Don’t Flop has been announcing some astonishing match-ups ahead of this year’s "7th Birthday Weekend," which is unfolding at London's Ministry Of Sound on Nov. 14-15 (plus a warm-up card at The Green on Friday, Nov. 13).
Here's the new trailer:
Where the recent "Sunburn 2" championed U.K.-vs.-U.K. match-ups, this card promises quite the opposite. The league has pulled in some considerable heavy hitters, many returning faces and — with the likes of
Head I.C.E, Pass and Kid Twist — some hefty debuts. The "Sunburn 2" card seemed to relish polar style clashes, whereas the battles here mostly seem to pit rappers against apt and challenging opponents.
Here is a rundown of what to expect at the benchmark of this year's U.K. battle calendar.
SHOTTY HORROH vs. CHARLIE CLIPS
Charlie Clips has been through war a few times already this year, taking on two of the most esteemed opponents possible in Loaded Lux and Hollow Da Don. Now, he's taking on one of the biggest names in U.K. battle rap. Clips' last trip to the U.K. was a relatively loose affair that is remembered mostly for how it featured oranges, and the Harlem emcee's easy-going nature kept the crowd captivated. Clips is at his best when he feels comfortable, but he won’t be allowed to get cozy for too long.
Shotty Horroh has drastically refined his approach this year and is back on consistent form (and is repeatedly showing up, regardless of what the talk is about), most recently making light work of a levitating Arsonal at KOTD's "World Domination 5."
This is one of the most internationally renowned U.K. battlers vs. one of the most internationally renowned battlers worldwide. This should, therefore, be a bloody exciting battle. Both are capable of humor, both are capable of unbridled aggression and both are capable of bringing greatness.
SHUFFLE-T & MARLO vs. DNA & K-SHINE
UPDATE: K-Shine was unable to make the the event.
After his 2-on-2 battle at URL's "Summer Madness 5," DNA told BattleRap.com the two teams to beat in his eyes are still Illmaculate/The Saurus, and Marlo/Shuffle-T. He and Shine have created a resurgence in the 2-on-2 format in the U.S. this year after teaming up on DFUSA, and there is no better way to bring them over than as the opponents of the best 2-on-2 on the British Isles, and arguably the world. Oh, and it's a title match, which should raise the stakes nicely.
RAPTOR vs. PASS
Raptor, the name on every British battle fan’s lips for 2015 takes on a formidable writer and brutally consistent performer in Pass, for the latter's debut on U.K. shores. This is sure to be an atmospheric and equal-footed match-up with plenty of aggressive quotables and top-end penmanship.
CRUGER vs. FRESCO
A towering wall of unorthodoxy awaits us as the co-founder of the league itself takes on one of the enduring Grind Time veterans. Fresco looked incredibly sharp when he paired up with Real Deal in Chicago, and his bar-heavy style fits perfectly with the current trend in battle rap.
OSHEA vs. KID TWIST
It wouldn’t be a Birthday Event without an Oshea battle, and this one should be as whimsical as they come. He had a lackluster showing against Lunar C earlier this year, but when Oshea comes through he's not just one of the funniest — he's one of the best.
Twist has done well in several debatable battles since his comeback, but his loftiest material often goes soaring over heads in the live setting. In his U.K. debut, it'll be interesting to see how the crowd responds to the former KOTD champion.
These are two pillars of battle rap in their respective countries and pioneers of bringing comedy into the scene. With both on form, this could be one of the most irrepressibly hilarious battles ever recorded.
SOUL vs. CAUSTIC
Regardless of the history between these two, we have here the tantalizing prospect of two of the finest pen games in the world facing off against each other. Add in some soap-opera backstory - Caustic receiving a punch from Soul after pretty thoroughly decimating Jefferson Price in 2012 - and there really is the potential for a timeless battle. And, I imagine, a heap of talking points to follow.
DIALECT vs. GEMINI
Dialect has been absent from the DF channel for a little while but his return against a relative newcomer — one who himself has put in some amazing work against the likes of Big T — has the makings of an amped street classic. Gemini vs. Raptor is the Dialect vs. Double L of the new school, so it'll be great to see two meteoric ascensions colliding.
JUAN vs. CHARRON
After a great showing against John John Da Don at KOTD's "World Domination 5," Charron returns to Don't Flop yet again (still sitting pretty at #2 on the 20 Greatest Flips video rundown) to take on the freshest and most bespectacled face on the card. Expect an overload of dry humor and OTT freestyles.
PEDRO vs. UNO LAVOZ
The U.K.’s new cult hero preparates for a constantly returning comic force. This will be the closest battle rap gets to the Rainbow Road level on Mario Kart and is the most Mexican-sounding fixture in U.K. battle history since Pedro took on Carloss.
CRAFT-D vs. HERETIC
Two more of the year’s most highly regarded newcomers get a hallowed spot at the flagship event, and you can expect a heap of humor and heart from this one. Catch up on Heretic and Craft-D now so you're not surprised when they kill it at the event.
TONY D vs. CHILLA JONES
The ex-champ (but by no means ex-battler, with some absolute classics under his belt since he abdicated the throne) takes on a returnee from DF's last birthday party, and he is coming to Britain on the back of a colossal year having taken on so many heavyweights. This will be a monstrous exchange of words.
DEFFINITION vs. DNA
Deffinition had a wonderful showing for his return against The Saurus at WD5, and his return to DF should be no less momentous. DNA, meanwhile, is plastered all over this flyer, but this should be one of the more distinct style clashes of the weekend and no less entertaining for it. Expect DNA to come up with a veritable onslaught of name flips and for Deffinition to attempt to troll DNA off the face of the planet to a pretty bemused expression.
OGMIOS VS. HEAD I.C.E
UPDATE: Head I.C.E will not be attending the event due to "unforeseen circumstances."
#7BW Announcement:— Don't Flop (@DontFlop) November 13, 2015
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Head ICE will unfortunately not be attending this weekend.
- Don't Flop Team
Both are bona fide fan favorites with enduring cults of personality and are a pair of the most unique figures in global battle rap. We're about to witness what happens when an immovable object meets a much larger immovable object.
UNANYMOUS vs. BIG T
Big T and Unanymous have both seen recent returns to form against Suge and Shuffle respectively, and Big T had a nice battle against Gemini at 6BW. This will be a high energy exchange with big personalities bouncing off the walls.
QUILL vs. K-SHINE
UPDATE: As mentioned above, K-Shine won't be at the event.
Quill had a great battle against Rum Nitty and is becoming one of the go-to names for a reliable, intelligent and versatile performance. K-Shine is following up some great showings on DFUSA with his first battle in the U.K. Quill constantly steps his game up and this one-rounder should be a nice way to showcase his talent against a big name.
PEDRO & OSHEA vs. PASS & CAUSTIC
Putting Pedro and Oshea in a 2-on-2 for the 5BW (as opponents) provided reliably bizarre results, and by now pairing them up on a card where they are both already battling (in Pedro's case more than once), Don't Flop know exactly what they're getting themselves into.
Pedro probably won't write a word for the battle (or event), and Oshea will likely write one round and resort to saying "twat" a lot. Caustic and Pass are a formidable team but I'm not sure Pedro is going to mention them. It will be amazing.
IMPACT vs. TECH 9
Impact is one of the U.K.'s most reliable battlers, and his consistency has earned him a shot at a name who in his prime took on the likes of Arsonal, Goodz, Bill Collector and DNA. His comeback battle against Shotgun Suge was enough to earn him this U.K. debut.
SOLJITSU vs. 100 BULLETZ
100 Bulletz is one of the most frequent returners to U.K. shores and did not disappoint against Shuffle-T this year. He'll be faced with similar straight-faced drollery from Soljitsu, one of the more underrated Don't Flop up-and-comers.
SHOX THE REBEL vs. LU CIPHER
Shox The Rebel is one of the 2015 tryouts who has chiseled himself out a verifiable name this year, and Lu Cipher was almost completely unheard of in the U.K. (and also the rest of the world) before he battled Troy Brown on DFUSA to amazing reception.
This fixture is a fantastic example of Don’t Flop putting faith in its newer names, to the extent of having one out from across the Atlantic. Expect high energy and two rappers jostling with something to prove.
SleepyGee vs. Kade
You may know Sleepy as a rapper and occasional contributor to this site, but he's also been providing the soundtrack for DF events as of late. Here, he'll take on Kade in the league's first ever soundclash.
Warming up the weekend on the Friday night there will be a few battles at The Green in Farringdon, London.
Here's the card:
Michael White was initially going to take on Mr. Tongue Twister, but has now cancelled, which brings us to...
Battles That Aren't Happening
The event's easily duplicated visual style generated a significant number of memes, some of which were barely distinguishable from the actual flyers. Here are the battles we're pretty sure aren't happening, though we're keeping our fingers crossed for Jesus vs. Godzilla as a surprise match-up.
Can you call any of these battles? What else would you like to see? Let us know below.