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**
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.
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.
King of the Dot spent much of 2013 trying to find a balance.
In Toronto, Blackout 3 had the biggest audience a KOTD event had ever seen, but the massive crowd meant that it was difficult to see and hear the battles in the venue. For Vengeance 2, the venue was too big for the smaller crowd and for World Domination 4 the venue was fine but the audio in the footage was hit-or-miss and the crowd was often unruly.
The California division rebuilt the West Coast battle scene to its former glory, providing a platform for both returning legends and a slew of new talent. Each event (Resurgence, Alcatraz and Takeover) showed progression, eventually culminating in the year’s best: Battle of the Bay 6.
Calgary’s Quarantine and Vancouver’s GZGP semi-finals events featured those cities’ best matchups to date and hinted at even bigger things to come.
But as for the battles, KOTD put out more classics than any other league this year. The quality of content from WD4 and BOTB6 was unrivaled and most of the big-name matchups lived up to or exceeded their expectations.
Honestly, picking the 10 best battles from KOTD’s releases this year wasn’t easy, so if your Top 10 list varies from ours, we won’t necessarily say you’re wrong.
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.
This 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 VS ZM
Cadalack Ron – Hollywood legend. Reformed drug addict. Unapologetically offensive.
ZM – Long-time Philly battler. Cartoon blog game on lock.
This week’s battles feature some new West Coast talent, a return to form from a U.K. champ and Toronto’s alternate-reality comedy rap scene.
PASS VS REMY D
Not much to say about this battle really – it speaks for itself. One round in and you’ll know why it’s at the top of this list. It’s the first of two videos from KOTD’s Alcatraz event that we’re featuring this week. With the quality of content we saw on the PPV, expect that to be a trend for the next couple months.
One other thing: battlers should take notes on how Pass closes his rounds.