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Battle Rap News

FRESHMAN 15: THE 2017 BATTLE RAP FRESHMAN LIST

December 16, 2016, 11:53 pm

 

Image by Xciled Media

 

FRESHMAN 15

THE 2017 BATTLE RAP FRESHMAN LIST

 

INTRO

 

"Freshman 15" is a term used to describe the weight a student gains during their first year of college. In other words, it’s when you "Get your weight up" - a phrase we use in hip hop to represent elevation. RapGrid has teamed up with Xciled Media to make a list of 15 individuals we believe will make an impact on battle rap during 2017.  Throughout the month, RapGrid will be promoting these emcees with exclusive music videos, interviews and freestyles.

 

*CLICK QUOTES & BATTLES OF NOTE TEXT FOR LINKS*

 

THE CRITERIA

 

Activity - If you grind hard enough, then opportunities will arise.

Consistency - Don’t have one great performance and then fall off the face of the Earth.

Resume - You need to progress.  Don’t get stuck battling “Small Room Jimmy” forever.

Marketability - Can a league sell you to their fanbase?

Crowd Control - Will those small room classics translate to the big stage?

Creativity - What makes you unique? Personality, style, etc.

 

 

THE FRESHMAN

 

 

 

LOSO

Tampa, FL

 

LOSO

Tampa, FL

 

 

With arguably the best "rookie" year ever, Loso was almost guaranteed a spot on RapGrid’s Freshman 15. This time last year he was on a local league in Florida, now he is the top billed talent on Bullpen Battle League. His tryout battle for Bullpen caught the eye of John John Da Don, and he promised to make Loso a household name. His battle with Barry Bandz proved that he wasn't a fluke or a gimmick. His next battle was Xcel, at Fade 2016, and it is a battle of the year contender. His stock slowly, but surely, increased throughout the year and culminated with a battle with DNA that, as of writing this, has yet to be released on youtube. Not only does he have several great battles this year, he also released an EP, "Valley of Vision" earlier in 2016.

 

Battle of Note

 

Loso vs Xcel

 

Best Bar

 

“What I holler in my verse, is how you wouldn't off me /

You really lost me, tonight I’mma straighten X up to show why you shouldn't cross me” - Loso vs Xcel

 

League Of Origin

 

Bullpen Battle League

 

Look Out For

 

Loso vs DNA (Bullpen Battles)

 

Valley of Vision (EP)

 

Next Move

As Bullpen Battle League grows, Loso grows with them. 2016 was a major turning point for both the league and Loso himself. He has proven that he can beat all levels of talent, and is not afraid to go against those who challenge his Christian beliefs.

 

GLUEAZY

Winston Salem, NC

 


 

Glueazy has probably the quickest ascent of anyone on the Freshman 15. Battling on camera for about 2 years, he's already at the top of the new wave of talent. Having a handful of battles on Body Bag Battle League, he quickly advanced to the URL Proving Grounds. His battle with Reepah Rell is touted as the best battle of their PG class. With only a few battles to drop this year, it would be easy to dismiss Glueazy as not having enough content, but his talent and potential are hard to ignore. He had a battle with Bedaffi Green at Born Legacy 3 that has yet to drop. If the battle does drop in 2016, the rest of the battle rap world will understand why Glueazy is deserving to be on this list.

 

Battle of Note

 

Glueazy vs Reeper Rell

 

Best Bar

 

“Put on your seatbelt, i'm about to pull around wit the strap” - Glueazy vs Reeper Rell

 

League of Origin

 

Body Bag Battle League

 

Look Out For

 

Glueazy vs Bedaffi Green

 

Next Move

Glueazy is already booked for Born Legacy 4 against fellow Freshman Nu Jerzey Twork. That battle will unofficially the determine the top of this PG class. With URL seemingly moving toward more small room battles, it's safe to say, we'll be seeing more of him.

 

SHOTTI P

Detroit, MI

 

 

Shotti P started battling on Bar Wars about 3 years ago. His skill garnered the recognition of Detroit battle legends Marvwon & Quest Mcody. However, his battle with Michael Ice got him the attention of Gully TK, who recruited him to King of the Dot’s Ground Zero platform. His style was unique, bringing a more street approach, as opposed to the multisyllabic style of rapping that GZ is known for.  At the start of the year, he was booked on Blackout 6 against Skelly.  A good showing, but the battle was mired by extra hostility on Skelly's part.  IIt didn't stop Shotti's momentum at all, being booked at Massacre 2 against pen heavy Xcel. Another standout performance lead to KOTD booking him against fan favorite P Nut at World Domination 6. And that's not to mention that the Gully vs Ganik card was built around his battle with Charlie Clips.

 

Battle of Note

 

Shotti P vs P Nut

 

Best Bar

 

"The fans call you party nut? Boy that's hard as fuck.

But with every Punchline I'm killing his buzz, this fucking party sucks.

I'll take his chips and dip. Have caps pointed at party hat that beam hit him. I bet he leave earth like when Mars attacks.

The larkin strapped and I'll send Party to party where Party Arty at" - Shotty P vs Pnut

 

League of Origin

 

Bar Wars

 

Look Out For

 

Shotti P vs Charlie Clips

 

Next Move

As the premiere talent from this wave of Ground Zero battlers, all signs are pointing up for Shotti P. He was on the 4 biggest KOTD cards this year, and it's safe to assume he'll repeat that in 2017 and then some.

 

CASEY JAY

San Antonio, TX

 

 

Women and southern artists have fought hard for years to earn their just due in hip hop and respect from their peers.  When you find a female rapper from the south that TALKS THAT SHIT, you definitely take notice.  Casey Janissa has been making quite the name for herself on Queen of The Ring and is no stranger to the music industry either, recording songs and hitting stages in 2016, such as SXSW (South by South West.)  She was also the main event for QOTR’s “Watch The Throne 2” vs Robin Rhymes in February.  Impressive 2016 from this budding star.

 

Battle of Note

 

Casey J vs Ms. Miami

 

Best Bar

 

"You said you don't want ya name mentioned with mine ? You can forget that .

Cuz in battle rap .. They watch me grow from a stub to a tree. From Texas I branched out to where ya best at .

So ya leverage is me Robin ...

Bird I gave you somewhere to rest at" - Casey Jay vs Robin Rhymes

 

League Of Origin

 

DFWBL

 

Look Out For

 

iTunes Single “Benjis”

“So Janissa” Cosmetics Line

 

Next Move

Casey has breakout star potential.  We’d love to see her battle some QOTR heavy-hitters like Ms.Fit or Bonnie Godiva and expand her fanbase by crossing over to other platforms in 2017.

 

 

MADFLEX

Richmond, CA

 

 

Madflex started battling on camera against Scatterbrain in 2012. His laid back style and jokes made him a fan favorite early on in his career. He started to climb the Ground Zero ranks with great performances against Illipsis, Psycoses, and Urban Element. He got the chance to be on a bigger platform when he battled Megadef at Back to Baysics. In early 2016, Madflex’s battle with Lu Cipher dropped and it was a great preview to the year he was going to have. He had a breakout performance against E Farrell at The Bunker, which caused his name to be thrown around more in Facebook groups and twitter posts. It also earned him a spot on World Domination 6 against Aftershock, a GZ champion.

 

Battle of Note

 

MadFlex vs E Farrell

 

Best Bar

 

"He's spent his whole life as a proven victim, y'all knew the symptoms

but y'all react to his fake ass punches? Fuck ya'll, two for flinching" - Madflex vs E. Farrell

 

League of Origin

 

KOTD/GZ

 

Look Out For

 

MadFlex vs Ness Lee

 

Next Move

If 2016 is any indication, MadFlex is set for bigger and better things at KOTD. A spot on Blackout, KOTDs biggest event, is almost inevitable. Given his recent string of performances, he's sure to deliver.

 

B DOT

Pacoima, CA

 

 

Breakdown

 

B Dot burst onto the scene at the end of 2015 when his battle vs Stricc dropped.  The highlight of the battle was a monstrous third round in which Dot compared white privilege to black struggle.  That round seemingly sent a shockwave through the net, as the battle was posted on popular tastemaker sites like Worldstar Hip Hop and was shared by elite members of hip hop’s online community, including podcaster Combat Jack.  Soon after, B Dot obliterated popular battle rapper Daylyt in a highly anticipated match and had arguably the best battle of 2016 against Danny Myers.  B Dot’s habit of weaving in and out of educational material without compromising his effective battle style has made him a standout amongst his peers.  A Picoima Piru promoting the teachings of Ancient Kemet and an elevated mindstate to young black men is definitely unique in today's world of hip hop.

 

Battle of Note

 

B Dot vs Danny Myers

 

Best Bar

 

“It all makes sense how you can’t keep control of your pipes,

but these are the days of our lives. It all ties into religion and the way it’s contrived.

You treat the black woman like a side bitch,

well, ’cause, you was taught she came from your side” - B Dot vs Danny Myers

 

League of Origin

 

LA Battlegroundz

 

Look Out For

 

B Dot vs Cortez

 

Next Move

 

The whole world wants B Dot to battle Th3 Saga on SMACK/URL, but we’ll see if that ever goes down.

 

 

FLYKINGi

 

 

FlyKingi has made tremendous progress in battle rap since his arrival in 2015 ,wiith nine battles preceding him.  Although openly gay, he has earned the respect of his peers on LA Battlegroundz and a dope performance on Sara Kana’s Prism Battle League.  His big break was supposed to come against Daylyt, who pulled a no-show the night of the highly anticipated battle.  FlyKingi has also proven to have crossover appeal as a recurring cast member on the reality show "The Bad Girls Club" which he 1st appeared on in September 2016.  A savvy businessman, he also owns a store named "The Upper Room Boutique" in Los Angeles.

Battle of Note

Fly KingI vs Perfecto

Best Bar

"Red dot on his head - convert him to Hindu

Pull up just to show him what real men do

Play with plastic toys - ill show him what I KEN do” - FlyKingi vs Perfecto

League of Origin

Just Us TV

Look Out For

"Hotline Bling" mixtape cover

Next Move

He should have battled Daylyt, but in the meantime, FlyKingi will be featured against Romesh Ranganathan (London,) on his comedy-themed reality show.

 

 

NU JERZEY TWORK

Trenton, NJ

 

Twork started battling three years ago against Get Em Gwap. He battled sporadically over the next couple of years, but caught the attention of Norbes with his battles against Ripp and Redd Handed.  When he was announced to be on Born Legacy 3, it was to a bevy of mixed reviews.  Those who were aware of his ability and potential were praising him, as those who didn't know him could only criticize. Those in the building couldn’t stop raving about his performance and the naysayers were quickly silenced when his battle with Dougy dropped on URL earlier this year, which caused a spike in views in his other battles as well.  His unorthodox punchlines and unique performance are helping to usher the next wave of talent in URL's Proving Grounds.

 

Battle of Note

 

Nu Jerzey Twork vs Dougy

 

Best Bar

 

"I'm strapped in, I'll clap you in a coma. Madness, I could snap at any moment.

I'm ballin, I get highlights often. Larkin, or a 9 might spark em, face shot, I pop eyes WHY I OUGHTA!" - Nu Jerzey Twork vs Dougy

 

League of Origin

 

Showtime Battle Arena

 

Look Out For

 

Nu Jerzey Twork vs Glueazy

 

Next Move

Twork battles Glueazy at Born Legacy 4, and it is being billed as the unofficial battle to see who is the top of this class.

 

 

 

A.WARD

KANSAS CITY, MO

 

 

A.Ward’s buzz began about a year ago when he battled Charlie Atlas on The Connects.  The battle was posted on popular Christian hip hop website, Rapzilla under the title, “Christian battle rapper knocks out opponent.”  That was the small push he needed to take of running.  He followed up with a Battle of The Year candidate battle against Saint Mic and a CRAZY performance against Franchise on KOTD’s Ground Zero, which resulted in both A.Ward and Franchise making this list.  After an amazing performance against battle rap legend, Real Deal at KOTD’s Gully vs Ganik event last month, sky is the limit for the talented emcee.

 

Battle of Note

 

A.Ward vs Saint Mic

 

Best Bar

 

By the street code he act (kodiak) hard, i don't (Care) feel me/
He turn ghost, he don't want smoke he (Smokey) knows he burnt toast, i (Black) on squares really/
On the poll or (Polar) in the building you can't compare silly/
Don't pan the (Panda) camera yet...
I'm getting to the burial (berry yall) ..
BEAR with me!” - A.Ward vs Franchise

 

League of Origin

 

The Connects

 

Look Out For

 

A.Ward vs Real Deal

 

Next Move

 

A.Ward should be slated to battle on Blackout 7.  Lets see who his opponent is!

 

 

FRANCHISE

Toronto, ON

 

 

As the lone Canadian on our list, Franchise held it down for his country and scene at the end of 2016 with two monster performances that hit the net around the same time.  In his classic GZ battle with A. Ward, Franchise earned the top rookie spot in Canada.  After battling Cortez on BMTO, the calls started coming in - Franchise got the chance to skip the whole Proving Grounds process and was added directly to the URL roster.  If Franchise can keep his hot streak going, he will have enough exposure to become one of the top Canadian battlers over the next year.

 

Battle of Note

 

Franchise vs Cortez

 

Best Bar

 

“How he goin think outside the box when he in one” - Franchise vs A.Ward

 

League of Origin

 

Beast Mode Battles Toronto

 

Look Out For

 

Franchise vs Brooklyn Carter

 

Next Move

 

Franchise is headed straight for SMACK/URL and faces an opponent who is long overdue for a big shot.  If Franchise can prove himself in New York, he will have a great year.

 

QUILL

LONDON, UK

 

 

Quill has been around a little longer than most of the freshman on this list, but the North American fan base has yet to take to the versatile emcee the same way as his native Don’t Flop crowd.  UK needs another rapper to break down the barrier and demand top matches similar to DF legends Tony D and Shotty Horroh - Quill might be the one to do it.  Punchlines, freestyle, charisma, delivery and crowd control - Quill has it all.  Did we mention that he has two CRAZY battles against Charlie Clips and Rum Nitty?  Catch up people.

 

Battle of Note

 

Quill vs Charlie Clips

 

Best Bar

 

“Judging by your weight you need to train better fam, I will Mayweather man

Combinations will open him up … I’ve got a safe pair of hands” - Quill vs Charlie Clips

 

League of Origin

 

Don’t Flop

 

Look Out For

 

Quill vs Soul (Don’t Flop Champion)

 

Next Move

 

Quill has battled on almost every major league.  We’d love to see him go to URL and get the star-level exposure he deserves.

 

 

JAKKBOY MAINE

Richmond, VA

 

Jakkboy leap-frogged over quite a bit of considerable talent to earn a spot on this list, but when you watch him its evident - HE IS DIFFERENT.  Jakkboy originally made a name for himself battling on smaller leagues, until he broke through in 2016 with a 70k-view battle on URL’s channel against Drugz.  The Richmond native doesn’t have any huge opponents or matchups confirmed yet, but list list might be exactly what he needed to get the push he deserves.  Just give Jakkboy a watch and we guarantee he will be one of your favorite newcomers.

 

Battle of Note

 

Jakkboy Maine vs Drugz

 

Best Bar

 

“Peep the step, cause the one that comes next’ll be your death

Hoover business premonition - im letting you see what’s next

One to your face, one to your knees like ‘please I need a breath’”

- Jakkboy Maine vs Drugz

 

League of Origin

 

Body Bag Battle League

 

Look Out For

 

???

 

Next Move

 

Please get Jakkboy any type of main stage URL battle.  You wont regret it.

 

 

JEFFREY

Manchester, CT

 

 

Absolutely hilarious.  Jeffrey is the evolution of the humorous joke rapper - he has crazy bars to go with an addictive style that oozes personality.  Jeffrey comes from the same camp as popular emcee E. Farrell, but comes with a different style to wow crowds and outclass opponents.  His recent surge at KOTD Bunker battles have put him in a new space and he seems to be gaining or fans by the day.  Believe it or not, good ‘ol Jeff was one of the highest vote-receivers among the 2017 Freshman Class.

 

Battle of Note

 

Jeffrey / E. Farrell vs DNA / K-Shine

 

Best Bar

 

“Im stakin’ i might fuck around and leave the event in damn choppa/

I live in a mansion - my house got more stories than ya grandpapa”

” - JeFFrey vs Greedy Grimes

 

League of Origin

 

iBattle

 

Look Out For

 

Jeffrey vs Lil G

 

Next Move

 

KOTD Main Stage (Blackout ???)

 

 

RYDA

Calvert County, MD

 

 

Crazy thing is that Ryda actually started out as a videographer and photographer.  He met Drect while he was filming behind the scenes footage at a tryout for Don’t Flop in DC.  A little over a year and a half later he turned a dope We Go Hard battle with Truth Watson into three key Proving Grounds Battles: Snake Eyez, Fettuccine 20 and Chef Trez - a battle of the year candidate.  Ryda has proved that give a little time he can adapt to any format and circumstance.  He has a bright future.

Battle of Note

 

Ryda vs Chef Trez

 

Best Bar

 

“Two strap im peeling out of both like Morpheus hands /

Then the next thing you know the pound behind his head like the Scorpion stance” - Ryda vs Chef Trez

 

League of Origin

 

League Of Champions

 

Look Out For

 

Tales From The Whip LP (Coming Soon)

Ryda EP (Coming Soon)

 

Next Move

 

Hopefully we see Ryda on Born Legacy 5

 

 

 

CHEF TREZ

Atlanta, GA

 

 

Chef Trez made a name for himself as a standout on Miltown Bloe’s Spit Dat Heat league with battles against dope opponents like Riggz, B-Magic, Craig Lamar and Fliiko L.  After brief stints on URL and Don’t Flop, Chef came back to Atlanta and became one of the faces of John John Da Don’s Bullpen Battle League, where his match against DNA showed everyone his immense talent level.  Now back on URL after logging a few crazy battles in a row, Chef Trez is primed to take a MAJOR jump and become a household name in 2017.  PS his freestyle skills are AMAZING.

Battle of Note

 

Chef Trez vs DNA

 

Best Bar

 

“You got your tooth knocked out, i knocked out niggas teeth - we run the streets different

You said something about Puertorican and Mexican mom ?

Its actually Puertorican and Mexican when the heat spittin

Cause they both similar, but when they get mad they speak different” - DNA vs Chef Trez

 

League of Origin

 

Spit Dat Heat

 

Look Out For

 

Main Stage URL Battles

 

Next Move

 

We can see URL using the same blueprint they did for Rum Nitty and feeding Chef Trez big names all year - he deserves it.

 

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