Last weekend King of the Dot put on the biggest battle event the Calgary division has seen yet. There wasn’t as much hype over this card compared to the anticipation of BOTB6 and WD4, but from what we could tell from updates on RMBVA, most of the battles turned out well and at least a few verged on greatness.
T.O. Battle Blog caught up with Tricky P (henceforth known as Trick Stephens) over the phone while he was in line for fried rice at the Calgary airport to get his thoughts on the event.
TOBB: So Supernat was there?
Trick Stephens: Yeah, he performed at the afterparty at the same venue. Supernat does a show completely off the top of his head, but he’s perfect. It was the highlight of the night for a lot of people when he performed.
He made everybody hold objects up in their hand and he would grab them one by one and he was being his own DJ while freestyling. So he’d rap and set it up with a scheme and then he would drop a punchline about the object and they were very consistently funny. He was making everyone laugh every 10 seconds and if he wasn’t making them laugh he was making them shout “Oooooooh!”
Do you think Supernat would ever come back to battling?
I highly doubt it. I don’t think that’s what he wants to do right now. He’s really happy getting paid for shows where he doesn’t even have to write. He just chills off his gifts. He really respected what we were doing though. I think his flight had just gotten in, so I think he only saw my battle.
Does he follow the scene? Did he know anyone there?
No, but he knows now. I was in the crowd while he was performing on stage and he liked my performance so much that he gave me daps and did a freestyle verse about how good I did and saying how I was a comedic genius. That was good to hear cuz Supernat’s a legend.
Let’s talk about your battle. How long had it been since you last stepped in the ring?
It’s been about 14 months. My last battle was against Chris Leese in August of 2012.
Why did you take the break?
Since I was 18 I’d always had a battle booked. I’m 23 now. I would finish a battle and the next day I would get a call. That was four and a half years of constantly being in battle mode and it takes a toll on your brain, thinking all these negative thoughts. It was kind of bugging me out and the last eight months I was battling – after my Isaac Knox battle – I just didn’t want to do it anymore. But I kind of felt like I had to because it was the thing that I did that I was good at.
It’s a good way to promote music too and I was making tracks. So I kept at it while I wasn’t inspired and I was really unhappy with three of my performances in a row (against Charron, Step Easy and Chris Leese) so I decided I wasn’t going to battle anymore so I could just focus on music, and maybe I’d come back one day, but I decided that if I came back to battling I wasn’t going to have the same rap name. I felt like Tricky P was a more immature name. It worked better when I was younger.
So what’s your new name?
It’s my government name, but minus the “Pa.” Trick Stephens.
Yeah, I ended my battle announcing my name change. I said: “Tricky P is dead. He’s left to another home/but y’all can call me Trick Stephens and my record is 1 and o.”
It went over well.
You don’t worry about calling yourself a trick?
Nah. I don’t care. People already call me Trick anyways. Not in a negative way. I’m sure people will have many a line about it, but people have already made lines before.
How did it feel to be back in the ring?
It felt good. Just because I was so confident in my material and I was well-prepared. One problem was my mic started popping and it threw me off. There was one punchline that got completely ruined by it and that bugged me out a little bit and I dropped a punchline and forgot my line after so there’s a four second pause right before my second round closer – which still hit really hard – so there’s two or three points in that battle I’ll watch back where I’ll say “argh dammit.”
How did Chedda do?
He did really well. It was Chedda at his best. I’d say that I had the bigger haymakers but he had a cleaner overall performance, especially with my microphone issues. I think it’ll be a really debated battle.
I’m very animated in my live performances, so sometimes I’m better live than I come off on camera. A lot of people were telling me that I won. Actually, nobody told me that I lost. But when King Fly saw the footage back, he said he thought Chedda might’ve edged it, but that it was still really close.
He addressed a lot of his own situation. He talked a lot about the Arcane and Caustic stuff. He spent a lot of time talking about his own position, whereas I was in attack mode the whole time. I think that will set us apart in a lot of ways.
It’s so funny watching him live. There’s something about him that makes you want to smile because he’s like a little animal or something. Like a little Pokemon jumping around. He hit on some girls mid-battle. The same style I did against Illusion Z…
Was it super effective?
Yeah it was. He had a good pick-up line.
Did you see the rest of the battles?
Yeah I saw all of them. Ness Lee vs Fingaz was really close. A great battle. Both of them stylistically at their best and there’s a lot of respect between them and a lot of laughs. That was one of the best battles of the night. Fingaz definitely showed he’s got a great delivery and his presence is huge. I can’t even really call a winner. It was a tie to me.
What about Sonny Bamboo vs Pigsty?
That was great too. I thought Sonny took it 2-1. Pigsty’s second round had some stumbles and a pause and the crowd got at him and it took away his momentum. Sonny started off really strong and his third round was his weakest and Pigsty’s third was his strongest. So the battle was kind of a momentum switch but Sonny had had it too long so he got it. Great battle though. Both of them did really well.
How were Lavoz and Wize Guy?
Hilarious. They both started off really well, but Lavoz had an epic second round. Like, one that people will be talking about in years. Maybe his best round ever. It was so funny. It was a full concept round and I don’t really want to give it away. He had a full choreographed dance in the middle with Kaveman Brown. Wize Guy’s second kind of paled in comparison to it. The third round was close again, but the second was such a blowout that it won him the battle.
You think Lavoz has made a full comeback?
Yes I do. He proved that he’s one of the best at this. His entertainment value is through the roof.
I was really impressed by him against Purpose.
Yeah and against Troy Brown too.
Tell me a bit about the Calgary crowd.
That’s my third time out there. There are some bad seeds in every crowd. There’s always some people talking too much, being drunk and yelling and whatever. But the crowd was really receptive and they were quiet when we rapped. They were loud when they needed to be and then there was a hush during the battles. It was perfect.
And they’re always good people. They played along with anything that needed crowd participation. They were just very in the moment. It was awesome. Really friendly bunch. Every time I battle they’ve been great.
I heard something about Daley’s battle with Dirty Harry having some issues in it.
There was a lot of animosity in that battle, which made it really entertaining. Daley’s boys were just talking a lot of shit. Not in a gangster “I’m-gonna-kill-you” but more like, you know, hockey chiefs. They’re good guys, but they were drunk and stomping a lot during Daley’s rounds. One guy is like 200 pounds – huge guy. The guy who knocked out Nekkbone in a battle. He was jumping and stomping on the stage. I thought it was gonna break.
What were they doing while Dirty Harry was rapping?
While he was rapping, they would just respond to his lines. He was kind of dissing them too and they were just like: [drunkenly] “Fuck you maaaaan. Get the fuck outta here buddy. I’ll fucking duff you.” It was pretty jokes.
I heard Daley admitted he lost that battle.
Yeah, he did. That’s what people are saying. I didn’t see the whole thing. I caught the last two rounds, so I can’t decisively call it, but from the last two rounds, Dirty Harry won. He really stepped his shit up. Great flow. And Daley was really good too. His bars were great. He was a little bit too drunk though and he was slurring more than he should’ve been.
Who would you say had performance of the night?
That’s a tough one. I think Dirty Harry had the sleeper performance of the night so that stands out. It could easily be me, Chedda, Fingaz or Ness Lee. It’s hard to say because everybody did their style really well. But if you want to talk about rounds, Uno’s second was the round of the event.
How did Kryple beat Kaveman Brown?
Kaveman Brown choked twice. I mean, Kaveman has my favourite flow in battling, so I prefer his, but Kryple held his own. His rap skills were on point and he had punchlines.
What about Ill Nye vs Wildcard?
Great battle. I actually judged that one. I gave it to Ill Nye but part of me thinks I should’ve given it to Wildcard. Ill Nye won it 5-0. Ill Nye had punchlines that were better and his style was good but Wildcard’s style really impressed me. It’s well thought out and meticulous.
He’s one of the most impressive from the Vancouver scene. I see him getting the push out there but haven’t heard too many in Toronto paying attention to him.
After this battle, that might change. I think Ill Nye’s bars were more impactful to the crowd. He had funnier wordplay. But Wildcard had a way of connecting his words that really impressed me. I can’t take back the decision and it wouldn’t even matter but I think I might edge it to Wildcard. My mind might change when I see the footage.
What’s next for you?
I’m battling Marlo in Don’t Flop if all goes to plan. I’m probably gonna battle Mos Prob at the same event. We have a concept battle. I won’t tell you what it is yet but it’s something funny. Probably not until February though.
All photos are from the PPV, available at KOTDTV.com for $10.
If you missed Seanzo’s thorough preview interviews for the event, make sure you check them out: