This year has seen some of the most controversial, dynamic and exciting moments in the history of battle rap. Youtube subscription service based leagues were launched (and folded), Charlie Clips went SUPER ham, “bars” were finally heralded over “names,” Hollow returned from incarceration to battle Tsu Surf, Dizaster spit in Eurghs face and Arsonal un-CRIPified Charron just as fast as Daylyt made him one.
2013 was also the year of the bloggers: Jay Blac, Jon Rines, Angry Fan, Laura Tarsi, Dana, Mr. 250, War Room Sports, RapGrid, Queenzflip, Vladtv, TheSource.com (Jon Reiss), TOBattleblog, Unbias Review, RMBVA, OTBVA, Battlefix & more all held it down and made great contributions to the battle culture.
From the many entertaining battles and moments surrounding this culture over the past 365 (give or take) days, RapGrid has put together the dopest commentary you can read on battle rap in celebration of the new year; forget all of the politically correct lists catering to the most popular emcees and companies - THIS IS THE REAL.
*Note: This list includes videos ranging from dates 12/12 - 12/13*
TOP 10 BATTLES
The Scoop: As the “big stage” seemingly took a turn for the worse, “Bars Over Names” became a huge slogan fans adopted to help emcees with smaller names shine above some of their peers. These two definitely set the lyrical bar for newcomers to big leagues.
Standout Line: “You doin’ all you can do like Ryu, cause don’t all Ken do is moves like Ryu?” - HA Double
The Scoop: In of of the years best displays of pure lyrical talent, Nu Born seemed to resurrect himself from the ashes of obscurity that he was thrust into after a lackluster battle with Sco. This only added to the growing stock of Danja Zone, who became a force in 2013, as he fully took advantage of all opportunities placed in front of him.
Standout Line: “The machine gun Kelly, that mac Miller - they both spit like they supposed to be black but they not” - Danja Zone
The Scoop: Once in a while a battle comes out of no where that makes you say, “Hold on ... WHAT THE FUCK DID HE JUST SAY?!?!?!” The energy was through the roof, the punchlines were crazy, and the crowd was nuts. Best part? No one saw it coming.
Standout Line: “I’ll chop you into so many pieces your funeral will be on a conveyer belt” - Danny Myers
The Scoop: Main events are very tricky, as they can go one of two ways: a.) live up to the hype b.) suck terribly and waste everyone’s time/money. This battle may have seemed out of place to some, as both rappers are from the North East (US), but the Don’t Flop crowd assured every moment of this match would have you on the edge of your seat, as they were electric. Arsonal and DNA both showed why fans fell in love with their energetic styles years ago.
Standout Line: “She gave me disability that’s why I do shit so well, so if she’s retarded that might explain why I spit so well”
The Scoop: The first female battle in KOTD history was an instant classic - so anticipated that Drake himself went to great lengths to ensure that it went down. These two girls set a very high standard for women in one of the greatest battle moments of 2013.
Standout Line: “I’ll Blazer with 22 Rockets ... now Bonnie is Clyde” - Gattas
The Scoop: Dont Flop does a great job of theming matches, and this was definitely no exception to the rule as this “Bad Bars” battle ironically had some of the best bars of the year. Throw some gun fingers up for London *brrrap*
Standout Line: “Im great ... no wall of China” - Marlo
The Scoop: Inspired by Loaded Lux’s famous “battle on the roof ...” line, URL decided to throw a small group of battles on a roof and release the footage in black and white. If the interesting new look mixed with the great back-and-forth wasn’t enough, Lotta Zay ended the battle with one of the best lines in a history - a remix of Syahboy’s most famous line: Wiz Khalifa (Wiz Could-Leave-Ya.)
Standout Line: “When that ratchet blow your wiz could leave ya with her wig on the side missing like Amber Rose” - Lotta Zay
The Scoop: After Shotgun Suge pulled a no-show at World Domination 4, DNA stepped up to the plate a took a last-minute battle against Charron in what would be one of the most talked about battles of 2013. Perfectly timed freestyles, crazy rebuttals and a hype crowd not only made this a classic battle, but it took us back to the glory days of the sport where emcees would seamlessly integrate well prepared material with spur-of-the-moment observations that could swing the momentum of a close battle. Only 8 days prep ...
Standout Line: “I’m here to put DNA in someone else’s box like artificial insemination” - Charron
The Scoop: Illmaculate proved why he is a legend and Bigg K earned his status among battle rap’s elite in this epic clash of styles. The only words that can do this video justice are the ones spit by both emcees. Just watch.
Standout Line: “I’m bipolar - nice jab ... mean hook”
The Scoop: SMACK/URL’s Armageddon event was shut down without warning and many fans were left with none of the main events they came from around the world to see ... that is until Poison Pen made a few calles to End of the Weak and saved one battle: Conceited vs Tsu Surf. Due to the circumstances, everyone wanted a classic and that is exactly what they got. Any time two of the most popular battle rappers in the world perform at top notch level, its a treat. Arguably the best performance to date from both of artists.
Standout Line: “I don’t need a boogie board for me to body Surf”
TOP MOMENTS OF THE YEAR
TOP 5 BODYBAGS OF THE YEAR
MOST UNDERWHELMING BATTLES OF THE YEAR
Dizaster vs T-Rex - the cameras didn’t do it justice
Hitman Holla vs Conceited - no 3rd round
Dizaster vs Arcane - smh for multiple reasons
Ness Lee vs Shotty Horroh - c’mon y’all, you are better than this
Real Deal vs Tony D - Tony D messed up
5 BREAKOUT PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR
Charron - BET Kicked it all off
O’fficial - She gets the award for female performer of the year
Daylyt - He got naked, slapped someone with ball juice & was jesus in a KKK outfit ... while spitting hot bars
Ill Will - Ya man got BUSY
Lotta Zay - His first half of 2013 is one of the most consistent dominating runs in the history of acapella rap battles
With Blackout 4 and Loaded Lux vs Hollow topping off First Quarter 2014, we have a huge year ahead of us - Stay tuned!