The newly rebranded GZ Battles launched yesterday, with an event that felt like something from the early days of KOTD. The battles were short, in a pit with the crowd surrounding the battlers, and mostly judged. Most importantly, the battlers were hungry and kept the crowd entertained throughout. Not every battle was great, but they all had great moments.
It was the first event in Gully’s hometown of Mississauga and still drew around 250 people (including Gully’s dad) despite being a streetcar, a subway, and two buses away from downtown Toronto. The venue was a club located in a strip mall, divided into a bar with tables and food on one side and a dancefloor that served as the ring on the other.
The new venue, new crowd and some bigger names on the card made for a welcome return of small-scale KOTD events to the city (or at least its suburbs).
**The PPV for this event is now available for $10 on KOTD’s website.**
DIAZ VS KP
This was the first main-card battle of the night and showed off Diaz’s experience in the ring. Both guys had vivid “I fucked your mom/sister/daughter” lines and lots of gunplay similes: KP’s “I’m about to catch a body like a trapeze artist” was followed shortly by Diaz’s “I’m about to catch a body like a midwife.”
It was Diaz’s clever angles in the third round that made the battle, but he’d already secured the win in the second with a rebuttal about KP’s outfit – grey Nike sweatpants and a black Nike hoodie – that got a huge reaction from the crowd: “At least I didn’t come here wearing an Eminem starter kit.”
Diaz picked up votes from four of the five judges.
WILDCARD VS YUNG CASPER
This was the most competitive battle of the night and was a great matchup between guys with similar styles. As always, Casper brought an energetic performance and his aggressive flow was well received by the crowd. The energy kept his momentum rolling as he got laughs for his fat jokes and people screwfacing for some dope nameflips: “I’d rather use fists and go to work when I punch Card.”
Wildcard did well in his Toronto debut and will likely score more points on camera since some of his content was beyond the crowd. He writes for seasoned fans, and peppered in references to the early days of battling’s history: “Old school, this boom bap ain’t a Big T choppa/Imma throw more shots at Yung Cas than Reed Dollaz.”
The battle was unjudged, but pretty much everyone we spoke to said Casper 2-1.
Here’s our interview with Yung Casper:
MEGADEF VS PORICH
This battle was the one we were looking forward to the most on the card. Mega has been one of the most impressive battlers from the last year and his brash, aggressive style matches up perfectly with poRICH, who basically pioneered it.
This was Rich’s first battle in Toronto since an unimpressive showing against 100 Bulletz at Blackout 3, and he was back in fine form. At one point, he pulled out his KOTD chains (as former KOTD champion and still reigning 2-on-2 champ with Diaz) and asked Mega: “Do you want the good one? Or the wood one?”
Mega seemed unfocused in this battle, moving between freestyles and writtens and wildly fluctuating his volume. A lot of his biggest reactions came from his “I’m drunk/I fucked up/I’m sorry Organik” freestyles. Rich’s material was going to win him the battle already, but his flip about Mega’s fumbled freestyle dotted the exclamation mark.
The outcome was probably for the best anyway, since a win from Mega would’ve set the stage for a title shot against GZ champion DDSS that would’ve been a rematch of the GZGP semi-finals.
Rich will be vying for the GZ chain at a Vancouver event in late July.
Here’s our interview with Rich:
N POSE VS KALIENTE
This was another matchup between a relative newcomer (N Pose) and a throwback from the early days of KOTD (Kaliente). Unlike KP vs Diaz, where the veteran’s stripes got the win, this was a case of new talent eclipsing old.
Kaliente’s flow and rhymes were fine, but he was really only throwing jabs and only a few were connecting. He petered out in all three rounds either with freestyles or just kind of trailing off.
N Pose had the crowd riding with him heavy and he lit up the ring with charisma, comedy and serious bars. This was N Pose’s fourth win in as many battles in GZ. We’d say he either deserves the next GZ title shot (after Rich) or someone like Uno Lavoz at World Domination 5.
ROSENBERG RAW VS SKELLY
The main event of the night lived up to the anticipation. Both guys were well prepared and put on three clean, cold rounds of authentic street material. They were each rapping aggressively in their opponent’s face but kept it professional throughout.
Raw’s first round focused on comparing his career to Skelly’s as he flexed his résumé. Skelly spent most of his second round taking the “you don’t get pussy” angle, with the standout line being: “You couldn’t pull a bitch with a dog leash.” He also used the night’s fourth Cadalack Ron/heroin bar and got no reaction, which is often the problem with using topical content when you’re last on the card.
The crowd rolled with both of them and overall it was just a solid street battle. Hopefully the renewed GZ brings them both back to its ring again soon.
ALSO OF NOTE
- In the building: 100 Bulletz, Tycoon Tax, Luciano Crakk, Genghis Khan, Scott Jackson, Mista Conspiracy.
- Scripts backed out of his battle with Realiztic and never made it to the venue.
- The night started with a Prove Yoself battle, where Z Hunna picked up the win over DeeJay. Both guys did fine, but Z Hunna showed some definite potential.
- There were four references to Cadalack Ron’s recent “heroin” battle. The first two got some reaction but the last two got none.
- There was a parking lot fight early in the night that involved a rock, a Taser and a very impressive high kick.
Here are our pictures from the event. If you share them, please share a link to this recap as well.
Still here? Check out some of our other recent pieces: