Every month we compile a list of the best singles, videos and albums to come out of the battle rap community. Last month’s releases had a little bit of everything, including Daylyt getting into the Christmas spirit with a holiday-themed EP, Hollohan appearing on a track alongside Stiches and Madchild, and Quake Matthews professing his love for donairs.
Let us know which ones stick out in the comments at the end of this article.
Friday The 25th — “Xmas On Da West” & "All I Ever Wanted"
Daylyt teamed up with Mr2theP for a Christmas-themed EP under the name Friday The 25th. Daylyt sounds as good as he ever has on the tracks, which kind of makes sense, since much of the production is smooth West Coast beats that perfectly match Day’s style. The video for "Xmas On Da West" sticks to the tried-and-true classic hip-hop formula: hot chicks (in elf costumes) and dope California visuals.
Loaded Lux feat. Samira Gibson – “Seasons” & "Rambo (Freestyle)"
The Beloved 2 album dropped in 2015 and immediately became one of the top music releases to come out of battle rap in some time. These latest releases sound effortless on Lux’s part, and his flow and lyrics are on point throughout. "Seasons" is a song that touches on relationships that is accompanied by a gritty but beautifully shot video that features a surprise appearance from NuNu Nellz.
Quake Matthews – “Down With The King”
Quake Matthews made his return to KOTD in 2015, but he never stopped making music in his years away from battling. In this raucaus video, Quake appears alongside fellow Nova Scotians Pat Stay and Randy from the "Trailer Park Boys" to enjoy some late night eats from the legendary local donair spot. This is a straight boom-bap track, and Quake attacks the beat fiercely and often. The track is amazing, but the video is a must-see.
Yung Kazh feat. Hollohan, Stitches, Madchild, Merkules – “Remix The Work”
The latest release from Yung Kazh has received somewhat of a mixed response thus far, but is notable for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is that the standout verse comes from former KOTD champion (and possibly the least recognized on a mainstream level) Hollohan, who delivers a heart-stopping performance over the frantic beat. Madchild and Merkules also feature, but the most notable name on the track is Stitches, who can’t seem to keep himself out of the news lately after a number of notable “incidents.”
Brizz Rawsteen — "Da Smokescreen"
Brizz has been carving out a place for himself on URL's main stage, and the quality of his music should help bring more fans to his side. This URL-released video has a classic 90s-era hip-hop vibe to it and it's easy to agree with Brizz's own personal assessment that he's "fucking awesome."
Caustic feat. Tr1zz – “Placebo”
It took a while for Bay-Area rapper Caustic to finally release some music, but it looks like it was worth the wait, as the offerings have been extremely strong. Alongside rising star (and fellow California resident) Tr1zz, he delivers another standout performance as he once again flows effortlessly over a bouncing instrumental.
Various Artists feat. Cruger — "The History Of Grime 2000 - 2015"
Don't Flop co-founder/editor Cruger delivers a thorough history lesson on the U.K. grime scene that features clips from hundreds of videos from the last fifteen years. With pretty much all of the major hits covered, this mix is a perfect way to get into the distinctly British musical genre.
Jak Tripper – 444MX
If it seems like experimental rapper and part-time battler Jak Tripper puts out a lot of music, it's because he does. On what seems like his hundredth offering, the Westchester, N.Y. emcee dusts off some old joints that are both haunting and progressive in a way that only Jak can pull off. The chilling samples and odd patchwork of beats used on this four-track project are unlike anything you’ve heard before. For fans of a darker and more eccentric style of lyricism.
Coma – “Why I'm Not Where You Are”
If you're looking for an argument against the punch heavy style that has taken over much of battle rap, you don’t have to look any further than Washington, D.C. native Coma. “Why I’m Not Where You Are” finds a vulnerable and honest Coma delivering a powerful performance over minimal production, which allows his artistry to really show through.
B Magic – “Finna Dip”
Despite fans' sadness over his the recent announcement of his imminent battle rap retirement, St. Louis rapper B Magic has been busy working on music and shooting a number of quality videos to go along with them. On “Finna Dip” you can catch Magic employing his usual smoked-out braggadocio and punch-line style over a smooth instrumental with a Southern flare.
Other Notable Releases
Shotgun Suge — "Nobody" & "Doin It Well Remix"
MyVerse — "New Year (Midnight Bih)"
Big T — "Southside Niggas (#YallGoneListen)"
Real Deal feat. Tarra Layne — "Visions Of You"
Head I.C.E — "Drop Start"
Lunar C feat. Dream Mclean — "1000 Bitches"
Skepter Skank feat. Shuffle-T — "Fester Skank Remix"
Fredo — "Hella Loaded"
Cali Smoov — "Cali State Of Mind"
Madd Illz — "Call To Action"
Which ones do you rate? Let us know in the comments below.