Adam "Rone" Ferrone: AKA Roney Baby The Prince, Soon To Be The King, AKA "My Grandma's Favorite Grandson," AKA arguably the most likable battler of all time.
The Philly rapper came up in the Grind Time era and transitioned smoothly over to King Of The Dot and Don't Flop in the early 2010s. He's also appeared on URL (and has been named by Norbes as his "favorite whiteboy") where he reportedly bodybagged Danja Zone, though that footage has been vaulted apparently over audio issues.
His style combines humor with an incredibly technical rapid-fire rapping ability and his stage presence and charisma often overshadow the strength of his writing and ability to freestyle and rebuttal.
Rone's been consistently killing it, though his opponents have occasionally slowed his momentum with last-minute cancellations and no-shows. Check this video for a quick rundown of his bad luck:
Here are our picks for the first five battles to watch if you want to get a sense of what Rone is all about.
Rone vs. Charles Hamilton
Where: Penn State
When: March 2009
Why you should watch it: Rone was battling industry artists since before it was cool.
In terms of dorm-room battle rap, the 2009 footage that surfaced featuring then-rising star Charles Hamilton against a somewhat nerdy white guy on a Pennsylvania campus is pretty much the gold standard. What started as some playful rhyming turned into an impromptu battle that quickly made its way around the Internet upon its release.
Ironically, even with all the great battles and accomplishments Rone has had so far in his career, the biggest “name” he faced was not only unplanned, but also his first online release.
Rone vs. DNA (Grind Time Version)
Where: Grind Time's "Road To Bad Blood" in New York, N.Y.
When: September 2009
Why you should watch it: Rone’s initial success in the battle world came through a barrage of charismatic performances in Grind Time’s East Coast Division during its glory run. Included in this sequence was his first international opponent Tricky P and a classic battle with Caustic that ended in a good old-fashioned battle rap controversy (due to a debatable judging decision).
Perhaps the battle that most propelled Rone towards stardom was the one with DNA's infamous “bomb” prop/angle in New York — an angle that he would re-hash in their short-notice KOTD rematch in 2014.
Rone vs. 360
Where: Grind Time's "Battle Of L.A. 4" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Feb. 5, 2011
Why you should watch it: Rone was battling industry artists since before they were industry artists.
Rone would return to the battle scene after a short break (which he has done at various times throughout his career) for a string of performances in Grind Time. In front of a New York crowd at a Poison Pen event, he had a well-received clash with California emcee Fredo that showcased two of the best GT-era “rappers” going at it.
But the highlight of this run was a hilarious battle with 360 at BOLA 4, where we saw two of the funniest battlers at the time trade verbal insults in a way that has had people re-visiting it for years and sits at well over 300,000 views.
Also important to note is the success 360 has had in Australia since this battle took place, as he has gone on to be one of the country's top hip-hop artists, with a platinum record to his name.
Rone vs. Nils M/ Skils
Where: KOTD's "World Domination 2" in Toronto, Canada
When: Aug. 6, 2011
Why you should watch it: Here, in his KOTD debut, Rone’s precise writing and trademark wit clashed perfectly with Norwegian rapper Nils M/ Skils’ laid-back delivery and deadpan humor. Also notable here is Rone's so-offensive-but-so-ballsy opening gambit referencing the Norway attacks that had left 77 people dead just weeks before.
After this and his classic bodybag of Okwerdz about a month later, Rone would go on a year-long hiatus until he returned at "World Domination 3."
Rone vs. Big T
Where: KOTD's "Blackout 5" in Toronto, Canada
When: Feb. 8, 2015
Why you should watch it: Perhaps the most successful run of Rone’s career was the first half of 2015. His showing against The Saurus was excellent and a definite candidate for battle of the year, and a string of monster battles including the previously mentioned DNA rematch and the monologue he delivered after Daylyt walked out mid-battle really highlighted him at the height of his skill.
The icing on the cake for the tidy six-month run was his battle with Big T, which included a third round that went viral on Facebook and Reddit and netted millions of views. The official KOTD release is also currently Rone’s highest-viewed battle with more than 660,000 views as of July 2015.
In New York City in 2011, Rone had a career-defining performance against Okwerdz in a battle that many people point to as one of the great body bags in history.
Rone got another dose of viral success with his epic compliment battle against KOTD champ Pat Stay, who requested the match-up for a hip-hop festival in his home province of Nova Scotia.
Did we miss your favorite Rone battle? Let us know in the comments below.