Everyone likes GIFs. Why? Here is Slate’s Jonah Weiner with his take: “In the two minutes it might take me to load a viral video and watch it in full, I can watch the money shots of 15 different viral videos. Yes, we’re talking about decadent levels of impatience, inanity, and time-wasting here, but GIFs allow us to waste less time online—or, rather, to waste it more efficiently.”
That’s why the GIF has become essential to battle rap consumption. These days, battles can run upwards of 60 minutes in length on YouTube, thanks to longer rounds and more ambitious video production. The GIF, however, distills that viewing experience down to one hilarious Lush One reaction or meme-worthy catchphrase — in other words, the stuff you actually remember months later.
We’ve collected 32 of the best GIFs to come out of battle rap in the YouTube-era. Special thanks to the posters on RapMusic.com, from where most of these GIFs were culled.
BEST CROWD REACTIONS
DIZASTER VS. ARCANE
We challenge you to find a battle that’s produced as many memorable GIFs as Dizaster vs. Arcane. Kudos to Pat Stay, who did his best impression of a statue for much of this battle.
(Bonus highlight: Keep your eyes on Mindbender during Dizaster’s wank-fest.)
THE BEST OF LUSH ONE
Say what you will about Lush One, but he always makes sweet love to the camera.
TIME FOR SOME VIOLENCE (BOTH REAL AND IMAGINARY)
(By the way, is that a Madd Illz lookalike punching Daley in the face?)
TIME FOR SOME DANCING
THE BEST OF THE REST
(Know of any more? Let us know via Twitter.)