Against all odds, Saturday was a great night for battling. Despite the no-shows, the chatty crowd and dead energy on Friday, Day 2 featured some outstanding battles, bringing the much-hyped Blackout 4 to a satisfying close. You can read our Day 1 recap here.
First off, a quick note on the no-shows. Six battlers did not show up in Toronto this weekend. (Organik went into specifics in this RMBVA post.) Here is the list of them, along with their opponents in brackets: RemyD (Osa), JC (Rone), Ill Will (Real Deal), Aye Verb (Shotty Horroh), Rich Dolarz (Loe Pesci) and Big T (Bender). It sounds as if King of the Dot is trying to make Shotty/Verb and T/Bender happen soon, even if that means sending Bender and Shotty to the States. Stay tuned.
Back to Saturday’s battles. Credit must be given to the MCs on the bottom half of the card. They set a good tone for the day and did a fine job of engaging the crowd. Speaking of which, the crowd for Day 2 was not only better than the previous day’s, but was arguably the most respectful KOTD audience in Toronto in some time. It’s amazing the degree to which a receptive, engaged crowd can enhance the quality of the battle.
Now, onto the battles. And remember: there will be plenty of spoilers.
You can also check the battles yourself with the KOTD pay-per-view.
PAT STAY VS DIZASTER
We thought this was a decisive victory. Others thought it went the other way. Either way, get ready for a healthy debate once the footage drops.
Dizaster was as prepared for this battle as we’ve seen him in years – if not ever. He clearly cared about getting the chain back. The vast majority of his verses was written; he mostly freestyled in response to Pat’s content. It was exactly the game plan he needed to stand any chance of winning. In his opening round, Dizaster established the themes for breaking down Pat’s character. Essentially, it boiled down to Pat: a) deserting/backstabbing his friends; b) not having heart/avoiding fights; and c) not caring about the chain, the league and his fans. These angles of attack resurfaced throughout the battle.
Many felt the five-minute rounds would be a problem for Pat. Wasn’t an issue. He was just as prepared as Dizaster. Of course, Pat clowned on Diz hard. There were tons of jokes, and surely some of them will sound hokey once the footage drops. But Pat brought his full arsenal, using humour, violent imagery and real talk to outclass his opponent. It was a flawless performance. Yes, the crowd rides with Pat to an almost ridiculous degree, but that’s not his fault. He’s earned their respect with years of great battles.
The clincher was Pat’s final round. He said he didn’t care about the pre-battle vlogs and social-media spamming in present-day battle culture. It almost sounded like the preamble to a retirement announcement. But Pat turned it around, saying he keeps battling for the fans, not because he’s craving validation and attention. He also relayed the story of a kid with cancer, who took solace in watching Pat’s battles. The kid’s mother told Pat that his battles helped her ailing son feel better. We’re not doing the story justice, but it was the type of grown-man shit that entirely bodied Diz’s you-don’t-care-about-the-fans angle.
Pat closed his final round with a message for Charron. Something along the lines of: “I wasn’t ducking you, I was just letting you grow/So when you’re done potty training, you can step to the throne.”
Pat successfully defended his title, though we’re unsure how the judges voted. We figured it was unanimous, but given how many people were saying Diz won, the votes could have been split. Ultimately, Pat was in his element Saturday night. No one could have beaten him, though Dizaster came close. A day later, Dizaster has announced his retirement from battling. That’s how much of an impact this loss had on him.
CHARLIE CLIPS VS CONCEITED
Charlie Clips was masterful. Much like at World Domination 4, Clips dismantled his opponent within seconds of his opening round and never relinquished the upper hand. His freestyles and last-minute content were impeccable, one of which extinguished a double slow-it-down from Con’s first round (which may have been recycled from his unreleased Yung Ill battle). There were plenty of nameflips at Conceited’s expense, mostly on some “you Con/Yukon/UConn” wordplay. (Kudos to Clips for making a Khalid El-Amin reference that, like, three people got.) Like a couple KOTD rappers on the card, Clips skewered battle rap slogans (e.g. “You know it’s bad when we use our slogans as a weapon.”). That said, Clips should pass word along to his buddy DNA, who must have used three slogans against Arcane.
It was a thorough beatdown of Conceited. Part of that was Con’s fault. His closers weren’t particularly strong, and the wordplay was predictably stretched. He certainly had his moments, but they were few and far between by his final round. It also didn’t help that Con’s gold chain repeatedly swung into his mic, which fucked up the sound.
For all those knocking Charlie, you really need to see him live to truly appreciate his craft. There might be a half-dozen MCs who can control large KOTD crowds, and he’s one of them. As crazy as it sounds, the league would have to consider giving him a title shot if he wants it.
SKETCH MENACE VS SOUL
Most battle heads know that Soul is a beast. He delivered another great performance on Saturday, just as expected. What we didn’t expect was a stellar performance from Sketch Menace, one that’s arguably the best of his career. Sketch took a number of clever angles on Soul. In one, he explains how Soul’s literary references come from the TV shows/movies they were made into. (Soul did make Game of Thrones and J.D. Salinger references in his bars.) Even Sketch’s humour was hitting (e.g. “You got the confidence of PH when he’s rolling up to BeastMode [battle league].”). Soul’s versatility was on display, including a hilarious breakdown of the Calgary division (eg. “Matt Daley is your top tier and he walked out … of his own battle.”). In the venue, it seemed like Sketch edged the battle. The footage might say otherwise.
LEXX LUTHOR VS MEGADEF
Megadef looked like a seasoned pro on the main stage. Right out of the gate, he came with aggressive material and never eased on the throttle, pacing around the stage with a spastic, Dizaster-like energy. Lexx brought a variety of bars, from gun lines to jokes, with plenty of it getting love from the crowd. That said, he had a fairly big choke in his second round. Mega’s third was strong, but at least a big chunk of it was recycled from his recent battle against Rahney in New Mexico’s UBR league (e.g. the Tetris and baby seal lines). Mega told us that he wanted to re-use that material given that the Rahney battle would be barely watched on YouTube. Regardless, he was still the easy victor in his Toronto debut.
FRESCO VS YUNG ILL
It’ll be tough for Fresco to live down what happened in his first round. About halfway through, he let out a cough. Then a few more. Initially, it seemed like part of his round. Nope. It was a few weird coughs, followed by the suppression of dry heaves (or so it seemed). Once the footage drops, people will say Fresco was literally choking. That’s not quite what happened. Either way, it was a bizarre start to the battle.
Somehow, Fresco kept his composure and rebounded. About halfway through his second round, he got the crowd on his side with a Paul Walker bar and started cruising from there. Fresco’s writing was on point, as expected. Yung Ill brought good energy to the battle, but he fizzled out with a third round that was cut short. He also delivered some bars that will be widely mocked. Something along the lines of: “You dressin’ like a Forever 21 model/and you can’t afford a water bottle.” Fresco finished with all the momentum, which might give him the edge with some viewers.
RUM NITTY VS TYCOON TAX
Not much to say here. Rum Nitty had arguably the best Toronto debut of the entire weekend. His material is built for where battle writing is headed: quick punches, direct angles, no gimmicks or forced schemes. Tax was solid with a clean performance and some hard punches, but Nitty’s material was not only better composed, but drew bigger reactions. It’s time to book him a marquee name.
ALSO OF NOTE:
-Smack of URL was in the building and helped introduce the Conceited/Clips battle. There was a lot of love in the air between URL and KOTD. In fact, Organik said: “We gotta reciprocate the love. It’s all love.” Then Smack and Organik had a bro-hug. They also hinted at some collaboration in the future.
-On the other hand, the Don’t Flop hate was a theme all weekend. Early in the night, Dizaster led the crowd in a “Fuck Don’t Flop” chant. Sketch Menace used a “Fuck Don’t Flop” line in his battle, with Shotty chiming in from the background. There were repeated references to Dizaster spitting in Eurgh’s face, too. But aside from Sketch, the KOTD staff steered clear of the controversy.
-Speaking of Shotty, he spit one of his rounds – or at least part of it – for the crowd.
-There was better entertainment between the battles on Saturday. In particular, Scott Jackon’s beatbox set slayed the audience.