Fan Top 20 Favorite/ Preference Battle Rappers of the Year (Female and Male)
1. Pat Stay (The Sucker Free Boss R.I.P.)
2. Shotgun Suge
3. Jaz the Rapper
4. Tay Roc
5. Rum Nitty
6. Eazy the Block Captain
8. Tsu Surf
9. Danny Myers
10. Shooney Da Rapper
11. Geechi Gotti
14. Viixen Da Assassin
15. A Ward
16. Ms. Hustle
17. Kyd Slade
19. Bill Collector
20. Fonz and Casey Jay (tied)
Best Breakout Rappers of the Year
Formally knowns as the “Top Emerging Rappers,” this category includes those rappers who simply pushed forward in a fresh new way— differently than how they’ve ever performed in the past.
It’s about new talent and those right at the cusp of something great. It’s like Eazy the Block Captain in 2020, around the time when COVID just started, and he was able to “breakout” and become the superstar he is today. It’s also like this year’s Crucible and Bags, and Bodies class, which came in and won the fans’ hearts, and THEY REALLY WANT THEM TO WIN.
As stated before, 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 twenty have made their way, exceptionally claiming their spot on the stage (or in the middle of the floor …depending on the league).
- Kyd Slade
- Saflare Sole
- Sheed Happens
- Rocq Lee
- Elijah Strait
- Hope Trilly
- Eliza Versa
Top 10 Most Impactful Moments or Movements of the Year
1. Pat Stay is Murdered
The death of the Canadian rapper sent the entire world into a tailspin. People woke up on Sunday to the sad news that the Sucka Free Boss was fatally stabbed in a local club. His untimely demise not only broke the heart of those in battle rap culture but also those in the commercial space. The likes of Eminem, Drake, and so many more posted tributes to him, reminding everyone that rap (at its core) is rap and all of the distinctions that people place on battlers and major streaming artists are really self-imposed.
If there is anything people can take away from Mr. Look at You Go is that there are no real boundaries in life— race, talent, love, creed, religion, or social class. Live life to its fullest and if you are an emcee, just pick up the mic and be great. #RIPPatStay
2. Tay Roc Exposed Kyd Slade
There is a discussion in the street about holding your ground, maintaining respect, and keeping your lips tight. During his Civil War 3 performance, Tay Roc broke out court-issued paperwork on the Connecticut rapper, putting to test his street credibility.
He turned “plug talk” to “snitch talk,” occupying weeks upon weeks of battle rap social capital. Still, the more people talked about Slade’s “snitching,” the less tainted he seemed to appear (especially after interviewing with Unkle Ra in an exclusive sit-down interview).
While many are cemented on the rules are the rules, he “snitched” in court, others are saying “he just exercised poor judgment” and talked himself (on the stand) in a hole.
The move did not only damage Slade’s image, but it also made the battle not good, leaving Roc stating on 15 Minutes of Fame, he wishes he didn’t do it.
3. Bags and Bodies Reality Show Debuts
Hitman Holla debuted his battle rap reality competition show, a modern take and sexier take on the 2014 “Road to Total Slaughter,” mixed with a lot of Jermaine Dupri’s#### series, “The Rap Game” that spawned the superstar rapper, Big Latto.
Big-name battle rappers guest starred on the show, while some of the hungriest gunners around competed against each other.
The national search was epic and the rollout, complete with a red-carpet premiere, was fly. With this project, the “Wild N’ Out” staple keeps showing people in the culture there are many ways to get bread and you can provide opportunities while you are rocking.
4. Tsu Surf
In 2022, New Jersey rapper Tsu Surf appeared to be on top of the world. A fan favorite on battle rap stages, as an analyst, as a fashion plate, as a recording artist, as a league owner, author and so much more.
No one can forget how he started an underground league with Midnight Madness and redefined the promo game on Twitter spaces. He also brought together one of the most powerful collectives in battle rap, Gun Titles, bringing in and mentoring young talent like Pristavia, the first lady of the crew.
While the “DISPARU” artist was having his most impactful year and charting a trajectory to possibly be Champion of the Year with an unprecedented amount of wins, unfortunate circumstances changed everything.
After ripping the stage at Summer Madness 12 and flying out the next day to perform at Rolling Loud, authorities arrested the star on RICO Charges, shaking the culture up and causing the hashtag #FreetheWave to go viral.
5. The Ultimate Rap League Dominates the Culture and Wins Big
The largest English-speaking battle rap league in the world, founded by pioneer Smack White from one of the original sources that catapulted the culture into its current orbit, hosted almost 30 events in 2022. Some exclusively on their streaming platform and others with their partners Caffeine, there was not one month where something was not going on— for male or female artists.
The trio, Smack, Beasley, and Cheeko, were able to keep the fans satisfied with quality content, even while fighting in court with their former talent scout, Street Star Norbes.
In 2020, Norbes was released from his duties at URL after getting into a fight with Nu Jerzey Twork at the league’s first event with Caffeine, Genesis. After publicly receiving his walking papers, the man most notably associated with The War Report filed a lawsuit claiming to be the owner of the league he once worked at. The case made its way to the New York Supreme Court, where justices ruled on a portion of the complaint, saying Norbes was not an owner, hinging its decision on the fact he never participated financially in the big losses as the three actual owners did.
Not resting on the accomplishments and barely addressing it, URL started filming a documentary rumored to debut in 2023 and include celebrities, God-tier emcees, and days in the life of some of your favorite stars.
6. Remy Ma Starts Her League, Chrome 23
Bronx bombshell Remy Ma is one of the first girls to battle on camera and will forever be immortalized as the Uptown shorty who battled against Lady Luck twice on MTV’s Fight Klub. A longtime friend of the culture, she has a few points of entry. Of course, she was battling in the Bronx, leading her to get down with Big Pun when she was a teen in high school. Then she also met Smack back in the SMACK DVD days. Then, her little sis is Ms. Hustle, the femcee who once boasted of being the First Lady of URL.
Now, she is bursting through the door as the owner of the Chrome 23 battle rap league, hosting six cards in her first year. Image-conscious, Remy not only books the ladies on her card but dresses them, gets their hair down, and prepares them to be stage ready.
She is said to be an excellent mentor pouring into the ladies she works with powerful gems about being women in the game.
7. Return of Shooneral
Shooneral, made up of Shooney da Rapper and Phara Funeral, are the original female two-on-two champs. Before the Bardashians … before Gawd Mode … actually, before most of the two-on-twos you can think of (with exception of Marv One and Quest McCody), they were teaming up and slaying for over a decade with style, finesse, humor, and chemistry.
This year the two came back and have not taken their sneakers off these chicks’ necks. Their battle against Jaz and Official is said to be one of the battles of the year.
But it doesn’t stop there …
The warm welcome as a duo has also benefited them as solo artists. Two of the original queens of the rings, Shooneral is the evidence that star power supersedes a plethora of things in the culture. You can be a lyrical miracle (and both have proven they can be), you can be fine as hell (did you see them in those red leather pants), and you can get the push that places you in the front of the masses … but if you don’t have that “IT” factor … you won’t have a legacy as strong as theirs (individually and collectively).
8. JC Wins $120,000 At Ultimate Madness 5 After Mom Dies
It is always sad when someone loses a loved one. But there is no pain one could ever feel (save losing your own child) to match losing your mother. Now, imagine having to pull yourself up and beat four other hungry emcees for a chance to win $100,000.
To make the pot sweeter, former NFL player and battle rap enthusiast Gerald McCoy dropped an additional $20,000 on the line for the winner in the finals.
The Pontiac rapper overcame his bereavement and honored his mother’s life with some of the best lyrical wizardry he ever composed. Walking away with the bag, against an extraordinary Swamp.
9. Mook’s Electrifying Performance at Homecoming
If you listen to the casual battle rapper, who just start watching battle rap over the last five or six years, you might think that there is a bunch of gas around the conversation of God Tier emcees. However, if you were in the building during URL’s return to Irving Plaza and witness the Zeus of battle rap step down from his Harlem-inspired Mt. Olympus and tear up the stage, then you know what they say is true.
Murda Mook is not like the rest of them folk over there.
You can compare him to Loaded Lux, who arguably is battle rap’s Poseidon. Fans might rightfully align him with his actual cousin and DOT MOBB brother, T-REX (#FreeTRex). We will even go with the Island God Aye Verb, who did his best Hercules impression and drew blood from the god.
But that night … on the stage opposite three times COTY champion of the year, Geechi Gotti … no one was touching him.
Just ask Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, Ghostface Killah, and the thousands of fans chanting his name. His showing that night … learned a whole lot of people who tried to discredit one of the architects of the culture.
10. Year of the Upsets
2022 was the year of the upsets. Whether we are talking regular bets or the destruction of your entire tournament brackets, underdogs were stepping up and showing out.
Two wins that stood out to fans were Tru Foe vs. Geechi Gotti and Casey Jay vs. Arsonal.
Gotti was actually knocked out of the first round of the UM5 tournament by Tru Foe, a member of the new Midwest movement. Fans were in shock to see the EFB leader vulnerable but at the same time celebrating one of the culture’s rising stars.
Likewise, Texas native Casey Jay put on a show for the audience floating over Mr. Disrespect. While he was sloppy during the battle, even pulling out his phone to read his bars in one of the rounds, she was poised and prepared to stand before the legend.
Don’t get it twisted, Gotti and Arsonal are still Gotti and Arsonal. But these losses prove that battle rap, at this level of elite performance and lyricism, is an any given Sunday sport.
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.
1. Angry Fan
2. 15MOFE (Including Restore Order, The Bar Exam, and Shut Up and Talk Show)
3. Vada Fly
4. Piperboy Williams
6. Black Compass
8. Battle Rap Trap/ Verified Source
10. Let’s Talk Battle Rap
11. Chris Unbias
12. Top Tier Podcast
13. Three Letter Man
14. New Era Podcast
16. DME Detroit
17. Breakfast with the Champ
18. Check the Temperature
19. Battle Raps Outlet
20. DNA Tooth
Top Female Battle Rappers of the Year
- Jaz the Rapper
- Ms. Hustle
- Shooney Da Rapper
- Viixen da Assassin
- Casey Jay
- Yoshi G
- Bonnie Godiva
- Phara Funeral
- E Hart
- 40 B.A.R.R.S.
- Lady Caution
- C-Bri the Lyricist
- First Lady Flamez
*AllHipHop.com made the editorial decision to recognize Cee the Boss, Don Ladyii, RX, and MyVerse, all emcees who deserve to be honorably mentioned on this list. While the fans did not vote them in the Top 20, their skillset, drive, and performance ability simply could not be overlooked by our team.
Top Male Battle Rappers of the Year
- Shotgun Suge
- Tay Roc
- Eazy the Block Captain
- Rum Nitty
- Danny Myers
- Tsu Surf
- Geechi Gotti
- Bill Collector
- A. Ward
- Kyd Slade
- Sheed Happens
- Real Sikh
- D.I. Da Hennyman
- Saflare Sole
- Marv Won
- Charlie Clips and Th3 Saga (tied)
*AllHipHop.com made the editorial decision to recognize DNA, Snakes Eyes, Bad Newz, Stumbles, and Tru Foe, all emcees who deserve to be honorably mentioned on this list. While the fans did not vote them in the Top 20, their skillset, drive, and performance ability simply could not be overlooked by our team.
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 Battle Academy
(Nightmare in Philly 2, No Crowd Necessary, The Battle Academy vs. Bullpen Battle League, Ear to the Street 5, War Ready 4, Rookies vs. Vets and Frenemies)
*AllHipHop.com made the editorial decision to recognize The Riot, Chrome 23, and We Go Hard/ She Go Hard for their hard work this year. We also salute all of the talent scouts, promoters, managers, and league owners hammering it out for the culture.
Top Medium League of the Year (between 50,001 and 500,000 followers)
Rare Breed Entertainment
(Who Really Got Bars, Straight to It-Vol. 1, Straight to It-Vol 2, The Getback 2, Brick by Brick 3, Straight to It-Vol 3, Brick by Brick 4, Blood, Sweat, Tiers 7, and Closure 2 )
Top Large League of the Year (above 500,001 followers)
The Ultimate Rap League
(Super Fight, Banned, Resolution 2, Initiation, The Crucible, Any Given Sunday 2, Calicoe vs. Chess, Future Queens, Kings vs. Queens III, Civil War II, To Live and Die in LA, UM5 Rd. 1, UM5 Rd. 2, UM5 Semi-Finals, BET Awards, NOME 12, Close Quarters 2, Battle in the Bayou, Down to the Wire, Summer Madness 12, The Crucible Phase 3, Weekly Lite Work Battles, Final Exams, Homecoming, Traffic 5, Survivor Series, Smack Volume 10-Ladies, Civil War 3, Volume 10-Males and Outside)