. versus Danny Myers (2015, URL) (9/10)
- “Mask, and the surgical gloves… i’ll DOCTOR him, have him hooked to so many cables, they goin’ optimum!” (at 11:45)
- RapGrid’s Battle Rap General snapback.
- Slams it and the hat is actually yet to be seen again throughout the entire battle.
- $12,000-0 Rex and this is prime mixtape Rex.
- Irving Plaza practically explodes.
- Never puts it back on.
It’s sort of my headcanon that Danny Myers pretty much paid T-Rex $12,000 just to do this hat slam. It’s such an incredible feat of Rex’s, and it’s still only the runner-up. One of two things happens to the hat after the slam: Rex throws it OFF the stage (which is the more likely of the two) or Danny Myers kicks it off the stage because historically, slamming the same hat twice only makes things more powerful and if Rex had slammed that hat again, there wouldn’t be an Irving Plaza anymore (which is substantially more fun). Anyway, the slam’s about the best part about the battle. Rex spits some pretty awful garbage and Danny Myers spits what Danny Myers spits. He’s up here by virtue of the slam alone and not the context of it.
1. versus Yung Ill (2011, Rap Battle America) (10/10, Perfect)
- “You should’ve known them hammers were on deck when them plane tickets were paid for and we ain’t fly here.” in Round 1.
- Black Beanie/Knit Cap.
- Let me put it this way. This beanie is made of cloth/fabric and it makes a sound when it hits the ground.
- Absolute classic: giving either man a clear win is impossible.
- Crowd heats up instantly: it’s Rex’s first bar he does this on and it’s a definite haymaker.
- Hat stays on the ground.
This is Rex’s crowning slam. I ran over the numbers, I went over the logistics, I talked to the experts and it was unanimous that no slam can ever even come close to the slam Rex does here. We’re gifted that whoever filmed the battle had the camera on a stabilizer because it’s hard to tell, but when you watch very closely when Rex slams the beanie, the entire room shakes like in Star Trek when the Enterprise gets hit with something from outside. If it weren’t for the sheer force of will Rex imposed upon the room keeping it stable, it would’ve tilted to the side and everyone would’ve fallen into the corner like an unbalanced cruise ship. It would’ve been a mess, but Rex, in his infinite glory, kept everything together and delivered on the best performance of his career with the best hat slam of his career in one of the most memorable exchanges in the history of Battle Rap.