King of the Dot’s Vendetta 2 Redemption card mostly lived up to its name in Los Angeles last night. The event was to make up for Blackout 4′s six unexpected cancellations but of the three rescheduled battles, only Bender vs Big T went down. Ill Will backed out against Real Deal, citing contractual obligations to BET, and Shotty Horroh was replaced by Caustic as Aye Verb’s opponent with two weeks’ notice.
Despite those early setbacks, it was a great event with lots of impressive performances from some of the best battle MCs in the world, cheered on by a generous and well-behaved crowd. The venue was much smaller than the massive rooms we’ve seen in Toronto recently, holding around 500 people comfortably. The stage was only a couple of feet high and the battlers were surrounded by people which should result in footage similar to that of Battle of the Bay 6 — which is a good thing.
To a certain extent, this was the URL vs KOTD card that fans have been demanding for years. That no one really noticed shows how much overlap there now is between the leagues and their rosters.
Overall, the tone of the battles gave clear indication that a combination of complex wordplay, rapid-fire punches and dense lyricism is the dominant style in battling today. Our only request for the next card is that we get a bit more comedy to break up the encyclopedia’s worth of bars we’re getting shouted at us in a night.
**You can watch all these battles on PPV now, atKOTD.TV**
[Here’s our latest edition of Battles of the Month, penned by Adam “Mos Prob” Felman.]
The guys at T.O. Battle Blog have very kindly passed the rounding-up-good-battles mantle to me this time. These are, in my opinion, the five best battles that the first month of 2014 EVER could possibly muster worldwide. Rhymes were said. Feelings were hurt. Ninja masks were worn. It’s all simply a month in the life of battle rap.
[UPDATE: We have a new list that reflects what’s been going on throughout the first six months of 2014. Check it here.]
Here it is, our last list of 2013.
It’s an attempt to boil down every aspect of battle rap culture, by looking at every battler in every league, to find the definitive best battlers of 2013. It is an ambitious task, and it wasn’t an easy one. Our final picks come after much debate among the writers at T.O. Battle Blog, as well as a few expert sounding boards.
The criteria we used to make our choices include: quality, consistency, impact, achievement, frequency of battle, and difficulty of opponent.
We broke it down into a ranked Top 5, a “Next 5″ for numbers 6 though 10 (in no particular order), and a few honorable mentions. The last group could’ve included a lot more people (namely J-Pro and Lotta Zay) but we had to draw the line somewhere.
But enough explanations. You’re here to read about 2013′s top battlers.
It’s been a year of ups and downs for the URL. They took battling to a mainstream audience with their Ultimate Freestyle Friday competition on BET and had a solid crop of talent emerge from their Proving Grounds battles. Their main-stage battles, however, were mostly atrocious. By our count, neither SM3 nor NOME3 produced a single classic and most battles were rendered unwatchable by an unruly crowd, excessive sound effects or weak bars.
The PGs were where it was at, with modest events and crisp, clean footage and some new MCs who showed a lot of potential. Hopefully that’s an indication that URL will be back on its A-game for 2014.
In this week’s battles: new talent gets some shine, a rapper is interrupted by a crackhead, and TOBattleBlog gets its first reference.
B-MAGIC VS TAY ROC
This is a master’s class in street battle rap. Both guys draw deep on references from all over the world of sports, movies, history, geography, hip hop and battling and somehow manage to bring all of it back to shooting each other.
We’ll break down just one of B-Magic’s bars so you get a sense: