The word “classic” gets thrown around in battle rap a lot, but there are really only a few battles where the status is never debated. Aye Verb vs. Hitman Holla — AKA "The Battle For King Of St. Louis" — is one of them.
This 2012 match-up came at a time when the Midwest’s battle scene was on the verge of getting its well-deserved and long-overdue nationwide spotlight, with URL coming in to put on its first event in St. Louis.
RELATED: Read the full lyrics to the battle
At the time Hitman was considered by most fans to be the #1 battle rapper out of The Lou, while Verb, the older, more seasoned emcee had a reputation that was more solidified on the Midwest scene. It was only right the two crossed paths, and this was the best time to do it.
Leading up to the highly anticipated battle, the question was whether the long-time-friends-turned-rivals would keep it strictly bars or get personal, and the final result is a genius combination of both. It's safe to say Verb’s “real talk” third round and the debut of Hitman’s now infamous “remix” changed the game, and the influential nature of the battle further solidify its spot in the culture.
Verb's "Ay Big Gerald" callout in the third round remains one of the most iconic lines in battle rap history, with the crowd reacting for almost 90 seconds in the building, and URL's camera set-up and video editing perfectly translating the moment to footage.
If you know someone looking to get into battle rap this could be a good pick for their first taste of the culture.
Every Thursday, BattleRap.com posts a classic battle that you should know about, or at least be reminded of occasionally. See them all here.