The YouTube advertising crisis is far from resolved, but August seems to be the time the culture collectively stopped giving a shit. There was a windfall of quality releases from every league you've heard of and more, and this month's list reflects that. We even had to tack on an "Honorable Mentions" section, and any of the battles listed there could have defensibly been included among the main ten. And there's probably even MORE that we couldn't fit, so if you feel that's the case, let us know in the comments.
Geechi Gotti vs. Glueazy
Who: Geechi Gotti (Compton, Calif.) vs. Glueazy (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Where: URL's "The Survivor Series" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: August 5, 2017
This matchup was fire from the jump, but Geechi Gotti went into it with his buzz at an all-time high and a clear at-home advantage in the eyes of most fans. The battle turned out highly debatable though, and while Geechi did what we've become accustomed to quite well, Glueazy exceeded expectations. Geechi has slipped up much worse in some previous showings, but some minor inconsistencies do hurt him a bit here, and Glu's consistency over three rounds goes a long way. Still, Geechi's stories and one-liners are more than compelling enough to make up for whatever minor imperfections, and his style really can't be taught. Regardless, after this true "breakout" showing, Glu needs a name or a big stage on URL in the near future.
Loaded Lux vs. Arsonal
Who: Loaded Lux (Harlem, N.Y.) vs. Arsonal (Newark, N.J.)
Where: U Dubb's "Alpha n Omega" in Newark, N.J.
When: Aug 5, 2017
Even in a surprisingly not-packed venue, Loaded Lux always manages to bring an air of grandiosity to his battles. That's in full effect here, in Udubb owner and all-around legend Arsonal's last battle ever, allegedly (people don't actually retire from battle rap very often). Truth be told, it's far from the classic it could have been— maybe due to the small crowd, maybe for some other reason; the butterfly effect is real in battle rap— but it nevertheless feels like a major event.
The one thing this clash definitely has going for it is debatability, and loyal fans on either side have been (falsely) claiming "3-0" since it went down. On the one hand, Lux is as dense as ever lyrically, with some more direct references to Ars' disrespectful style sprinkled in. It's impressive in its own right and probably more consistent than some of Lux's other showings, but it lacks some of the earth-shattering moments we've come to expect. Ars takes the room more often than not and manages to talk down to Lux surprisingly effectively, often even without chaotic disrespect, so it's really just a matter of which style you prefer.
Pat Stay vs. Bigg K
Who: Pat Stay (Dartmouth, Canada) vs. Bigg K (Norfolk, Va.)
Where: King Of The Dot's "Massacre 3" in Worcester, Mass.
When: July 22, 2017
This isn't quite the clash of the titans it probably should have been, but frankly, that's mostly Pat Stay's fault. Yeah yeah, I said it. As always, Pat is good for some memorable moments and "go home and look at yourself in the mirror" caliber lines, but the stumbling has to stop. It was enough to all but botch his first round, and some awkward pauses resulting from being far too easily distracted hurt his third as well. With all that nonsense removed from the equation, this had classic potential, as Bigg K's punches are as heavy as ever with more personals than usual woven in. Also, K does not mince words in speaking on the state of KOTD and the chain in his third, and you might be interested to hear his take, whether or not you agree.
Daylyt vs. Bangz
Who: Daylyt (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Bangz (New Haven, Conn.)
Where: WeGoHard's "For The Love of Paper 2" in New York, N.Y.
When: June 24, 2017
It's common knowledge that the quality of Daylyt's battles depends directly on how much he feels like giving a shit, but the same is also actually true for Bangz. What's more, plenty of fans are only familiar with Bangz via his train wreck of a showing versus DNA, but this battle is a glaring reminder of his abilities, particularly off the top. The dude even rebuttals in conversation for Christ's sake. Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, this Daylyt is about 100 times better than the one who recently battled Mickey Factz. Charge it to the game?
Charlie Clips & Goodz vs. Arsonal & Shotgun Suge
Who: Arsonal (Newark, N.J.) & Shotgun Suge (Newark, N.J.) vs. Charlie Clips (Harlem, N.Y.) & Goodz (Bronx, N.Y.)
Where: URL's "Double Impact 2" in Manhattan, N.Y.
When: June 24, 2017
Full disclosure: Ars and Suge didn't do anything particularly special here, and their material really starts to drag in some places. However, this still makes the list definitively off the strength of Charlie Clips and Goodz' performance. For one thing, Clips is deadly on point, which has been his habit lately, thank god. What's even scarier, though, is the potential of Clips and Goodz as repeat players in the 2-on-2 shuffle. After this display, it's hard to imagine how other teams might effectively approach them. The "we're too cool for this corny ass battle" factor is through the roof, and as Goodz in particular has shown time and time again, that's a tough approach to compete with.
Oh, and you have to take a shot for every "pocket check" in this battle so cancel your morning plans.
Reverse Live vs. The Saurus
Who: Reverse Live (Hollister, Calif.) vs. The Saurus (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Where: Counter Productive's "Battle of the Zae 8" in San Jose, Calif.
When: July 29, 2017
Has Battle Of The Zae always been biannual? Anyway, it makes sense that Dirtbag Dan would be eager to hold another installment, because the event always manages to produce at least one classic in addition to its signature Royal Rumble. This time, the self-proclaimed Mr. Two Times Everything lives up to his name with his second BOTZ classic in a row. Consistent as The Saurus is, it was a necessary return to form after his high profile, largely unexpected loss to Charlie Clips at MASS3. As for Reverse Live, his "beat the shit out of you" bars are still some of the best in the business, and even though he's arguably outclassed here, there's still plenty to appreciate if you're a fan of his style.
Prep vs. Big Kannon
Who: Prep (Baltimore, Md.) vs. Big Kannon (Chicago, Ill.)
Where: Do Or Die Battle League's "Marland Mayhem" in Waldorf, Md.
When: Aug. 19, 2017
If you're not into freestyles— and it's hard to say why you wouldn't be when they're done this well— you could probably skip this one. The amount of off-the-cuff material here shouldn't surprise you, as Big Kannon has long been considered one of if not the most dangerous rebuttaler in the game, and fans have been quick to point out that Prep's freestyles often hit harder than his writtens. He's got some genuine (seemingly written) haymakers here though, and his "lead by your caesar, that's the Planet of the Apes" line has been making the rounds. Prep does fizzle out a bit, but Kannon is wildly consistent, and it all adds up to an engaging battle with dynamic energy.
Dizaster vs. Hollow Da Don
Who: Dizaster (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Hollow Da Don (Queens, N.Y.)
Where: King Of The Dot's "Massacre 3" in Worcester, Mass.
When: July 22, 2017
The moment where two hooded figures revealed themselves to be none other than Dizaster and Hollow Da Don at MASS3 will likely go down in battle rap history as yielding one of the most explosive crowd reactions of all time. While the battle might not live up to that level of hype— hard to imagine what could, really— it's still worth watching, and it was reportedly only the "promo" introduction to a real, three-round battle between Diz and Hollow. It turns out to be a tough call, with Hollow slightly off his game and Diz clearly hungry for a return to form, but unsurprisingly...
In keeping with his recent outbursts, Diz once again shoots himself in the foot here. About five minutes in, probably around the point "time" should have been called, Hollow gets impatient and repeatedly signals for Diz to wrap it up. Predictably, Diz isn't having it in the slightest. But rather than, say, freestyling about Hollow's impatience, he gets increasingly thrown off and drops a couple n-bombs, again. It's a shame, because Diz was arguably winning a one-rounder against the guy many consider the G.O.A.T., and his unraveling toward the end does nothing but take away from his performance. You might still edge him though, as it can't be denied that he landed quite a few more haymakers than Da Don.
XQZ vs. Lu Cipher
Who: XQZ (Deerfield, Ill.) vs. Lu Cipher (Tampa, Fla.)
Where: No Coast's "No Coast Invasion 3" in Minneapolis, Minn.
When: July 8, 2017
On the surface, this No Coast title match doesn't really have the intensity of most battles of its kind, but the level of competition is obvious from the writing. There was a time— and maybe it hasn't passed— where Lu Cipher was getting some high profile looks and seemed on the verge of becoming a household name. Since he battled Shox The Rebel on the now tanking Don't Flop, things have gotten a bit quieter for him, but Lu's writing has never faltered. XQZ, on the other hand, has been quietly dominating this league for years. Lu gives X a run for his money here, arguably edging the battle depending on which set of references you prefer, but X remains the No Coast champ following a split decision.
B-Magic vs. E. Farrell
Who: B Magic (St Louis, Mo.) vs. E. Farrell (Manchester, Conn.)
Where: No Coast's "8th Anniversary" in St Louis, Mo.
When: July 28, 2017
Effectively proving my earlier point, B-Magic is a perfect example of "retiring" only to return when motivated and get back to cooking like the good ol' days. This is far from a blowout, as E. Farrell delivers three solid rounds even through some lukewarm reactions, but it's a nice showcase for the vintage Magic that appeared only rarely toward the supposed end of his run. Being able to show out for his home crowd in St. Louis probably didn't hurt, and that second round is really something special. Don't sleep on Farrell though, who, as always, packs in more quotables than you probably expected.
Charlie Clips vs. Danja Zone
Kyd Slade vs. Red Flag
Mack Mel vs. R Streetz
Chilla Jones vs. Madflex
Dunsh vs. Esem
Agree with our list? Let us know in the comments below.