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 best battles are often the ones that could’ve been but never happened. They always live up to their potential in our imaginations, never getting bogged down by the disappointments that sometimes come with reality.
Pass vs Osa, which was scheduled to go down at KOTD’s World Domination 4 event, is one of those battles.
Amidst the craziness of WD4, we interviewed Pass and Osa over the phone about the cancellation and Lush One (who booked the battle) at the event. We were so busy with other content that this piece fell to the wayside, but with Pass addressing some of the behind-the-scenes static with KOTD in his DNA battle we figured it was a good time to open up the TOBB vault.
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.
King of the Dot’s World Domination 4 has been done for just over a week, and the debate over the battles has already started turning into hype for Battle of the Bay 6. Now that we’ve got some distance from the event, we wanted to give some final observations before the footage starts to drop.
We also spoke to Organik, Lush One, Drect and Poison Pen for their thoughts on the event. Their interviews are linked at the bottom. Scroll to the bottom for a complete rundown of T.O. Battle Blog’s exclusive WD4 content.
Theme of the weekend
Shots were fired at Ultimate Rap League, Smack and the league’s battlers. It started on Friday, when Charron called out URL battlers for not doing judged matches and for the league’s marquee event Summer Madness 3 being a flop. On Saturday, it was compounded by disses from Real Deal and Charlie Clips in consecutive battles. Real Deal basically used his entire third round to attack URL rappers who are afraid to battle him (e.g. “Chilla Jones is the biggest mark to come out of Boston since Wahlberg.”). Then Clips used his final round to address Smack’s recent vlog, which he took as “a spit” in his face for suggesting he’s taking money in return for mediocre performances. He also criticized the hypocrisy of putting K-Shine on the SM3 bill when he choked in his Big T battle. It’s possible that all three MCs were hamming it up for a pro-KOTD crowd, but with all the criticism being leveled at the SM3 card, it’s clear that URL is facing scrutiny like never before.
This week the West Coast steps to the forefront with three entertaining matchups, URL puts out a battle of the sexes, and Bonnie Godiva almost falls off the stage.
AYEM VS MEGADEF
The last battle to go down from Round 2 of the Ground Zero Grand Prix was well worth the wait. The showdown was delayed by two weeks because of a miscommunication between Ayem and the KOTD staff. Megadef seems to have used the extra time to hone his usually loud, aggressive style into a focused beam of white hot rage. Either that or he spent the two weeks binging on Xanax.
We expect this loss will still get Ayem a bigger name for his next battle. Just look how Lex D went from losing to Cobalt 45 to battling Cadalack Ron.
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.