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**
Bigg K used to be one of the top up-and-coming MCs in the scene. After his 2013 clash with Illmaculate, which many called battle of the year, he exchanged “up-and-coming” for “established.”
The Norfolk, Virginia MC first caught people’s attention in URL’s Proving Grounds, then solidified his name on the main stage against Rosenberg Raw. Since then, he’s squared off against Real Deal and Shotgun Suge in upstart leagues. In the ring, he cuts an imposing figure and attacks his opponents with an onslaught of street slang and heavy haymakers.
This weekend in Los Angeles, KOTD hopes to catch lightning in a bottle again by matching Bigg K up with Illmac’s former WRC partner, The Saurus.
Redemption. It’s what you seek when you know you can do better.
The idea works on two levels for King of the Dot’s upcoming event in Los Angeles.
First, KOTD is seeking redemption for the “Vendetta” legacy. The first Vendetta event, in 2012, will always be remembered as “that time Canibus died in front of a live audience.” In some ways, that battle launched KOTD — and battle culture as a whole — to a wider audience, although it probably wasn’t the ideal foot to put forward…
Second, KOTD needs to redeem itself from the disappointments at Blackout 4. After a series of uncontrollable circumstances at Toronto’s January event, six battles were cancelled, including many of the weekend’s most-anticipated matchups. Scores were left unsettled and there was a feeling of incompleteness for fans, battlers and KOTD staff.
This card is serious business. There are no novelty battles. There are no throwaway battles. Every matchup is dripping with potential and every battler has proved he can deliver on the main stage.
We reached out to the KOTD staff to get their impressions on the card. Here’s what they said:
Kingfly – KOTD Toronto
“When we announced the card, the matchup was Aye Verb vs Shotty Horroh. I was really excited to see Shotty’s return to battling after his hiatus. Shotty is easily the Number 1 battler from the U.K. and he was taking on “Mr. Showtime,” who many consider to be one of the top battlers today.
When Shotty told me he couldn’t make it I was disappointed but moreso concerned with what was going on with him personally. Personal life always trumps battle rap. But Caustic is a good replacement. This is a big opportunity for him so he won’t come light. And knowing him, he’ll have dirt on Verb so it should be entertaining.”
King of the Dot spent much of 2013 trying to find a balance.
In Toronto, Blackout 3 had the biggest audience a KOTD event had ever seen, but the massive crowd meant that it was difficult to see and hear the battles in the venue. For Vengeance 2, the venue was too big for the smaller crowd and for World Domination 4 the venue was fine but the audio in the footage was hit-or-miss and the crowd was often unruly.
The California division rebuilt the West Coast battle scene to its former glory, providing a platform for both returning legends and a slew of new talent. Each event (Resurgence, Alcatraz and Takeover) showed progression, eventually culminating in the year’s best: Battle of the Bay 6.
Calgary’s Quarantine and Vancouver’s GZGP semi-finals events featured those cities’ best matchups to date and hinted at even bigger things to come.
But as for the battles, KOTD put out more classics than any other league this year. The quality of content from WD4 and BOTB6 was unrivaled and most of the big-name matchups lived up to or exceeded their expectations.
Honestly, picking the 10 best battles from KOTD’s releases this year wasn’t easy, so if your Top 10 list varies from ours, we won’t necessarily say you’re wrong.
This month saw a strong crop of battles released by DF, KOTD, URL and some upstart leagues, led by footage from Battle of the Bay 6 and 5th Birthday Weekend. Here we highlight some of the most interesting battles from November.
BIGG K VS ILLMACULATE
It’s a tired, overused line to describe a close battle as having as having “no losers.” But the Illmaculate/Bigg K battle is one time when that’s undeniably the case. Sure, there are some people firmly entrenched in the pro-Illmac or pro-Bigg K camps, but so many others shift their allegiances with each viewing.
For Illmac, it was a glorious return to KOTD, enough so that any future Fresh Coast card will feel incomplete without him. For Bigg K, it was perhaps the finest KOTD debut in history, making instant fans out of those who weren’t familiar with his work. Bigg K recently said on Facebook that his battle career is done. Fortunately, he has a battle booked against Jonny Storm in April and posted this on RMBVA.
Well, KOTD did it again. Even with the bar raised so high from WD4, the West Coast stepped up and put on an event worthy of the BOTB name. We have a lot to say about the event itself, but stay tuned for all of it in another article and/or podcast.