Everything you missed at GZGP Round 4 (Vancouver)

From pretty much all accounts, the latest KOTD event in Vancouver was the best one the city’s ever seen. The battles were solid, the crowd was hype and only one person got hit with a chair.

T.O. Battle Blog wasn’t in the building, but we reached out to Pigsty, A-Class, Megadef and DDSS to get their perspectives on their own battles. We also have Sketch Menace, who co-hosted with KOTD Vancouver’s La Sparka, breaking down Lex D vs Rupert Common.

If you want another perspective, or the info on the undercard battles, check out @CopaseticSoulz’s recap. Kudos to him for sharing his photos too.

MEGADEF VS DDSS

Megadef vs DDSS. Photo by @CopaseticSoulz
Megadef vs DDSS. Photo by @CopaseticSoulz

This battle was for the last spot in the GZGP finals against Step Easy. DDSS had come off a few weak wins and Mega had the Fresh Coast confidence on his side after a decisive win over Cobalt45. Here’s their take on how it went down:

DDSS

So DDSS vs Megadef. There was no doubt in my mind, that going into this, it would be my toughest battle ever. The GZGP had taken its toll on me, so I knew I needed to come through for this one and show the people what I was still capable of doing. I walked into The Cobalt, a packed venue in Vancouver’s Eastside, and started getting a lot of love from fans, and knew this could possibly be my night. Two things caught me by surprise: one was the stage setting instead of the pit, and the other was a microphone dangling in the centre of it on some LL Cool J ish. I knew that to win I’d have to capitalize on both of these elements, both of which caught Megadef by surprise as well. Throughout the night I noticed MCs bumping into the mic and not using it as a weapon – so I was gonna make sure I took advantage.

Round 1 was the most debatable. I started by paying homage to a now-classic Big T scheme, but coming from the opposite side and being slightly self-deprecating. I went on with a more classic battle rap approach for the rest of the round, and was pretty happy with how it went. Megadef snapped back in the first round and was cookin’. He’s one of those dudes where you can just listen to him rap and be entertained. He was a unique way of weaving words and using cadence. Needless to say, “burners” were on deck as he mixed in some classic Def gun bars, and the crowd was fuckin’ with them heavy. Round 1, in my opinion, was a bit of a toss-up and could have been the round that decided the battle.

I think I took Round 2. He was consistently dope, but this was the round I was most comfortable with going into the battle and I think the audience could tell. I mimicked his style a bit with some of my own gun bars, and they were really landing. This was one of those rounds that went exactly how I visualized it. Def had a mean punchline about how I have Notre Dame swag (which still hurts) and a few other haymakers. But the consensus seemed to be that this was my round, and in the moment it felt like it.

As sure as I am that I took Round 2, Def got Round 3. I tried something a little different this round, moved away from punching and more towards a story-telling approach, and it didn’t really work. I should have stuck to the blueprint I was working with in the first two rounds, but you live and learn I guess. About three-quarters through the round I think the lack of reaction, and the realization that this was a bad approach, got to me and I started stumbling a bit. To avoid a “Cody the Catch situation” I quickly freestyled some lines and ended it without letting on too much that I had messed up. I thought that I had maybe lost it at that moment. His third round was extremely dope, and had some of his best lines of the whole battle. However, he cut his short as well, and the bars that he left out were ether-esque and may have been strong enough to sway the consensus to him. Having said that, I still thought he took the third round.

Overall, a great, fun debatable battle. Def has developed a strong following so I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of questioning of the decision, but hey, I’m used to that now. I think he solidified his spot in KOTD at this point,  so besides the free trip to T.O. and a chance to battle Step I think he’ll be aight. Shoutouts to La Sparka and the whole KOTD staff for putting on the best card in Vancouver battle rap history.

MEGADEF

First off La Sparka and the Van City staff held down the battlers all weekend. Super dope time, one of the best events I’ve performed at.

DDSS vs Megadef - very back and forth. Very entertaining.  I’m not a crybaby like some people (WizeGuy … whatever) and not gonna say I was robbed. I will say I think I would have won in LA or Toronto. DDSS was on his funny/aggressive shit … I was doing the same shit that got me there.

I have been gearing my style away from yelling and when I got there I found out we were performing on a stage with a mic hanging over our heads.  I knew the cameras were going to be up there with me so I decided not to change my style back to yelling just for the crowd. I was using the stage, moving around, doing what I do … DDSS was on his “Momma Said Knock You Out” shit – to quote another battler’s perception of the performance … Dan The Sic Spitta was screaming into the mic like a banshee – it was funny. Maybe I should have screamed more. I felt like the crowd heard me just fine … I’m a naturally loud person. Dan and I both spit a long second round and a very short third. I had a scheme which would have sealed the victory but I didn’t want to search for it and have dead air during the battle cause we had both just put on such a dope performance. I didn’t want to fuck up the footage with some filler freestyle bullshit until I found the scheme. Overall, I think online they will say I won. I feel I was more creative and had better writing and better performance. He was kind of just loud – and I know what that’s like. Maybe loud was the way to go. I’ll let the fans be the judge. Close battle, hopefully this will open up doors for me for bigger battles. I feel like in this GP I have shown I am definitely ready for the next level.

Illipsis is a dope up-and-coming GZ battler and VoKab is a vet. They voted for me.

The other three judges were some Van City PY guys: Beardodactyl, Backwoods Beverage … some other kid. Never heard of any of them, it’s whatever. I knew what I was getting into, I was in his home, those guys were probably more of a fan of Dan’s style. It’s all subjective.

It really was BARS vs jokes like I expected. Aggressive jokes. lol.

End of the day, I’d love to battle up there again. I’m bummed that I lost cause I truly felt like I could have taken the entire thing and kinda feel like I let down the West … the first champ for GZ could have been from Cali, and I fucked that up I guess. Not really …  this shit’s all in the hands of the gawds, lol.

Shout out to TOBattleBlog you guys are legit.  Hope you enjoy the battle.

A-CLASS VS PIGSTY

A-Class vs Pigsty. Photo by @CopaseticSoulz
A-Class vs Pigsty. Photo by @CopaseticSoulz

This was a main channel battle that headlined the event. Solid newcomer Pigsty took on the underrated A-Class. We got a writeup from A-Class and Facebook chatted with Pigsty for his thoughts.

A-CLASS

First off I wanna say shouts to La Sparka, Sketch Menace and KOTD Vancouver for having me out. Shit was sick. Now Pigsty is, in my opinion, the best new cat in KOTD in years.  He knows how to battle and he’s clever – dude is a beast. Going into the battle I had one full round, one 70% of a round, and a few bars for my first round. I’ve been noticing that when I write 90 full seconds of material I don’t get all my bars out because of reaction being factored into the round times at the event. Knowing the round times are shorter than 90 true seconds of bars, if I’m ever under-prepped, I factor in freestyling and rebuttals.

The Colbalt is a dope spot, a bar with a stage, cool art on the wall and pinball machines. The crowd was semi-mixed and about 150 strong. They were there to watch battles though which was dope. Pigsty chose to go first giving me the chance to use my least strong round first (which was all of 12 bars). He went in Round 1 hitting me with solid race bars and good references. He said something about when I’m sad I read “kitten soup for the soul.” I rebuttaled that and an X-Men reference in my openers. The kitten soul rebuttal went over well, then I went into my short first round. I felt like I got that round. Round 2 I was listening to his bars trying to make up a rebuttal . He used a lot of bars about Asians and driving. I tried but couldn’t think of a rebuttal that I felt was strong enough so I just used my second round bars which were about 70% of a full round. Pigsty got Round 2. I was concentrating on my bars when he was spitting his and I knew it was tied up and I saved my best and longest verse for last. I didn’t hear anything to rebuttal in his round so I just went in using my third round bars. I felt like I needed to really perform to take the battle so I gave it more effort than my previous rounds. I remember leaving out a few words here and there but for the most part got all my bars out. I felt like I did enough to take the match and did. Shouts to everybody that came out. Vancouver is a beautiful city and I had a blast. Shouts to TOBattleBlog!

PIGSTY

Pigsty: A Class was very prepared and polished, and had a few really dope freestyled flips. I tried to make my performance very joke based, as i feel its one of my strong points i havent fully displayed in a battle. honestly the battle seems relatively uninteristing in comparison to a very interesting character we met after the battle named Funeral Nick, who seemed to be the concept of social awkwardness completely encapsulated into a person. he had a 10 round freestyle battle in La Sparka’s living room (which he somehow ended up in???) It climaxed (nh) when him and his opponent started exchanging real threats. The situation was quickly diffused and Funeral Nick did not have to drop another casket.

TOBB: I heard they almost fought in a cab

Pigsty: yeah its on my instagram
part of it
funeral nick said hes sucked 7 dicks so he has the right to c all ppl fags

TOBB: Is he autistic?

Pigsty: i dunno
im not certain
i would feel bad about that write up if he is
but ima claim ignorance on that

TOBB: Has he been around the scene before?

Pigsty: i saw him post on otbva
once
on the name carefoot and it dawned on me who he was like a bit into the whole debacle
he was a heavily hated on poster lmao

TOBB: Haha we’re down the rabbit hole here folks.

Pigsty: hes on twitter
funeral nick
if u got any qs im sure hed be happy to answer

TOBB: Yeah I follow him
He’s a weirdo on there too
Can you build out the serious part of the recap a bit? Talk about the South Africans or something.

Pigsty: oh yeah
i took the battle less than a month off my world domination battle and the morning after i had messages from fans and battlers over there asking how the battle went

TOBB: 10/10
No stickers on deck
so here’s a video of Fal Fauthor hanging out with Kreayshawn
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RAPF41lmfs

_______________________

LEX D VS RUPERT COMMON

Lex D vs Rupert Common. Photo by @CopaseticSoulz
Lex D vs Rupert Common. Photo by @CopaseticSoulz

We reached out to Sketch Menace for his thoughts on this battle. Here’s how he saw it:

In the vast world of battle rap very seldom can one still stumble across original thought. But Rupert Common vs Lex D was a prime example of two competitors testing not only each other’s rapping ability, but wit, performance, creativity and originality. Both have come up quickly in their respective divisions and have stood out amongst the many others fighting for the same platform. In a subculture where aggression and testosterone rule, rarely do you find characters like these and even more rarely do you find them competing against one another.

Lex D, a California native, recently took part in the 2013 Ground Zero Grand Prix and then had an epic clash with Cali vet Cadalack Ron. He has been a standout in the California division for some time and this battle against Rupert was his Canadian debut. Rupert, a long time Vancouver art scene member and partial newcomer to KOTD/GZ, has made quite the name for himself. Already having impressive battles against Fingaz and fellow division rapper Pigsty, Rupert Common was more than ready for Lex and proved this with an outstanding performance. Neither of them disappointed the anxious audience. Off the bat Lex came out swinging with hard-hitting observational punch lines and the creative twist he puts on them. “Your favorite rapper’s Shakespeare” he sarcastically said to Rupert poking fun at his “weird” or “artsy” style that has become such a staple in the Vancouver division. Rupert returned fire with some very impressive flips that seemed to have sealed the win for him at the time. Surprisingly, and much to Rupert’s dismay, Lex responded flipping Rupert’s original rebuttal. This exchange is what, in my opinion, decided the true victor.

In battles like this “loser” is a tough label to put on someone. When a crowd and both battlers leave satisfied how can someone really “lose?” Without giving away too much I can say that live the battle was very well received and easily would be my pick for battle of the night. Look out for its release!

Zach Wilcox

“Sketch Menace”

Calgary/Alberta Division President

______________

TOBB logoCheck our other GZGP recaps:

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4 (Toronto)

And follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates.

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