| What We Want To See From Battle Rap In 2015

Fireworks-610’s ideas for the new year.

The new year is upon us — and with a new year comes new ideas. Lots of them. Here are some of the ideas we had about stuff we would like to see growing in prominence in battle rap in 2015.

Fewer Battles And More Effort

The oversaturation of battle rap on YouTube has come to a point where it’s hard for even the most devoted fan to keep up with current releases. Battlers seem to have a new video dropping every week, and many times the performances are not up to their usual standard. Rules of supply and demand apply to battle rap as well, and frankly we need less content and more quality in the new year.

The Return Of Judged Battles

A judged decision is now something that is seldom seen. This has given battlers a green light to claim they won battles no matter the circumstances. There is no longer a fear of a hit to one’s reputation associated with a loss, because little can be determined about the results of a battle with no official decision. In 2015 we want both the return of judged battles, and a unified judging criteria.

URL Outside Of NYC

URL has announced that it is expanding to Europe and the West Coast in 2015. This would definitely help the league grow their brand geographically and culturally and could bring some diversity to their largely East Coast-centric roster. We look forward to seeing what URL has to offer in regards to expanding into new locations and if they can highlight some of the hidden talent existing in these areas.

Compliments Battles

If there’s one thing that Shuffle-T/Marlo vs. Big J/Lefty and Pat Stay vs. Rone proved, it’s that these things really work as a bonafide alternative to the traditional rap battle. If Pat Stay can suspend his usual persona and get on his friendly shit, then anyone can. He recently tweeted about wanting him and Rone to compliment battle Shuffle-T/Marlo. We cosign this match-up 100%.

International Battles

It has been a good year for the international. Obviously there have been some great U.S. vs. U.K. match-ups — none of us saw Soul vs. Sketch Menace coming, likewise Gemini vs. Big T, and the early signs from Don’t Flop’s foray into Atlanta are good. Canadian battler Charron performed on multiple platforms in the U.S. including U Dubb and URL. KOTD’s Blackout event is set to host a large amount of American battlers from URL’s roster including Hitman Holla, T-Rex and Conceited. We wish 2015 progresses in this fashion and battle rap continues with its worldwide expansion.

Returns From Retirement

Blackout 5. Wow. Bishop Brigante, 24/7, Kid Twist, Madchild and Dumbfoundead are all about to make their timely returns. The obvious unretirement we’d all welcome would be Soul Khan’s, as impossible as he says it is. Hopefully the growing popularity of battle rap will coax more legendary battlers to reestablish themselves in the scene.

Small-Location Battles

While Dizaster vs. Cassidy was far from the match we expected, there’s no denying that the clash gained a certain appeal from the small-scale nature of the Day 2 setting. So let’s learn from it, and take things back to the essence whenever the opportunity presents itself. Obviously there are financial challenges here, but presumably the cash lost at the door could be compensated by a profitable PPV. It’s time to bring back “The Pit.”


Really? Yes, actually, and we’ll explain why. Catchphrases actually serve a purpose — they provide the viewer with a shared experience. Basically, catchphrases unify, and that’s not to be underestimated if you’re a person pondering whether or not to attend an event for the first time. They’re a much-needed blast of familiarity in a scene that can, wrongly or not, seem quite alien to those outside looking in. We’re not advocating an over-reliance on them, but when an entire crowd is yelling “SLOW IT DOWN I JUST DISSED YOU” it’s pretty cool.

Carter Deems

We don’t know what this guy is on – disturbingly, he may not be on anything – but what we do know is that he is awesome; with his growing popularity in KOTD/DF Facebook groups, we won’t be remotely surprised if he’s in the next batch of battlers those leagues fly into their upcoming events.

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