King of the Dot Champions Tour stops in Calgary [Review]
Calgary, AB – On July 17, the King of the Dot World Champions Tour rolled through Calgary for a stop at Ten Nightclub. Doors opened just before 10 p.m. and the World Domination 4 show was well underway within an hour. Despite the low turnout (most of the city was still in post-Stampede hangover mode), the handful of attendees that did make it out were eager to watch the battles, and fawn over their favourite KOTD hosts: Organik, Gully TK, Sketch Menace and Scott Jackson, as well as first-timer local host, Brittney Lynn.
The night started off with the Prove YoSelf battles. Ashe Samuels beat Idealistik when Idealistik choked mid-battle and Justified won against Upperz. The beatbox battle between Eazy G and Indeion got pretty intense. But Eazy G is a force to be reckoned with: he’s the one-man Calgary percussion set. And he does vocals, too. Finally, the Ground Zero rematch battle between Don Juan and DVS started up. Don Juan has some of the best facial expressions— ever. He stayed on his rhymes, rocking a red pullover to rep his new alias, YYC. Though DVS managed to piece together a few disses pertaining to Don Juan’s apparent identity crisis—for the record, it’s still unknown whether he’s going by Don Juan or YYC—DVS ultimately found himself at a loss for words.
After a brief performance by the local Project BLVD crew, eight MCs hit the stage for the freestyle battle tournament. Unlike regular KOTD battles, the freestyle battles took things up a notch. The MCs had to spit their verses over beats dropped by DJ Cancer the Crab. Newcomer KOTD battler, Rebecca Dawn, earned her stripes in the first round by responding to the misogynistic disses with her own brand of slights about lopsided testicles. She had all of the guys in the crowd giggling.
Scott Jackson took the stage before the final freestyle battle, to give attendees a beatbox performance. Jackson recently won the Freedom of Beats 2012 Canadian Beatbox Championships. So basically, he’s Canada’s Beatbox Champion. And if there’s one thing Calgarians love, it’s beatboxing. The audience threw suggestions at Jackson, and he served up beatboxed renditions of classic tracks. There was even some Michael Jackson thrown into the mix. That’s right: Jackson did Jackson. And it was brilliant.
Will Haze and Rebecca Dawn faced off for the final round of the freestyle battle tournament. Haze fired off his lyrical rounds and Dawn held her ground. But Will Haze was on his grind. The man hazed Dawn with verse after verse of carefully crafted raps and tight rhyme schemes.
The night wasn’t over just yet, though. Haze was given the honour of battling against one of KOTD’s newest touring artists, Ottawa battle rapper Corey Charron. The two MCs went back and fourth, and things got pretty heated. In fact, the judges decided to host a second battle between the two of them. The crowd showed hometown love for Haze. At one point, Haze actually asked the audience if they could identify his opponent—Charron— by name. Surprisingly, they couldn’t. But they cheered all the more louder for Haze. The flurry of post-battle social media commentary concludes that Calgarian hip-hop heads wants to see Haze as a regular KOTD battler. Haze’s local competitors even showed love by offering up post-battle kudos.
Photography by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada