The Bad Habits Of Battle Rap Business

Section Written by Titus Majors

Being a battle rap fan is a fun hobby, an expensive one, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. Whether you are attending an event or enjoying it from home. Countless weekends spent in front of a screen for an event you’ve spent weeks getting excited about, talking on the timeline with your friends; it’s a unique experience that an outsider can’t fully understand, but we love it here. Anyone deeply ingrained in this culture, spending hundreds of dollars in total on pay-per-views or flights and hotels, truly loves this culture. As much as we love it, there’s so much room for improvement here; as the culture grows, many standard business practices, or lack thereof, become more noticeable and less acceptable.

However, as stated in the first sentence, this hobby is expensive. As consumers, we spend a lot of money and, most importantly, a lot of our time to enjoy these events. You can point to at the very least, 16 battle rap events that were available for Pay Per View on Rapgrid alone, which can total up to the north of $600 being spent as a fan, and this doesn’t include some of the other leagues like Chrome 23 or The Trenches, URLTV, or ibattle that use other streaming platforms. You can add at least another $200. A battle rap fan could spend anywhere from. $400-800+ to watch these events in the year of 2024. 


The battle rap industry heavily relies on its consumers for financial support, viewership, engagement, and cultural relevance. Despite this dependence, its core audience is often met with weaponized incompetence.

Engaging in this expensive hobby has become frustrating due to the league’s lack of professionalism. There is always some miscommunication or lack of any at all. Despite the substantial amount of money we’ve invested, we’re constantly left in the dark, with events running late by hours, misleading advertisements, losing out on battles without knowing till the last minute, and more details of an event that is poorly managed. The disappointment as a consumer is profound, as the expected value and enjoyment are overshadowed by chaos and mismanagement. It’s disheartening to spend so much and receive so little in return.

This paradox of battle rap and its fan dependency and neglect undermines the industry’s potential for growth and is one of the underlying factors in the state of the culture. It’s as if there is always a combative response from league owners to fans in paying for a product and expressing displeasure with its delivery.

The stark reality is that battle rap as a business is volatile; some things are beyond any league owner’s control. They have a plethora of liabilities to mitigate with any event; it’s a lot of moving variables, and whatever they present to us is all we can live with and understand. However, some of the feedback from fans has resulted from poor planning, lack of communication, intentional secrecy, and deceit. Things that should be simple become complex, which is frustrating because one word could make most of the issues go away; that word is transparency. 


Section written by Q Moody

The tension between consumers and league owners isn’t helped by what is often a very flippant and dismissive attitude towards the critiques that get levied the way of the leagues. Whether it’s discrepancies in the advertising of an upcoming card, waiting until the last minute to announce a battle won’t be happening, or lack of initiative to make changes on the card more clearly conveyed, it’s sadly portrayed as “complaining for the sake of complaining” and disregarded as such instead of a paying customer who had a less than satisfactory experience. 

If someone orders food from a courier service and gets charged the amount of money for everything they desire to receive and upon arrival items are missing, as the person is spending their money on something, they’re more than within their right to be frustrated with the service they received. If we take it a step further and add on that the customer then asks for clarity on why their order wasn’t fulfilled and is met with disregard for their time and money, they’re not giving the establishment a hard time just for the sake of giving them a hard time. Clear communication is key to ensuring you feel informed and respected in your interactions with us.

We don’t know if the ice cream machine is broken unless you tell us.

How many times have you purchased an event without clarity on how many rounds a battle is? How many times have you purchased a PPV and sat by your computer for hours? Have you ever gone a long period of time without receiving any updates from the league on when their event is hours behind on their initial start time, which was listed on their flyer? We just had two events in May, One from Chrome 23 & one from SmokeRoom Battle League, which both were delayed almost 6 hours, with little to no updates. It’s a slap in the face to our time when a league fails to have consideration of running at an optimal schedule.   

Leagues will waste your entire day and have you starring at your computer screen like:

How many times have we had events where a battle gets canceled, and fans don’t find out sometimes until the event is over? Or is it announced during the event that the battler who doesn’t show up goes public, saying they made it known early in the week that they couldn’t make the battle? As a paying customer, things like this can be easily fixed with just one tweet or having a social media manager implemented into your organization. Leagues have social media accounts, but it’s almost like they aren’t ever utilized. Instead of a brief update or some communication, we often get nothing and might have a league owner telling us to get over it. 

Take the example of The Queen of The Ring’s Panic Room 6 event in March of 2022 a few years ago. The card was Headlined by 40 BARRS vs Coffee Brown, where we did not get the main event of the card (Not to mention the streaming service at the time was very poor in it’s production), and the League owner dismissed the valid complaints from fans in a condescending tweet he would then delete hours later.

Sometimes, cancellations are beyond the league’s control, and most fans can sympathize with that. But the league must ensure that information is available and even go the extra mile to cover all its bases. We know there are fans who are negative. There’s a good portion of the community who looks for negativity or things to complain about. Not every critique is earnest or well-meaning. But it’s important not to act as if every criticism is rooted in that, especially not publicly. That’s how you create trust with anyone. 

If you just want to sell tickets and offer free YouTube streams, there’s minimal complaining we can do about a free product. But the second you start promoting events heavily for purchase, people are more than within their right to feel however way things turn out. If you don’t want that accountability, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate what you actually want your place in battle rap to be.

Hiding 1 Rounders

Section written by Justin Smolinski

While transparency as a whole is asked for, as stated we know and do sympathize with the fact that there are certain last-second adjustments that can’t be accounted for perfectly. There are truly situations where a no-show happens, and the league is left with no other option but to announce the day of that a battle will be missing. However, as mentioned before, the one completely avoidable situation is the rounds of a battle being unknown, with a matchup you expected to be 3 rounds ending up being 1. This isn’t a critique of 1 rounders as a match type, as there are plenty of times a 1 rounder does fit a matchup or card type well, and the mix of a few 1 rounders on a card isn’t an inherently bad idea. However, when main event battles or battles that make up for most of the cards draw turn out to be hidden as 1-rounders it’s extremely deceitful to consumers, especially in a world where they bought the card mainly for 1 battle, a battle which they expected to be 3 rounds.

1 rounders can be great but generally are shorter than 3 rounders, hold less value to each battler’s stock, and are often given less effort than a standard 3 round battle. The “You should know if you’re around battle rap that a card with 10+ battles has some 1-rounders” is not even a semi-logical excuse as to why it is not made just clear, but OVERLY clear WHICH battles are the 1-rounders.

In the worst-case situations, the 1 rounders aren’t disclosed at all. This has been seen before from leagues like Bullpen with the 2019 Super Bowl event of 1 rounders with Brizz Rawsteen vs. Loso and Tay Roc vs. Bad Newz, which luckily ended up being classic footage, or Battle Academy booking K-Shine vs. Bill Collector and Geechi Gotti vs. Rosenberg Raw on their War Ready series only to watch the day of and get 1 rounder. The list goes on and on.


But this year alone, we have seen several events with the same issue. When UDubb Network returned to the scene in March with its Rebirth card, half of the card was 1 round battle, and it was not specified. 

Another example is when QB Black Diamond launched her Black Diamond Battle league, headlined by her vs T-Rex. When QB and Rex got to the stage and the host announced this was a 1 round battle, you could hear the room express their displeasure and slightly boo the fact it was a 1 round battle, and they may not have been made aware. Another common situation is the 1 rounder announcement being made but the news not spreading, or it being overlooked somewhere within an interview or media that not everyone has viewed. Announcing this in media runs and promos is definitely the right thing to do. Still, such essential information needs to be made even more precise and easy to reach for those who won’t get a chance to click in for every promo and still need all the critical information necessary when buying a card. Alternative solutions can be as straightforward as putting the information on the flyer or whatever link the league uses to purchase the card. So the fix is very simple: state which battles are 1-rounders for the event. “That isn’t our job.”  Yes, it is, and the silliness has to end.

To make matters even more complicated, some of these league owners, who may not have been transparent about the one-rounders, will take to social media to announce when a battle is garnering enough attention if it is 3 rounds. So if they have no problem announcing when a big battle for their league is 3 rounds, what prevents them from doing the same for 1 rounders? 

Sometimes a battle rapper would take the initiative to clear the air themselves, which is always commendable as well.

It’s on the leagues & battlers to promote the card, which means promoting honestly and clearly what’s on it. It’s not rocket science to realize small leagues don’t want to do this because many times, the 1 round battles are those including top-tier names or marquee matchups that attract attention on paper, so why announce it when that could lead to some people changing their mind on buying the PPV or purchasing a ticket. Countless smaller leagues have been guilty of this, and it is the most ridiculous constant issue because it has the most transparent solution of them all. 

You can tweet which are 1 rounders once and pin it; you can even put it in the fine print of the flyer! But which battles on a card are 1 rounders must be unequivocally clear and anything less will see the same outrage every time, and over time will eventually have some fans questioning their support.

Bottom line is this is a business, once you are charging people for a product there are standards and expectations the paying customer is entitled to, and in battle rap it’s time we raise or even set a standard for success to sustain the growth and value of the culture we love.

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