As we approach this year’s matchups, a FlipTop fan shares their favorite semifinal matches from previous Isabuhay Tournaments.
Since 2013, the Isabuhay Tournament has been one of the most exciting parts of FlipTop. 16 of the best emcees from all divisions slug it out for the 100k peso cash prize and the championship title. This year is shaping up to be another historic chapter for this decade-long competition. As we wait for further announcements about the next two matchups, let’s take a look back at the previous showdowns.
Here are the greatest Isabuhay semifinal battles for each year. I believe that these matches made the tournament much more electrifying, with some of them even surpassing the finals. Keep in mind that this is just my personal opinion so if you disagree, feel free to share your own list in the comments section.
10. Poison 13 vs Luxuria (2022)
I’ll start with the latest one. Poison 13 vs Luxuria at Unibersikulo 11 was an amazing display of heavy lyricism and stage presence. Both emcees showed intensity in their performance while giving some of their most hard-hitting material yet. This definitely would’ve been a closer match if it wasn’t for Poison13’s minor stumbles. As for Luxuria, you could see how dedicated she was to winning the match.
9. Apekz vs Goriong Talas (2021)
Apekz vs Goriong Talas at Unibersikulo 9 was a back-and-forth war. Apekz, as always, came out swinging with his impressive rhyme schemes and vicious punchlines. Goriong Talas unleashed his intricate pen game with his trademark aggression. While the decision was controversial for some, I personally feel that this could go either way, which shows how great this match was.
8. Lhipkram vs Jonas 2 (2020)
Also from Unibersikulo 9, the second meeting of Lhipkram and Jonas is the perfect definition of entertainment. Lhipkram went in with the technical rhymes while Jonas proved why he’s one of the funniest in the league. If this battle took place in front of a huge crowd, the reaction would be much more deafening.
7. Sixth Threat vs Poison13 (2019)
Sixth Threat vs Poison13 at Bwelta Balentong 6 is for fans of pure lyricism. Both competitors showed in this bout why they deserve to be called top-tier talent. We witnessed not only impeccable rhyming and complex metaphors, but also raw energy that gave the battle a “big fight” feel. After three rounds, I didn’t mind at all who would end up with the W because they both did a phenomenal job.
6. Shehyee vs Fukuda (2018)
Without a doubt, Unibersikulo 6 was Shehyee’s night. He showed how merciless he could be while still keeping some witty comedic elements to his style. However, I felt like Fukuda was slept on in this match. Shehyee certainly got the win here but Fukuda still deserves props for both his on-stage intensity and of course, impressive technical lyricism.
5. Apekz vs Mhot (2017)
When both emcees are on their A-game, it’s an instant classic. Apekz vs Mhot is certainly one of the reasons why Bwelta Balentong 4 was epic. They delivered their hard-hitting bars with the utmost confidence, making the crowd go wild from start to finish. While both rappers gave stellar performances, I believe Mhot deserved the victory for his effective rebuttal to Apekz’s line-biting angle.
4. Loonie vs Tipsy D (2016)
To this day, many fans consider this to be one of the best battles of all time in FlipTop. Loonie vs Tipsy D was the main event of Bwelta Balentong 3 and it certainly exceeded all expectations. The battle was a splendid mix of personals, technical lines, and witty humor. Tipsy D gave a flawless performance but Loonie’s angle about Tipsy copying lines got him the clear victory. Nevertheless, it was an intense fight for three rounds.
3. Batas vs Shernan (2015)
Style clashes often end up as classics in the league and this is no exception. Batas and Shernan faced off at Bwelta Balentong 3, with both rappers showcasing their biggest strengths. Batas went in with his trademark complex schemes and hardcore lyricism while Shernan delivered his brand of creative humor and angles. It was an entertaining match through and through and I believe the right emcee won but still, props to Shernan for bringing it.
2. Batas vs Rapido (2014)
This battle which took place at Zoning Semifinals was an unpredictable barfest. Batas showed off his amazing flow, complex rhyming style, and heavy metaphors while Rapido surprised the crowd with his flawless mixture of humor and hard-hitting lines. Both gave their one hundred percent, resulting in a back-and-forth fight. I agree with the judges’ decision here but I also wouldn’t mind if it went to Rapido.
1. BLKD vs Flict G (2013)
BLKD vs Flict G is a semifinal bout for the very first Isabuhay Tournament. The battle was an excellent display of clever wordplays and metaphors, creative humor, and energetic presence. Flict G was undoubtedly great here but I think strictly lyrically speaking, BLKD was the better man. His material was more original and unpredictable. Nevertheless, it was a match that left us all in awe.
So who do you think will come out victorious in this year’s semis? The current lineup is so unpredictable I can’t wait to see it live. Hopefully, we’ll hear an announcement very soon! The quarterfinal battles from Zoning 16 are about to be uploaded so watch out for that as well. I’ll catch you all at the next event.