COTY Has Been Waiting For Rum Nitty.

Battle Rap Stats written by France | Historical Context written by J Smo | Rum Nitty’s Career reflection written by Q Moody

Champion Of The Year Stays In the West

It’s official. Rum Nitty captures his first Champion of the year title.

Another year, another Champion Of The Year award going to the west coast. This time, however, it’s not going to Geechi Gotti. Instead, it’s headed to Arizona with his EFB co-founder, Rum Nitty. After years of being a regular on the COTY and The Source year-end lists, Nitty finally took his place atop the list after a stellar 2022 campaign that saw him facing several names who would also be wind up making the 2022 COTY list. 

This is coming off of a fantastic 2021 year where Rum Nitty finished 4th in COTY voting. A year of dominant wins, crushing the Ultimate Madness 3 tournament and main-eventing NOME with Geechi Gotti still couldn’t get him the nod for COTY. It even made some contingents of fans wonder if battle rap appreciated Rum enough for him to ever win it. In 2022, all the doubts got laid to rest and Rum broke through that ceiling.

Break Down of Rum Nitty stood out in Categories.

We did a full ranking amongst the top 6 names in all 6 categories. Everyone is a legitimate contender when you reach this ranking of Champion of the year. So across the board, a lot of people may be split into categories 3 by 3.  But it’s important to see the rankings amongst all of them to see the separation per category, and then take into account the win-Loss record. 

Getting Over The Hump

Rum Nitty has been on a COTY list every year since the inception of the annual award. And He has been knocking on the door of this award for multiple years. With 2 appearances within the top 5, he finally breaks through. Let’s reflect back on his journey over the years

2017 Ranked #4 in COTY

 Nitty’s winning COTY can be looked like a crowning jewel to an all-time career and will cement his 2022 in history for good. But this also is the culmination of one of the most consistent COTY-placing battlers up to this point. Starting back in 2017, the inaugural COTY panel, Rum Nitty earned his 1st top 5 placement, finishing 4th. His 2017 can be most remembered by his dominant win over DNA and all-time classic with Iron Solomon, but a clear loss to JC (who ranked 3rd in 2017) capped him at 4. Still, a highly impressive placement.

2018 Ranked #11 in COTY 

Nitty would still place on the list, but with a lower spotting at 11th. With a crazy schedule of John John Da Don, Tsu Surf, Brizz Rawsteen, Geechi Gotti, Twork, and Ness Lee, Nitty found himself still delivering at high-level material but with a mixed range of results to the masses, with a clear loss to JJDD and a mix of debatables with most of the rest. This led to him being fringe top 10, being on the losing side of a debate with A.Ward, who took that 10th spot in front of him. 

2019 Ranked #3 on The Source

 is a year that is mostly lost in history due to COVID 19 causing a world shutdown and preventing an official COTY panel. This led to Blac calling an audible and having video COTY picks sent it, and instead of the traditional 20 lists most voters picked between the 2 most talked-about names: Ill Will and Geechi Gotti. But one could argue Rum Nitty would’ve had an extremely valid case himself to win in 2019. The Source magazine created a top 20 list for BR, where Nitty was placed an extremely high 3rd behind Will and Geechi, and was projected by many for a top 3-5 placement before the process had to be adjusted. Although not official in placement, Nitty’s 2019 can be argued as possibly the best year of his career with standout performances vs T-Top, K-Shine, Bigg K, Th3 Saga, Shotgun Suge, Chilla Jones, and many more. 

2020 Ranked #14 in COTY 

 is arguably the worst year of Nitty’s career since his breakout in 2015-2016, and still placed on the COTY list, although at 14th, his career lowest. Simply put, Nitty was still delivering as an elite talent, but finally was caught slipping a few times in a short span of time. Losses to BDot and Reed Dollaz dampened his momentum, and his overall strength of schedule was down from other years, with his best wins being vs Big T, Drugz and Cortez, all of who did not place on the COTY list in 2020. Rum Nitty’s worst year would arguably be considered a career year for many battlers. What a first-world problem to have.

2021 Ranked #4 in Coty

 Nitty once again cracked the top 5, finishing 4th after his iconic run of mostly rematches in the UM3 Tournament. While his overall strength of schedule was once again lower than Nitty’s first few years on URL, his consistent high-level performance in rematches added with legend plates in Hollow and TRex led to him once again being recognized as one of the best battlers of the year.

2022 Ranked #1

And with his official win in 2022, this caps off one of the most consistent COTY placing battlers we’ve seen this point. 1x COTY winner, 3x (unofficial 4x) top 5 placements, and 5x (unofficial 6x) time COTY list placements. He is one of only 2 battlers with 3x official top 5 placements, only matched by his own EFB teammate Geechi Gotti with 4. His 5x COTY list placements are at 2nd all time, making every top 20 list to this point except for 2019 where only Geechi and Will were considered (Geechi #1 all time, on all 6 list). All time talent with all-time accolades, Nitty’s 2022 COTY feels like it was due and crowns an incredible run of consistency that looks to continue.


Rum Nitty's Advanced Analytics

Rum Nitty winning Performance of the year for & Battle of the year from his A.ward battle is a perfect testament to letting his work speak for itself. His biggest, most impactful & best performance wasn’t on the league. And while Nitty’s material speaks high volumes, his numbers speak even louder for him.  

-He is the #1 ranked battle on the URL app (with a record that would be pace to match an NBA team with a 60-win season)
-He is ranked 2nd in total reactions. 
-He had a 6-1 record on URL in the year 2022, with a winning percentage of 85%.

However, Rum Nitty’s deep App analytics also display how dominant he was against high-level competition.

The strength of the Schedule was a massive seperating factor when you review the percentage between Rum Nitty & Shotgun Suge. 

All of Rum Nitty’s opponents had a winning record on the app, and 3 of the 5 names he has a high margin of victory over, finished within the Top 10 of the Rankings.

Rum Nitty also stood out to be one of the best performers of the night, on both of his two Main Event battles.

"I ain't earn my respect, I snatched it."

Ever since his URL debut, Rum Nitty has remained in the conversation for the best battle rappers in the world. He continues to be one of the most consistent battle rappers the sport has ever seen. A running joke between fellow LTBR staffer Titus and myself is that Rum is an algorithm. An AI system set up to deliver the best punchlines you’ll hear, without fail every single time. And that’s a ridiculous way to frame it, but it’s true. From “you get the .38 playing sick” to “you gonna have to bring Tsu veneers back (souvenirs)” to “break the glass and leave a shard in A (Chardonnay)” and countless others in between, Rum over the last 7 years has compiled a highlight reel of bars and lines that goes toe to toe with all the greats and honestly maybe even has the deepest well of great lines of any battler. 

You can throw on any random Nitty battle from the last 7 years and you’re guaranteed to hear things that hit you like a truck, but somehow became bars lost in time. That’s the gift and the curse of Rum Nitty. Being the most prolific, consistent, and best punchline guy of all time, but being so good all the time that it’s easy to stop thinking it’s special. When EK called Rum one of the most important writers in American literature, it’s easy to dismiss it as an exaggeration. But if we as battle rap fans can say we think battle rap is the last bastion of real hip hop, that battle rap is where the best lyricists live and display their craft, then something like a battle rapper belonging in those conversations shouldn’t be so asinine. 

And over this window of time, there are plenty of other battlers who’ve delivered tons of great material and highlight reel moments and lines, but as I rewatch battles, Rum Nitty is the man who time and time again continues to blow me away. And that was no different in 2022. The beauty in Rum’s writing is that while he’s without competition in giving you the most unheard-of, complex ways to do wordplay (as of late in 2022 decided to add scheming to his repertoire), he can hit you over the head with a bar that’s impactful but leaves you wondering “damn, how did no one say that before?”. For every “Take a layer of skin off Loud, like a cicada bug” vs Bill Collector that displays his wild level of creativity when crafting his punches, there’s “You thought he was gonna beat me to death? You right, he died first” vs Twork that feels like a line waiting for someone to say it but the alien got it before anyone else could.

The Goat Puncher

Yes, Rum Nitty is the best punchliner in battle rap history. But he’s more than that. He’s one of the best pens the sport has ever seen. Is his work in the vein of character assassination via angling like Loaded Lux or B Dot? No, but to do what Rum has done, for so long and with no dips in quality and arguably only getting better, that’s the makings of an all-time pen. Rum grew into becoming a great big stage performer and has a ton of moments to his name on the biggest stages. Rum brought that same level of intensity to opponents off of URL like NXT, Ness Lee and Da Kid Clutch in previous years. He’s a model of professionalism. 

Every category you want to check off, he has it. Simply put: Rum Nitty is one of the greatest battle rappers we’ve ever seen. And yeah there are some legendary names missing from his resume that we’d all love to see him get, but Rum’s alien-level output of great content made it so missing those names doesn’t even feel like it matters. He makes the most out of every time he’s on a stage and no matter who it is, Nitty brings his game face and gives the fans their money’s worth. As fans that have watched Nitty doing nothing but give and give to the culture, this feels like a win. That was the guy who always got criticized for being too quiet, for not doing enough promo, or whatever else people had to say. That same guy who gave us the battles with Ave, Iron Solomon, Chilla Jones, Geechi Gotti, Nu Jerzey Twork, A Ward and NWX. That same guy continued to do it his own way and was crowned the Champion of the Year because of it.

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