One of the most exciting aspects of battle rap is that the field is constantly evolving. It’s never stagnant, and we see new contenders and talent popping up every day in the battle rap community. It’s no secret that many battle rappers we know and love got their start online. Decades before the explosion of social media, scouts and professional battle rap leagues, battle rappers would find their selves doing online battles in the form of text on internet forums and audio diss tracks via Myspace.
Twitter spaces is this decade’s version of what the battle rap forums used to be. With the advent of the internet and live audio platforms like Twitter spaces, there’s room for all kinds of growth. Up-and-coming and amateur battle rappers have taken advantage of this and are referred to as “Space Battlers.” The platform widely recognized by the culture for Twitter spaces is EFM (short for Every Fuckin Meme).
This platform was discovered by battle rap fans/contributors Greedy Gotti & Bum Nitty. The movement is also led by a couple of other figures such as The Battle Rap Doctor & Battle Rap Lawyer and together, EFM has created a community amongst the culture for the next generation of talent. Twitter spaces became a resource and a tool to bridge the gap between fans and public figures in the culture.
The EFM Platform created an environment that provided everyone with the ability to network amongst battle rappers, media members, league staff, well known contributors to the culture and fans of the culture. EFM is also Audio Battle Rap League, they would have rising talent and lesser known emcees battle over Twitter spaces.
Two names that have transcended from the world of Twitter spaces are Yunus (red hat) & Oppa (dreads). They climbed the ranks on the EFM leaderboards becoming two of the top rappers within the league. The buzz around both of their names picked up so much, it became an enticing opportunity for some professional battler rappers make their debut on EFM against them.
- Yunus battled names like Bill Collector and Elijah Strait. Yunus record was 1-1.
- Oppa battled names like Th3 Saga & Danny Myer. Oppa’s record was 1-1.
Yunus & Oppa clearly displayed to have enough creativity, drive, talent and understanding of battle rap to venture out and compete at a higher level. Little did they know, they would shoulder the responsibility of becoming trend setters and would be pioneers in ushering in a new era of cultivating battle rap talent. Their talents & abilities got them both to travel around the country and gave them an interesting start to their journey of becoming a professional battle rapper.
Oppa: From Virtual Rapper to In-Person Talent
Oppa (Tim Saunders) is an American battle rapper. While he only has two battles cataloged, these have approximately 3,983 views. Notably, Oppa started his journey online, where he built a reputation for himself through his audio battles on discord & twitter spaces. He’s animated style, lyrical and punch heavy style and talents are so appreciated amongst the community online listening to him battle. You can listen to his raps or listen to him do impersonations and you can just tell, hes special and has a very high ceiling within battle rap once he polishes his style. In all of the battles hes done online has has he earned more than $2000 in donations and performance incentives.
Oppa was ready to make the transition from battling in audio form to in person. He makes a debut on ibattle in February 2022, where he has a good showing for someone with such few catalogued battles. His name is starting to catch a lot of attention online and he gets the biggest call of his life to performance on King Of The Dot the following month. This would serve as Oppa’s first battle on a main stream battle and his debut to battling on Twitch. Oppa was scheduled to battle Anti-Hero, who is also from EFM, on the Seaon 1 semi finals card at KOTD. This was like a two for one opportunity for KOTD. They gets to showcase two of the battlers from EFM against each other on a major card and was able to take the gamble on them both
In regards to his KOTD debut, Oppa says on a Lets Talk Battle Rap interview, “We are currently determining what the stigma is for audio battlers. based on what we do, is how people will judge us moving forward.” He was determined to show that battlers from EFM could indeed perform at a professional level and deserved to be taken serious.
With the chance for Oppa to take his talents from twitter spaces to a major platform, he excelled. His charisma, quick thinking, and great bars made his performance animated and a great watch. His performance on KOTD stood out on a card filled with professionals, while he is still climbing the ranks as an amateur, his ceiling is very promising. This seamless transition is what has set him up for the Midnight Madness Gauntlet.
He enters a 32 man tournament hosted by Midnight Madness. He makes a statement with the wins he collected in the tournament. Oppa was a part of a 3-way battle called the Triple Threat. This battle had money on the floor and the winner would pick up over $500 from the floor. He has an dominating performance for the money on the line!
BREAKING: OPPA WINS THE MIDNIGHT MADNESS TRIPLE THREAT BATTLE FOR MONEY ON THE FLOOR. #Ltbrnews #Midnightmadness #EFM pic.twitter.com/HUmix863FI— BATTLE RAP’S WOJ (@LTBRpodcast) March 12, 2022
Oppa managed to reach the final 4 of the Midnight Madness Tournament before he was eliminated. After his performances at Midnight Madness, he continues his action jam packed year with 2x more appearances on ibattle alongside a headliner, a headlining battle on GTX and a 2on2 battle scheduled vs Th3 Saga & Elijah Strait for his debut on OSBL (Our Society Battle League) in late June.
Yunus The Face of EFM
Yunus is another up-and-coming battle rapper who has made his mark in the community. With four cataloged battles totaling 2,496 views, news of his prowess built up an excellent reputation. He is regarded as the face of EFM after gaining victories over prominent names in the league like Anti-Hero & Oppa. One of Yunus’s greater performances was a stand out performance at the Unity 4 event, which propelled him on social media with his highlight surfacing and being shared by the culture.
That’s when Yunus entered the Midnight Madness Gauntlet. Despite having a first-round exit in a judge loss, Yunus was granted another opportunity at life. He was able to re-enter because of some emcees no-showed the tournament, the fans in the crowd got a chance to vote on who they wanted to re-enter the tournament and they all said Yunus. Given this second chance, Yunus was able to prove any doubters wrong and he completely ran the table. He won the tournament and now became eligible to contend for a Midnight Madness title belt.
BREAKING: YUNUS WINS THE MIDNIGHT MADNESS 32 man gauntlet. #LTBRNEWS pic.twitter.com/bOAP3QwdVd— BATTLE RAP’S WOJ (@LTBRpodcast) March 12, 2022
Only 10 days after Yunus wins the tournament, he gets a call from URL and he reveals that he has earned a spot at the URL Crucible. Yunus may be on his way to the league!
The Month of March was Crazy for the both of them. Yunus and Oppa both took the internet by storm with their performances. EFM was proudly represented through them both making it the final 4 of the Midnight Madness tournament. It was a pivotal point for success not just for the two of them, but for the entire EFM movement and every battler that is still climbing the ranks through the audio scene. This was the moment the culture realized, “Space battlers” have arrived and may be here to stay.
“Oppa & Yunus are stars in the making. They shattered the negative connotation for space battlers, when they proved they can be just as great in live battles. They’re trailblazers.”- Moni (EFM supporter)
They both were able to break the stigma that audio battlers couldn’t translate in person and more importantly, open the flood gates for other. Success is when preparation meets opportunity and the door of opportunity will only open once you step outside your comfort zone. Yunus & Oppa did just that.
EFM INVADES DEATH COAST ACADEMY
It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t get none !
As mentioned earlier, Yunus & Oppa did have a battle against each other on EFM, but an in person rematch was in order and in demand! GTX books Yunus vs Oppa II to became the headliner for their S0pace Invaders card being thrown on GTX’s Deathcoast Academy. The Deathcoast Academy serves as a farming system to breed new talent into the league. So the GTX announcement was a huge breakthrough for all of the EFM Battlers, as it was an entire live card dedicated for them to showcase why they belong on the mainstage. Partnered with Lush one and GTX, the event was set for May 21st with Oppa and Yunus live rematch as the main event.
(Watch above if you would like to listen to their first battle)
YUNUS VS OPPA II RECAP
Recapped by The Coin Flip
As the EFM movement began, one worry shared by many was that battle rappers who mostly battle online might not translate well into the live setting. It’s safe to say that those concerns were misplaced, as Oppa vs Yunus, the main event of the Space Invaders card, put on display just why EFM made such waves in the battle rap culture as this battle ends up feeling very SMACK Volume-esque. A rematch between two very strong lyricists resulted in what might be one of the best battles this year so far.
More than others, this battle’s first round really served as an introduction to what both rappers’ strengths are and what angles of attack they plan to use. Both are punchy, as is standard with most battle rappers in today’s ecosystem. But both bring unique and powerful skill sets to the landscape.
If this battle was your first introduction to Yunus, you might not yet understand just how talented and versatile he is. In his first round, he displays his technical flow and his ability to craft fire wordplay, but what catches the ear the most about Yunus is just how dense his bars are. So much of the connective tissue for his punches and schemes are scattered within his setups and it demands your full attention. So much so, that Yunus often has to run his bars back for the crowd. What that means on cam, is that after your second watch of the battle, you’ll still be finding new things about his rounds that you missed. And if you squint your eyes a bit, you can see the stylistic resemblance to other great lyricists, those longform, dense setups into his punchlines might remind you of Kid Chaos, while his witty and shorter punches are reminiscent of Rum Nitty.
On the other side stands Oppa who, in this battle, is stylistically opposite to Yunus. Where Yunus uses carefully crafted flows to construct layered wordplay, Oppa’s flow is much more freeform, and his punches are succinct. He also lends towards the more aggressive side of battle rap; this results in much more physicality that’s helped by the extra height Oppa has over Yunus. One of his most pronounced strengths is his performance. Energetic deliveries and theatrics litter Oppa’s rounds and give them real buoyancy and his vocal projection really helps him overpower his opponent. Oppa isn’t all theatrics though, his ability to throw haymakers suggests that his performance and flows are backed up by some real firepower, and he had what might’ve been the biggest room shaker of that night.
In the 2nd and 3rd rounds though, we get to see a common denominator in both rappers: Adaptability. Both Oppa and Yunus put on display just how well-rounded their skillsets are. Both offer strong rebuttals and even spend portions of their rounds trading styles. Yunus’s Sheed impression puts on display just how many styles he can run with and have success. While Oppa’s Yunus impression shows that his pen is not to be taken lightly. That versatility from both can look tame when facing each other, but it’ll no doubt prove insurmountable for a lot of their future opponents.
To summarize, Oppa vs Yunus is on the upper end of quality for battles this year. With tons of replay value, it’ll stand as yet another example of EFM’s high quality talent pool.
Announcement about #SpaceInvaders .. after consulting with @DIZASTERBANNED , in an unprecedented move that will probably never happen again, we are selecting 4 rappers from the card to go the @GTXBattles MainStage on our next card.. c u in LA- Oppa, Yunus, Tomboy, & Rocq Lee !— GTX Crunchy White (@LushOne) May 23, 2022
Oppa & Yunus performance in their rematch earned them a slot on the GTX Main stage. Looking forward to see their elevation continue.