In any competitive environment, there are rules.  In Basketball, there’s the shot clock rule that prevents players from riding the clock out.  In Pro Wrestling, there’s the out-of-ring 10 count that keeps the action in the ring.  These aren’t the type of rules I’m going over today.

Instead, I’m going over those unspoken rules — things like if you’re playing pickup basketball with a group of strangers and you call a lot of fouls because you’re losing, you’re a bitch.  Or if a male wrestler goes in under the middle rope, he’s less of a man.  Things like that; unspoken rules everyone follows but nobody acknowledges.  Battle Rap’s got plenty of ’em and they’re all in one convenient place now.


If Party A shows up with an antic (an outfit, a gimmick round, etc), there are rules in place that give both Party A and Party B wins based on the conditions/circumstances surrounding the antic.

  • A: If Party A performs an antic that is so outlandish and Party B leaves the event entirely, Party B wins the battle entirely.
    • EXAMPLE: When Daylyt and Rone was supposed to happen, Rone showed up in a full Abraham Lincoln outfit.  Daylyt then jumped off the stage and walked out of the event entirely.  Daylyt wins.  (timestamped below: 3:21)
  • B: If Party A performs an antic that disrupts or hurts a battle’s rewatchability on cam, Party B takes the battle.
    • EXAMPLE: When Daylyt battles QP on King of the Dot, he had two antics.  One was to be a Crip-in-a-Box and one was to heavily push the time limit enforcement on Malathion, even going so far as to tell Malathion not to cut his time, physically say “let him rap!” to Malathion, and then 3 seconds later tell Malathion to cut his time.  Daylyt loses. (below at 13:20)


If your opponent says “He’s so big, I felt weird ’cause I ain’t have a weapon or nothing.” in the pre-match promos, you win the battle.

ORIGIN: Head I.C.E. says this before his battle with Pat Stay.  There’s nothing deep about this one; it just happened and I.C.E. loses because of it.  (below: 1:20)


Despite a choke in the battle from party A that would usually swing the battle in favor of party B, party A can still be victorious under a few circumstances.  (he chokes in the first round; timestamp is 6:09 in the video below.)

  • A: Party A’s content on paper is substantially better than Party B’s content on paper.
    • ORIGIN: Cyssero’s material versus Bishop Brigante outclassed him so clearly that his material was more enjoyable, even with the choke.
  • B: Party A’s choke is indicative of a lack of preparation and subsequently a lack of respect for an opponent.  The level of sheer big-leaguing and disrespect from Party A outclass all of Party B’s performance factors.
    • ORIGIN: No one wanted to hear what Bishop Brigante had to say.  He traveled to his first battle out of Canada to Philadelphia where his opponent didn’t even prepare a complete round.  Cyssero wins on principle.
  • C: Party A’s performance (including their choke) is so much more entertaining than Party B’s performance (without a choke).
    • ORIGIN: Cyssero choked for 10 minutes and tried to play it cool althroughout, creating one of the most iconic chokes possible.  Bishop Brigante was Bishop Brigante.  He loses.

The point here is that Bishop Brigante didn’t beat Cyssero in any shape or form, nor can a case even be made.  Take that mirror down.


If a battler no-shows a battle, is paid for that battle and still shows up on another league within 7 days, he wins the battle he no-showed.

ORIGIN: Qleen Paper no-showed RBE’s Pearly Gates event when he was scheduled to battle Jimz.  Jimz released an angry vlog offering to fight Qleen over the matter until a little while later when everyone realized Qleen actually showed up to an event with Saint Mic the next day.  There’s no video for this.

BENDING THIS RULE: There are circumstances where a party will no-show the battle and his opponent will secure the win as a result of it, but this one’s contingent on a lot of factors.  The battlers have to be on a similar plane of tiering (meaning if Hollow da Don no-shows Loso, there’s no getting Loso’s win back) to start.  If the battle proceeds on without one party and the battler who was ducked spits all of his material, he loses the battle because he’s doing too much.  HOWEVER, if the battle proceeds onward and the battler who DUCKED his opponent is replaced by someone in an outfit resembling them, the battler who was ducked is the winner.  (Sketch Menace vs Dizast(Eurgh))


If you pay your opponent at any time, there are laws and protections in place that give you (or your opponent) extra points/a loss depending on the circumstance.

  • A: If Party A is not a league owner/not the owner of the league they’re battling Party B on and Party A pays Party B to battle them at all, they lose the battle.
    • ORIGIN: Danny Myers paid T-Rex $12,000 to battle him on URL.  Danny Myers not only doesn’t own/handle URL battle payments, Rex’s booking price is far less than $12,000. (below is Danny speaking on the matter and looking very stupid about it.)
  • B: If Party A does own the league they’re battling Party B on and they paid Party B to battle them, Party B can only win one round using the angle of being paid by their opponent.  Extending this, if the league owner rebuttals it, you can’t factor that into how good his round is.  It doesn’t count.
    • ORIGIN: Loe Pesci & Bender bring up that Eurgh paid the flights and booking fees of “two assholes who brought 80 lines about Lady Di” and win Round 1 entirely because of it.  (2:45 in the video below)

BENDING THIS RULE: If you pay your opponent and the battle’s seen as an incredible classic that forms an entire generation of battlers like Chilla Jones/JC (Chilla paid JC for his PG and it ended up being the best thing to come from Summer Madness 2) you’re exempt.  Otherwise, you lose.  There’s no gray area.  Either you form an entire new generation and make it debatable or you paid someone $12,000 and lost bad.


If you get into another profession that may require you to hide your past as a battle rapper, you are free to have all of your battles unlisted to protect yourself without any change in whether or not you won your battles.  If you fail at that profession, come back and re-list your battles, you automatically lose all of them.

ORIGIN: Deffinition became a teacher and had every league unlist his battles.  His Principal found out about his battles and Deffinition quit/was fired, leading all of his battles to be re-listed.  (The Saurus has a good angle about it vs Deff in the video below around 15:00.)


A battler can win/tie a battle by virtue of having such a strong (third) round that it beats another battler’s (first) two rounds.

ORIGIN: In Illmaculate vs Bigg K, fans believe Bigg K wins Rounds 1 and 2, but Illmaculate wins Round 3 with such a good round that it wins him the entire battle/ties the battle to 2-2.  

Battle Rap as a community has always prided itself for being this bare-knuckle community of people who go at eachother’s necks in search of fame and notoriety and so when you bring rules into it, you realize a lot of this is much more technical than anyone would have you think.  All of these rules go into the “Clips 3-0″s and “2-1 Either way” in the YouTube comments sections of battles that fit into the categories.  Whether you realize it or not, pretty much every battler with a name that rings bells has their own rule.  Math Hoffa’s rule is that punching someone in the mouth mid-battle means you can’t get mad if someone does it to you.  Bigg K’s rule is that you can be extremely formulaic if the crowd has never turned on you.  Dizaster’s rule is that you can win a round even if it’s cut short because if you kept going, your round would have turned into a racist freestyle rant about chemtrails and potatoes on barrels.  Everyone has their own rule when you think about it hard enough,

the best part is that no one is exempt from them.