100 Bulletz is arguably the best battler to come out of King of the Dot’s Ground Zero league. Since debuting on GZ in early 2011, he’s quickly climbed the ranks of the main channel, with matches against veterans like Arcane, Kid Twist and, most recently, Dirtbag Dan. Next weekend, he faces his toughest opponent to date: The Saurus in Don’t Flop. We spoke with Bulletz shortly after the match-up was announced, and he revealed how he approaches battles, whether his URL debut will get released, and which leagues have the best and worst crowds.
How did the battle with The Saurus come together?
We were both at the same Don’t Flop event last October. It was his first time at Don’t Flop. It was my first time. And we both had pretty solid performances. I think this is the link. He had a rough third, and I had a rough third. It’s like, ‘Bring Bulletz back, bring The Saurus back, and we’ll put them against each other and see what they do.’ It’s actually been in talks since back in January. We were maybe going to battle on Eurgh’s birthday event.
Opponents like The Saurus and Dirtbag Dan have been around so long it seems like every angle has been used against them. How do you approach a veteran like that?
For the most part, The Saurus and Dirtbag Dan have had the vast majority of their battles … at a time when guys weren’t approaching battles the way I’d approach a battle. Back then, you may have had a lot of personals, telling a lot of jokes, and beard jokes and face jokes. As long as I don’t do that, it’s almost open season, to be honest. When I battled Dirtbag Dan, as long as I didn’t mention his beard then pretty much nothing’s really been talked about. Against The Saurus, I don’t think I’ll be testing out anything that anybody else has ever said [before]. I think it would be more difficult in a battle with somebody like Chilla Jones, where I’m going to go at him with nameflips and wordplay, and then I have to worry about what everyone else has done… not to say that that battle’s happening. But if it were to happen, B-Magic did a zillion nameflips on Chilla Jones, so I can’t duplicate any of those, right? It’s actually easier with the dudes from the old school, because they battled in a different way.
Because you mentioned Chilla, I have to ask. Everyone wants that battle to go down. Is it in the works?
That’s been discussed a lot, for a while. It’s definitely something that could happen, whenever Chilla comes up to Canada. I mean, obviously he’s busy with URL. I think it’s just a timing thing. And also, if he were to come to Canada, it’s not like I’m the only person he would face. He was actually supposed to battle Real Deal a while back, and that battle never ended up happening. And I think they even wrote verses for each other. Who knows? That could be something that King of the Dot decides to set up. But I think it’s a battle [between me and Chilla] that’s going to happen sooner or later.
You started battling at an older age than most newcomers in KOTD. Why did you get involved in battling?
Back in the day – late-90s/early 2000s – I used to do the freestyle thing, but never too seriously. I used to do little tournaments out [in Windsor]. But I was never really good enough to take it seriously. And then I dipped out of the whole battle scene, until literally around, let’s say World Domination 1. I watched all the Smack battles back in the day – Serius Jones and all that stuff. But between that and WD1, I missed everything. I didn’t know what WRCs [World Rap Championships] were; I didn’t watch anything from Jump-Off. And it really wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because I wasn’t the freestyler that I needed to be. When I saw that there was a writing league now – writing is what I like most about battle rap, and rap in general – I was like, ‘I can definitely try this out.’ I started late because I kind of found it late.
A lot of fans lump you in with the associative wordplay style. And obviously, there are more and more battlers writing in that style these days. But there’s also – I think with some fans – a bit of a backlash because so many people are doing it. How does that affect your approach?
Even though a lot of people say, ‘100 Bulletz only does associative wordplay,’ certain battles I’ll do very little of it. And certain battles I’ll do a lot. Part of it is because, to be honest, it’s the easiest thing for me to do. So if I don’t have the time needed to actually put together a lot of punchlines, then I’ll put together some quick schemes, because a scheme can take up 30 seconds. But a punchline will take up, like, six seconds. But then again, when I went to Don’t Flop the first time, I had an idea that if I do certain schemes, regardless if it comes easier to me, it’s going to be appreciated because it’s going to connect [with the audience]. But right now, I just wanna punch. I just wanna battle MCs that will punch, and I want to go back-and-forth with punches. … I do approach battles differently. Like when I went to battle in URL, it was nothing like when I battle in King of the Dot. And when I battled in the U.K., it sounded a little different from when I battled in Oakland.
How do all those leagues and their audiences differ?
To keep it 100, Don’t Flop is the best crowd on the planet, by far. The crowd is so much a part of the battle, so it makes the battle better. Again, I’m not really one to hold my tongue – the Toronto crowd’s been mad wack. I love battling in Toronto, but I hate battling in front of wack crowds. In the URL, I was in like a cool, little PG [Proving Grounds] setting. It was just people sitting around listening to bars, reacting accordingly, chilling out. It’s just different all over the place. When I was in Oakland, they were good out there. I would say pretty much everywhere has been real nice, with Don’t Flop being the best. And recently, King of the Dot, in Toronto, being really, really bad. Not the people who run it. Not the MCs. But the crowd itself, for whatever reason – it didn’t matter if it’s 1,500 people there when Drake’s there, or if there’s 200 people there – the Toronto crowd for King of the Dot recently has been lacking and I really hope that it turns around. Because you have really good battles, like The Saurus and DNA, and the crowd is killing the battle. You have really good battles like Fresco and Rone, and the crowd is murdering the battle. Those are battles that should be considered classic – definitely the Rone versus Fresco. But the crowd sucked half the life out of it. When I think about battling at World Domination 4, I want to, but I just want that crowd to not be wack.
Who’s been your toughest opponent to date?
This is gonna sound funny – but it was probably Dirtbag Dan. I was going into Oakland, I was going into his hometown – not exactly his hometown, but I was going into the Bay. Preparing for it, I didn’t want to do a lot of jokes, but I knew [the crowd was] gonna love jokes. And I didn’t want to do too much over-the-top wordplay, because that normally doesn’t get too much reaction. But I didn’t want the battle to get released on YouTube and people think, ‘Yo, Bulletz didn’t do his normal thing.’ So I was really conflicted in that battle about what I should do. The day of, he had a really good performance, he did his thing. I think it was a close battle myself, but we’ll see when it hits YouTube. And – no excuses – I had just finished nine minutes of straight punchlines, two weeks before in New York, so I literally was drained from that battle, and then had two weeks to put it together [for the Dirtbag Dan battle]. And I really don’t like writing cramped; I like to take my time.
How much are you preparing for the average battle?
If you tell me, ‘You’re going to be battling Rapper X in two months, or three months,’ then I’m immediately going to start brainstorming. I always want to be done writing two weeks before the battle, and then I’ll have two weeks of getting it to be like auto-pilot. The situations where I’ve had that [preparation] have been my best battles. Any time I’ve had a stumble, it was a battle where I didn’t have the time that I normally would like to have. And obviously it’s not something that I should need, but I think I’m just more comfortable knowing that I had my month and a half – one month of writing, two weeks of preparing.
What has been your best battle in terms of executing your game plan?
Overall is my Kid Twist battle. Had I finished my third round against Bamalam, I’d say it was my Bamalam battle. Had my third round not been so ridiculously unsuccessful against Arcane, that could have been up there as well. I liked my material against poRICH probably the most, but that battle sucked, so that’s kind of a wash. Right now, it’s the T-Dubb O battle. The stuff I had against [him] was better than anything else I’ve ever written. And I like long rounds, so I had three rounds of three minutes – no filler. My second round, it was three minutes of all nameflips. When that hits, it’s gonna be a good look. To be honest, my stuff for The Saurus looks like it’s gonna rival my stuff for T-Dubb O.
Do you know when the URL battle is coming out?
No, I don’t. I definitely have no clue.
It is coming out though, right?
I’ve been told it’s coming out. I was told the day of [the battle] it’s coming out. I’ve been told since it’s coming out.
Thanks to 100 Bulletz for the interview. Until his T-Dubb O and The Saurus battles are out, be sure to check him out on Twitter and watch his battle with Kid Twist here:
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