The 10 Greatest Rap Battles Ever Recorded

Categories: Hip-Hop

From the Lux vs. Calicoe battle
To the casual observer, battle rap might seem like an anachronism--until you realize that it's bigger than ever. Leagues like URL and King of the Dot have produced some of the most talked about events in hip-hop -- with the controversies to boot. (And the parodies.)

Battling has gone from a niche interest to an important part of hip-hop culture. For those new to the scene, however, here's some historical perspective: the 10 greatest rap battles ever recorded.

10) Illmaculate vs. Swann
The early 2000s battle scene's greatest prize was the coveted Scribble Jam trophy. The annual Columbus, Ohio battle saw the best freestyle battlers in the country square off in a one night tournament. The first round of 2004's event saw the previous year's finalist Swann upset by Illmaculate, making his debut, who went on to take the event's top honor.

9) Eyedea vs. P.E.A.C.E.
The battle that certified Scribble Jam's prestige was the 1999 incarnation, between L.A.'s Freestyle Fellowship luminary P.E.A.C.E. and upstart Minneapolis wunderkind Eyedea. It was one of those cross-generational torch-passing moments, and helped make Scribble Jam a showcase of freestyle greats for most of the coming decade.

8) The Saurus & Illmaculate vs. Quest McCody and Marv Won (Battle 2)
UK-based JumpOff.TV hosted scored battle leagues, and took it international with two World Rap Championship tournaments. The most anticipated showdown occurred in the semi-finals as the previous year's winners Illmaculate and The Saurus faced Detroit's Quest McCody and Marv Won. The second meeting between the two teams is regarded as JumpOff's finest hour.

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