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THE 2014 GUIDE TO
FEMALE BATTLE RAP
Two years ago, Drect wrote a blog on his personal blogspot page entitled “Lyrical Ladies: The 2012 Guide to Female Battle Rap.” (Before you jump into this life-altering written masterpiece, you’ll definitely want to read that one first.) The blog had around 15,000 views in a week and he realized he was onto something. Fast forward two years and the landscape of female battle rap has completely changed: the fan base is HUGE, events are packed, the emcees have been featured on tv shows and new woman have emerged as the face of the sport. Everyone from Snoop Dogg to Jill Scott and Remy Ma has admitted to indulging in the female rap battle
A lot of hip hop fans seem to have an obsession with female rappers. There is something about a woman spitting punchlines that makes the lyrical heart go round. If you don't agree, then you were born without a soul.
In the spirit of good ‘ol controversy, the staff here at Rap Grid has decided to shake up the world of female battle rap once more and rank these ladies for 2014.
*CLICK THE PICS & COLORED TEXT FOR LINKS*
Activity - Quantity over quality or the other way around?
Resume - Do the opponents look good on paper? No ducking allowed.
Crossover Appeal - Different crowds and leagues feel differently.
Delivery - Its not what you say, its how you say it.
Bars - Do the rhymes look good on paper? Originality is a plus .
Performance - The art of commanding an audience and controlling a room.
1. Ms. Hustle
The longest and most challenging decision to make at the offices of Rap Grid was between the number one and number two spot on our list, which changed several times. Both number one and number two can make a compelling argument as to how each won their battle against each other at Summer Madness 3 last year. With this being such a close call, we looked at other factors. Ms. Hustle shocked the battle rap world when she choked in the first round against Jaz (one “z”) the Rapper, but the footage dropped and ... what choke? Ms. Hustle went from a Queen of the Ring frequenter to a Cam’ron cosign (along with other hip-hop stars,) BET appearances and the only female battle rapper on two huge URL cards in 2014. At NOME IV she performed her ass off against Gattas in one of the best female battles of the year - Hustle was in rare form. Unlike number two on our list, Hustle’s opponent was at the top of her game during their battle. This makes the match all the more significant, as it leaves no questions or doubts - Ms. Hustle is at the top of the mountain. Add in the classic performance vs Ms.Fit and it becomes a little harder to argue. Hustle is comparable to Mook - no matter how you personally feel about her, she has that top spot until somebody really takes it from her.
2. Jaz The Rapper
Jaz's defining moment was against QB at URL's "Revelations" Event. She put on a crazy performance and kept her composure, while being on the receiving end of a supercharged first round and eventually pulling out a convincing win. This put her on everybody's map and had industry cosigns pouring in. When Jaz vs Hustle was announced for Summer Madness 3 last year, a lot of fans felt as though the winner would be crowned the #1 female battle rapper. After a slightly underwhelming battle, there wasn't enough evidence of a convincing win for us to change the rankings. This past summer, fans were seemingly robbed of a classic as Jaz completely destroyed a very unprepared 40 B.A.R.R.S at Queen of the Ring's "No Holds Barred" event. With a better performance from 40 or a clear win against Ms. Hustle, Jaz might just have our top spot.
For years, Gattas has been heralded as the best female battle rapper in the world by many leagues abroad. When Queen of the Ring started to pick up its pace and the new generation of females started making noise, fans began to question Gattas' resume and challenged her to battle other top names in the sport. Shortly after, Gattas and Bonnie Godiva were recruited by Drake and Organik for King of the Dot's World Domination 4 event in Canada, where they both put on a show. Bonnie Godiva's stock shot up and fans were reminded of Gattas' place amongst the top females. Two weeks later, Gattas debuted on QOTR for another classic battle against Chayna Ashley that had fans arguing for months. The icing on the cake was a monstrous performance against Ms. Hustle at NOME4, which proved to be battle of the night and one of the top female battles of all time. The only blemish on Gattas' record was her battle against E-Hart, in which she had a sloppy performance and forgot her rhymes in the 3rd round. Without that blemish, the argument for the #1 spot on our list would have been that much more difficult, but hey, 3 classics out of 4 battles in a year isn't too shabby.
4. 40 B.A.R.R.S
With undoubtedly the widest vocabulary on this list, 40 seemed to earn the title of QUEEN OF THE RING after her crazy performance streak against Tori Doe, Phara Funeral, Bonnie Godiva and Daylyt. Her momentum halted as she seemingly had a fall from grace when she took the humbling 3-0 loss from Jaz. An asterisk will forever be placed by Jaz’s victory due to the fact that 40 did not come prepared and fans weren’t able to see what could have went down as one of the best battles in history. As of late, 40 has had a slew of great battles against many male and female opponents, including a great performance against URL’s Cortez. Failing to put her name amongst the top female battle rappers is a foolish mistake.
Constistency, deadly bars, Hulk-like punches that obliterate the competition, aggression, performance and now freestlyes! O’fficial mixes all the ingredients needed to be the perfect female battle rapper seamlessly ... like a perfect cup of gumbo. She arrived on the scene with a 3-0 victory over Unique Barrz that had Chayna Ashley making Jaz faces and Couture lurking in the background as if she knew this would be a future opponent. After ridiculous showings against K. Prophet and Lexx Banko she had one of the best battles of 2014 with C3 and a toe-to-toe battle’s with Couture and Ms. Miami. The icing on the cake was her crazy battle against E-Hart at Snoop Dogg’s Gladiator school. With those skills and resume, what moved her down? One can make a compelling argument that her victories are debatables and or losses. A win over our number 2 would probably make her indisputable the queen of battle rap, but something tells us she will run into number 4 before that happens.
Hart is a pioneer that has done so much for the visibility female battle rap. After her win over Gattas and break down of Chayna Ashley, one could make the argument that she is, in fact, the best female battle rapper on the planet. The only issue is that E-Hart isn’t as active as some of the ladies on this list. A more active 2015 could see her rank higher.
C3 is one of the hardest females to defeat on this list, due to her ferocious freestyle ability and great pen game - the Maya Angelou “And Still I Rise” line was one for the ages. As hard as it is, Tori Doe seemed to have gotten the job done at Queen of the Ring’s NHB event this past summer. C3 has gone up against Lotta Zay, Tori Doe, O’fficial and Ah Di Boom (not out yet) in four amazing matchups. The underwhelming side to her battles is most of them are all debatable. The fans want to see C3 clearly 3-0 an opponent to set herself apart from the competition. Take a look at some of her highlights and you will see that she clearly has the ability to do such.
8. Bonnie Godiva
In 2013, Bonnie made a great business move to set herself apart from all of the other female battle rappers by joining KOTD and putting the beats on Germ Free. After this, her stock seemed to skyrocket as her fan base grew. After her highlight match with Gattas, the stage was set for another great match with 40 B.A.R.R.S, but Bonnie did not seem like herself. A strange match with Uno Lavoz and her uncharastically aggressive performance against Ms. Fit hasn’t sat well with fans as of late, but Bonnie has a very high ceiling and is long overdue for another classic. “Shield Star like Captain America” is one of our favorite lines.
Couture is the people’s champ of female battle rap. Seriously, if you don’t believe us then go into any battle rap debate group on Facebook and say something negative about Couture. It would resemble dropping a raw steak into the Amazon River filled with piranhas. Mrs Worldstar earned a lot of fame after making Ms. Pak cry in a battle that ended up going viral. She is plagued with reputation of having “antics” or gimmicks in her battles, but the make for a great show. If you watch Couture vs Phara Funeral (not yet released) you will realize that her bars are slept on. The difference between her and a lot of other girls is CLEAR WINS (and one debatable with O’fficial) - she just knows how to get the job done. We almost got a chance to see Couture vs Jaz the Rapper, but it didn't go down and she ended up in the BET cypher instead. At this point we are waiting to see Couture against any of the top 5.
10. Tori Doe
Tori Doe is very fun to watch - her swag and demeanor are unmatched and she always steals the show. Her SUPER performance against C3 is what propelled her into the top 10. Like E-Hart, she isn’t as active as a lot of the girls, but Tori Doe is definitely a budding superstar.
Chayna Ashley - To many, Chayna may be a shoo-in for top 10, but we feel as though her loss against E-Hart set her back. Wait until you see her performance against Ms. Murk at Gladiator School. Its a goodie!
Ms.Fit - She hasn’t been as active and the battle with Bonnie was underwhelming. That performance vs Ms. Hustle was crazy though.
MyVerse - She is a rising superstar with an unorthodox and poetic style. Can’t wait til we see her against a top opponent.
QB - QB is obviously a female battle rap legend. She had a good first round against Jaz and DESTROYED Don Lady, but we need to see more from her against top opponents. A dope battle with Arsonal should have her back in our top 10.
TOP 5 WITH “BARS”
These young ladies make it a point to show their cleverness using wordplay, schemes and most importantly, BARS.
Jaz the Rapper used to lean toward sophisticated set-ups ending in powerful punching bars that were criticized for being a tad too drawn out. Her battle with 40 B.A.R.R.S finally put her one weakness to rest as she came with rapid delivery while keeping the same complexity and power in the punch. Only time will tell if this will be a consistent thing from now on.
40 B.A.R.R.S is one of the best writers PERIOD. Instead of holding on and keeping fans in suspense she attaches syllables together like Grind Time rappers of the past, but she does it with meaning and a street vibe that’s more reminiscent of east coast battle rappers. You are so caught up in her wordplay and disses leading to the end that the finishing bars to each stanza hold the same weight as the beginning. This is a good and bad thing at times as fans want to hear her drop more Earth shattering haymakers.
If you missed O’fficial’s first bar, don’t even worry about it, another one of equal force is coming right behind it, but don’t cheer for that one because it will cost you to miss the next one coming right behind it. This is what you can expect from O’fficial each and every time! It is rare that we see a clever writer with such force and power since force and power is mostly used to mask when an artist doesn’t have bars. Being too consistent does have disadvantages as well. O’fficial comes in a straight line at her opponents the same way each and every time and this allows them to craft rounds more diverse and personal, which gives the audience a nice needed change and in doing so, they are more intrigued by what they hear about O’fficial. C3 was able to use this to perfection in her classic 3rd round versus O’fficial.
Bonnie Godiva’s bars show this girl is a skilled writer that never fails to deliver on her punches. She listens to her critics and tries so hard to make her words and inflections believable, yet the emotion doesn’t always match, but punch for punch she can probably beat anyone.
Gattas is the most slept on lyricist on the list. This isn’t from her “lack” of bars, but because she chooses to use humor in her delivery, which goes against the east coast style of packing in the punches. Gattas is so much like another Chicagoan by the name of Ludacris. No one will ever tell you that he isn’t a lyricist. They understand if this was said to him, he would destroy them and could probably destroy their favorite rapper, but because of his humor his name doesn’t get mentioned as much as it should. When Ludacris had his first public war of words with T.I., he let off of the humor pedal and kept his foot on impactful words that invoked so much fear in T.I. that a sit down was arranged instead of a response. If Gattas follows suit and remove the humor at the right appropriate time and go for the kill, more people will respect why we have her on this list.
TOP 5 WITH PRESENCE AND DELIVERY
Gattas – No surprise right? It shouldn’t be! Gattas, when motivated (meaning forget the E Hart battle,) can pretty much guarantee you battle of the night if not battle of the year. In the ring she actually utilizes the squared-circle, which many veteran females have yet to master. From her expressions to involving the crowd, Gattas is going to make you get out of your seat and pay attention to what is going on. We give her the Presence of the Year award!
Tori Doe – You could say a line Tori said and people would look at you as if you were crazy. An example would be her remote control bar she said against C3. It wasn’t so much as to what she said that made it hot, but how she said it. Her tiny frame turns her into The Little Engine That Could. Just as you wanted so badly for that engine to get up that hill, fans want to see what she does in the ring and this anticipation along with her off-beat swag makes her a problem for opponents. Often cool with her movements, when it’s time to finish her set up something only known to Ms. Doe takes over and the force in her voice gives her bars the extra “umpf” needed that the fans love.
Phara Funeral – Remember the old Phara with the red finger waves? She set the gold standard for what delivery should be in female battle rap. The past year she has seemed a little less hungry than she was in the beginning of her career, but it would be a damn shame to not include her on this list. We loved that Phara Funeral vs Ms Murk battle.
Ms. Hustle – In the preview of Hustle vs. Jaz she ended her set-up with “…y’all gone think I’m the teacher’s pet when I leave her apple on the desk!” walked away then looked back at Jaz with a face so evil I thought she was going to cry. She meant that from her soul! Sometimes it’s easier to sell something when you believe it yourself. We compare Ms. Hustle to a method actor. Those are actors that truly believe they are the person they are playing often times staying in character off camera. This will be dented a tad with leaked footage of a fight with another great performer, but I’m sure that will easily blow over soon as the top female on our list graces the stage again for her next battle.
QB – If you didn’t know QB and only saw her in a picture, what would you think? Would you think she’d kill a baby? How about on stage when she raps things to such vile nature? I believe her. She has mastered the art of performance and delivery so much that no one cares about the shallow depth of bars. This is not why you go to a QB battle. You go to watch her disrespect the hell out of her opponent and trash her with perfectly delivered personals. She should invest a tad bit more in the bars in order to move into more categories on this list. QB vs Arsonal has potential to be one of the most entertaining battles in a while.
WAIT ... WHAT ABOUT ______ ?
You may think we forgot your favorite female emcees, but s/o to these ladies for having classics and being consistent over the years
TOP 5 BATTLES OF THE PAST YEAR (AND SOME CHANGE)
TOP BATTLES WE WANT TO SEE
Looney Divine vs MyVerse - Some see it as a gimmick, but lets be honest - we all want to see this.
Jaz the Rapper vs 40 B.A.R.R.S the (REMATCH) - Jaz stated she won't do it, but will the real 40 please stand up?
Lady Luck vs Ms. Hustle - It was supposed to happen, but it didn’t. SMH
Jaz The Rapper vs Gattas - Can we please get some top 5 closure? Beasley said it would happen.
Arsonal vs QB - We REALLY want to see this
Dekay Come To The U.S. - Make it happen Eurgh
THANKS FOR READING! WE’LL BE BACK NEXT YEAR ... FOR REAL