Winnipeg makes its mark on King of the Dot [Review]
Winnipeg, MB – On July 21, King of the Dot made a stop in Winnipeg during its cross-Canada KOTD Champions Tour. Before the show started, hip-hop heads flooded Stereo Nightclub in eager anticipation of the evening’s battles. As spectators got drinks in their systems, the participants warmed up for their battles.
The first battle was between Skeptyk Ill and Rukus45. “I just get the bars stuck in my head and attempt to do my thing,” said Skeptyk Ill. “I tend not to add any additional pressure to myself, as that takes the fun out of it and makes me more likely to choke.” Fellow battler, Rukus45, has his own routine of preparation. “I incorporate concentration [and] meditation,” he said. “But most of all, [I] have fun.”
Each battle consists of three rounds and the battlers must attack their opponent for two minutes at a time. The battle winners are chosen by the judges: Gully TK, Charron, Organik, Cancer The Crab, and Winnipeg’s very own Charlie Fettah. Although Rukus45 had superior lyricism, Skeptyk Ill won the battle. According to Charron, Skeptyk Ill choked out and his short rounds lost him the battle. “Rukus45 had a truly dominant delivery and controlled the crowd,” said Charron. “Even though his overall bars were better, I can’t simply give him the win for that reason, alone.” Charlie Fettah agreed with the verdict. “Rukus would have won if he hadn’t faltered in the two rounds,” said Fettah. “Skeptyk Ill’s delivery was awesome. The punch lines were definitely there.”
The next battle was between Grizz and BNZ. This battle solidified the importance of battler confidence. Although Grizz displayed better lyricism, he had difficulty maintaining the crowd’s attention in the second and third rounds. BNZ used simple flow, but had the crowd roused. Judge Charlie Fettah chose BNZ as the winner. “[In] round one, I actually gave it to Grizz. But he choked in the second and third rounds,” said Fettah. “If Grizz was louder in his delivery and came a little bit more prepared, the decision would have been much harder.”
As soon as the next battle was announced, the crowd entered the arena along with the lyrical gladiators, Peerless and Kode. According to Peerless, it’s best to find out everything about an opponent prior to battle. “Once I amass ideas about who [my opponent] is, as a battler and person, I tend to write in reverse,” he said. “I really see this as an art form. I think every great writer that’s ever lived would appreciate and admire what we do.” The battle between Peerless and Kode was truly epic. Both lyricists came hungry and prepared. The battlers’ wordplay was both accurate, and demeaning. As the bout ended, the judges had a difficult time choosing a winner. But in the end, Kode’s prowess, notability, and showmanship earned him the win.
The main event battle between Winnipeg’s own Nonstop and Script One finished off the night. The personal blows and over-the-top punch lines certainly made this a battle of the ages. Although the battle was tight, Nonstop came through as the winner. Though Cancer the Crab claimed it to be a “dope battle,” Charron was pretty adamant that Nonstop had body-bagged the battle. “Nonstop clearly won three-[to]-nothing,” said Charron.
The night concluded with excitement, and testimony concluded that Winnipeg was long overdue for some KOTD action. “[Winnipeg] is one of the cities we’ve been waiting to hit up,” said Organik. “It’s been great to come here and see the talent. It’s—by far—one of the most impressive cities we’ve been [to] on the tour.” Charron actually went as far as to say Winnipeg had the best talent the KOTD boys had seen on the tour, up until that point. “We set up this tour with the premise of finding new talent,” said Charron. “It was crazy to see this much talent lurking here in Winnipeg. We’ll be back in Winnipeg— 100 per cent.”
Written by Jamie Ellis for HipHopCanada
Photography by Mike Wells Photography