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.”
The Great Experiment has finally arrived. King of the Dot’s much-anticipated Blackout 4 kicked off last night in Toronto. The card features arguably the deepest roster of talent ever assembled for a single event, plus it also boasts a novel concept: the majority of battles are being announced live at the event, rather than weeks/months in advance.
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.
It’s been a week since Battle of the Bay 6 and the reviews have been strong across the board for both the live event and the PPV. Illmaculate vs Bigg K definitely made the biggest splash on social media, and deservedly so. We’ve also seen a lot of praise for Saurus/JJDD and debate over Verb/Diz.
Despite the matchups being almost entirely West Coast KOTD vs East Coast URL, this event lacked the same animosity that WD4 had between battlers from those leagues. At WD4, Charlie Clips, Real Deal and Charron devoted almost complete rounds to calling out the New York league and its stars. If anything, battlers had KOTD in their sights this time, with Bigg K and Pass calling out the league and Chilla Jones responding to Real Deal’s WD4 round. There were, however, multiple references to Daylyt’s SM3 beef with Smack.
Daylyt’s influence was also clear on both Day 1 and Day 2, with several rappers using props and antics to make a point. Also attributable to Daylyt were the “one-phrase-flipped-so-many-different-ways” lines that he popularized with “bus stop” against Rich Dolarz and “Captain Jack” against Dialect.
This past Saturday night, King of the Dot launched its Ground Zero tournament with simultaneous events in Los Angeles and Toronto. Both events went smoothly and were packed with high-quality performances.
TOBattleBlog saw the Toronto event first-hand (and even judged three of the GP battles), but we also have exclusive notes from KOTD West Coast’s J-Pro, who was in L.A.
(If you’re not familiar with the battlers competing in the $1500, winner-take-all Ground Zero tournament, check out our introductions for Toronto and Los Angeles.)