The West is back.
King of the Dot is bringing back Battle of the Bay, the long-dormant series of events still seen by many as the best in battle rap’s history. With BOTB5, many believed the culture had reached its apex, but with the return, KOTD hopes to prove that the West is just getting warmed up.
After the massive success of the World Domination 4 event this summer in Toronto, the league is looking to keep up its momentum with an event that already has the culture buzzing. BOTB6 pits West Coast all-stars against their counterparts from the rest of the United States.
With a deep talent pool of Cali legends and a new crop of impressive up-and-comers to draw from, it shouldn’t be long before the West reclaims its national crown. And with their scene’s reputation on the line, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
This text is from the official KOTD program we wrote for the event in collaboration with KBomb. We’ll be in the building for both Day 1 and 2. Follow us on Twitter for live updates, on Facebook for next-day recaps and on Instagram for photos. For our Day 1 preview, click here.
DIZASTER VS AYE VERB
Los Angeles, California
Dizaster: the name conjures up images of chaos, mayhem and destruction – all terms that could be applied to the MC himself. One of the best-known battle rappers in the world, Dizaster has separated himself from the pack by being one of the most versatile, unpredictable, and intense MCs in the game. Coming up in the GrindTime era, Dizaster has battled fellow Fresh Coasters The Saurus and Illmaculate, and has since gone on to jump in the ring with Arsonal, T-Rex, and even Canibus. One of the hottest commodities around, the Los Angeles based rapper has traveled worldwide to battle, including visits to England’s Don’t Flop, Australia’s Got Beef?, and Sweden’s O-Zone. With his unique style, Dizaster picks apart his opponents with his incredible freestyle ability and energetic performance. Up against one of his toughest challengers to date, Dizaster will have his hands full in this main event against Aye Verb.
St. Louis, Missouri
A discussion on the greatest battlers of all time would be remiss without including Aye Verb’s name. One of the key players in putting the St. Louis scene on the map, Verb not only holds one of the greatest battle legacies, but also founded the Word War league, which has produced its fair share of classics. Aye Verb first caught people’s attention after an amazing performance against SB in New York, and was soon challenging the likes of Hollow Da Don, Marv Won, and Math Hoffa, each time proving his reputation as a killer is well-deserved. This battle against Dizaster is Verb’s KOTD debut and has massive potential to be a classic.
THE SAURUS VS JOHN JOHN DA DON
The Saurus might have the best resume in battling. Two-time World Rap champion. Two-time Scribble Jam champion. Former King of the Dot champion. The first American to wear the KOTD chain. More than 100 battles around the world. And more than 12 million YouTube views. It’s a testament to The Saurus’ staying power that he’s on the shortlist of MCs to be top-tier in both the freestyle and written eras. The Monterey, California native has continually adapted his style to the evolution of battle culture, and these days, he deploys a finely honed pen game in his performances. Still, it’s not uncommon for The Saurus to swing a battle with a clever freestyle or rebuttal, which makes him one of the most dynamic performers today. In short, John John Da Don will have his hands full.
John John Da Don
Yonkers, New York
“Please don’t say the John if you ain’t sayin’ it twice, and if you don’t add Da Don you ain’t sayin’ it right.” Anyone who follows battle culture knows the slogan for John John Da Don, one of the top battle MCs on the East Coast. The New York-based rapper built his name in Grind Time, with early performances against the likes of Syd Vicious and Brixx Belvedere. Since jumping to URL, John John has achieved new levels of fame and exposure, and he almost exclusively battles top-tier names across the States. Perhaps his finest performance to date was a hotly contested battle versus Hitman Holla, which has tallied about 2 million YouTube views in 12 months. John John made his KOTD debut in January, with a highly entertaining battle against Caustic. His match-up with The Saurus should be just as compelling.
ILLMACULATE VS BIGG K
Battle of the Bay 6 marks the long-awaited return of Illmaculate to King of the Dot. The Portland-based rapper is a highly charismatic MC with no shortage of accolades. At 17, he became Scribble Jam champion, making him the youngest winner of the freestyle competition. With his partner The Saurus, he won the World Rap Championships twice, and the duo were finalists in KOTD’s own two-on-two tourney. In the process, Illmaculate has gone head-to-head with battle culture’s biggest names, such as Arsonal, Conceited and Hollow Da Don. He’s also developed a global following and performed in Australia, England and Scandinavia. Against Bender, Illmaculate put on one of KOTD’s best-ever performances, featuring his patented blend of humour, rebuttals and polished writtens. It’s safe to assume that Bigg K has yet to face an opponent with Illmac’s pedigree.
Ask battle fans about their favorite up-and-coming MCs and one name you’ll hear repeatedly is Bigg K. The Norfolk, Virginia MC is a relative newcomer to the scene, but already he’s booking high-profile battles and turning heads. Bigg K got his start in URL’s Proving Grounds, then solidified his name on the main stage against Rosenberg Raw. Since then, he’s squared off against Real Deal and Shotgun Suge in upstart leagues, proving he can hang with battle rap’s top tier. In the ring, he cuts an imposing figure and attacks his opponents with an onslaught of heavy punchlines. That’s why his match-up with Illmaculate is poised to be the biggest style clash of Battle of the Bay 6. It might also be Bigg K’s toughest match to date, but given his continual improvement, he should rise to the challenge.
PASS VS DNA
If there was a Mount Rushmore of West Coast battle MCs, Pass would make the cut. The Oakland native is a respected veteran with notable battles dating back to the Scribble Jam era, and his infamous clash with Hollow Da Don was named the No. 1 battle of all time by website RapGrid. In the ring, Pass is a veritable fact-checker, prone to explaining why his opponents are fake gangsters with nary a blemish on their criminal records. His top-notch flow and projection make it light work for Pass to outshine his opponents. His record includes notable bouts against Philly Swain, Daylyt and K-Shine, with his most recent KOTD battle coming against RemyD. In front of a home audience, Pass should deliver another standout performance.
Queens, New York
Every time DNA battles in King of the Dot, he puts on a classic. His battle with Dizaster has set the standard for all subsequent KOTD battles, racking up more than 2 million YouTube views to date. His battle against Eurgh might have been the best from the stacked card at Vendetta in 2012. And his recent battle versus Charron, booked on only eight days’ notice, was arguably the most entertaining match at World Domination 4. Repping Queens, New York, DNA emerged on the battle scene as a teenage phenom with frightening potential. Since then, his stock has soared, with invites to every major battle league worldwide. A consummate professional, DNA always gets the crowd hyped with energetic performances, and his freestyle/rebuttal ability makes him a tough match-up for any MC. Judging by his track record, expect another classic from DNA at Battle of the Bay 6.
DIRTBAG DAN VS CHARLIE CLIPS
San Jose, California
Dirtbag Dan, colloquially referred to as DBD, has worked for years to make his name synonymous with West Coast battle rap. From making music to hosting his own battle rap podcast, the bearded wonder is one of the hardest workers in the business, and when not battling, can be found touring, hosting, and running his own battle rap events. One of the founding members of the West Coast battle scene, Dan came up battling Nocando, F.L.O. and Tiger Ty, before branching out across the country and the world, battling in New York, Florida, Australia, England, and Sweden. Despite being one of the most well-known comedic rappers, Dirtbag Dan is more than able to hit his opponents with hard-hitting bars as well. Dan returns to put his undefeated BOTB streak on the line against one of his toughest opponents yet: Charlie Clips.
Harlem, New York
New York City’s Charlie Clips has seen his stock skyrocket in the last two years. Coming out of Harlem, Clips was a relative unknown until recently, unlike some of his URL colleagues. Until 2011, Clips only had one on-camera battle – against Tay Roc – leading many to question both his status and efficacy as a battle rapper. After a long stasis, Clips shocked the battling community with an incredible return performance against Aye Verb. Since then, Clips has been on a rampage, battling Arsonal, Big T, X Factor, B Magic, and has even taken his talents across the Atlantic to battle in Don’t Flop. Known for his commanding stage presence, smooth delivery and top-notch material, Charlie Clips is a well-rounded MC who poses a challenge to anyone willing to step up to him. This is his second appearance in KOTD, after an impressive debut against Hollohan at World Domination 4. Clips travels to California to take on Fresh Coast legend Dirtbag Dan.
DAYLYT VS HEAD ICE
With the seemingly singular goal of turning the battle rap world on its head, Daylyt has become one of most talked-about battle rappers today. A California native, Daylyt cut his teeth against the likes of Pass and Locksmith, before taking an extended hiatus from battling. Surging back onto the scene roughly a year ago, Daylyt has since taken more than a dozen battles, including matches against Math Hoffa, Calicoe, and Shotty Horroh, reminding fans and battlers alike that he is a force to be contended with. Clearly comfortable with controversy, Day often incorporates antics into his battles, whether it be stripping down to a loincloth or donning his infamous ski mask. Daylyt is a master of wordplay, capable of stretching a single phrase into a series of variants, all while delivering his lines with viciousness and hostility. With this battle, Daylyt will have to decide whether or not to bring gimmicks against one of his most serious opponents yet: Head Ice.
Harlem, New York
Harlem Everyday All Day, I Control Everything is the moniker of one of the most original and revered names in battle rap. Even if Ice had never become a battle rapper, he would still command respect with his intimidating presence and mesmerizing voice. Ice grew up in Harlem and got his start battling the legendary Big L and other rappers on the block. Ice has had one of the longest and most respected careers, battling names from Tech 9 on URL to Pat Stay in KOTD. With his mellow drawl, Ice strays away from the typical approach to battling, instead breaking down his opponents with reality checks, heavy bars and wit, all while maintaining his calm-yet-intimidating demeanor. For his second KOTD appearance, Head Ice travels across the country to take on Daylyt in California in what promises to be one of the most entertaining matches of the event.
CAUSTIC VS CORTEZ
Union City, California
Fair warning if you battle Caustic: he just might end your career. The Bay Area native has left more than a few disgraced rappers in his wake, on both sides of the Atlantic. His biting, incisive lyrics cut to the core of his opponents, and he’s not afraid to get personal with his angles. Caustic built his name during Grind Time’s West Coast heyday, with battles against legends like Dizaster, Rone and Cadalack Ron. Since then, Caustic has shown he can hang with some of the strongest MCs from the Ultimate Rap League, including John John Da Don and JC. In recent months, Caustic has said he wants a big-name opponent to reignite his motivation. Cortez more than fits the bill, so expect to see another classic performance from Caustic.
Brooklyn, New York
Cortez is quickly becoming a King of the Dot veteran. His battle against Caustic will be his third KOTD match since the summer, the first being a long-awaited tilt versus Dizaster. The Brooklyn-based MC always brings blinding intensity to his performances, and he frequently attacks his opponents with personal angles and gun bars. He made his KOTD debut in January 2012 against fan-favorite Hollohan, but gained the upper-hand by penning an exposé on his opponent’s character. Cortez’s list of past opponents is basically a who’s-who of battling, past and present, featuring MCs as diverse as Hitman Holla and Soul Khan. But he’s not afraid to put his rep on the line against emerging talent, like when he faced Tycoon Tax at World Domination 4. Regardless of the opponent, Cortez always brings his A-game, so Caustic better come prepared.
LOTTA ZAY VS KG THE POET
Long Branch, New Jersey
Lotta Zay is one of the breakout stars of 2013. Though he’s been around for a few years, the New Jersey-based MC has solidified his name with a slate of outstanding performances in the past few months. With his stock rising, it’s only fitting that Zay prove his mettle at California’s biggest battle event in years. Lotta Zay’s recent match-ups include dominant showings against Daylyt in iBattle and Tone Montana in Ultimate Rap League. His verses are packed with quality nameflips and intricate schemes that demand close attention. Against Tone Montana, his final round had a lengthy scheme using R&B singers’ names, and it’s a testament to Zay’s writing ability that such a scheme wasn’t the least bit wack. Most recently, he found a national audience by appearing on BET’s Ultimate Freestyle Friday.
KG the Poet
KG the Poet is on a meteoric rise. With each battle, he’s turning more heads and racking up higher YouTube views, and it’s clear he’s yet to reach his peak. The Michigan native has largely built his name on the West Coast, where he’s battled in King of the Dot and VoiceBox battle leagues. Early performances came against such notables names as Syd Vicious, Uno Lavoz and Real Talk. KG broke into KOTD with appearances in the Ground Zero league, but quickly graduated to the main channel, with matches against California’s top names. Just this year, he’s gone toe-to-toe with J-Pro and Daylyt, bringing a potent mix of aggression and clever wordplay to his performances. A recent trip to New York for a URL Proving Grounds battle will also help get his name out. Seeing as Lotta Zay is another hungry up-and-comer with tremendous writing skills, this battle should bring an onslaught of quotable bars.
THE DEADMAN VS CHILLA JONES
Los Angeles, California
One of the West Coast’s fastest-rising stars, The Deadman has taken the battle scene by storm and shows little sign of slowing down. The L.A.-based rapper started his career battling no-names before he got involved with the Fresh Coast movement. Now he commands respect and a spot in the SONS battle crew, facing off against veterans like The Saurus and RemyD. With his eclectic combination of rapid-fire delivery and witty observational humor, The Deadman is instantly recognizable by his raspy tone and is capable of disassembling his opponents with well-crafted bars. Well deserving of a spot on this legendary card, The Deadman is locked in for one of his biggest battles to date against East Coast heavy-hitter Chilla Jones.
The sole heir to Boston’s battle rap throne, Chilla Jones has put in an insane amount of work representing his city. Chilla paid his dues in the URL’s Proving Grounds, battling opponents like M. Ciddy and Cash Eatin. Now firmly in the upper ranks, Chilla reached the main stage after a classic battle against JC, and has since featured prominently in URL events, with match-ups against DNA and B Magic. Known almost exclusively for his associative wordplay, Chilla is one of many recent MCs who built their style around schemes, but he’s set himself apart by being one of, if not the best, at it. Making his first appearance on KOTD, the Boston battle rapper will have to call on every weapon in his extensive arsenal if he wants to walk away with the win against hometown hero The Deadman.
REMYD VS NESS LEE
One of the originators of the St. Louis battle scene, RemyD has been around longer than most MCs battling today. Jumpstarting his career with battles against fellow Lou emcees Hitman Holla and Yung Ill, RemyD honed his skills against some of the biggest names in the game. Since then, Remy has stayed on his grind, keeping his sword sharp by battling in GrindTime, No Coast, and Street Status. After relocating to Oakland, RemyD posted classic performances in battles against Fresh Coasters QP, Pass and The Deadman. With one of the most recognizable styles in the game, Remy is one of the most capable fast rappers around, and packs more punches into a single round than most can in three. Back in front of KOTD cameras, RemyD takes on Ness Lee for what will surely be a quotable-filled clash.
The self-proclaimed “dopest in the South,” Ness Lee has garnered a massive following that would agree with the title. On a lifelong quest to show that Southern rappers can be just as, if not more, lyrical than their Northern and Western counterparts, Ness has more than proven his point, with a style consisting of well-thought out punches and humor, mixed with impressive rapping skill. A seasoned veteran, Ness has battled a wide array of opponents, ranging from classic matches with Illmaculate, Real Deal, and Loe Pesci, to international clashes in the U.K. and Sweden. Just as quick to crack a joke as he is to drop a devastating personal, Ness’ versatility in the ring has proven to be one of his biggest assets. Ness Lee returns to the West Coast for another Battle of the Bay, this time against Midwest heavy-hitter RemyD.
A-CLASS VS TANTRUM
A-Class is the most underrated rapper on this card. He got his start freestyling in Scribble Jam before making his way into written leagues against competition like Rone, Dizaster and Charron. With each battle he’s gotten progressively better and brings a fresh take on clowning his opponent with vicious humor. His style is one of raw aggression and absolute disgust for his opponents. Most recently, he took the win over up-and-comer Pigsty at a KOTD Vancouver event. He travels from his hometown of Baltimore to take on Tantrum.
Union City, California
Before battling Tantrum, you might want to book an appointment with a therapist for the day after. His blistering insight into his opponents is enough to make them re-evaluate their life choices, and redefine them in the eyes of the fans. The Union City MC has been putting on blazing performances for years, racking up almost 50 battles in written and freestyle formats. His 2008 clash with Dumbfoundead has netted almost 2 million YouTube views and is often pointed to as the battle that launched the West Coast scene. If this battle against A-Class has even half the fire as that one, it’ll still go down in the battle rap history books as a classic.
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— Blogtimus Prime (@TOBattleBlog) October 7, 2013