An MCs ability to hold his own in a battle is just one of the ways that we as fans (and critics) measure a rapper’s worth. It takes true grit to stand face-to-face with an opponent while fans gather to watch. You have to be confident, posses a quick wit and an unrelenting desire to completely annihilate and embarrass your opponent.
Some of the game’s best battle rappers like Kool Moe Dee, Eminem, Cassidy, Iron Solomon, Jin and Murda Mook have made their names in the trenches. In the March 2011 of XXL (On Sale Now) writer and features editor explored the history and current state of battle rap in his article “Wish You Would.”
Eminem goes off the head and battles a few opponents with true off-the-top freestyles, the competition never stand a chance.
__ Cassidy Vs. Freeway [1 of 2]
Cassidy: “Go ‘head spit ’bout your jewels, I love that they froze up/You gonna do the same thing when Cass put dem Fours up.” Freeway: “Middle of the summer leave you dead where you stand/If you thought you were fuckin’ with free, well you can’t”
Busta Rhymes Vs. A High School Student
Bussa Buss loves the kids and engages in a friendly rap battle with a high school student. Gotta respect that.
___ DMX Vs. Jay-Z
This wasn’t the infamous pool table battle, but it’s still interesting to see these two go at it, even if it is in a friendly manner.
____ Eminem at 1997 Rap Olympics
It was at the Rap Olympics where Em ultimately got discovered. Now we can see why.
____ Charles Hamilton Vs. Briana Latrise
This clip was a hit online.
___ Murda Mook Vs. Jae Millz
It doesn’t get realer than this. Mook and Millz go toe-to-toe in front of a Harlem crowd.
____ Hollow Da Don Vs. Big T
Smack/URL pretty much has the battle circuit on lock nowadays and battles like this are the reasons why.
_____ Hitman Holla Vs. Arsonal
____ E-N-J Vs. Niks
The infamous “Oh you mad ’cause I’m stylin on you.”
_____ Murda Mook Vs. Serius Jones
Two of the best to ever do it.
____ Iron Solomon Vs. E Ness
Proof that battle rap is still alive in 2011.
Click HERE to See XXL's FULL List of Hip-Hop's Most Memorable Battles