Unjudged matches with the champion often lead the title holder’s credibility to be speculated on. After debatable losses to Chris Leese and ozzy Purpose, some fans are starting to believe that the Scottish king who defeated Cee Major for the crown is struggling to lead the league as convincingly as veteran Tony D who retired the title belt last year. Who deserves the title shot this year? Who will take on Soul?
As soon as the seemingly mini-Shotty Horroh burst onto Don’t Flop in 2014, Raptor’s talent was apparent. His progression and work ethic stand in comparison to none as he determines to carve a name for himself. Recently providing incredible performances against internationals Big Kannon and Pass, whilst also creating a heavily disputable battle with “Mr-if-I-spit-three-rounds I-don’t-lose” Tony D, surely Raptor is a key title contender? With intense performances of aggression, character breakdowns, humour, quotables and impressive wordplay, Raptor is now ready to take over Shotty’s graveyard. But who will he challenge in the run-up to the title shot? Having already battled both Quill and Gemin1, rematches could be on the card. Catch him next at Beat Fighter II (6/2/16) up against Izzie Gibbs on-beat.
Watch: Tony D vs Raptor
Owner of Eugh’s kettle, Quill has battled like a beast in recent matches. With a hilarious viral ‘Video Games Battle’ under his belt and performing with style against Rum Nitty at Don’t Flop America Vol. 2, Quill’s name is now bread-and-butter in many’s favourites for the next title attempt. Recently, at Don’t Flop’s 7BW, Quill impressed the international scene again in his explosive last minute one-round battle against legend Charlie Clips – proving he is a real contender to take on Soul.
Watch: Quill vs Rum Nitty
Though he may have had only a handfuls of battles, E & Daniels artist Gemin1 has displayed serious talent against high profile rappers such as Big T, Tali, Unanymous and even Raptor. Most recently though, at Battle Of The Brave UK Gemin1 took on Charlie Clips with great competence and style. His 7BW battle against Dialect similarly showed his polished ability to gain the crowd with an incredible performance. By taking Dialect’s own grime style and throwing it back at him with a verse of impressive changes of style, cadence and speed, Gemin1 proved that he can push aside those who were previously favourites for the title belt. However, Gemin1 has stated that he does not currently plan to compete for the title despite being a popular candidate. We hope he will stay active and one day take the shot.
Watch: Unanymous vs Gamin1
Initially contracting a fair amount of hate as he was accused of imitating the american accent and ineffectively reaching in his wordplay, CoJay has now taken it upon himself to ensure that his name is respected in battling after a brief hiatus. With all five judges awarding CoJay the win in his anticipated battle against Briggzy, it is clear that he can overcome any previous stigma through fierce punchlines, schemes and improved lyricism. While his a cappella flows can be sharp and meticulously structured, in his recent on-beat battle with Cracker, CoJay struggled to provide a polished performance of his verses which suggests that the rapper still needs a little time to develop. Nevertheless, CoJay is one to watch as both his style and determination continue to impress.
Watch: Briggzy vs CoJay
Shox the Rebel
Newcomer Shox is a monster with the pen. While some are hung up on the fact that he comes with plentiful gun-bars, others are hung up because they would never be able to write at the level that Shox is currently at after only a year. Taking to the main stage at 7BW in his first international match-up against Lu Cipher, Shox the Rebel failed to compel a victory despite heavy punchlines and intricate penmanship. This may be due to the fact that Shox is yet to adapt his writing to include jokes and witticisms to counter those artists who balance bars and jokes. When this skill is achieved Shox will be a key contender for the title.
Watch: Shox the Rebel vs CoJay
Until the second day of 7BW Jaun was under-age at Don’t Flop events. Hilariously sarcastic youngster Juan recently took down freestyle top-dog Charron in his prize international battle for previously winning the top eight tournament. His raw third round showed that the joker can turn his hand to harsh character assassinations which, if continued, could lead Juan to be capable of taking on esteemed title contenders as he grows. If he begins to take on genuine rappers rather than comedians, Juan will be able to diversify and learn how to defeat challengers of all styles as his approach would be contrasted and countered.
Watch: Jaun vs Soljitsu
Written by: James Wijesinghe