URL's Proving Grounds have seen a resurgence over the last couple of years, with many of the league's new names (T-Top, Chess, Brizz Rawsteen, Th3 Saga, Ave, Tink Tha Demon, Mike P) catching heavy buzz off smaller battles and then capitalizing on the bigger opportunities they were given.
The next PGs go down the day after the still-unrevealed event at Irving Plaza on May 21, and feature 16 battlers who are all one fire performance away from being URL's next breakout star.
Here are BattleRap.com's picks for the guys you should be keeping an eye out for.
If you know Ryda, it’s likely from his recent PG where he snapped on Snake Eyez. A native of Calvert County, Maryland, Ryda has been putting in work on small leagues for the past two years and shows more and more promise with each battle.
Most notably, he faced the increasingly popular Jerry Wess in a fire WeGoHard battle almost a year ago, which could have been a clear W if not for a hiccup in Round 2. Now, Ryda is making noise with concise, strongly delivered punches, and his PG battle is a prime example.
The Philly emcee has been getting some big co-signs recently, and his name was buzzing enough after his "Born Legacy 2" PG battle with J Murda (still unreleased) that we grabbed him for an interview. Check it out above to get to know him better.
In an era where so many battlers are completely interchangeable, A.P., out of (the appropriately named) PG County, Maryland stands out as truly having a style of his own. Although he uses the wordplay-heavy approach that's prevalent in battle rap, A.P. has a charisma that jumps through the screen that helps separate him from other newcomers.
His last released battle was in Virginia against Short Fuse in front of PG boss Norbes, and his impressive performance solidified his spot on the May 22 card.
A-Class might be the most experienced battler on this card. He's definitely the one with the best resume, which features Dizaster, Rone, Caustic, Charron and many others. The Baltimore emcee is a definite vet with almost 30 on-cam battles since 2008, on platforms like Scribble Jam, King Of The Dot, and Don't Flop. This battle marks his first on URL, where his Hunger Games crewmates Nunn Nunn and Tink Tha Demon have been making noise for a while.
His most recent battle hasn't even hit 1,000 views since it dropped three weeks ago, which is why Joe (formerly Lil Joe) could be Norbes' new secret weapon. The 26-year-old emcee has been battling for just over a year, mostly in South Carolina's Barbarian Rap League, where Norbes caught him leaving earth for three rounds in his latest match-up (see above).
Originally from New Jersey but based in South Carolina for the last six years, Joe brings a solid blend of aggression, wordplay and punches to his battles that should go over well with NYC fans, especially if he can catch them off guard.
Battle Of The Night: G Mayn Frost vs. Rolla
These guys have both made enough noise in the scene that you probably already know their names. Frost is the Jacksonville giant who got into it with Arsonal and who recently battled Glueazy on Body Bag Battle League.
Rolla has been one of the standouts in the DMV for years, taking on Tay Roc in 2013 and putting on 7 Cities Sharks' best battle of 2015 with Born.
They both have huge presence in the ring and will feed off each other's energy for what should be an intense battle of the bullies.
Here's the full card:
Who on the card has the most potential in your eyes? Let us know in the comments below.