Forget the Joker. Lex Luther. Charlie Manson. The Real Four Horsemen and Lucifer himself (well maybe not the devil), NOME 9 promises to be one of the most lyrically gruesome nights in battle rap history, as URL promises to host “a card full of villains.” The stakes are high and with few “good” guys on roster, the classic trope that rests on good and evil dissipates. There are very few “good guys” on deck- even as there are a couple of fan favorites. 

Peep the break down:

Jakkboy Maine vs. John John Da Don

Dirty and grimey encapsulates Jakkboy’s whole steez. He looks like he wanna rob you, and he talks like already has. The Goonies’ lieutenant has proving that spitting that spit that he is a problem. The current king of ambush, this bottom dweller seems to delight in popping up in battles to take what he believes is his… mastering the art of energy transference in such a way that he makes the audience see his opponent as lifeless. Sorry Tay Roc, JKBM becomes Dracula by sucking the life out battler X when he used his many techniques like Jakkanese or his erratic flow. But he is up against John John (who is a whole other type of villain)

John John is the guy you love to hate. He is Lex Luther. Charming. Successful. Intelligent… but presents the air as if he just does not give a —. Maybe there is some truth to that. A few years back JJDD, the Bullpen League owner, had a falling out with Jakkboy and his folk resulting in not just a ban from his league but a lot of exploitation talk for the DMV rap collective. JJDD most villainous trait was the dismissive disposition that almost appeared as if those murmurings did not matter or did not exist. Jakkboy has since been scratching like a hungry dog to get a piece of who he sees as a nemesis.And he went on smoking people, some of the top lyricists in history, paying them dust. To some, he is a champion… but to others he appears to be arrogant and detached. Which brings us to the battle between him and Goonies’ capo Nu Jerzey Twork. [Spoiler Alert] During that battle, Twork cameo’d Jakkboy during one of his round. Indignantly JJDD refused to finish the battle. For him, this was a sneaky way for JKBM to share a stage w him. The culture boo‘d as they believe a true emcee carries lyrical artilerary for cases just like this. JJDD appears to say “bunk the culture” homie has to earn the right to stand before me. I’m a brand.  At one point, people were really riding with this theory… until Jakkboy tried to jack the stage again.

Check out the second time, JKBM went for his:

Shotgun Suge vs. Pat Stay

We know that Pat Stay is not a villain, villain, villain. But he has been known to piss people off. Mostly because he is a white boy white boy, that can’t be placed in that corny white boy box. Homeboy can really rap, while at the same time can make us laugh. He fits in without adopting some of the Crutches that white battlers lean on… and that makes people siiiiiiick!

But Suge on the other hand is no laughing matter. Newark’s own, Grape Street cripping and block hugging Shotgun looks like a bad guy, just by his overwhelming appearance and no-nonsense disposition. Mr. Pocket-Check is everything that bullies are made of. He makes URL his arena by moving people out of the way and showing up for battle like a warrior. Despite what anyone thinks, with as little as a shoulder bump, or by brodying his competition, Suge is the embodiment of a villain. NOME9 will unleash something else for fans to watch w this guy.

Arsonal vs. Ave

If you look up villain in the battle rap dictionary, Arsonal’s face will pop up. For an entire generation Mr. Disrespect has become “The Godfather of Dingy Talk,” laced with the most despicable and vile vocalization of combat. Battle after battle, people wonder how does he come up with the things that he says. Battling against Ave will be interesting… because while Ave is not necessarily a villain, he doesn’t seem like someone you wan get caught in a dark alley with.

Ave seems like that hustler on the corner that you better not owe no money to. Lately, he has been sonning the newer guys in the league. Owning them with humor, condescension and above all a lyrical prowess, Ave makes fans shutter in combat. Straight like that.

K-Shine vs. Rum Nitty

The Source’s 2018 “Battler of The Year,” K-Shine is hot-headed and always ready to scrap. Aligning w NWX has helped, but even the even keeled DNA has not extinguished the fire that bubbles in his gut. That fire (which we just gonna call fire) pours out of him like the sweat from his brow, making him that much more ferocious as a battler before his opponent. That and the fact that he really seems like he will smack the entire sh$t out of you for trying to test him.

READ MORE: Best of The Culture: Top 20 Battle Rappers And Top Events of 2018

But Rum Nitty is up to testing him. Nitty is not a villain in our opinion… The Source Unsigned Hype Alum is a scrappy street fighter with his eyes on legend status. The West Coast lyricist stands on a few pillars that many battlers in this generation neglect to approach when writing: wordplay and conviction.

Tsu Surf vs. Geechi Gotti

Like Nitty, Gotti does not come off as a villain but as champion. So focused on maintaining his epic rise to battle rap stardom, he is not worried about throwing rocks. When you are deemed “Champion of The Year” by some esteemed battle media outlets, you dodge rocks (we understand).  Not being a villain doesn’t mean that Gotti nor Nitty aren’t beast, should be taken lightly or might not edge out a win. It means that the tried and true vets that they are against have invested in creating personas more worthy of a WWE spotlight then they have, understanding that marketing a contest with the classic good guy/ bad guy motif wine. Watch the HBO Andre The Giant documentary and you’ll get it. To that point, Gotti is going up against the Ric Flair of Battle Rap, Tsu Surf.

READ MORE: Geechi Gotti Finally Gets A Shot At The Wave! Tsu Surf Accepts Challenge

There is an alluring glow around Tsu Surf that borders on the thin line of brilliantly constructed confidence and obnoxiously drenched arrogance. Still, we fans, watch in astonishment as he does something that no other rapper has done: successfully marry his vocation as a battler with his success as a commercial emcee. This makes him a villain because he has the options to skate across the stage and possibly give us 2 rounds and we will f*ck with it because it is him. 

READ MORE: The Rap Community Reacts to Tsu Surf Being Shot

Just peep how high the energy has developed around this match-up.

Aye Verb vs. Loaded Lux

For almost the same reason, people can’t stand Lux.

He picks and chooses when he will grace the stage. His mythological biography is riddled with monumental achievements that few, who will tune in on Saturday, have ever seen in person. More than a Surf comparison, you could rightly compare him to Cassidy. Lux is a GOAT and that god status in battle rap will not be easily stripped from him. Think about the many commercial emcees who give him the nod for being an OG. His pop up cameo in the Dipset documentary, Diplomatic Ties, is serves as proof of his star status.

But, St. Louis’ own Aye Verb is a star in his own right, and will most certainly try to tarnish the crown of this Harlem legend… Much like he did last year, to another head on Mt. Rushmore, Murda Mook.  

Where did this energy come from?

Well… this is the stuff that legends are made of. Back in the day… a hungry Aye Verb wanted beef with a god… a god that maintained that he was not ready for that heat. No one can deny that today Aye Verb is not ready, nor can they deny that he deserves this shot. His journey to get it, aided by so many side steps (some good and some horrible), devastating valleys (can’t forget his battle with Jimz where he lost in a judged battle) and industry-shattering mountains (just look at “The Mook” battle, he proved that he alone can make a battle god bleed), has been long and arduous. Almost single handedly carrying the flag for Midwest battle rap with this battle, should he become victorious, will be the paradigm shift that he has been waiting at least ten years to initiate.

Either way, the two of them will be villains to the opposing team, because so much is at stake.

Check out all the history behind this battle: