A FlipTop fan shares their list of 13 battles that made 2022 memorable. It was truly a great year for battle rap!
If there’s one thing we could all agree on, it would be that 2022 was a historic year. Not only did we see the return of live crowds, but as someone who has been following the league since its inception in 2010, I firmly believe we’ve also witnessed plenty of game-changing moments in battle rap. The majority of the roster has stepped up, thus adding more and more members to the fanbase. Here are 13 FlipTop matches that I think are the greatest this year. I chose to put 13 entries to commemorate the league’s 13th anniversary.
Keep in mind that I didn’t include battles where only one emcee shined as well as those with too many stumbles. A great battle, for me, should feature solid performances from BOTH competitors and the result could go either way. Lastly, before we begin, let me remind you all again that this is only my personal opinion. If you don’t agree with it, feel free to share your own list in the comments section.
13. Pistolero vs Luxuria
It’s the finals of the 2022 Isabuhay Tournament, and while the majority will say that Pistolero dominated the bout, I feel that Luxuria’s performance is heavily underrated. Her lines and concepts are equally hard-hitting and no one can deny the power in her delivery. Pistolero, obviously, went all out here. He threw some of his most devastating punches to date and continues to be creative when it comes to angles. Try watching this again and you might see that it’s actually a close fight.
12. Poison13 vs Slockone
Poison13 vs Slockone happened at the tenth edition of Second Sight, the first event with a live audience since the pandemic. It’s the definition of a complete package battle. There’s a balance of witty humor and technical rhymes, the rebuttals are effective, and the rhyme schemes are undoubtedly impressive. Poison13 and Slockone also proved here that you can still have an epic showdown, despite being in the same crew.
11. Goriong Talas vs JDee
Goriong Talas vs JDee at Bwelta Balentong 9 is brutality personified. Aside from the ruthless verses, you could also feel the intensity of their delivery. They’re battling as if their life is on the line. Both emcees showed their creativity as well. The contest was dominated by heavy bars, but Goriong Talas and JDee still managed to insert a bit of humor, making it even more unpredictable. Up-and-coming rappers, take notes!
10. JDee vs Zaki
It’s another battle that is intense from start to finish. JDee vs Zaki took place at Second Sight 10, and fans got their money’s worth by witnessing a raw display of technical lyricism and aggressive rapping. Things got a little heated, but no literal punches were thrown. Instead, they let their ruthless bars do all the hitting, and they didn’t miss! JDee and Zaki definitely brought their A-game here.
9. Elbiz vs Zend Luke
They have different writing styles, but both represented quality lyricism. Elbiz vs Zend Luke at Zoning 14 was a back-and-forth style clash all throughout. Elbiz went beast mode with the traditional battle rap approach while Zend Luke delivered top-notch leftfield rhymes. In the end, it all came down to the preference of the judges. One thing is for certain: it was a match made for fans of straight-up barfests.
8. Asser vs CripLi
Asser vs CripLi is a perfect combination of comedy and heavy-hitting bars. Nothing sounded forced here. You can see that they’ve mastered their respective styles. This match also showed that stage presence is a very important factor in battle rap. On paper, their lines are already solid, but their confident delivery made each one even more impactful. It’s the type of battle that can appeal to casual and hardcore fans.
7. Poison13 vs Zend Luke
People expected a style clash, but instead, we got an exchange of complex lines and angles. Poison13, staying true to his Mokujin persona, decided to adapt to Zend Luke’s unorthodox rhyming style while keeping his multi game strong. Zend Luke wasn’t intimidated at all. He struck back with his clever metaphors and showcased a much-improved flow. Ahon 13 was an event to remember, and this battle is one of the many reasons why.
6. Abra vs EJ Power
They took a hiatus from battle rap and came back stronger than ever. Abra vs EJ Power at Ahon 13 is filled with amazing rhyme schemes, punchlines, references, and metaphors. There wasn’t a shade of ring rust between the two at all when it comes to their writing. The battle was also a showcase of impressive rap flows. I was in awe at how they effortlessly switched up their flows without risking the quality of their verses.
5. GL vs Marshall Bonifacio
This is the ideal battle to show anyone who claims that FlipTop is only about cussing or basic trash-talking. GL vs Marshall Bonifacio is a lesson in battle rap lyricism. Both rappers unleashed their intelligent pen game while introducing fresh angles. If you want crazy metaphors, intricate schemes, and back-to-back haymakers, this bout has them. Their intense stage presence also deserves praise as it elevated their performance further.
4. Asser vs Fangs
Two of the most respected emcees in the Visayas Division finally went head-to-head at Gubat 10. Asser vs Fangs was a heated showdown, but despite the abundance of personals, both lyricists made sure to keep the art of rap alive. Apart from the hard punches, we also witnessed a display of unpredictable schemes and captivating flows. Literally, every second of this battle was intense, and the always-awesome Cebu crowd was proof of that.
3. Sayadd vs GL
I was so hyped when I found out this match was happening at Unibersikulo 11 that I immediately bought a ticket. Sayadd and GL put on a battle rap clinic, and I’m so lucky I saw it live. The technical writing style is nothing new in FlipTop, but both emcees managed to integrate concepts that we never heard of before. Their intimidating presence on stage made the battle much more intense. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched this online.
2. M Zhayt vs CripLi
The 2020 Isabuhay Champion faced off against arguably the most improved emcee of 2022. Without a doubt, M Zhayt vs CripLi at Ahon 13 exceeded our expectations. It has all the necessary ingredients for an epic battle: creative angles, witty humor, vicious punches, and memorable rebuttals. Both rappers gave it their all, leading to various online debates about the decision. For me, I didn’t really care about the result because I was just happy I saw a classic!
1. Sinio vs Apekz
Sinio vs Apekz was a match seven years in the making. They’ve called each other out several times online and on their respective battles, but at Ahon 13, they finally decided to face off. The 7-year wait was indeed worth it! Sinio went in with his creative humor but made sure to unleash his inner beast as well. Apekz hit back with his multis, which remain top-notch, and angles that continue to be talked about up to now. Their confidence was at an all-time high and there was never a dull moment. This battle deserves its high number of views!
2023 is certainly off to a great start with the announcement of the Process of Illumination 7 tryouts. Best of luck to all of the participating emcees! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the FlipTop staff and of course the emcees for entertaining us fans for 13 years! Time flies indeed. We’ll be waiting for the next event and you can expect us to be there.