From A Fan's Perspective

From A Fan’s Perspective: 10 Best Battles of 2010

It’s time to go back to the very beginning. Here are the most iconic battles from FlipTop’s first year.

Anonymous Battle Fan
October 02, 2023

It was the year where FlipTop Battle League was founded. The modern format of battle rap was a relatively new concept at the time yet it instantly clicked in literally every corner of the country. In just a matter of months, the videos have reached over a million views, and more and more people are coming to the events. I say it with pride that I’m one of those supporters since day one and I always like to look back at some of the most memorable moments in the league.

These are, in my opinion, the ten best battles from FlipTop’s inaugural year. Even though they’re more than a decade old now, they still manage to astound me, especially knowing that these matches paved the way for a new generation of rappers and plenty more exciting events. By the way, the entries are listed in NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Let’s begin…

10. Fuego vs Protege

Oh, the good old days of FlipTop’s English Conference. Protege vs Fuego proved that when it comes to English rhymes, our local scene is a force to be reckoned with. Fuego went in with the wordplays and raw aggression while Protege showcased complex rhyme schemes and heavy punches. It’s safe to say that this match is ahead of its time lyrically.

9. Dello vs Batas

It’s the first battle in FlipTop to attract significant controversy. Most viewers were still unfamiliar with Batas’ no-holds-barred style so they were unsurprisingly shocked by what they heard. This is the bout where Batas officially became the league’s bad guy, especially after he was announced the winner. Despite the harsh lines thrown at him, Dello kept his composure and entertained the audience. He delivered witty jokes, impressive multis, and creative rebuttals. 

8. Abra vs Zaito

Pure entertainment is what we got from Abra vs Zaito. While most of their content was jokes, they made it as creative and unique as possible. We also saw Abra’s flawless rhyme schemes and Zaito’s memorable rebuttal game. Thirteen years later, many still think that the result could go either way. That’s simply a testament to how close this battle was. 

7. Anygma vs Dirtbag Dan

FlipTop ended 2010 with a bang by holding the first Tectonics event! Dirtbag Dan, a legendary battle emcee from San Jose, California, visited the Philippines to take on none other than Anygma. The majority of FlipTop fans then knew Anygma as the host and/or “referee” so they were stunned to see him exhibit his advanced lyricism and rhyming style. Dirtbag Dan struck back with innovative angles and crazy metaphors. He deservedly got the respect of Filipino fans after this. 

6. Skarm vs SinCity

One of the earliest style clashes in the league. Skarm unleashed pure lyricism combined with his trademark astounding flow which definitely rocked the crowd. SinCity may not be that technical when it comes to his bars but he made up for it through his confident delivery and straightforward setups and punchlines. It was a back-and-forth match that gave way to various online arguments about the winner. 

5. Abra vs Harlem

Abra vs Harlem has everything you need in a great rap battle. It highlighted the strengths of both emcees and there’s absolutely no dull moment all throughout. The battle featured some of the best multisyllabic rhymes, the wittiest jokes, and the most imaginative angles. Without a doubt, it avenged Abra’s loss at Ahon 1 and at the same time, showcased Harlem’s incredible writing skills.

4. Shehyee vs BLKD

Even if you’re watching from the comfort of your home, you could feel the intensity of this battle. BLKD vs Shehyee was a heated matchup that gets talked about up to this day. It was a style clash of sorts. Shehyee brought his hostile presence and in-your-face lines while BLKD retaliated with his awe-inspiring technical writtens and intricate angles.  In the end, it was a very close match that further elevated the careers of both lyricists.

3. Datu vs Cameltoe

This and Protege vs Fuego are the first bouts to be uploaded on YouTube and they certainly are the perfect introduction of modern battle rap to the Philippines. Datu captivated the viewers with his swagger and effortless mix of written and freestyle. Cameltoe presented his very unorthodox brand of comedy with a relatively laidback approach and everyone enjoyed it. The crowd reaction is undeniably loud, making the matchup much more special.

2. Loonie vs Zaito

Two legends were born in this battle! Loonie vs Zaito is exciting from start to finish and continues to be referenced by emcees and fans today. Loonie utilized his trademark multisyllabic rhymes with ease and balanced humor with hard-hitting bars. Zaito, who still wasn’t fully aware of the modern approach, was all freestyle yet it still managed to bring the house down.  It’s one of the first videos to achieve huge numbers on YouTube.

1. Dello vs Target

Like Loonie vs Zaito, this match instantly trended online and elevated the two competitors to top-tier status. Target exhibited his wide vocabulary and heavy-hitting lines with the right mix of effective comedy. Dello was more aggressive than ever and went in with clever jokes, inventive punchlines, and remarkable rebuttals. It’s no surprise that this battle continues to serve as an inspiration to up-and-coming rappers. They’re inactive in battling now but hopefully, we’ll see them again soon! 

READ ALSO: FlipTop 2010: Where It All Started

Do you agree with this list? If not, feel free to share your own in the comments section. For the new fans of FlipTop, don’t forget to check these out and be fascinated by how far this art form has reached. It’s also the perfect way for you to see first-hand the origins of various battling styles that continue to evolve to this day. For the old fans, you know it’s always a fun time taking a trip down memory lane.