Hunnypot Does...
Powered by CircleSquareLA


Written by 

When you think about rap battles, you’re likely to think of the major platforms such as URL, RBE, and KOTD. These leagues have racked up millions of YouTube views by farming talent, building storylines, and coordinating matchups at the perfect times of battlers’ careers. At the time this review was published, Hitman Holla vs. Tay Roc was at 3.2 million views, Dizaster vs. Dumfoundead was at 2.7 million views, and Cassidy vs. Arsonal was at 2.8 million views. But you know what battle has more Youtube views than all of them? Ketchup vs. Mustard on Illmac’s Rap Off Battles. As of today, that battle (voiced by Dizaster [Ketchup], Lush One [Baking Soda], and Illmac [Mustard]) has racked up 3.3 million views. Yes, I’m talking about the cartoon: across all platforms, it’s racked up 30+ million views. I know it’s not the 40-minute battle we’re used to, but that’s still a lot of eyeballs and they’re onto something here.

Since 2018, Illmac and the team have gone onto produce several cartoons including Dog vs. Cat (voiced by Hollow Da Don [Dog], Lush One [Pigeon], and Carter Deems [Cat]) and the Mustard Freestyle (voiced by Method Man). As objectives for growth became clear, it was understood that money would be needed to achieve the vision. Cartoons and animation are not cheap. Conversations ensued with major TV networks and production studios. A deal was almost signed with a big studio but creative differences and ultimately the COVID19 pandemic shut down these traditional avenues of funding and production. Around this time, the NFT and Web3 space took off as alternative forms of funding, and Rap Off decided to move forward with the community/membership based funding to preserve the integrity of the product. You might roll your eyes when you hear me mention NFTs in this context due to the pump-and-dump scams we’ve all heard about: companies generate loads of interest, crowd fund loads of money, and are incapable of producing value after the fact. That’s why these guys are doing it differently. They’re putting the value out first: making cartoons, throwing events, and showing the scene that they’re here for the long haul.

The event itself was a real family affair. It reminded me a lot of the Ruin Your Show event in LA that I covered for Hunnypot back in 2020. You can read up on that event HERE. This wasn’t the biggest event, but there were a lot of familiar faces, a bartender, a BBQ man, and merch tables for the artists and fans to interact. One thing that separated this event from other battle events is they included additional entertainment that was not limited to battles. Before the battles began, Chase Moore and Fredo took the stage under their moniker, Water Buffalos, to start off the event. After their performance we hopped right into the three battles on the card: Lu Cipher vs. Thesaurus, Frak vs. Danny Myers, and Bigg K vs. Jey The Nitewing. I have clear winners in the first two, and I think Bigg K vs. Jey The Nitewing was a toss-up. Following the battles, Illmac took the stage and broke down the history of Rap Off and chronicled the series of events that led to today (which I attempted to summarize earlier in this review). We paused a few times to watch the aforementioned cartoons and the debut of their newest, NFT-adjacent cartoon, Bored Ape vs. Cryptopunk. After the cartoon watch party and Illmac’s speech, the Seattle/San Francisco rap duo Blimes and Gab took the stage for a generous set to shut the venue down.

This was a great event. I’m excited to see where the Rap Off crew takes this, combining rap battles and cartoons in both the metaverse and in real life. Shout out to the Rap Off team – Illmac, Rhyme Combinator, Butterhoops, Frak, and Pass. Kudos to the Ruin Your Day team for handling the filming/stream and DJ Smokey Martinez and Lush One for holding it down. Rumor in the metaverse is another real-life Rap Off event might be coming to a city near you this summer. Keep your eyes peeled. 

Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Twitter