In light of the recent Don’t Flop title match in which O’Shea prevailed as the league’s first ever champion, I decided it was time to compile a list of who I believe to be the best rappers in DF and give an opinion on who should be next up for a title shot. There’s been no word as to how often the championship will be contested, but I’m hoping we see a match-up at least every six months, with it working in a similar way to the King of the Dot crown in Canada. With that in mind, we could see maybe one or two more clashes this year and with the league’s ever-growing roster of talent, there’s more possibilities for title contenders with every passing event.
Below are 10 battlers who I believe deserve or have the talent to warrant a legitimate title shot, either now or at some point in the future. I’ve excluded Sensa and O’Shea from the list because their quality has already been recognised and obviously, it goes without saying that O’Shea will be in the next title battle and Sensa won’t be eligible (at least for a while).
So, in alphabetical order, here goes.
Co-founder of Don’t Flop, Cruger is a frequent fixture at events and he never fails to deliver an astute and crowd-pleasing performance. Having faced [almost] every battler known to man, his record is extensive and he’s racked up countless high-profile bodies including Truth, Verb T, Nils m Skils, Shazaam and Sensa. At King of the Dot’s World Domination 2, he battled Charron and in the third round, dropped one of the heaviest verses I’ve ever heard, picking apart Charron’s relationship and girlfriend with brutal precision. Following an imitation of the Canadian wunderkind, he delivered a bodybag punchline – “I ain’t jealous of that one” – which hung in the air as a stroke of pure genius.
A purveyor of consistent quality who literally never chokes, Cruger thoroughly deserves to be one of the next battlers to get a crack at the title. Unless, of course, his involvement as co-founder of the league doesn’t prevent him from competing. Let’s face it though, a rematch with O’Shea would be huge.
Note: Although I rate him as a battler, I cannot condone or explain his hair on the Channel 4 news feature last night. That shit looked like something from Day of the Triffids.
Enlish is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated rappers in Don’t Flop. One of the more infrequent battlers, when he does actually step up to compete he absolutely smashes it. An early battle with Scizzahz was one of the funniest I’ve ever seen and I felt he was unlucky to lose out in his clash with Cruger at Blood in the Water 4. His best performance, however, was the incredible diatribe he recently levelled against Henry Bowers, body-bagging the infamous Swede with a barrage of intricate and entertaining bars, perfectly combining humour, wordplay and the occasional serious tone to devastating effect. It’s hard not to be impressed when you hear a bar like: “Fuck this shaggy, smelly, scabby, hairy, skanky, ratty, maggot, barely-standing, under-nourished, wheezing, vegan, faggot Glastonbury”.
A title shot contender? Probably not, mainly due to the lack of league battles he’s got under his belt, but there’s no denying that Big Dave is, skills-wise, on a par with any of the other potential contenders for the crown.
The co-founder and host of Don’t Flop, it’s unlikely Eurgh would ever put himself up for the title but nevertheless, he is still one of the best rappers the league has to offer. His last match-up in DF was almost a year ago now against Hines in a novelty freestyle battle and, in recent times, most of his high-profile clashes have been hosted by King of the Dot or Grindtime. With a more controlled style since the energetic freestyle days of JumpOff, Eurgh’s flips are still on point and his written skills are second-to-none, with the dispatch of PH being a particularly brutal affair. At World Domination 2 he lost out on a 4-1 decision to TheSaurus, a verdict which I don’t believe reflected the battle, but I have no doubt he’ll bounce back with a big performance wherever he goes next. On his day, Eurgh is one of the best battlers in the world and his overt competitive streak only adds another level of intensity to his on-stage execution. If he was eligible, he’d probably be champion right now.
Despite only appearing in three Don’t Flop battles to date, Lee Scott is not a title match contender but someone who I would like to see battle a lot more often. With countless quotables – “Isn’t it ironic how Lego’s banned from Legoland?” – and some serious haymakers – “Truth’s the wrong pseudonym, how about non-arthropod invertebrate mutant in human skin” – Lee has the lyrical ability to destroy a large portion of the DF roster. Despite choking in his battle against Truth, serious lines such as: “If I spilled his blood in the water mother earth would catch aids”, showcase the hard-hitting lyricism he brings to material he releases with Children of the Damned and Mcabre Brothers. A return to the league with a match-up against Psychosis Holocaust would be insane. Make it happen Eurgh!
Now I’ll admit that, for quite a while, I didn’t particularly rate Lego, but after his performances alongside Tenchoo in the 2-on-2 tournament and some killer lines in the battle against Dizaster and Okwerdz, I rewatched his back catalogue with a newly appreciate eye. His blunt delivery style may be inaccessible to some and he may occasionally fall flat (see his battle against Bartone), but he also often lets loose with flashes of lyrical brilliance. Furthermore, his recent appearances in the West Yorkshire cypher have showcased his transcendent freestyle ability, something which I hope to see more of at DF in the future. I wasn’t there for his battle against Blizzard at To The Test Ten in Leeds, but by all accounts it was amazing, so hopefully that will back up my point! Ultimately, I don’t believe Lego is a title contender at the moment, but when he performs well, he’s certainly got the punch to rock any of Don’t Flop’s other top tier battlers.
The subject of more hype than Somali pirates, Chilean miners and the Royal Wedding combined, Lunar’s battling career has undoubtedly attracted a whole new audience to DF. He’s that rapper that long-time fans told their friends about and those new fans told their friends about and etc (you get the point). It’s been a little annoying for old heads having to endure a horde of new fans claiming Lunar is the best ever and calling for him to clash every battler under the sun, but there really is no denying his ability. Over the last 10 months, he’s dispatched a number of battlers with ease, gaining hundreds if not thousands of news fans with every performance.
The fact that he’s had very little contact with some of the more experienced and skilful DF heads leads me to suggest that he should be given more of a challenge before he gets a title shot. It would be interesting to see him take on someone like Cruger or Enlish, battlers who would really give him a run for his money, before giving him the opportunity to be number one. From my point of view, a dream match-up would be Matter vs Lunar, but I have a sneaking suspicion that rather than happen soon, that could be a title match for the future.
In terms of his style, Lunar comes with punchline after punchline, combining heinous sexual jokes with astute cultural and character observations. His debut against Bloodstro was all one-way traffic and he punished his opponent’s clumsy schemes with the natural humour he now brings to every battle. Ultimately I feel there’s a couple of rappers who deserve a shot before him, but if he continues along this particular trajectory then I can definitely see him as a viable contender at some point later in the year.
Perhaps overshadowed in his 2-on-2 battles by Lunar’s hype, Matter is an incredible rapper in his own right. One half of Leeds duo Verbal Contact, he was another one of last year’s stand-out battlers. While I do find the likes of Pamflit and Micky Worthless entertaining, Matter is on another level, a fact he demonstrated at Don’t Flop Leeds (Third Quarter) where we saw Pamflit put in one of his best ever performances only to be completely overshadowed by a Matter masterclass. “Your mum’s a bone-idle bitch that just drifts through life with no plans, but she does show initiative when it comes to dick because she took Matter’s into her own hands”.
He really put in some work last year and his record of 9 wins and 2 losses speaks for itself. Like Lunar, he’s yet to really face someone who matches his skill level – unless you count Soul, but his delivery is sometimes lacking – so it would be awesome to see him cut his teeth against a rapper like JollyJay, who has that witty verbal skill and switches up his flow at will. If Matter continues with a similar work-rate in 2012, there will be very few who could deny his standing as one of DF’s top few.
Some would say that O’Shea is the king of comedy when it comes to battle rap, but for me Scizz (and Wiz too, in all honesty) is the funniest DF has to offer. Against J-Walker (the guy who head-butted a police van), he threatened to start attacking his opponent while he “sat on the loo, havin’ a poo”, a seemingly simple but clearly hilarious bar. In his battle against Sensa, he stated that a pot of lilies was the most gutter thing in Norwich, a bar which signalled game over in my eyes, and the entirety of the gun bar frenzy against Wizzard was a classic.
His battle history is illustrious, having faced Truth, Sensa, Arkaic, Enlish and O’Shea to name but a few, and I’m always happy to see his name pop-up on an event line-up or upload schedule. Scizz, however, strikes me as more of a casual battler who probably wouldn’t be interested in a title shot, even though he seriously deserves one. Enlish vs Scizzahz rematch for the title this time next year? You know it would be ridiculous.
O’Shea actually called Tenchoo out for a title clash in his battle against Flex Digits at Don’t Flop’s second birthday, but the Portsmouth rapper didn’t take up the offer and has somewhat disappeared from the battle scene. I’m not quite sure what the situation is and whether he’s never going to return to Don’t Flop, but having not made an appearance since the 2-on-2 promo clash with Lego against Dizaster and Okwerdz 10 months ago, things aren’t looking too positive.
With an unrivalled freestyle ability, Tenchoo is renowned for razor sharp flips and the inclusion of heavy-hitting bars off the top. Against Big Kannon at Blood in the Water 4, he showed his class as an international battler, delivering haymaker after haymaker: “You’re fat, black and you think you’re Biggie / You chat so much breeze, you’re the reason Chicago’s known as the windy city”. Certainly one of Don’t Flop’s best ever, it would be fitting to see him return for a title showdown.
With his debut against Odie blighted by a strangely American accent, Unanymous has come a long way since the early days. With a slightly more refined Dizasteresque aggression and bottomless schemes that he shoves down the throats of his opponents, he’s one of Don’t Flop’s more powerful performers. He does occasionally get carried away with stream-of-consciousness rapping, throwing words together for the hell of it, but on the whole he’s an enthralling battler to watch.
In my opinion, his turning point came in the grudge match against Innuendo at DF’s second birthday when he surprised us all with a flawless performance, even managing to throw his opponent by unzipping his top to reveal a Liverpool shirt (Innuendo, like O’Shea, is a well-documented Everton supporter). In terms of recent victories, he thoroughly embarrassed Joker Starr, swept the pint-sized Einstein away and just generally seems to overpower anyone he faces. Despite such presence, his BITW5 performance against Shazaam, which began in the usual vein of excellence, ultimately became a little self-indulgent, showing that he’s probably not quite ready for a title shot yet.
Next title shot?
In terms of who I genuinely believe deserves the next title shot, I would love to see the return of Tenchoo. Not only would it show some of DF’s new fans his sheer quality, but it would also bring the challenge O’Shea put on the table against Flex to fruition. Realistically however, I think Cruger should and probably will be next in line…providing he’s cut his hair, of course.
Shouts to JollyJay and Blizzard. Both were hard omissions and I heavily contemplated switching Lego out with one of these two.
Finally, if you agree or disagree with any of my choices or statements, or spotted any factual errors, please let me know in the comments section below!