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.
Last weekend at Don’t Flop’s 5th Birthday event, three words stood out from all the others: “Suck my dick.”
In a 2-on-2 battle against Canadian MCs Loe Pesci and Bender, Don’t Flop founder Eurgh took shots at King of the Dot and Organik, and Twitter went crazy. With nothing more to go on than a few patchy quotes from social media and the forums, many North American battle fans and KOTD staff members fired back. Things have quieted down now, but we expect another firestorm once the official footage drops.
We talk about this issue and more in Episode 2 of the podcast:
-What’s behind the animosity between DF & KOTD?
-Is the DF/KOTD rivalry similar to the KOTD/URL dust-ups at WD4?
-Are league rivalries good for the culture?
Most of this month’s best battles came out of KOTD’s World Domination 4. We expect it’ll be the same for next month too. Here are our picks for the battles to watch from September. If you’re a KOTD fan, you’ve likely already seen most of them, so share this with a friend who should watch more battles.
DNA VS CHARRON
Charron has two things going for him right now:
1. He just had a(nother) breakout performance that caught the attention of URL fans. We’ve seen dozens of people calling this a contender for battle of the year.
In battle rap, sometimes robberies are better than wins. Just look at Pigsty since Cody or Lex D since Cobalt45. Yes, a cypher appearance would’ve been great exposure for Charron, but all of a sudden he’s got a whole movement behind him screaming for justice and revenge. This story has potential to break nationally and internationally too.
Charron has become the perfect example of the “advantaged underdog” and should roll with it rather than hitting the gym and getting tatted up.
Charron was screwed by Black Entertainment Television. (And yes, we realize how absurd that sentence sounds.) Here’s what happened.
In March, Charron won the Freestyle Friday tournament on BET’s 106 & Park. His prize was a $5,000 cheque and a much-coveted appearance on the annual BET cyphers. For the uninitiated, the network airs several taped cyphers – basically, a group of MCs taking turns rapping on a beat – throughout its annual hip-hop awards show. These segments feature some of the best MCs in the recording industry, and for many viewers, the cyphers are easily the best part of the telecast. (Here’s an example from 2011, featuring Eminem.) For Charron, the opportunity to rap alongside critically-acclaimed artists on national TV was clearly the opportunity of a lifetime.
On Monday, BET released the list of rappers appearing in this year’s cyphers, which have already been filmed and will air on Oct. 15. Kendrick Lamar drops a verse. Action Bronson does too. As does A$AP Rocky, Lil Kim, Joe Budden and others. But alas, the one name we expected to see wasn’t there: Charron.
World Domination 4 got off to a stellar start on Friday, with six battles that were (mostly) good to great. The event went down at Toronto’s Opera House — the nicest venue that KOTD has ever thrown an event in — and it drew a big crowd with plenty of new faces and out-of-towners. T.O. Battle Blog watched the action from the first row, and in between battles, we found time to interview a selection of battlers. You’ll hear more about those later.
Without further ado, here’s a rundown of the six battles from Friday. And as always, be warned: there will be spoilers.