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.”
Lush One – KOTD West Coast
“If there’s anyone who epitomizes the advancement of hip-hop culture – since we all know by now that battle rap pushes the boundaries of lyrical mastery the furthest – it’s a soft-spoken, yet confident, Crip from St. Louis known as B Magic. He might have the most advanced punchlines and associative wordplay ever. He is definitely the “it” rapper of the moment and has wordplay that far surpasses other rappers from his region.
The Fresh Coast’s beyond-formidable Rum Nitty is the hottest up-and-coming rapper in KOTD, moving quickly through the ranks to top-calibre matches like this. If there is anyone who can keep Magic on his toes lyrically it’s Rum. Will Nitty’s momentum, aggression, and haymaker punches be enough to overpower Magic’s inhuman wordplay and nonchalant brilliance? We bout to see…”
Organik – KOTD Toronto
“This is one of the most fan-requested matchups of this era. Funnily enough, the hype behind Bender vs Big T happened the same way as the hype behind Math vs Pat Stay. Someone asked me what matchups intrigued me the most these days that nobody had pursued. Once I said those two names the Internet jumped on the idea.
I think their unique style of punchline writing will make it the classic that many people have wanted to see. They both write very well and somehow they’re similar but different at the same time. It’s a great matchup.
It’s good that it’s going down in Los Angeles. Neither has home-turf advantage. It’s intriguing to see how they will do in front of an audience that’s not locally biased.”
Avocado – KOTD West Coast
“After Bigg K had arguably the best battle of 2013, we’ve been wanting to have him back on KOTD West Coast. We also wanted to put him against someone who would go 100% and be hyped to battle him. The Saurus was the first name to come to my mind since he has recently had debatable battles with John John Da Don and Charron. I talked to Saurus — who rates Bigg K extremely high — about it and he was amped. Then Bigg K was bout it from the jump.
The mutual respect between the two guys should push the battle further since they both know what the other is capable of.
For anyone who thinks this matchup is too similar to Bigg K vs Illmac, that was a big issue we were taking into account since people do tend to put The Saurus and Illmac under the same umbrella. But I do think the angles that Illmac takes are often drastically different than The Saurus’. Just look at Illmac’s third round against K. Plus the physical aspect of it will be pretty different here.”
Aspect One – KOTD West Coast
“I’m excited about Chilla vs Day because they’re both excellent writers and competitive. We thought about all kinds of possible matches for the card, and this one gained momentum with the team and we brought it to life.
Day is at home and Chilla is from Boston so it brings the LA/Boston rivalry from sports into battle rap. Chilla is unique — he’s very crafty with his ideas and set-ups and schemes. It can go unnoticed but I think that’s one of his key strengths. Day always controls the room, from his presence, to the angles he takes on his opponent, to his sheer unpredictability.
I don’t really expect antics from Day. He usually shows us love at KOTD as far as that goes … *knocks on table*”
Gully TK – KOTD Toronto
“We’ve got Ill Will making his KOTD debut against Real Deal, who is a KOTD veteran. It’s one of those battles that has been a long time in the making. It was originally supposed to happen at Blackout 4, but then had to be postponed. It was also the expected final for BET’s first Ultimate Freestyle Friday (UFF) tournament, but then Sco upset Real Deal.
This is an exciting matchup to me because Ill Will is one of the top up-and-comers after winning UFF, and always puts on a show with his URL performances. Then you have Real Deal, who is arguably one of the most consistent battle rappers. He always delivers no matter where or who he is against. I predict a classic between these two and it could possibly be battle of the night. Ya dig!”
***UPDATE: This battle has been cancelled.***
J-Pro – KOTD West Coast
“This battle makes sense on a lot of levels. Danny Myers and KG are both high-energy performers. The card is stacked, but I wouldn’t be surprised if people leave the building saying that this was the battle of the night. They both have the ability to make the crowd react. Even if the crowd doesn’t catch everything they’re saying, they’ll react based on the energy alone.
Both of them are extremely active. In 2013, KG battled me (J-Pro), J-Money, Daylyt, Real Talk, Lotta Zay and Sno. This year, he’s already battled Philly Swain and he competed in the second season of the UFF tournament. Danny Myers has had 16 battles plus the UFF competition since the start of 2013.
Their focus shows in the consistency they’ve maintained over the past year. Both of them are hungry and peaking at the right time. They’re at the top of the new PG Class and two of the best battlers we have in Cali (KG isn’t from here, but he’s consistently put on for the Fresh Coast). When Danny called KG out during his Rum Nitty battle, we knew we had to book it.”
Bishop Brigante – KOTD Toronto
“In my opinion, Tycoon Tax vs Suge is a great matchup for a few reasons. Shotgun Suge is no slouch. He gets a lot of flak but in all reality I have a great deal of respect for his bars and delivery. He’s hella aggressive and embraces the persona that he doesn’t give a fuck about anyone, battle rap or not.
Then you have the young gunner Tax who went from being overlooked to being one of the hardest working battlers in the game right now. He’s got something to prove to himself. He wants real opponents who will push him to his limits. He doesn’t want easy opponents. He’s looking to EARN every single accolade that battle rap may have for him in the future.
I believe that Shotgun making his KOTD debut against Tax is going to be a big deal for both involved. Suge is going to be exposed to a whole new set of fans while Tax is on his first main stage outside of Toronto. This is going to be epic. I’m looking forward to this matchup a lot.”
Check the flyer for info on how you can see these battles: