KOTD Vancouver’s recent Gastown event was supposed to launch the division. Daylyt, who’s always one performance away from another million views on WorldStarHipHop, was taking on Fingaz, himself coming off a strong performance against Ness Lee at Quarantine. The other main event pitted Uno Lavoz against Sketch Menace, fresh after both of them dominated at Blackout 4. Unfortunately neither of those battles happened, along with Cadalack Ron vs Cody the Catch.
The battles that did go down, however, mostly satisfied the large crowd. Some veterans made successful returns to the ring and some up-and-comers gained momentum.
We got the homie Ayem, who made the 17-hour drive up from San Jose with Madflex, to give us a rundown of how things went from his perspective. Ayem’s a Grindtime alum who faced off with DNA in 2009 and who has more recently been putting on some completely slept-on performances against the likes of The Deadman and Megadef in KOTD’s Fresh Coast division.
We sent him some questions ahead of the event and he responded by e-mail.
T.O. Battle Blog: What was the vibe of the event?
Ayem: It was cold and snowy outside, not sure if that played a role with the total attendance, but there were a lot of people there. I’d say about 300+ in attendance, give or take.
Crowd seemed very attentive throughout the event, and showed a lot of love to bars. They even caught some of the “over the head” ones that would normally get slept on until footage drops, but you know how it goes … when drinking is involved, people will end up being louder as time passes. By the end of the night, it flipped into having to remind people to stop talking between rounds. Sketch even tried to shush people during rounds through the mic.
The battles were on-stage battles – there wasn’t a pit – which was good. There were a ton of cameramen, I think I remember four of them. The set-up was legit, with a very professional vibe. It made me wish I had a battle at the event!
What was battle of the night? Why? Any specific bars that stand out?
In my opinion, the best battle of the night was poRICH vs Ape Yola. I know that poRICH gets the “all he does is yell” reaction, but he was on point in this battle. It reminded me of when he battled Dizaster and a lot of people were saying: “Yo, you can tell he wrote his ass off for this one.” His command of the stage is dope. You’ve gotta see it live to fully understand what I’m saying. If you talk during his verse, he’ll rap, tell you to shut the fuck up, then jump back to the bars without missing a step … not everyone is capable of doing that. He was direct in his first, referencing the fight Ape was in at a previous event. “If we fought, I’d win cause I’m not taller than you / and I always have a bottle of two.”
Ape had a rebuttal that seemed to make the crowd erupt as well. Ask Cody the Catch, it was about him. It was pretty crazy to open the round like that and it worked. Ape’s mix of bars and comedy is nice. I don’t want to say it’s Pat Stay-ish, but you could see some potential influences. He hit with the direct personals to poRICH: “When you’re at the bar and getting booze / it feels like I’m eavesdropping on a confession booth.” He also had some comedy that the crowd ate up, e.g. “Giving you dome’s like hitting a roach.” All in all, a quality battle, and a nice end to an event where the headliners were scrapped and this took its place.
They were both kind of making comeback and neither showed any real signs of rust. That’s what is expected of cats that have been in the game for as long as they have, and they showed that they still know how to put on a show.
How was Pigsty vs Diaz?
Pigsty is a dangerous man. After the event, I was quoting his bars for Diaz the most: “You got a fucked up accent like a Hyundai crash test”and “English is your second language, I guess your first is plagiarism”and “Everything I heard from you sucks . . . Maggie Simpson.” I couldn’t catch every bar that Diaz spat because I happened to be near the loud obnoxious people during this battle. Apologies for having none of his to quote.
What about Lex D vs Wize Guy?
Lex D vs Wize Guy was exactly what you’d expect. If you can sit through it all without laughing, then something is wrong with you. Wize Guy did his thing with lines like “Muff diver, you eat the arse-and-all [Arsonal] like a bus driver,” and Lex was funny too: “You wouldn’t be top tier on a Cholo’s face.”
How was Notez vs Manik? Who got stabbed?
Nobody stabbed each other, but if you peep closely, Notez does have an empty bottle in his back pocket during the battle. I won’t say “just in case” but hey, anything is possible lol. Unfortunately, Notez had lost his voice the night before, so he sounds hoarse in his verse. I have to give him credit for still standing there and doing his thing.
Manik was nice. He seems to get a lot of hate in his battles. Sure, he says some simple stuff at times, but the crowd eats up punchlines like those, so it never hurts to play to your advantages. His third round closer about the orange jump suit from a previous Notez battle seemed to stir up the crowd as well.
Anything of note happen in the undercard battles?
There weren’t any “bad” battles to note. Every one of them had parts where I was like “yo, the vibe of this battle is dope!”
Dirty Harry had a flip against Wildcard in the middle of his third round that was crazy. Note to entourages: don’t talk during your opponent’s verse to try and help your friends out … it could bite you in the ass and just make you look stupid on camera. Dirty Harry: “You got an ugly mug like Father’s Day.”
Cander is impressive! I’d never seen a battle of his and he was killing the stage. I may have to hit YouTube to watch his previous battles. Both him and Kaveman Brown lit the stage up. Some dope WWE references, and you know the fans love wrestling references.
Illipsis vs Madflex set the tone nicely. Crowd was very welcoming to the Fresh Coast cats (Madflex and Lex). There was no hometown bias going on, which is always a great look.
Any behind-the-scenes controversies?
Only two battles were judged, Dirty Harry vs Wildcard and Illipsis vs Madflex. Many people at the event thought that Madflex won, but Illipsis got the 3-2 decision. In my opinion, this battle comes down to the first round because there’s no debating that Flex took the second and that Illipsis took the third. They BOTH had a good first, so like most battles, it comes down to preference.
Plus the three no-shows: Daylyt, Caddy Ron, and Uno Lavoz. The Uno Lavoz/Sketch Menace battle sounds like it’ll be rescheduled for next month in Vancouver. I’m not sure about the other battles that didn’t go down.
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