Ultimate Rap League Princess Nunu Nellz Owning The Mic & Making Space For More Female MCs

URL (Ultimate Rap League) Princess Nunu Nellz

If you haven’t yet tuned into the world of Live Battle Rap, it’s time to get with the program, and tune into the streaming platform dedicated to showcasing the best of the best. Caffeine is a social broadcasting company that creates and delivers live, interactive content. It is the home of live content from flagship creators like The Ultimate Rap League, available on the App Store and Google Play. A core programing staple for the platform continues to be live battle rap as Caffeine has become the go-to destination for battle rap culture and its global community of Hip-Hop diehards, through its exclusive partnership with the Ultimate Rap League (URL).

The Ultimate Rap League is the premier battle rap sporting platform presenting competitive emceeing from each spectrum of the industry. From its talent-finding titles “The Crucible” and “Ultimate Madness” to its events that have become the most coveted stages in the entire battle rap world, the culture looks to URL as the leaders in the space, supported by industry vets from Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, J. Prince Jr., NLE Choppa, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Floyd Mayweather, Rakim and more.

But the name you need to have top of mind is Nunu Nellz, aka the URL Princess and MC extraordinaire. Nunu Nellz has been involved in the culture of battle rap for over a decade. Hailing from the borough of Queens in the city of New York, her humble beginnings started as an assistant for the Ultimate Rap League. From there, she transitioned to hosting battles and events all across the country. While waving the flag for URL, Nellz’s opportunities began to grow even larger.

In early 2013, she began her journey into media, founding her show, “The Nu Filez” which garnered massive praise and success with guests such as Grammy Award winning artists Method Man, Mickey Factz & more. A frequent commentator during live events and a public relations rep for anything encompassing the Ultimate Rap League, Nunu is destined for legend status within the culture. 

The most recent event she co-hosted for URL on Caffeine was the highly anticipated return of Kings vs. Queens battle rap event, which features the top male and female battle rappers going head-to-head against each other. Currently in its 4th year, Kings v. Queens continues to be one of the “can’t miss” events of the year for battle rap die-hards, as nearly 2M viewers tuned-in to Caffeine to watch last year’s action packed card of inter-gender match-ups. This year’s event took place in front of a sold out crowd at the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta, GA on March 19.

The event was streamed live on Caffeine on 3/19 and was available to watch on demand for one week afterward. ICYMI, it can now be streamed on URL’s website.

We wanted to know what the hype was all about and went one-on-one with Nunu Nellz herself, learning more about her foray into the MC world, the artists that have influenced her love of the genre, and how she hopes more women and girls will be unafraid to step up to the mic and take the stage. But first, take a look at a teaser replay of the March 19 event:

URLTV KVQ4: Top 5 Bars

Growing up in Queens, NY, can you tell us about the music and artists that influenced you? 

A lot of the music that influenced me were artists from my city, so Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Nas, and an underground rapper by the name of Cash Prophet who was a part of the group called Chosen Ones based out of Rochdale Village. 

When did you first fall in love with competitive battle rap and decide you wanted to pursue a career in the space, and where did you begin? 

I fell in love with competitive battle rap because growing up I saw it all time.  A friend of mine knew I watched reality TV, loved rap, and introduced me to Babs Bunny’s (from MTV’s Making the Band) Queen of the Ring battles.  From there I was hooked!  Pharaoh and Shooney VS. Don Ladyii & Tori Doe was another early battle that inspired me. 

That battle was crazy! The sparring match of words, their punchlines, the jabs they took at others was all so fascinating. From there I found myself Googling more about the culture. Watching any and every battle I could find. Pretty soon I started attending events to get the full experience. I’ve always been a big personality, so what started out as a hobby just naturally transitioned into something I became a part of. I loved talking to the battlers so I said “Hey let me start interviewing these artists.”

Today you are known as the URL Princess, and have been a fixture in the scene for over a decade. What does it take to get to the top of this arena? 

For me, I’ve always just been true to me. I know who I am and I know what I bring to anything I decide to be part of. I have a way with people that is not forced. Having charisma and approachability is important. You could be the most talented person out there but if you can’t entice a crowd or build following then you’ll have a hard time getting to the top of the field. People tend to gravitate to me and want to hear things I have to say. 

What is the scene like for up and coming women and girls today? Who are the artists that most excite you? 

Right now, we’re in a good space with female battle rap. Events such as King vs. Queens provide a great opportunity for the ladies to show up and show out. I think we’re now seeing just how hard the ladies can go and go bar for bar with the men. Having a vet in the game like Babs Bunny has proven to be such a blessing. She’s really taken on mentoring up and coming talent and creating opportunities and spaces for other female emcees to thrive. As far as excitement, Jaz the Rapper does it for me every time. Anytime she hits the stage she just elevates. 

Kings v Queens is one of the must-see URL events each year. What were some of the highlights from this past weekend’s events and what can fans look forward to checking out in the On-Demand replay on Caffeine? 

The whole card was amazing. The crowd was electric and each battle truly has the potential to be seen as a classic! If you’re a fan of live battle rap or just checking it out for the first time, this is a great place to start! 

Women have been part of the MC scene for a long time. Given that the music industry can be very male-dominated, how have battle rappers and traditional Hip-Hop artists bypassed the barriers or overcome any that you’ve seen in the space?  

I think sometimes it’s easy to think that battle rappers can’t make music for the masses or commercial music. There are plenty of emcees that have crossed over and successfully put out albums that have connected with mainstream audiences.  

Albums like 725, Until Further Notice, and Disparu are some that come to mind that have touched different charts. Female emcee E Hart had a song featured on hit TV show “BMF.”  I think now you can’t really just put these emcees in a box.  For me personally, I’ve had the opportunity to bring my knowledge and expertise in the space to work on special projects with mainstream outlets like Vibe Magazine which is pretty dope. 

For anyone tuning into the Kings v Queens battle for the first time, or watching the artistry on display on Caffeine for the first time, what do you hope they will love about it? 

The emcees are extremely talented and work hard to give everyone a worldly experience. URL continues to put these events together, with family favorites, vets, and new talent. It’s my hope that regardless of the gender after watching this event for the first time, you’ll fall in love with the art, you’ll respect the art, and you’ll support the art.

What’s next for you beyond URL? 

As this scene continues to grow in popularity and attract mainstream attention with the support of Caffeine and Ultimate Rap League, I’d love to expand my expertise as a host and media personality and host my own show, similar to 106 & Park. I’d like to do things that I haven’t even thought of yet. Sky’s the limit right?!

For more information on upcoming live battle rap events visit, https://www.caffeine.tv/URLTV/. You can follow Nunu Nellz on Caffeine, Instagram and check out her Youtube Show ‘The Nu Filez’.

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