The Top 10 URL Battles Of 2015

Our favorite battles from URL, from small-room classics to massive headliners.

After starting off 2015 with a quiet couple of months, URL picked up a ton of momentum throughout the year. The New York-based league addressed some of the issues the fans had by stepping up its promotion game, offering a high-quality live pay-per-view for marquee events, expanding to the West Coast and improving turnaround times on footage releases.

Not every match-up announcement the league put together met the high standards of their demanding fanbase, but the end results of many of those battles surpassed expectations. Even the "small" cards managed to sell out some of the biggest rooms in battle rap and still generated more buzz than most other leagues' efforts.

URL continued to develop exclusive new talent too — think of where names like Chess, T-Top and Brizz Rawsteen are now compared to a year ago — with results good enough for some of the PG showings and smaller one-offs to be on this list of the year's standout battles.

They also booked two of the biggest match-ups that battle rap saw in 2015: Charlie Clips vs. Hollow Da Don and Charlie Clips vs. Loaded Lux.

Some of the selections to include on this Top 10 were no brainers, but the last few were tough to finalize (is it better to focus on the biggest battles? Or the best?), so for that reason we've included five honorable mentions that you should also check out.

Charlie Clips vs. Loaded Lux

Who: Loaded Lux (Harlem, N.Y.) vs. Charlie Clips (Harlem, N.Y.)
Where: URL's "Summer Madness 5" in New York, N.Y.
When: Sept. 26, 2015

This battle caught a fair amount of flak for all of its extraness — from the dispute over the coinflip at the beginning to Lux's entourage getting involved at the end — but at its core, it's still one of the most historic match-ups we've seen in battle rap in a long time.

In an era of battling when most main events are thrown together based purely on the fame of those involved, this match-up felt intensely personal and was magnified to the largest possible scale. It was two massively popular emcees putting their legacies on the line with full effort, with both looking for a clear win.

Clips brings a timely performance full of clever moves that resonate with the crowd, while Lux's approach is more timeless and untouchable lyrically. The battle ended up being more of a style clash than many fans expected and the winner ultimately depends on what you're looking for in a rap battle.

B Magic vs. Ty Law

Who: Ty Law (Washington, D.C.) vs. B Magic (St. Louis, Mo.)
Where: URL's NOME5 one-off in Harlem, N.Y.
When: May 10, 2015

This battle came together by popular demand, and the fans were right to demand it for so long.

Ty Law’s first round is a massive “I told you so” to anyone who doubted his performance ability, and within the first few bars, he shows why he deserves this shot on URL. He's sometimes slow to the punch, but he makes it work phenomenally as a foil to Magic’s rapid-fire style.

Magic fires right back, though, and delivers a nearly flawless performance all three rounds. As is often the case, his only pitfall are his slight stumbles, which some may see as enough to edge the victory to Ty. Regardless of whether you think Ty did enough to defeat Magic, whether or not he proved himself is not really up for debate.

Tay Roc vs. Calicoe

Who: Tay Roc (Baltimore, Md.) vs. Calicoe (Detroit, Mich.)
Where: URL's "Summer Madness 5" in Manhattan, N.Y.
When: Sept. 26, 2015

This long-awaited match didn’t disappoint and was one of the more entertaining main-stage battles URL released in 2015. “Second Round Roc” was in full effect and Cal put his "real talk" aggression to expert use. This was a divisive battle in the building, and that doesn’t seem to have changed on camera. See Roc for back-to-back gun bars and Cal for relentless barking and physicality.

It's also done big numbers on YouTube, surpassing one million views in less than four months.

Danja Zone vs. Danny Myers

Who: Danja Zone (Temple Hills, Md.) vs. Danny Myers (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Where: URL's "Traffic" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Aug. 1, 2015

You have to have patience to watch this battle. Not because it takes Danja and Danny a while to heat up, but because the URL West crowd can’t help but bug out every five seconds. You can’t blame them though, and this is clearly another Bloque on Bloque hit.

Danja arguably went undefeated in 2015 and, strictly speaking, that was still the case after this battle. If you went off ooh’s and aah’s alone, you’d have to give this to Danny, but don’t be that person. Make your own decision, and rest assured it won't be easy.

All of Danny’s opponents have at least one thing in common: they had to push themselves to match his energy. Danja willingly acknowledged that necessity, and it gives the battle a competitive intensity. In Danny, you can count on punch after electrifying punch, and in Danja, you can expect to hear some insanely well-crafted schemes. Definitely don’t sleep on this one.

Follow the lyrics, read our live updates from the event and check our post-battle interviews with both emcees.

Gjonaj vs. Gutta

Who: Gutta (Austin, Texas) vs. Gjonaj (Detroit, Mich.)
Where: URL's "SM4: Proving Grounds" event in Harlem, N.Y.
When: Sept. 26, 2014

If you haven’t seen this Proving Grounds classic by now, you’re doing something wrong. Gjonaj had the internet buzzing since word of this SM4 Proving Grounds bar-fest got out, and to say he didn’t live up to the hype would appropriately be deemed “hating.” With this release, he became the most talked-about up-and-coming battler, putting him on the fast track to battling Dizaster on KOTD.

But don’t sleep on Gutta, who is a more-than-worthy opponent, and that third round is something special.

Charlie Clips vs. Hollow Da Don

Who: Charlie Clips (Harlem, N.Y.) vs. Hollow Da Don (Queens, N.Y.)
Where: URL's "Night Of Main Events 5" in Manhattan, N.Y.
When: May 9, 2015

When this battle was announced at the end of 2014, it was one of the biggest match-ups available. Charlie Clips was arguably that year's best emcee and Hollow Da Don's clash with Loaded Lux was considered by most as the best battle of the year. In some ways, this battle felt like a title match for the claim to the NYC throne.

The energy see-saws throughout the battle, with Hollow starting off with a classic first round and Charlie finishing strong. Unfortunately Charlie's second and Hollow's third stopped this one from reaching the sky-high expectations that fans had for the match-up, but that didn't stop it from being one of the biggest battles of 2015, netting more that one million views despite heavy bootlegging of the pay-per-view.

Prep vs. Th3 Saga

Who: Th3 Saga (Queens, N.Y.) vs. Prep (Baltimore, Md.)
Where: URL one-off in Harlem, N.Y.
When: Feb. 28, 2015

Unless you pay very close attention to the scene, this battle probably seemed to come out of nowhere. That said, it was a perfect follow-up to the release of Gjonaj vs. Gutta and, more importantly, an excellent hype engine for "Rookies vs. Vets."

Regardless of who you think won, it’s obvious that both Prep and Saga took this battle extremely seriously and their precision and focus here is a nice reminder of why they got the shots they did in 2015.

Jaz The Rapper vs. O'fficial

Who: O'fficial (New Orleans, La.) vs. Jaz The Rapper (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Where: URL's "Night Of Main Events 5" in Manhattan, N.Y.
When: May 9, 2015

You could argue that O'fficial had performance of the night at NOME5, and it’s safe to say that there was a significant shift in the best-female-battler talks after the night was over.

She tore the roof off the building in the first and much of the second, landing haymaker after haymaker after haymaker. Her rounds took longer to finish than Jaz’s, simply because the crowd was bugging out after every other bar. It was hard not to with her dropping stuff like: “Pop a GUN? You too scared to pop your cherry!”

Jaz probably stole the third but this was still a pretty decisive 2-1 for O'fficial, making it the first clear loss on Jaz's resume.

Rum Nitty vs. Steams

Who: Steams (Brooklyn, N.Y.) vs. Rum Nitty (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Where: URL's West Coast PG event in Las Vegas, Nev.
When: Feb. 28, 2015

The buzz that came out of URL's first official West Coast event was deafening, but it turned out to be fairly accurate about the headline battle between Rum Nitty and Steams.

For those not fond of the reach-and-stomp style that’s become popular, this battle just might show you that it can be pulled off if done really, really well. Minus one small stumble in Steams’ first, this is a pretty flawless showcase, and the wordplay seems to get more and more ridiculous as it goes on. Some of these punchlines hit so hard, the room just can’t keep itself together, and you might have a hard time too.

Shotgun Suge vs. Big T

Who: Big T (Chicago, Ill.) vs. Shotgun Suge (Newark, N.J.)
Where: URL's "Summer Madness 5" in Manhattan, N.Y.
When: Sept. 26, 2015

Mr. Chillackaboo returned to the URL stage here, while Suge continued his rapid ascent with another big performance. Frankly, the match-up seemed random and last-minute to much of the battle rap community who wanted to see Suge vs. Hitman Holla, but man, were they wrong.

T was snapping from the gate, and it's refreshing to see the URL crowd losing their shit over raw lyricism used against someone like Suge. But T did more than that; he was animated, jokey, bar-heavy, and aggressive all at once. He showed his versatility in every round (although he took a while to heat up in the third). Plus, that second was one of the best he’s ever delivered.

You can be sure things are changing when Suge is becoming known for impeccable third rounds. He thoroughly spazzed, making the absolute most of his “what you know ‘bout” approach. “When he was putting the nose on Mr. Potato, I was putting a potato on the nose.” Sheesh.

Even Shaq was excited.

Honorable Mentions

Here are five more battles that you should definitely check out:

See all of our Year In Review coverage here.

What were your favorite URL battlers of 2015? Let us know in the comments below.