Last week, the announcement that shocked the battle rap world was the return of Iron Solomon. After becoming one of the most visible, if not the most visible, face in all of battle rap in the mid-2000s due to being really the only emcee who competed in both the freestyle and pre-written street battle circuits, not to mention absolutely excelling in both. Solomon became both the measuring stick and the dream opponent for every major name amongst his contemporaries, leading to classic performances against The Saurus, Jin and E Ness.
We haven’t seen Solomon step into the ring since 2012’s underwhelming showdown with Murda Mook. Naturally, we here at Battlerap.com are very excited to see what happens when Solomon takes on Daylyt, which is why today we’re revisiting his 2006 showdown with Mic Assassin.
Yes, his 2006 JumpOff TV showdown with Mic Assassin. We’re serious.
Now, this may be the most absolutely one-sided battle in the entire history of battling. It came about when U.K. hip-hop outfit JumpOffTV decided to branch into America with aspirations of having a World Rap Championship that pitted the best battle rappers in the world against each other.
In a lot of ways, 2006 was a weird transitional year for the battle formats, making the JumpOff style of three one-minute freestyle rounds among the most challenging in rap battle history. JumpOff flew U.K. favorite Mic Assassin to the birthplace of hip-hop for a series of battles against a very diverse line-up of different scenes, ranging from Nems to Afloe to Syanide. It’s a grueling format, and Mic Assassin gave it his best, with a record breaking about even.
And then along came Iron Solomon.
It’s a brutal four rounds (due to host Mazzi miscounting) that concludes with Mic Assassin immediately admitting at its conclusion that it’s the worst he’s ever been served. So, in a world where there are so many more evenly matched Iron Solomon battles against the likes of Presence, Zeale23 and Math Hoffa why did we choose this one?
That’s because, in the grand scheme of battling, it’s a very important clip. Of course you have one of the all-time great super-consistent Iron Solomon performances. But what’s also historic is how JumpOff released this battle as a streaming and for-download option, resulting in someone uploading the battle to a newly launched website called YouTube. That spring of 2006 was when YouTube was just exploding, and this was the first rap battle to truly go viral. Smack was still primarily DVD based, as was Scribble Jam, and the other leagues, well, didn’t exist.
Solomon’s uncanny demolition and accessible charisma allowed for street battling to rise alongside his own profile as YouTube helped the medium expand. It’s crazy to think that at the start of 2007, YouTube searching for “rap battle” only gave you about eight pages total of results. This Iron Solomon vs. Mic Assassin battle is what brought battling into the Internet age and, for that, it will always be classic.
Every Thursday, BattleRap.com posts a classic battle that you should know about, or at least be reminded of occasionally. See them all here.