[UPDATE - July 15] We’ve done recaps for all the episodes now. Check our first impressions below, and Ep. 2, Ep. 3 and Ep. 4 on BattleRap.com.
Tonight was the debut of “The Road to Total Slaughter” reality show on Fuse TV, which probably features at least one of your favourite battle rappers. The show stars Aye Verb, Big T, Dizaster, Marv Won, Daylyt, Arsonal, Cortez, T-Rex and Math Hoffa, who live together in a house for a week as they compete in a tournament against each other. Between battles, they’re “mentored” by Loaded Lux and Murda Mook.
The first episode didn’t spend much time introducing the characters to the broader audience, instead taking more of a fly-on-the-wall approach and letting the battlers reveal their personalities as they bantered and argued about YouTube views and win-loss records. For the most part it had a casual reality TV feel to it, cutting head-on monologues with unrehearsed group conversations.
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**
As we’ve mentioned before, battle rap predictions are pretty much impossible. Speculate all you want, but anyone who claims to speak with authority on what will happen in a sport this unpredictable is either a psychic or a blowhard. (Note: psychics aren’t real.)
So here’s our breakdown of what might happen at KOTD’s Blackout 4 this weekend. Some of it serious, some less so.