King of the Dot’s Vendetta 2 Redemption card mostly lived up to its name in Los Angeles last night. The event was to make up for Blackout 4′s six unexpected cancellations but of the three rescheduled battles, only Bender vs Big T went down. Ill Will backed out against Real Deal, citing contractual obligations to BET, and Shotty Horroh was replaced by Caustic as Aye Verb’s opponent with two weeks’ notice.
Despite those early setbacks, it was a great event with lots of impressive performances from some of the best battle MCs in the world, cheered on by a generous and well-behaved crowd. The venue was much smaller than the massive rooms we’ve seen in Toronto recently, holding around 500 people comfortably. The stage was only a couple of feet high and the battlers were surrounded by people which should result in footage similar to that of Battle of the Bay 6 — which is a good thing.
To a certain extent, this was the URL vs KOTD card that fans have been demanding for years. That no one really noticed shows how much overlap there now is between the leagues and their rosters.
Overall, the tone of the battles gave clear indication that a combination of complex wordplay, rapid-fire punches and dense lyricism is the dominant style in battling today. Our only request for the next card is that we get a bit more comedy to break up the encyclopedia’s worth of bars we’re getting shouted at us in a night.
**You can watch all these battles on PPV now, at KOTD.TV**
DANNY MYERS VS KG THE POET
This battle started the night off and set the tone perfectly.
As always, Danny Myers brought a torrent of punches, wordplay and schemes all executed perfectly. KG matched him every step of the way, except for a slight pause in his second when someone on stage interrupted him. Both guys landed over and over with the crowd, KG hitting with: “I got guns named Mary Kate and Ashley. Those twins will be raised in front of his eyes” and Myers with “I’ll open his chest like Albuterol.” Coldest line of the battle went to Myers for the Oscar Pistorius reference.
There was occasionally some eye-roll worthy wordplay and corny punches on both sides, but the content was so dense that it’ll take a few more watches to dissect it all.
Myers needs to somehow figure out how to keep from peaking in his second round. Here, as well as in his classic against Rum Nitty, he whipped the crowd into such a frenzy that it felt like they were spent for the second half of the battle. Those are only small complaints though.
Overall, a fiercely competitive battle and one that will keep both of their stocks rising.
TOBB decision: Edge to Myers
TYCOON TAX VS SHOTGUN SUGE
After a more introspective approach against Rum Nitty at Blackout 4, Tax was back to aggressive gun bars and topical references. He started things off lightly by telling Suge there was no need to tap his pockets and then did it to himself. His Flappy Bird and Nelson Mandela memorial interpreter lines got reaction from the crowd, but by this point are well-worn territory in battling. The biggest reaction he got came when he quoted Eminem’s “Forgot About Dre” at length.
Suge started off strongly in the first round, hitting Tax with aggressive Mexican jokes: “I know ya team doubt you/For one, if you lose they’ll slap the rice and beans out you.” At first he drew laughs but as it kept going the largely Hispanic audience turned on him, forcing Lush to step forward yelling “¡Cálmate! ¡Cálmate!” Not the vibe we would’ve expected from this battle, but entertaining nonetheless.
Suge slipped in all three rounds, finding his place again in the first and second but repeating his last few words before just giving the signal he was done for his third. It seemed that some of the URL guys were upset over time limits not being enforced against their opponents so you might hear some grumbling from him over it.
Oh, and for the record, Tax is actually Ecuadorian, but whatever.
TOBB decision: Tax
CHILLA JONES VS DAYLYT
This was less of a battle and more a writers exhibition. Both these guys are in the newly formed “Writers Bloque” rap crew (along with B Magic, Big Kannon, Young Kannon and 40 B.A.R.R.S) so this ended up feeling more collaborative than combative. Not that that’s a bad thing here since both guys are among the top writers in the scene.
Day spent most of his first on a Mortal Kombat scheme that alluded to dozens of characters and their special moves. After each line he’d pause and ask: “Mmmk? Mmmk?” referencing the initials of the game. Most of the crowd were bewildered but the game nerds in the crowd were going crazy. Either way, everyone was hanging on his every word.
Day’s unique free-associative writing style was in top form here as he dropped in references to Bangs’ “Take U To Da Movies” and Michael Jackson dangling his son over a hotel balcony. He had his obligatory “da feet/defeat” bar which has got to be at least the 10th time he’s used one — we figure just to prove that he can still breathe life in to them. He also had what we (and many others) were calling the line of the night:
“You’ll get the open hand, the fist, or the deuce… Rock, Paper, Scissors.”
The whole building screwfaced for like 30 seconds straight.
Chilla’s content was on par with what he had for The Deadman at BOTB6 with lots of well-crafted schemes, punches, wordplay and nameflips (including “You’ll die over and over … I’ll Groundhog Day”). Chilla has definitely put effort into upping his performance and save for a stumble coming out of the gate he was clean and concise here.
We’re not surprised people are calling this a contender for battle of the year already.
TOBB decision: Daylyt
THE SAURUS VS BIGG K
Anyone who thought this battle was going to be a repeat of Bigg K’s “Battle of the Year” matchup against Illmac was half right. K lived up to his dominant KOTD debut and solidified his position among the current greats.
He had haymaker after haymaker that shut the venue down three or four times as the audience erupted with cheers. His presence sold every line and there was no trace of the “Fuck battle rap. Shit’s corny” attitude from his last battle. It actually seemed like he was enjoying himself. He even freestyled to start his first and had rebuttals in his last two rounds.
The Saurus put up a good fight and definitely had enough moments (“I’m about to put up my Dukes and Coach K“) to keep it interesting but as he told us after “When K is spitting it feels like you’re getting punched in the chest.” His Sandlot reference was pretty on point though.
The battle was a welcome change of tone to the night. Both guys were direct, saying exactly what they think about their opponent rather than using words that sound like other words to get their point across.
TOBB decision: Bigg K
BENDER VS BIG T
The battle that fans had been requesting for years finally arrived. Although it may have been a couple of years too late. Bender’s aggressive multis, which were the highlight of the first Vendetta, didn’t get much crowd reaction and a lot of his strongest writing was completely slept on. He had a bar comparing Big T to Prop Joe (from The Wire) and referenced Cheese (the character Method Man played on the show) with Meth in the building. About 10 people got it.
He also landed heavy with “I’m not religious/To me that’s superstitious/But I’ll have blood running down a Big T like the Crucifixion” and will likely score a lot more points once people see the footage.
Likewise with Big T. He went out of his comfort zone with some energetic content making fun of Bender’s style but microphone issues slowed his momentum. His most memorable bar was: “Where you’re from you say poutine, that’s some shit you ate in a meal/Where I’m from, you hear ‘poo ting’ that’s bullets ricochetting from steel.”
TOBB decision: Bender
CAUSTIC VS AYE VERB
Easily the bodybag of the night.
That this battle was set up on two weeks’ notice after Shotty cancelled didn’t actually impact it all that much. Caustic has said he always waits until the last minute to write and a lot of what he brought for Verb was freestyled. Verb wasn’t really affected because it seemed that he only wrote minimal new content. Sure, a weird-looking white boy is a weird-looking white boy, but the “chemo” line seemed particularly targeted at Shotty.
You’ve probably already heard that Verb literally choked in his third round. He was coughing and sputtering as the crowd watched. At one point we thought he might throw up on stage. At another point we thought he might be faking it to avoid admitting he didn’t bring a third round. In any case, he didn’t rap a third and somehow didn’t get booed for it.
It was over before that happened anyway. Caustic clowned Verb for his “fashion” choices, specifically the gold suit he wore in the recent Swave Sevah battle: “How you show up to battle Swave in a C-3PO suit/ I don’t even have to watch it bro, he 3-0′d you.”
In Caustic’s later rounds, he was spitting so much venom the whole vibe of the room changed. He and Verb were talking shit to each other between lines and B Magic was chirping from the sidelines after his name was mentioned. His “Eggplant Parmasan” line was easily the most offensive of the night. By the time he pulled out his infamous “Oh, this shit just got incredibly real” catchphrase he was really just kicking someone who was already down. Off a roof.
Ultimately, Verb’s status will stay where it was before the battle and his fans will shout “2-1″ until this all blows over.
RUM NITTY VS B MAGIC
Another fantastic battle that lived up to expectations. Magic clearly didn’t slack on his KOTD debut and even with a few stumbles had the crowd riding with him the entire time. Nitty killed it too and the whole thing was the bar-fest that had been predicted, so let’s just get to the highlights:
“When you get wet with the Calicoe it ain’t skinny dippin” -Magic
“I’ll pull it until he drop. That’s a tug-of-war.” -Magic
“Get close and put this nickel behind your ear. Don’t make me show you, Magic.” Nitty
“Most niggas got it in for Nitty (infinite). It won’t ever end.” Nitty
“Lost to the white boy but came back whippin niggas, this shit is in my roots.” Nitty
“Fuck around and get shot in the face if you think this pump fake.” Magic
It goes on and on.
As Magic ended with his slogan, the entire crowd joined in. Perfect way to close the night.
TOBB decision: B Magic
ALSO OF NOTE
-In the building: Method Man, Sticky Fingaz, Spider Loc, King Tech, Jin, Scarlett Pain, Epic Meal Time’s Lemme Kno, Dizaster, Real Deal, Okwerdz, Big Kannon, Mz Gracie, Marv Won, Ayem, The Deadman, Cadalack Ron, MegaDef, DDSS, Konshis Pilot, Fox, Aktive, UTK, Chelsea Jane.
-Daylyt had his mother in the ring when he battled Chilla. He said it was the first time she was seeing him battle live since his first battle, against Dizaster.
-Daylyt is battling again the next day in Spit Dat Heat.
-Fox and B Magic got into a scuffle in the hotel parking lot the night before the event. Apparently there’s history there but the rumours blew what really happened out of proportion. Several battlers referenced it, with the best line coming from Bigg K: “Your round was all reaches and no punches like the Magic/Fox fight.”