Battle rap has come a long way since the freestyle era. Battlers used to rhyme in short bursts over a beat, spontaneously crafting insults about their opponent. Now, the scene has shifted to a pre-written format, where MCs spend weeks crafting intricate lyrics and spit them for an online audience that will analyze their every word. But with every step of the scene’s evolution, one name has remained constant: The Saurus. Ahead of Blackout 4, we had the homie KBomb speak with the Monterey, California-based rapper about the changes he’s witnessed in his 10 years of battling and his thoughts on where the scene is headed next.
Rum Nitty is the latest star to emerge from the West Coast battle scene. Active since 2009, the Arizona native made his KOTD debut last year, quickly earning respect in the league’s Fresh Coast division. Nitty’s stock hit new heights with his now-legendary battle against Danny Myers at Battle of the Bay 6. Their tilt was the epitome of a classic California battle: fun energy, quotable lines, inspired performances and a hype audience. For some fans, it was the best battle of 2013. With momentum on his side, Rum Nitty made his Toronto debut at Blackout 4 – and for the biggest crowd of his career. We spoke with Nitty about his battle history, his thoughts on the Myers bout and aggression in battle rap.
You might know Mos Prob as a former Don’t Flop rapper (who made our Best of 2013 list) or maybe as half of “that battle rap engagement couple” with his American MC fiancé Rapunsell. What you might not realize about Adam “Mos Prob” Felman is that he’s also a massively entertaining writer. One that you’ll be reading a lot more from now that he’s the newest staff writer for T.O. Battle Blog.
He’ll also be managing our Facebook page, so make sure to add us for more updates and articles.
Here are his thoughts on his first trip to Canada and first KOTD event:
Against all odds, Saturday was a great night for battling. Despite the no-shows, the chatty crowd and dead energy on Friday, Day 2 featured some outstanding battles, bringing the much-hyped Blackout 4 to a satisfying close. You can read our Day 1 recap here.
First off, a quick note on the no-shows. Six battlers did not show up in Toronto this weekend. (Organik went into specifics in this RMBVA post.) Here is the list of them, along with their opponents in brackets: RemyD (Osa), JC (Rone), Ill Will (Real Deal), Aye Verb (Shotty Horroh), Rich Dolarz (Loe Pesci) and Big T (Bender). It sounds as if King of the Dot is trying to make Shotty/Verb and T/Bender happen soon, even if that means sending Bender and Shotty to the States. Stay tuned.
Back to Saturday’s battles. Credit must be given to the MCs on the bottom half of the card. They set a good tone for the day and did a fine job of engaging the crowd. Speaking of which, the crowd for Day 2 was not only better than the previous day’s, but was arguably the most respectful KOTD audience in Toronto in some time. It’s amazing the degree to which a receptive, engaged crowd can enhance the quality of the battle.
Now, onto the battles. And remember: there will be plenty of spoilers.
You can also check the battles yourself with the KOTD pay-per-view.
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.
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.