Tagged: KOTD

Battle of the Bay 6 preview (Day 1)

You might not realize it, but there is a ton of talent hidden on the BOTB6 Day 1 card. Along with the more recognizable names, there are a ton of solid rookies with lots to prove. Here’s our introduction to the battles going down on Friday night of BOTB6 weekend. 

TOBB logoThis text is from the official KOTD program we wrote for the event. T.O. Battle Blog will be in the building for both Day 1 and 2. Follow us on Twitter for live updates, on Facebook for next-day recaps and on Instagram for photos. For our Day 2 preview, click here.


Cadalack Ron – Hollywood legend. Reformed drug addict. Unapologetically offensive.

ZM – Long-time Philly battler. Cartoon blog game on lock.

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Charron got screwed by BET (and so did Organik)

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.

Charron winning 106 & Park's Freestyle Friday
Charron winning 106 & Park’s Freestyle Friday

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Everything you missed at KOTD’s Alcatraz

Caddy Ron on his way to Alcatraz
Caddy Ron on his way to Alcatraz

We couldn’t make it to King of the Dot’s Alcatraz event ourselves, so we talked to Hollywood’s own “Black Tar Rap Star” Cadalack Ron for the skinny. He spoke to us from the Oakland airport on his way home from the event. Ron’s always colourful and candid in his interviews (see more at the end of this post) and doesn’t disappoint here either.

TOBB: So you’re all through security?

Cadalack Ron: Yeah, I always have a hard time going through. I always get pulled out of line and screened but I tried to wear a polo shirt to blend in but it didn’t work. I’ve been trying to smuggle these energy supplement drinks and I’ve been having a harder and harder time getting them through security.

Are they illegal?

They’re looking to make them illegal. The FDA has actually recalled all products with DMAA in it. They can sell the back stock but it’s tough to get more than three ounces of liquid through security anyways.

Ah… so how was the event?

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How to judge a rap battle

With battle rap reaching the competitive heights of organized sports, consistent judging is essential. When there’s money at stake and reputations on the line, a judge’s decision has to go beyond a gut feeling. But when faced with a split-second decision, a judge can often only choose on instinct and try to justify it after.

In KOTD, judges get two cards with a name written on each. They watch the battle and as soon as it’s done, they hand the winner’s card to the host. There’s no time for reflection. The battle ends, you decide.

Fans want an explanation for each vote and when they see the judgment as a robbery, they want blood. The thing is, every close battle looks like a robbery to half the fans.

U.K. battle league Don’t Flop has been experimenting with seven-judge panels and after-the-fact video judging, but still haven’t avoided accusations of bias. The URL never officially judges battles, which means the debate lives on for weeks in forums and through the battlers’ retweets.

The main problem is that judging is a subjective choice. Some judges prefer style over substance, while others reward the reverse. One judge might praise a specific scheme or line, while another will think it’s played out. It gets even more complicated when you have two different battle styles clashing. How can you decide if one guy’s jokes were funnier than the other guy’s bars were vicious?

In my limited experience as a judge (Notez/Yung Casper, Luciano Crakk/Kinaze and Chris Tipsy/StepEasy at Toronto’s GZGP), the choice was sometimes obvious and sometimes not. I guarantee that all three battles will be called 3-0 wins for both rappers by dozens of people online. Aren’t opinions great?

So for expert insight and advice, I reached out to three people who have judged some of the highest-profile battles in recent history:

From Don’t Flop – Steve “Stig of the Dump” Dixon

Winner of KOTD’s “So You Think You Can Judge” contest – Tasha “Baby T” Allen

From KOTD – Jacob “Knamelis” Karsemeyer

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Everything you missed at KOTD’s Vengeance 2

photo(13)Yesterday T.O. Battle Blog had complete access to King of the Dot’s Vengeance 2 event at the Guvernment nightclub in Toronto. It was an overall solid event with some incredible battles, dozens of familiar faces and a few big disappointments.

First of all, KOTD fixed the sound issues that plagued Blackout 3, and the setup for the event was a huge improvement. Blackout 3 was too big, too crowded, too crazy. Vengeance 2 was the opposite. The crowd was too small and spread out for a venue that size, and the attendance suffered from having no hometown heroes on the card.

Hollohan and Charlie Clips didn’t go down. The story was that Hollohan had been arrested and that he was staying locked up until a judge could see him Monday morning. We reached out to him for comment but he still seems completely MIA. This is the second major battle that has been cancelled because of Hollohan’s issues (first was against Cortez). Continue reading

The best battle rap GIFs of all time

Everyone likes GIFs. Why? Here is Slate’s Jonah Weiner with his take: “In the two minutes it might take me to load a viral video and watch it in full, I can watch the money shots of 15 different viral videos. Yes, we’re talking about decadent levels of impatience, inanity, and time-wasting here, but GIFs allow us to waste less time online—or, rather, to waste it more efficiently.”

That’s why the GIF has become essential to battle rap consumption. These days, battles can run upwards of 60 minutes in length on YouTube, thanks to longer rounds and more ambitious video production. The GIF, however, distills that viewing experience down to one hilarious Lush One reaction or meme-worthy catchphrase — in other words, the stuff you actually remember months later.

We’ve collected 32 of the best GIFs to come out of battle rap in the YouTube-era. Special thanks to the posters on RapMusic.com, from where most of these GIFs were culled.

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