The Top 10 Rap Battles From August

Our selection of best battles of the month featuring clashes from URL, Don't Flop, RBE and KOTD.

At this point, Rare Breed Entertainment has become a household name for many battle fans, and it is one of the most consistent upper mid-level leagues when it comes to putting out entertaining content. This month was one where RBE made all fans take notice of them, producing three battles off one event that landed in our Top 10 for August (along with another that made our July list).

Event-wise, URL and KOTD dominated headlines in August, both putting on weekends that generated a ton of buzz with "Born Legacy 3" in New York and "World Domination 6" in Toronto. The theme in battle rap right now continues to be the nurturing of new talent, and those events focused on that. On this list we see two more battles from KOTD's GZ Battles and Don't Flop's Training Days feeder leagues that did the same.

Here are our picks for the most notable battles of August. Which were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

Fredo vs. Bender

Who: Fredo (Union City, Calif.) vs. Bender (Montreal, Canada)
Where: KOTD's "Battles At The Bunker" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: July 23, 2016

Even though they’ve been killing it for years, both Bender and Fredo are criminally underrated. To be fair, neither are entirely blameless, as a few shoddy performances from each have likely played a role. Fear not though, because they’re both in prime form here.

Considering how hilarious he’s been in the past, Fredo leaves a bit to be desired this time around in terms of jokes, but that’s only because he clearly opted to focus on barring out with Bender. He hits the “you choked for an entire round versus The Saurus” angle pretty hard, but for the most part it’s just back to back punches. It proves to be an effective strategy: he starts his rounds with jokey material before quickly transitioning into much more aggressive, relentlessly multisyllabic content, and the crowd loves it. More importantly, he’s obviously prepared and maintains his momentum throughout with the slight exception of a couple slips, doing enough to arguably win two rounds.

Several years ago, Bender seemed pretty unbeatable on KOTD, so long as he was prepared. Here, he’s fully back in his bag without a slip in sight, and that might be what makes the difference in terms of edging him the victory. He’s always been known for ridiculously quotable multies, often using historic and literary references, and without spoiling anything, he drops more than a couple jewels in this one (a particularly crazy one involves Vladimir Lenin and the Kremlin). He also manages to heat up over three rounds, more than holding up his end in making this a highly replayable, debatable bar-fest.

T-Top vs. Math Hoffa

Who: T-Top (Fuquay Varina, N.C.) vs. Math Hoffa (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Where: URL's "Unfinished Business 2" in New York, N.Y.
When: July 9, 2016

After a string of solid but debatable battles, T-Top probably needed a clear win against a top caliber opponent. At "Unfinished Business 2," he got exactly that. The battle that has amassed over 575,000 views since its release saw Top take down battle rap legend Math Hoffa.

The reason this battle is one of the most notable this month is essentially due to the performance of T-Top. Sometimes there can be a glass ceiling at the very top of the battle world that up-and-comers never get past, but Top exploded through that ceiling and tore the whole building down with it. This was absolutely a star-making performance and if there were any questions about his top tier status before, this erased all those doubts.

For Math, this was pretty much the worst case scenario, not only was his performance not up to his standards, but he was against a man in T-Top who was in rare form. In all fairness, Math did have a baby the day of the battle, so if he wasn’t completely prepared at least it was for a good reason.

He was back in form in this BeastMode battle in Toronto a few weeks later too.

Brizz Rawsteen vs. Shotgun Suge

Who: Brizz Rawsteen (Raleigh, N.C.) vs. Shotgun Suge (Newark, N.J.)
Where: URL's "Unfinished Business 2" in New York, N.Y.
When: July 9, 2016

As soon as this battle was announced, fans knew these two would be barking on each other for three rounds, and that's exactly what happened. As has become his custom, Shotgun Suge's third round was madness, but Brizz Rawsteen didn't really have a dry moment throughout. BattleRap.com Jackson Yates did a full breakdown of the battle at the event that you can read here.

JC vs. Mr. Mill$

Who: Mr. Mill$ (Gary, Ind.) vs. JC (Pontiac, Mich.)
Where: Rare Breed Enterainment's "Blood, Sweat and Tiers 4" in New York, N.Y.
When: July 9, 2016

Is Mr. Mills Writers Bloque yet or what? The idea has been floating around for some time and his battles with Bloque leaders Danny Myers, Big Kannon, and now JC have all felt like a clash between members trying to see whose pen was superior.

This battle had subtle implications for both sides — for Mills it was a test to see if his penmanship against Kannon was a fluke or if he could consistently maintain that level. Mills has the potential to become one of the top battlers on RBE and a good showing against JC could propel him on his way. For JC, people were doubting his ability to replicate the performance from the battle against fellow Bloque member Chilla Jones. No matter how well JC does he’ll always be held to THAT standard, and his last battle on RBE (a controversial judged win versus J Murda) isn’t valid in a lot of fans' eyes.

Going into the battle, both battlers knew how much a clear win could do for them.

In this, clearly the most bar-heavy battle from RBE’s BST4, we see yet another solid performance from vet JC, one of the most consistent battlers out, and an eye-opening performance from Mr. Mills. Each round felt like there might have been money on the line (except the third, but we’ll get to that). Both Mills and JC are at home on RBE and the comfort from the battlers and the support showed as they both flexed a bit in this back-and-forth. The first round from Mr. Mills was packed full of heavy-hitting punches and rapid-fire delivery and he took that one. JC got the third as his calm-but-deadly demeanor and clever lines won out over Mills’ seemingly cut-short round. The battle comes down to the second — both came with it and it’s arguably JC’s best round of the battle. You can argue it all day with your friends but in the end it comes down to preference. Cue the cliche “it can go either way” result.

Jimz vs. Serius Jones

Who: Serius Jones (Englewood, N.J.) vs. Jimz (Queens, N.Y.)
Where: Rare Breed Entertainment's "Blood, Sweat and Tiers 4" in New York, N.Y.
When: July 9, 2016

Serius Jones vs. Jimz went down in the midst of a busy weekend for battle rap in NYC. While this went down at RBE’s BST4, URL's "Unfinished Business 2" was happening nearby. Jimz wasted no time addressing the overlap in his opening bars as he went first with, “Just compare SMACK to a pair of retros cause he got the fans on line waiting to buy the same shit twice!” referring to the event's headline rematch between Gun Titles and NWX.

With a bunch of punches and a lot of support from the crowd Jimz ended his round pretty strong. Jones started his round by running down his rap sheet in the culture and taking a jab at his WD6 opponent Pat Stay. Jones schemed his way through the first round with some slick punches, including “How your slogan stop being dirty? You ain't catch a clean body yet."

Round 2 consisted of Math angles from Jimz with a twist taking the crowd through a comedic point of view through Jones' mind at SM3. His round, although solid for the most part, does start to drag toward the end, with Jones even signaling for a time check a few times. Jones' second round lacked angles, unsurprisingly — Jimz is newer to the culture and lacks a story to work off. He made it up with more hard schemes, clever name flips and comedic bars to match Jimz.

Stick around for the third where Jimz accuses Jones of an alleged shoplifting offense, even pulling out court documents at one point.

QB Black Diamond vs. O’fficial

Who: QB Black Diamond (Bridgeport, Conn.) vs. O'fficial (New Orleans, La.)
Where: Rare Breed Entertainment's "Blood, Sweat and Tiers 4" in New York, N.Y.
When: July 9, 2016

It says a lot for the stature of female battle rap that on an event with as many highly-anticipated battles as “Blood, Sweat & Tiers 4” this was one of the ones that garnered the most praise.

From the first round, QB seemed to realize that she was battling someone many consider to be one of the best females in the game, and took it to her from the jump. The view in many fans eyes was that QB just overwhelmed O’fficial in the first round, and from the footage it’s hard to argue with that. It’s not that O’fficial wasn’t a game opponent, she without question had some shit for QB, but as previously mentioned, had a hard time not being overpowered.

The second went much better for O, as it seems the roles were essentially reversed. QB was solid, good even, but this time it was O’fficial’s turn to overwhelm her, as O spazzed on her veteran opponent. Several haymakers really tilted the battle in favor of O, though to be fair to QB, some people have argued that she took this round as well as the first. O’fficial had a very slight stumble but probably not enough to cost her the round.

Both of their thirds were solid, but probably weren’t either emcee's strongest in the battle. The most common opinion online is that QB edged the third and took the battle 2-1, but it is a debatable battle, with some saying 3-0 QB, and others giving it to O’fficial 2-1.

This’ll be one you’ll want to watch for yourself to make your own judgment.

Bigg K vs. Cortez

Who: Cortez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) vs. Bigg K (Norfolk, Va.)
Where: KOTD's "Battles At The Bunker" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: July 23, 2016

When this battle was announced, many fans felt as though it was just a battle to get Bigg K back on the KOTD stage, and that he would simply run through Cortez. As the event neared, a string of strong performances by Tez and a Bigg K battle with Showoff that wasn’t as good as many of K’s previous battles had the tide turning in the other direction, but still most KOTD fans predicted a win for K.

Tez seemed like he genuinely felt he had something to prove, going right at K and matching his aggression for the whole battle. Coming out of the event, many fans thought Cortez defeated K on KOTD, a task which seemed impossible.

From K’s end, his first two rounds were good, but his third seemed like it was cut short. It says something for K’s talent (and fan base) that he almost gave away a round and he still had people thinking he may have edged the battle.

This was a heated battle in the building and that animosity between the two continued afterward with the two trading shots back and forth on Twitter. If you like a real sense of tension in battles, this could be the one for you.

Ncredable vs. Megadef

Who: Megadef (North Hollywood, Calif.) vs. Ncredable (Stockton, Calif.)
Where: KOTD's "Battles At The Bunker" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: June 25, 2016

The pit style continues to work for KOTD's Bunker battles in L.A. and is the perfect set up for this intense clash. The battlers definitely didn’t disappoint, as Megadef gave what people were calling his best performance ever, filled with non-stop insults and some mixed in bars. Ncredable’s disrespect and multis were present and accounted for as he got very personal with Megadef in every round with laced lyrics that seemed to never stop.

AND WHAT ELSE!? The first round starts with one of the most abrupt (and streamlined) intro sequences you’ll see.

AND WHAT ELSE!?!!!! Ncredable's third round call-and-response portion fell flat as only about two people joined in and the chant wasn’t followed by bars, just kind of a rap version of the dozens.

AND WHAT ELSE!?!!!!!!!! Overall this is what pit style battling is all about and these two guys served as an excellent showcase of the format.

Dank Schrader vs. Jaybe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx5k5NxFvt0

What: Dank Schrader (Leeds, England) vs. Jaybe (London, England)
Where: Don't Flop Training Day "Rapping it Jaqq" in London, England
When: July 17, 2016

Don’t Flop’s new Training Days feeder league, headed by Danny Jaqq, dropped the first battle from its first event "Rapping it Jaqq" and it definitely delivered. It's seen by many as one of the best U.K. uploads this year. Jaybe has been around for a couple of years and this is another fantastic performance, while Dank Schrader has been around for about a year and this is easily his best performance so far.

Since this battle, Dank Schrader battled Heretic in a one-rounder at the "Sunburn 3" pre-party and has been announced for Don’t Flop’s "8th Birthday" against Bobby Rex for the Newcomer of the Year award.

JeFFrey vs. Erik Foreman

Who: JeFFrey (Manchester, Conn.) vs. Erik Foreman (Anaheim, Calif.)
Where: KOTD's "Battles At The Bunker" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: June 24, 2016

This is the definition of a battle that isn’t for everyone. Both guys pride themselves in being different, and it really showed in this battle. Half rounds about being a baby, whole self-deprecating rounds and a whole lot of America makes for a unique clash.

Foreman’s style is so polarizing that sometimes it polarizes even individuals, resulting in a bevy of backhanded compliments. His writing is witty and is a style all of its own, but in a lot of cases his performance is lacking. The small size of the venue probably helped Foreman in this battle because his lack of projection wasn’t as much of an issue, while his bars were highlighted.

JeFFrey is basically the polar opposite when it comes to personality. Whatever opinion one may have about him, it’s pretty much impossible for him to be in a room where people don't notice him. Where Foreman was helped by the size of the venue, it arguably worked against Jeff in this battle. This isn’t to say that he was bad — he wasn't — but it would have been interesting to see his charisma work on a bigger stage.

That said, this is a good showing for both, and while not something that everyone will love it’s a strong battle where both did their style as well as they ever have.

Words by Jackson Yates, Ryan Morgan, Brad Danyluk, D. Ellis and Frankie Piff.

Agree with our list? Anything you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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