After a dry February that produced few quality battles, March has reaffirmed our faith in battle rap. URL ended its drought by finally dropping Cortez vs JJDD and will be back to weekly releases now that their Ultimate Freestyle Friday competition has started airing on BET. KOTD has been dropping their Blackout 4 videos weekly on the main channel and have been quick to release footage from Vancity’s Gastown event. Don’t Flop has released only U.K. vs U.K. matchups this month, and hasn’t made much noise with North American fans outside of a solid battle between Unanymous and Olde English. UW hasn’t made a peep about an official release of their High Stakes footage, but whatever, everybody already watched the PPV or a bootleg of it.
Even with all that going on, four of the five battles we’re highlighting below come from smaller leagues. Don’t sleep.
KOTD Vancouver’s recent Gastown event was supposed to launch the division. Daylyt, who’s always one performance away from another million views on WorldStarHipHop, was taking on Fingaz, himself coming off a strong performance against Ness Lee at Quarantine. The other main event pitted Uno Lavoz against Sketch Menace, fresh after both of them dominated at Blackout 4. Unfortunately neither of those battles happened, along with Cadalack Ron vs Cody the Catch.
The battles that did go down, however, mostly satisfied the large crowd. Some veterans made successful returns to the ring and some up-and-comers gained momentum.
We got the homie Ayem, who made the 17-hour drive up from San Jose with Madflex, to give us a rundown of how things went from his perspective. Ayem’s a Grindtime alum who faced off with DNA in 2009 and who has more recently been putting on some completely slept-on performances against the likes of The Deadman and Megadef in KOTD’s Fresh Coast division.
Last weekend King of the Dot put on the biggest battle event the Calgary division has seen yet. There wasn’t as much hype over this card compared to the anticipation of BOTB6 and WD4, but from what we could tell from updates on RMBVA, most of the battles turned out well and at least a few verged on greatness.
T.O. Battle Blog caught up with Tricky P (henceforth known as Trick Stephens) over the phone while he was in line for fried rice at the Calgary airport to get his thoughts on the event.
Battle rap events are filled with funny people. Sometimes the best lines of the night come outside of the battles with fans or rappers just chopping it up in the venue. Here’s a collection of (absolutely true) snippets of conversation overheard at WD4:
Dizaster, to Aspire: “Holy fuck… IT’S YOU. You’re a legend!”
Deffinition on Dizaster: “Man. these are like 48 bar setups, man. Did he just say he’s a battle rap magician? A BATTLE RAP MAGICIAN? i thinks that’s en- *trips over lighting* I think that’s enough for me.”
World Domination 4 got off to a stellar start on Friday, with six battles that were (mostly) good to great. The event went down at Toronto’s Opera House — the nicest venue that KOTD has ever thrown an event in — and it drew a big crowd with plenty of new faces and out-of-towners. T.O. Battle Blog watched the action from the first row, and in between battles, we found time to interview a selection of battlers. You’ll hear more about those later.
Without further ado, here’s a rundown of the six battles from Friday. And as always, be warned: there will be spoilers.
The days before an event are always the most exciting. Every battle still has potential to be the greatest ever, and every battler is poised to have the next scene-shattering performance. Right now, battlers from around the world are congregating in Toronto for the biggest battle rap event the city has even seen. The whole rap landscape could be changed after this weekend. Legends will rise, reputations will be destroyed, etc.
Here’s how we see it happening:
Dizaster vs Arsonal Becomes the highest-viewed battle of all time. Everyone on RMBVA hates it.
Arcane vs Pat Stay Arcane has the performance of his career until Pat Stay noogies him.