In the next installment of our 2012 Year In Review, we take a look at the year in Don’t Flop. There’s no question that 2012 was Don’t Flop’s biggest year to date, and even that doesn’t adequately describe it. Don’t Flop has taken such a huge leap forward in the last year, it’s almost hard to believe that it’s the same league. Not that Don’t Flop hasn’t been putting out a quality product for years, just that in 2012, it all finally paid off for them.
2012 Year In Review | The Year In Don’t Flop | Going Viral
Don’t Flop took a gamble leading into 2012, that paid off for them in a big way. Following Blood In The Water 5, Eurgh announced that they would no longer be flying out international talent. This was especially interesting, considering that many of Don’t Flop’s most well known battlers, were no longer battling in Don’t Flop, for one reason or another.
Fortunately, they had a couple of battles that went viral and drew in huge numbers, especially in the UK. The first of which was Lunar C & Matter vs Eddie P & Frisko. While the video was wrongfully pulled from YouTube, due to a false complaint, it was the first Don’t Flop battle to get over a million views. Due to the success of the battle, pretty much any battle involving Lunar C did huge numbers as well.
Then there’s the highest viewed English speaking battle in history, Blizzard vs Mark Grist. After making it to the front page of Reddit, labeled as a Teacher vs Student rap battle, Blizzard vs Mark Grist quickly spread across the internet. It gained so much attention, Mark Grist and the Don’t Flop staff made the BBC news. The battle now sits at over 3,000,000 views.
While these battles going viral certainly helped Don’t Flop gain exposure, and build a solid fanbase in the UK, it wouldn’t have meant much if they hadn’t capitalized on it. Tons of new viewers may have been drawn to the channel due to the success of Lunar C and Mark Grist vs Blizzard, but they stuck around and became fans, because of the other content Don’t Flop was putting out.
2012 Year In Review | The Year In Don’t Flop | New Talent
Following Eurgh’s announcement that they would be focusing on UK talent, and the fans in their own country, Don’t Flop held a series of tryout events. The battles from these events happened to drop during all of the attention Don’t Flop was getting from Blizzard vs Mark Grist, and they certainly benefited from it. Tryout battlers were regularly getting 30,000-50,000 views, featuring people that had never even battled before.
It didn’t hurt that many of the battles were entertaining, and featured quite a few promising battlers, who showed a lot of potential. It suddenly didn’t matter that so many “Golden Era” Don’t Flop battlers were gone, because new talent were doing bigger numbers than they ever had. Don’t Flop as a brand, had suddenly become huge in the UK, and a large portion of those new fans just wanted to see battles, regardless of who were in them.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that so many of Don’t Flop’s biggest names, made their debuts in 2012. Each tryout event seemed to have at least a few battlers, who quickly transitioned into battles on the bigger cards. They no longer had to depend on bringing in international talent, because they found so much success in their own country, with their own battlers. By the time international talent returned for Don’t Flop’s 4th Birthday event, Don’t Flop was on a whole different level.
While it may have seemed like a risk, when Eurgh first announced that they would be focusing on building up from within. It was a risk that paid off in a big way, because they are now firmly entrenched in the UK’s hip hop culture, and did so by putting faith in their own product. When international talent comes to Don’t Flop now, it’s on the strength of Don’t Flop, and not as a favor or free vacation.
2012 Year In Review | The Year In Don’t Flop | Originality
That wasn’t the only risk that Don’t Flop took in 2012, either. They have continually tried new things and innovated, and more often then not, it pays off. From trying out new things in battles, like the themed battles at holiday events, and doing a 2 on 2 battle with guitarists for example. It may not be something people want to see all of the time, but these creative approaches a few times a year have mostly received a positive response.
With the 4th Birthday event, they also changed up the format a little bit, with Steph interviewing the judges in a group and speaking with battlers after their battles together. Even the hiring process to find the host was done with the fans involved, and a video was released of the contestants. By finding a good host for the backstage interviews, and using a more conversational format for the judging segments, it comes off as more natural than the typical format.
They’ve been even more creative, outside of battles. The MTV Cribs-like Digs series has been a good way for fans to become familiar with battlers, and get to know them a bit more. The 5-part documentary series following the In The House Tour was also a big success, and did the same on a bigger level. With another tour announced for the future, hopefully it will be something that continues.
They’ve also done a good job of exposing their fans to the music of their battlers. They can push albums and EPs through their Don’t Flop Records label, they put music videos from battlers onto their channel. And now with the Cyphers and Drops series, they can promote themselves through freestyles as well. Battlers in Don’t Flop now have multiple channels to gain exposure, not just from the battles.
2012 Year In Review | The Year In Don’t Flop | Championship
Another new feature of Don’t Flop in 2012, was the Don’t Flop Championship. There’s only been two title matches so far, but they’ve both been positively received, and showed the potential the Championship has. While it needs more time to be established, the title clearly meant something to everyone involved in the title matches they’ve had.
It made sense for the first Don’t Flop Title Match to be between Sensa and Oshea. Oshea has always been considered the face of Don’t Flop, and a clear favorite of the fans. Sensa had been in some of Don’t Flop’s biggest battles, and was also one of the more well known names in the league. Their first battle had happened so early into their careers, a rematch was something fans had been asking for as well. The Title match between them had a big time feel to it, and it was only fitting for Oshea to be the first Don’t Flop Champion.
Oshea’s first title defense was against one of Don’t Flop’s most promising new stars in Tony D. Before Don’t Flop battles started going viral, and a new flood of talent came from the Quarterly Tryout events, Tony D was already making a name for himself with a series of impressive performances. While Oshea had arguably his best overall performance in his career in the title match, Tony D managed to edge out a victory in a classic battle. On Don’t Flop’s biggest card to date, filled with international talent, it was nice to see the Title Match between two Don’t Flop regulars as one of the highlights.
Heading into the new year, we know that Tony D’s first defense of the title, will be against another Don’t Flop veteran, when he faces Deffinition. As strong as the first two title matches were, this has the potential to be the best one yet. After multiple successful trips to KOTD’s World Domination events, and some of Don’t Flop’s biggest battles, Deffinition is one of their most recognizable battle rappers. Regardless of who ends up winning, the Don’t Flop Championship appears to have a promising future.
2012 Year In Review | The Year In Don’t Flop | Future
Following such a huge year for Don’t Flop, it will be interesting to see what they do in 2013. It seems like only a matter of time before Shotty Horroh gets himself a title shot, and Unanymous also appears to have the championship in his sights. It also looks like Tenchoo could be making his return to Don’t Flop, something the fans have been asking for since he left. While nothing has been announced as far as battling goes, it’s also refreshing to see Lunar C at Don’ Flop events again, leaving the door open for a possible return in the future.
One thing we do know for sure, is that Eurgh’s birthday event will feature the biggest battle in Don’t Flop’s history. After making their debuts at Don’t Flop’s 4th Birthday event, Arsonal and DNA will be making their return to face each other. That’s a battle that could potentially headline a card from any league in battling, and should bring in a lot of interest from battle rap fans who may not be as familiar with Don’t Flop.
There’s also the Don’t Flop Doubles Tournament coming up, featuring 2 on 2 battles with some interesting teams. These 2 on 2 tournaments from Don’t Flop have been extremely successful in the past, and made for some great battles. This year’s tournament has the potential to be the best one so far, and should also do a good job establishing some of the lesser known names involved.
Beyond that, expect more of the same from Don’t Flop in 2013, which is a good thing. They have a strong staff running things behind the scenes, and they throw successful events at a rapid pace. While it’s amazing how many new faces established themselves in 2012, there’s no shortage of new battlers looking to make a name for themselves in the future. Don’t Flop has a lot of momentum going into the new year, and it seems like they’re only getting started. As big as 2012 was for them, it’s safe to say that it was only the start.