Clips vs. Hollow Preview
Get the dramatic music and Beasley narration ready, pop your popcorn and grab your gun that's so big it could main event NOME5, the battle we've been waiting for is here! Charlie Clips vs Loa... I mean Hollow da Don! The two greatest battle rappers that battle more than twice a decade are finally set to face each other this spring at URL's Night of Main Events 5, the fifth installment of its marquee event behind Summer Madness. In a relatively short time, Clips has gone from being a mysterious legend with only one classic battle vs Tay Roc to being battle rap's #1 contender with a huge resume including Serius Jones, Tsu Surf (and plenty others) after taking battle after battle. Hollow has been making a name for himself for a longer period of time, since the Fight Club and GrindTime scene. Hollow's resume speaks for itself featuring names ranging from Goodz to Loaded Lux himself, but has battled far less frequently in recent years. The question is, who will win when these two titans collide?
Let's talk about it: Clips has risen to the top while taking more battles than DNA can count, but some argue that he takes too many battles and his performance suffers because of it. This is true, and he has had battles where he doesn't give 100% (he didn't write a single bar for Charron) but let's be honest. There's money in battle rap and if Clips skips a battle he's skipping a big check as well. I personally hate when he half asses it, but he always comes through against other big names (see Tsu Surf, T Rex, Hitman Holla etc.). Hollow, on the other hand, has had three battles since his state sponsored hiatus and has only had one great performance. Win or lose, he was subpar vs Surf and awful vs Joe Budden. He did however have his best performance ever against his greatest opponent, Loaded Lux. I bring up consistency as it is a big issue in battle rap today, but I feel it won't be an issue here as both of these emcees will bring their A game vs each other.
Now let's get down to the most important aspect of battle rap: rap.
Both of these guys have bars for days, schemes and can freestyle their asses off. Despite these similarities, the two sound almost nothing alike. Hollow is going to come with a hyper, unmatched energy while Clips is going to look him in the eyes and "talk to him". Both rappers are going to bring up personals, some we've heard before and hopefully some new dirt, but the ability to freestyle and rebuttal will determine the outcome of a round or two, if not the whole battle. I feel Clips has the advantage here after seeing how he flipped the script against T Rex in their battle. Anything said against clips can and will be used in a freestyle against you. Hollow is no slouch himself though, he was known for freestyle rebuttals since back when Clips was only known for his grandma's cooking. Hollow will have an answer for any questions Clips can bring up, and after seeing Hollow vs Lux, I'm sure he'll come with angles that no one else has thought of versus Clips. Hollow may question clips living conditions like vs Lux, or do something completely new--all while keeping the fat jokes to a minimum. Both are going to use new angles and look for personals to pick their opponent apart.
This brings me to a particular skill few battle rappers have, and that's making the other rapper look wack. Sounds simple, but only a handful of battle rappers know how to pick apart their opponents style and call out their weaknesses effectively. I've noticed older battle rappers are usually better at this, check Murda Mook vs Iron Solomon or Swave vs YK. Clips does this better than those two, and is more lyrical. Clips studies his opponent and critiques them in their battle, like when he called out Tsu Surf for reaching and had the hottest name at the time looking like a PG. Hell, he even noticed that Aye Verb licks his lips too Damn much during suspect moments. Nobody can make a great rapper look trash like clips, and I know he'll find a way to make us look at hollow different. Hollow is great at this as well however, and showcased it best vs Hitman Holla at Summer Madness 1, where he strategically called out Holla's lack of freestyle ability by using t-shirts (yeah, just watch the battle).
Bar for bar, these guys are probably evenly matched. Both use a mix of lyricism, humor and personals to create the best performances in battle rap. Charlie has been known for his brilliant schemes ever since his house scheme vs Serius Jones. Hollow can scheme with the best of them as well, having a classic one against Holla (seriously watch that battle, you probably haven't in years) using the Chicago Bulls starting line up. Where Hollow is probably going to outperform Clips is straight punchlines, which is arguably the most important aspect of lyricism in modern battle rap. Against Hollow's unorthodox energy, some of Clips set ups may seem predictable and boring (what's he gonna name his gun this time?) while Hollow's set ups are sometimes better than most rappers punches. Hollow can easily win the crowd with consistent hard hitting punchlines if Charlie has any dry spots.
Quote me on this; Charlie Clips vs Hollow da Don will be the greatest rap battle of all time--and Charlie Clips is going to win. It's gonna be a close one, a crazy barfest where we'll see the two top battle rappers come with some of their greatest material yet. The disrespect, the performances, the bars will be legendary. The fact that it's actually taking place on URL and not U Dubb or some culture vultures pay per view is a blessing for fans as well, as the quality and presentation will be top notch. Hollow is an amazing emcee who continues to grow. No shirt ripping and ticklish neck bars, da Don of today is a polished juggernaut who earned his elite spot among battle raps legends. Clips is almost the underdog in a sense that Hollow is a bigger name, having battled Lux and Joe Budden, the latter being one of the most important battles ever despite poor a performance on both sides. Clips is the greatest at this battle thing though, period. Clips has top notch bars and is a genius strategist, almost a Mook and Lux hybrid. Hollow has paid his dues to be put on the same pedestal as Mook and Lux, now look for Clips to take the win and solidify his spot as the fourth face on battle raps Mount Rushmore.