Rookie battlers inherently lack many of the attributes that come from years of being in the ring. Some have great presence and delivery but need to work on their writing, while others have a remarkable pen yet haven't figured out how to connect with the audience. This list is comprised of battlers who are still rounding out their game. They show enough potential to stand out from their peers and could eventually, fingers crossed, hone their abilities to an elite level. In this article 'rookie' means less than 8 battles. Here is our list:
Robin Rhymes (USA) vs. Jai Smoove
Aggression and haymakers are what make Texas native Robin Rhymes deadly in the ring. Evident in her clash with Smoove, her clever wordplay complements her consistent and charismatic delivery that connects effortlessly with the crowd. Look out for her on 'Queen Of The Ring'... with only 6 battles under her belt she is making a lot of noise.
B Dot (USA) vs. Danny Myers
Personality, crowd control, bars and performance: B Dot is far and away the most well rounded rookie right now. Only 5 battles into his career and he already has 2 amazing matches with Danny Myers and against Daylyt. His approach is often compared to the legend Loaded Lux, but there are distinct differences in his delivery that make B Dot unique.
Relly Rell (USA) vs. Killa B
Relly Rell hails from New York, where he started battling in the Danger Zone Battle League and more recently Black Ice Cartel. Dynamic and powerful on stage, Rell commands attention and controls his momentum expertly. His storytelling ability is refreshingly creative and accentuates the punchlines he uses to make a point.
Dank Schrader (UK) vs. Jaybe
From the first word, you can tell Dank has an innate understanding of battle culture. Incredibly entertaining, he sidesteps cliche and hits with hilarious punchlines that keep the audience rolling with laughter. This Leeds-based emcee is not just a comedian; he can rap and string bars together enough to beat any opponent.
Ryda (USA) vs. Snake Eyez
The Saint Leonard, Maryland native barely makes our list with his 8 battles totalling over 90,000 views. He may not be the most well-rounded emcee on this list, but his high quality punches can take over and become the most memorable part of any battle he's in. While his rhyming and delivery are capable of holding the audience's attention, it's his accessibility that can explode the room. "Crime scene atheist cuz I be leavin' nothing at all."
Snake Eyez (USA) vs. Kiing Capo
You might only be able to find 3 battles from Harlem's Snake Eyez, which is amazing considering how comfortable he looks in the ring. His energy and writing is electric in the room as he possesses great control over his momentum to keep the crowd engaged. "Think Louis Vuitton when I head shot him, cuz his family ain't know he was dead til they red bottom"
Spanish Harlem (USA) vs. Ghost
A Puerto Rican battler from New York his style starts at the clean suits he wears and end with his fierce punches and dynamic delivery. Being well dressed helps Spanish Harlem stand out from his opponents, but it's his references and scheme ability that showcase his deep understanding of the strategic nuances of battling.
Lawry (SA) vs. Jigsaw Lastpiece
South Africa's Scrambles 4 Money league has hosted some of the world's best battlers from overseas, but like any budding league, creating their own talent has been a difficult journey. Armed with his own style of wordplay, name flips and jokes, Lawry has only a couple matches to his name right now. Nonetheless, he's shown a great command of the skills needed to excel in battling. He is a bright spot in a wave of new talent making names for themselves in the South African league.
Luminous (USA) vs. Flo Leeds
Virginia's own Luminous has that rare ability to use well-crafted multis consistently and punch with them too. He has dangerous haymakers mixed with enough clever humour to give a well-rounded performance. Luminous started his career on Face Off Battle League, and is getting more attention from his work with Don't Flop's American channel. He can rap, perform and joke but his wordplay is what sets him apart.
Vega (AUS) vs. Ted
Making waves in Australia for his advanced writing, Vega is one of the most popular new battlers on the continent. His balanced style and consistent improvement has earned him a title shot at Real Talk's stacked 7th Birthday event against Eljay. Expect to see him develop his talents on Don't Flop's new DFOz channel.
Sam Kolt (USA) vs. Reverse Live
Sam has had only 3 battles but already looks comfortable in the ring. He has exhibited strong writing with powerful projection to move up the ranks in California. Kolt's last opponent bailed on him for KOTD's event Back 2 Basics 4 but look for him at the next Bunker event and in the BOTZ Cadalack Ron Battle Royale against notables like Frank Stacks, FLO and Caustic.
Random (USA) vs. Baby J
Though he's been freestyling for more than 15 years, Random only jumped into written battles in February 2015. Since then, the El Paso, Texas-based cartoonist/rapper has been steadily climbing through the scene, with some standout showings in New Mexico's Universal Battle Realm, and now a solid run in KOTD's GZ Battles. Up next: a battle at Don't Flop's "8th Birthday Weekend" against 2015 DF Newcomer Of The Year Heretic.
[Editor's Note: There were some cries that Cope was "biased" for including Random on this list since the two are administrators on Reddit's /RapBattles sub. Regardless of any affiliation, Random definitely deserves a mention. This new write-up was done by editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell.]
Jay Walker (USA) vs. No Shame
Promise (AUS) vs. Jack Scarey
MacKenzie (UK) vs. Cloudy Saprano
Did we miss someone you think should be here? Let us know in the comments below