After a dry February that produced few quality battles, March has reaffirmed our faith in battle rap. URL ended its drought by finally dropping Cortez vs JJDD and will be back to weekly releases now that their Ultimate Freestyle Friday competition has started airing on BET. KOTD has been dropping their Blackout 4 videos weekly on the main channel and have been quick to release footage from Vancity’s Gastown event. Don’t Flop has released only U.K. vs U.K. matchups this month, and hasn’t made much noise with North American fans outside of a solid battle between Unanymous and Olde English. UW hasn’t made a peep about an official release of their High Stakes footage, but whatever, everybody already watched the PPV or a bootleg of it.
Even with all that going on, four of the five battles we’re highlighting below come from smaller leagues. Don’t sleep.
QP VS QP
There wasn’t really a good reason for this battle to happen besides these guys having the same initials. There also isn’t really a good reason for Qleen Paper to spell his name with a Q instead of a C. In fact, it’s a small miracle that both of these guys actually made it to the venue prepared with three rounds since they’ve each been plagued by inconsistent performances and/or attendance in their careers. Either way, forget about the past. They both show up here. Quantum Physics brings the densely layered wordplay style he pioneered, while Qleen just Talks. That. Shit. As always, the editing from Syndicate Cartel‘s Jon Dough helps the big punches hit ever harder.
For the record, Quantum Physics does a lot better here than when he faced off against DNA on the Maury Povich show.
DANNY MYERS VS BRIXX BELVEDERE
Danny Myers has taken over battle rap since October. He seems to be everywhere, either hosting or battling in Spit Dat Heat, AHAT, KOTD, LA BattleGroundz, URL’s PGs and soon BET’s Ultimate Freestyle Friday competition. He always comes prepared with quotable content and total conviction. In this battle, his “That gun spitting over and over like it’s trying to memorize a verse” line still had us screwfacing the third time we heard it. He also looks like he’s always having an awesome time.
And that’s exactly the first angle Brixx takes to break him down. Brixx brings a ton of original, natural wordplay and an ease of performance that shows how long he’s been at this. His third round “I assembled you” concept is ether, hacking at Myers’ writing style better than anyone we’ve seen before.
SOUL VS SKETCH MENACE
Believe it or not, this video is fire. Before this battle – which was the clear standout from Blackout 4 – Sketch was the much-maligned piñata for die-hard fans and critics. He proves them all wrong here. Both guys are funny and bring creative angles, combining topical references with direct attacks. We’ll even go so far as to make this bold statement: this kind of content will never be played-out. You can tell that both of them, along with everyone on stage, are really enjoying themselves.
And massive props to Sketch for referencing our Top 10 Battlers of 2013 list in his first round. The site’s Google traffic was four times higher than normal that week. Can’t buy advertising like that.
PIGSTY VS DIAZ
This is another fun battle from KOTD Vancity’s Gastown event (full recap here) dotted with some hilarious moments including:
La Sparka’s endless list of sponsors, Wize Guy screaming with his first raised during Pigsty’s intro (3:30), Diaz calling on “the Spanish and blacks” in the venue to support him and being met with complete silence (15:35), Sparka refusing to “lay off the dabs” (17:10) and Sketch getting all G’d up telling the crowd to be quiet (18:45).
In between all that, there are some great lines from Pigsty, who seems to have his confidence back after a couple shaky performances. As always, his writing shines with complex rhyme schemes and dense references. “You went from Grand Prix inaugural victor down here to Pigsty confidence builder” gets the crowd going and he takes a fresh approach to the well-worn road of biting accusations against Diaz with “I heard English is your second language, guess your first is plagiarism.”
Diaz brings a clean performance and gets reaction with some funny lines, which is no small task when the crowd is riding so hard with Pigsty.
BULLE VS N POSE
In the last few months, Toronto’s BeastMODE league has gone through a bit of a renaissance. They’ve developed a deep roster of local battlers and have started bringing in new names from Detroit, Windsor, New York and Connecticut. Since Lexx Luthor teamed up with league CEO Kriss Cain, the cards have gotten more ambitious, with their upcoming 4/20 event featuring PH vs Heartless and Lotta Zay vs Luciano Crakk.
This battle was added to the last event’s card with about two weeks’ notice. N Pose is back to doing what he does best: rapid-fire flow, freestyle, and having a lot of fun of the ring. His Loaded Lux line is the best of the battle.
Bulle throws simile after simile, including:
- One punch will have his head spinning like a Colgate brush.
- Catch me in your crib with a tool like Mike Holmes.
- No one even knows who you are, you’re like Trey Smith.
Trey Smith is Will Smith’s oldest and unknown child, by the way.
If you’re in a rush, skip the first five minutes of the video.
Also from BeastMODE this month, don’t miss Lexx Luthor vs Complex, where both guys make the case that the New York accent is the best one for battle rap. Lexx also compares Complex to Kingpin, Private Pyle and Robert Paulson from Fight Club. Here’s how accurate those comparisons are:
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MOS PROB VS POETIK GENIUS
And finally, for our bonus video, check out TOBB’s U.K. writer Mos Prob battling a gun bar rapper in Colorado. We’re still not exactly sure why this happened. Not sure he is either.