The last few months of 2016 are looking insane. With pretty much every major battle league throwing events, we'll have a bunch of potential classics to look forward to. From massive battles featuring top tier emcees, to solid sleeper battles, no matter what you're looking for, you should be able to find a clash that suits your taste.
We've compiled our list for some of the most interesting and noteworthy battles on our radar. Obviously this isn't an exhaustive list, but everything below is something that is worthy of your attention. Let us know which match-ups you're looking forward to in the comments below.
Chilla Jones vs. The Saurus
Who: Chilla Jones vs. The Saurus
Where: 413 Battle League's "Mass Appeal 3"
When: Oct. 15, 2016
Saturday, October 15, the King Pen will be main eventing "Mass Appeal 3," in his home state against The Saurus, who is easily one of his highest profile opponents and is quietly putting together a 2016 campaign that merits Battler of the Year considerations. On its surface, this battle seems a touch predictable in the sense that fans can expect stellar writtens from Chilla, pitted against some solid angles and typically fire freestyle rebuttals from Saurus.
However, a quick look below the surface shows a battler in The Saurus, whose actual pen game is routinely slept on, that will be trying to prove once again that he is an elite writer, not just freestyler, battling an opponent in Chilla, who will be trying to prove that he has the all-around abilities to hang with one of the most versatile spitters in the game.
Saurus is coming off a convincing victory over Tumi and seems to have loads of momentum heading this match. Even so, after his somewhat lackluster performance, in terms of energy, against Arcane, fully expect an aggressive and comfortable Chilla Jones to deliver that one standout moment in this battle that fans can hang on to in order to give him the slight edge in this bout.
Dizaster vs. O'fficial
Who: Dizaster vs. O'fficial
Where: WFF's "QOTR vs. West Coast" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Oct. 16, 2016
The headliner for the "QOTR vs. West Coast" event will pit one of the best female battlers on the planet, O’fficial, against one of the best male battlers, Dizaster. It’s a battle that fans have been speculating about since Diz listed O as one of the emcees he would like to face in the future in a 2015 interview with BattleRap.com.
This battle is interesting because it’s completely different than the type of opponent Diz has faced. He’s faced many talented writers before, but arguably nobody who writes in the way O does, whose style crams back to back punchlines that generally overpower anyone she stands across from.
For O’fficial, overpowering Diz may be something that she has trouble with. Dizaster has one of the most in-your-face aggressive styles in battle rap, and it would be difficult to think of any battle where the other emcee won in that regard. For O’fficial to win against A-game Dizaster, she will have to rely on her pen, and simply outwrite him.
It will be very interesting to see how Diz approaches this battle. If he gets overly aggressive, as he’s known to do, it may turn some fans off to see that aggression aimed at a woman. On the other hand, if he employs a more laid-back style, he’s getting away from his bread and butter. If there's anyone talented enough to navigate that minefield, it could be Diz. No matter what tactic he employs, it's sure to be an interesting watch.
Tony D vs. Shox The Rebel
Who: Tony D vs. Shox The Rebel
Where: Don't Flop Training Days' "Next in Line" in London, England
When: Oct. 22, 2016
To fans of Don’t Flop, Tony D and Shox The Rebel are two of the most respected emcees in the league, and their October 22 clash could easily main event pretty much any Don’t Flop card.
As for the battle itself, this is a style clash in every sense of the word. Tony is one of the best writers in the world, and does it in a way that often feels totally unique. Where many other top pens are put on that pedestal because of their ability to perform a particular, popular style well, Tony bucks the trend and comes with something that always feels genuinely different.
Shox on the other hand comes with a more punchline-centric style, and is more reminiscent of a North American-style battle rapper. The aggression he attacks his opponent with helps him stand out in the U.K. as well, as he is within the top couple battlers in that category. His aggression, juxtaposed with Tony's controlled, laid-back demeanor will be interesting to see, and so much of the battle can simply come down to which approach you prefer.
Arsonal vs. Tay Roc
Who: Arsonal vs. Tay Roc
Where: U Dubb's "Every Bar Counts" in Elizabeth, N.J.
When: Oct 23, 2016
After the initially shocking announcement that U Dubb had booked Tsu Surf versus Shotgun Suge, U Dubb shocked the battle culcha once again when news broke that Arsonal was finally battling the Gun Bar King, Tay Roc.
Arsonal is the GOAT of disrespect and Roc is more like The Rock when it comes to how electrifying and powerful his performances can be. Most fans would argue Roc hasn't lost clearly since his first battle with Clips, and perhaps the closest he has been to losing since then was his second battle with Clips. Which gets us to thinking ... Clips, despite all his recent shortcomings, has a certain sense of humor and dismissiveness that allowed him to somewhat nullify Roc's aggression and bars. Ars, while usually noted for his disrespect, doesn't get enough credit for how funny he can be in a battle, and how, when used properly, this can strip his opponents of their believability.
That said, Roc is capable of winning this battle and the whole "he's only good on URL" thing was disproved by his QOTR battle against C3. But with his retirement looming, and with this battle being on the stage he helped build, there's no way Arsonal will allow Roc to just get on stage and beat him down, like Roc has been doing to pretty much everyone else lately.
Rosenberg Raw vs. Reverse Live
Who: Rosenberg Raw vs. Reverse Live
Where: KOTD's "Battles At The Bunker" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Oct. 29, 2016
This is the exact sort of battle during which casual fans might take a proverbial smoke break, but don’t let that fool you. The Bunker has excelled at showcasing slept-on talent, and both these cats are criminally underrated.
If you’ve been watching KOTD at all in the past year, you’re probably slowly catching on to the idea that Reverse Live is fire, but here's why Rosenberg Raw also remains seriously undervalued. For one thing, he beat Bigg K, and that’s pretty hard to do. “But that was years ago!” you might be saying, but he still has the same real-talk abilities that made him stand out back then (“see what they do for views?”). Watch his battle with Tink Tha Demon if you're not convinced yet.
Admittedly, Rosenberg’s best qualities shine less consistently nowadays, as he’s been fairly hit-and-miss with his preparation for the past couple years, but this clash is likely to take priority status. Although it’s far from his KOTD debut (he already battled Skelly and Tycoon Tax in Toronto), the increasingly popular Bunker setting represents a new opportunity and, more importantly, offers a match-up that really makes sense stylistically.
When Rosenberg isn’t breaking down why his opponents aren’t what they claim to be, he’s usually describing how he’d beat the shit out of them. As it turns out, Reverse (who will undoubtedly be looking to continue his hot streak) is really good at that too, so you can bet that these two will be barking on each other for all three rounds.
Arsonal vs. Serius Jones
Who: Arsonal vs. Serius Jones
Where: Dope Era Battle's "No Mask" in Oakland, Calif.
When: Oct. 30, 2016
Freestyles, schemes, unorthodox rebuttals and the weight of a career-defining match-up on the shoulders of two New Jersey legends makes Arsonal vs. Serius Jones a classic in the making.
Both Arsonal and Jones have careers that date back to the early years of spitting ferociously quick, 90-second rounds across the Fight Klub pool table. But unlike many battles, the match-up has unique significance to both legends. This battle not only shapes Da Rebel’s legacy, it also determines Jones’ ability to stay relevant in an ever-changing culture of new emcees.
Since announcing his impending retirement earlier this year, Arsonal appears to be on a journey to cement his legendary status by going toe-to-toe against today’s top emcees. Facing Serius Jones will undoubtedly be one of the most important battles of his career.
Fellow battle rap legend Serius Jones has fearlessly stepped in the ring with both veterans and up-and-coming emcees since his return against Charlie Clips at Smack/URL’s "Summer Madness 2." His ability to give top-notch performances on each card makes Jones one of the most consistent and dangerous emcees to face in the ring.
The importance of this match-up promises to not only elevate the pens of both emcees, but also give fans an entertaining battle reminiscent of the Fight Klub days.
Ryda vs. Chef Trez
Who: Ryda vs. Chef Trez
Where: URL's "The Hunger 2" Proving Grounds event
When: Nov. 6, 2016
Ryda is easily one the Top 3 PGs from his class and he's building a solid following on URL after two strong performances against Snake Eyes and Fettuccine 20. His punch-heavy style has made him a fan favorite among the PGs and ensured that he’ll be given a chance to make the URL roster possibly with or following this battle. So far Trez is his biggest opponent, as well as his most versatile.
For Ryda the objective is simple: punch Trez’s lights out and keep punching — Ryda HAS to out-punch Trez and up his performance to outshine the rebuttals and charisma that Trez is sure to bring. With that level of pressure and focus the outcome could be explosive as Ryda will have to push his pen further than he has before to prove why he belongs on "the world’s most respected battle arena."
Chef Trez hasn’t been seen on URL since his battle with the PG record holder Dre Dennis. Though Trez came away with a pretty clear win in that bout, he will have to remind URL fans once again why he belongs on the stage. Luckily for him, he just had a great showing against DNA, so his stock is high and rising.
Trez’s mixed style of punches, schemes and freestyles makes him dangerous, especially when his back is against a wall. Trez is most dangerous when his rebuttals land, because if they do, they land HARD. In past battles (Fliiko L, B Magic, DNA and Craig Lamar) Trez has used his freestyle ability to shift the momentum from an opponent who seemed to be running away with the round or battle. Ryda will be gunning for blood in this battle and will try to knock Trez out early so for the Chef he has to live by his slogan: “If you can’t take the heat, get the fuck out the kitchen…”
This battle has potential battle of the night written all over it, and the clash of their momentum makes for a great chance to see who has the star potential that URL is looking for from its rookies. Will URL find its next star? Which of these two promising rookies will take that next step? November 6, we find out.
Words by Jackson Yates, Antonio Coleman, Brad Danyluk, D Ellis Rates and Jonathan Velez.
What battles are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.