*June 25: This post has been updated with some words from Mos Prob. Scroll to the bottom for them if you’ve already read the rest.*
As KOTD starts booking battles for August’s World Domination 5 in Toronto, we figured we’d toss out a few quick ideas about what we’d like to see at the event. This will be the third time KOTD Toronto throws battles on a big stage and we’re hoping after the audio and crowd control problems of WD4 and the no-shows of BO4 that they’ve learned some lessons and this time will be the charm.
The newly rebranded GZ Battles launched yesterday, with an event that felt like something from the early days of KOTD. The battles were short, in a pit with the crowd surrounding the battlers, and mostly judged. Most importantly, the battlers were hungry and kept the crowd entertained throughout. Not every battle was great, but they all had great moments.
It was the first event in Gully’s hometown of Mississauga and still drew around 250 people (including Gully’s dad) despite being a streetcar, a subway, and two buses away from downtown Toronto. The venue was a club located in a strip mall, divided into a bar with tables and food on one side and a dancefloor that served as the ring on the other.
The new venue, new crowd and some bigger names on the card made for a welcome return of small-scale KOTD events to the city (or at least its suburbs).
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.
Corey Charron became an elite MC in 2013. The 22-year-old Ottawa rapper has been battling since high school, but it was in 2013 that he began dominating veterans in KOTD and other leagues around the world. Now he’s touring Canada, playing sold-out shows opening up for Method Man and Redman. Ahead of Charron’s Blackout 4 battle with The Saurus, we had the homie Seanzo speak to him about his image, his chase for the KOTD chain and his goals for 2014.
Battle rap is a numbers game. But now that it’s rare for battles to be judged, there aren’t any official win-loss records competitors can compare. So battlers (and leagues) chase different statistics: views, followers and fans. We at T.O. Battle Blog have dug into the facts and figures to see who’s really winning.