It’s that time of the year when all kinds of “Best of Lists” are dropping and like last year, AllHipHop.com is sure to shake up the battle rap culture with one of the most explosive collections of superlatives on this side of Hip-Hop.
We’ve already crowned Nas, the 90s OG who dropped three extraordinary joints in 2021 (King’s Disease II, It Was Written (Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition) and Magic), the Emcee of the Year, and Jadakiss as Person of the Year because of their exceptional lyrical ability. Now, it is time for us to name Male and Female Battle Rapper of the Year, highlighting those spitters that have taken the subculture to a frenzied new height over the past year.
There are tons of other lists that have dropped in the battle rap culture, but our list differs in one major way. It is fan-based.
In December, AllHipHop.com launched a survey asking fans to fill out their choices for ten different categories, and boy did they come through. With close to 5,000 ballots submitted, this is the most comprehensive list of the culture (and we mean the people that buy tickets to events, download and pay subscriptions for the apps, purchase mech and lurk YouTube day-in and day-out to see what is new in the world).
They kept it real! Affirming a lot of the stuff that most battle rap fans know and dispelling certain “facts” that some competitive emcees would have us believe.
AllHipHop likes to think that these lists … and the opinions expressed in these lists by our faithful audience (that overwhelmingly overlaps with the battle rap culture … it is not as exclusive as you think) … are the precursors to Jay Blacc’s Champion of the Year and Woman of the Year and the upcoming Ultimate Rap League Awards coming in the Spring.
Alright … enough of this … Here is the list.
Top Battle Rap Event of the Year
Fans voted overwhelmingly for Drake’s birthday bash as the card of the year. To no surprise, the 2021 Top Battle Rap Event list is dominated by Ultimate Rap League events. The league hosted 28 major events, produced on the Caffeine streaming service, and trended #1 at least for 5 of those events. Still, they were not the only ones to get some shine. Rare Breed Entertainment, the self-proclaimed Rucker of Battle Rap, had some cards that were not easy to ignore. Scratch that, it was impossible to ignore. Max Out 1, the first major event to have a crowd since the pandemic, was exceptional. Also, The Riot’s Monopoly took up space, inching its way on the list like the David to URL’s Goliath.
1. Til Death Do Us Part
2. Double Impact
3. Summer Madness 11
4. Volume 9
5. Max Out 1
6. Civil War
7. NOME XI
8. Heir 2 the Throne
10. UM4 (Semi-Finals)
Fan Top 10 Favorite/ Preference Battle Rappers of the Year (Female and Male)
Fan Top 10 Favorite/ Preference Battle Rappers of the Year (Female and Male) let us know who you really all like. It allowed fans to say who they simply like the most. A co-ed preference list, this top ten seeks to give space for people to be honest about those lyricists that speak to them, make them scream at the YouTube or App because they are so fire or always has a vibe that makes you want to root for them.
(1) Geechi Gotti
(2) Tsu Surf
(3) Eazy the Block Captain
(4) A. Ward
(5) Rum Nitty
(8) Real Sikh
(9) 40 BARRS
THREE-WAY TIE FOR LAST PLACE!
(10) C3, Danny Myers and Tay Roc
Top Emerging Rappers of the Year
What keeps battle rap exciting? New Talent!
It is not easy for a league to introduce new talent, equally, it is not easy for new artists to break through and make an impression in the ocean of battle rap emcees. Fans are not always warm to new voices, styles, and energies. But, ten have made their way, exceptionally claiming their spot on the stage (or in the middle of the floor …depending on the league).
Check out the new faces and voices that have “emerged” this year as some of the top emcees in the world. Like all of the other lists, the competition was stiff. Fans included female rappers right beside the guys, even including the First Lady of Gun Titles, Christian rapper Pristavia.
(2) Real Name Brandon
(3) Kyd Slade
(6) Elijah Strait
(7) Eliza Versa
(8) Sheed Happens
Top 20 Impact Making Moments or Movements of the Year
The biggest and most impactful moment of the year was Drake.
Drake has been a fan of the culture for years and has toyed with hopping on the stage and making a battle rap debut. While we hold our breath, he has blessed the culture in other ways. First, by brokering the Caffeine deal with URL in 2020. In 2021, he put up $100,000 for the winner of the Ultimate Madness 3 Tournament, where at the event he dropped an additional $50,000 to the winner.
Not to be undone, the Champagne Papi (unwillingly) partook in battle rap drama after his private conversations with veteran rapper Murda Mook regarding his battle rap birthday bash (rumored to have made history by producing a card a little shy of $1 million) was recorded by the Harlem native and leaked to the media. That didn’t stop the “God’s Plan” for passing out Henny at the top card of the year, endorsing NuNu Nellz’s teeth whitening company, Nu Expression, and getting covered on TMZ for “chilling hard” at the event.
That’s not the first time this year that Drake made commercial media sites pay attention to battle rap, he shared with the world that his new album Certified Lover Boy was dropping soon during a URL/ Caffeine and people lost their minds.
Did we get the other moments right? Did we?
(1) Drake Sponsorship of Battles
(2) Cassidy v. Hitman Face-Off
(3) OTFMZ (PERIODT.)
(4) Summer Madness 11
(5) URL Sues RBE
(6) 6 Personality Prep
(7) QP Writing Rumors
(8) Queen of the Ring Gets Competition (SHEGOESHARD and CHROME 23)
(9) “I’m Just Tired,” Danny Myers and Loaded Lux Choking
(10) Speaking Volumes
(11) Yoshi G Beat Lady Caution
(12) A. Ward vs. URL
(13) Dominance of Gun Titles (Tsu Surf, Tay Roc, Eazy the Block, Chess, and Pristavia just winning everywhere)
(14) The Gotti Dynasty: Emergence of EFB and The Riot (Geechi Gotti, Rum Nitty, JC, Fonz, Ave, Real Name Brandon, NXT, and Ms. Hustle)
(15) Bardashian Killah: Gattas’ Return to URL
(16) Jaz Comeback Smokes Bardashian Killah
(17) Battles at Chris Brown’s Mansion
(18) White Boy Talk to Your Friends
(19) “Don’t Touch Me,” Ms. Hustle vs. Coffee Fight
(20) Cassidy’s Tournament: The Rise and the Rapid Fall
Top Battle Rap Media of the Year
This virtual season saw the rise of battle rap media outlets that were just as impactful to the community as the artists that they covered.
Battle rap media consists of a few different styles of coverage: Analysts, Reporters, Op-Editors/Vloggers, and Talk Shows. With the rise of Caffeine, Discourse, Clubhouse, Twitch, and YouTube, new voices have emerged and older voices have had to adapt. Check out our list based on our fans’ votes.
At the top of the list is Angry Fan, who worked so hard to get to that top spot, that it wasn’t even funny… It was kinda funny! His interviews with both QPs, Gwitty, and so many other personalities had the culture on lock. A few media outlets have made their debut on the list. Platforms curated by OTFMZ, The Upstairs Boyz, NuNu Nellz shocked the world with shows that were fun and informative.
Do you think fans got this right?
2. Champion/ Jay Blacc/ URL Host
5. Breakfast with the Champion/ DNA
6. Battle Rap Trap/ Verified Source
9. Three Letter Man PSAHipHop
12. NuNu Nellz/ Family Time/ URL Host
14. What’s Goodz/Goodz da Animal
15. Vada Fly
17. Chris Unbias
18. Top Tier Podcast
19. Weed’ Like to Know/ 40 BARRS
20. DNA Tooth
Top Female Battle Rappers of the Year
Top Female Battle Rappers of the Year is self-explanatory and looks at the women who have come into the year — ripping the roof off of it without breaking one of their pretty and perfectly manicured nails. Congrats to many of them, who have been grinding for some years, have finally proven to the world that this is a sport of brains, not brawn.
Consider the names on the list that took down some of battle rap’s biggest names with a smile. It was great to see C3 in the Top 3. Jaz and Hustle only had one battle, but so what, fans know that they are fire. Yes, even with the fight, Hustle’s bars were hard-body. Krissy Yamagucci, another Harlem legend, made the list because she cooked and needs for someone to offer her a larger plate.
Yoshi G dodged ghostwriting allegations by an astounding battle on No Holds Barred 3. So many moments in the culture, including the WOTY vs. The Face, even had Fabolous commenting on culture.
Finally, it’s because of the women on this list, Remy Ma (sorta kinda) came out of retirement. This time, not as a battle emcee. Her league Chrome 23 is popping off in March.
1. 40 BARRS
4. Casey Jay
5. Coffee Brown
6. Jaz the Rapper
8. E Hart
9. Yoshi G
10. First Lady Flamez
11. Krissy Yamagucci
13. Cee the Boss
14. Ms. Hustle
15. Lady Caution
17. Eliza Versus
19. Hope Trilly
20. C Bri the Lyricist
Top Male Battle Rappers of the Year
For the second year in the Top Male Battle Rappers of the Year was the tightest of all of the lists. No one is shocked at the top five, as fans have been saying all along that these names are the most elite battlers of the year.
All of the male members of Gun Titles are in the Top Ten of the group. Ironically, their queen is down with “The Christians are here” led by A. Ward and Loso, who are sitting comfortably on the list. Geechi Gotti and Rum Nitty’s EFB is just as dominant as GT. The group is expanding their traditionally West Coast heavy crew with the inclusion of folk like the first Ultimate Madness winner, Fonz.
The best thing about the list is that it includes several eras of battle rap reaching from before URL was a league to the brand new era.
1. Geechi Gotti
2. Tsu Surf
3. Eazy the Block Captain
4. Rum Nitty
5. A. Ward
7. Tay Roc
9. Bill Collector
10. Charlie Clips
12. Danny Myers
14. Ill Will
15. Real Sikh
16. Dre Dennis
17. Lu Cipher
20. Lu Castro
TOP BATTLE RAP LEAGUES OF THE YEAR (SMALL, MEDIUM & LARGE)
Shout out to all of the leagues that have kept their heads up during the pandemic. It was through their hard work and constant innovation and ability to adapt and flip on the dime, that kept the industry (and culture) alive. Because so many leagues have been doing such great work, we divided them up by YouTube subscriptions, leaving that metric as a qualifying measuring stick. This allows more leagues to be celebrated and recognized for their hard work.
Top Small League of the Year (under 50,000 followers)
The Riot (Monopoly, Short Notice 4, Friday Night Fights, March Madness 2, and The Commencement)
Top Medium League of the Year (between 50,001 and 500,000 followers)
Rare Breed Entertainment (Brick By Brick 2, Lift His Soul Reloaded, Brick By Brick, Max Out 2, and Max Out)
Top Large League of the Year (above 500,001 followers)
The Ultimate Rap League (Super Fight, Smack Vol. 7, Born Legacy 12, Super Fight 2, Kings vs. Queens II, Chess vs. Loso APP Event, Double Impact 4, Third Super Fight, The Crucible Phase 3, UM3 Selection, UM3 Rd. 2, UM3 Semi-Finals, Smack Saturday, NOME XI, Heir 2 the Throne w Queen of the Ring, Born Legacy 13, Super Fight 4, UM4 Selection, UM4 Rd. 2, UM4 Semi-Final, Civil War, Summer Madness 11, Chess vs. Clips, Til Death Do Us Part, Smack Vol. 8, Traffic, and Smack Vol. 9)