Last year was triumphant for the battle rap world – with the launch of a battle YouTube channel, for starters – reminding us that what was once a niche interest has turned into a lucrative and respected art form (and business) within its corner of the music world.

Some of the biggest companies now have a decade or more under their belts, and we expect this year to only be better. So, here are five upcoming battles that have fans salivating in anticipation. They're all far from L.A., unfortunately, but you can still order a pay-per-view stream for both UW's High Stakes and King of the Dot's Blackout.

See also: Top 10 Rap Battles in History

5) The Freestyle Mondays Off-The-Head Gameshow Battle Tournament
February 3, Spike Hill in Brooklyn

Known for traditional off-the-top rapping, Freestyle Mondays spent 2013 on hiatus. But now, following a strong victory by reigning champ Bobby Moreno, the eight-MC tournament, backed by a live band and including numerous challenges – including a spinning wheel determining the type of battle – returns. 

4) B Magic vs. Daylyt
January 26, UW Battle League's High Stakes at ENVY in Elizabeth, New Jersey

A throwdown between two of battling's most consistently-unpredictable superstars: B Magic is a battler with a penchant for making each line sound like a knockout blow. (Alchemist is a fan.) He takes on the eccentric and endlessly influential Daylyt. Both men are promising a classic, with B Magic calling Daylyt his “oldest son,” and Daylyt boasting he's making a one-million dollar bet on his own victory.

See also: Controversial Watts Battle Rapper Daylyt Slays His Opponents

3) Bender vs. Big T.
January 24, King of the Dot's Blackout 4 in Toronto, Ontario 

Smack/URL veteran Big T goes one-on-one with King of the Dot prodigal son Bender. After an almost two year absence in which he made a name for himself around the world, Bender returns to the platform that made him famous. In his first Canadian battle, he'll face Big T as the main event of the first night of King of the Dot's Blackout 4 event. It's a dream battle many thought would never happen!

2) Dizaster vs. Pat Stay
January 25, King of the Dot's Blackout 4 in Toronto, Ontario
The second night of King of the Dot's Blackout 4 battle sees its anticipated world title match between Dizaster and Pat Stay – two men who have dominated this circuit for years. Pat Stay's first title defense could either be the beginning of a historic reign, or Dizaster could walk away as the first American to hold the King of the Dot Championship twice.

Below: Our most anticipated rap battle

1) Loaded Lux vs. Hollow Da Don

January 26, UW Battle League's High Stakes at ENVY in Elizabeth, New Jersey 

There are battles you dream about, and then there is Loaded Lux vs. Hollow Da Don. These competitors that have not only topped countless “Greatest of All Time” lists, but the tension for their first meeting this Sunday is high – the pair have been calling each other out for the better part of a year. Call it a grudge match, call it clash of the titans, by the end of the night this Sunday, one suspects we'll be calling this a classic.

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