King of the Dot’s World Domination 4: The Olympics of Battle Rap [Review]
Toronto, ON – Names from around the world took to the Canadian stage for a battle rap summit at King of the Dot’s World Domination 4 on August 23 and 24.
Two back-to-back days of rap battles carefully chosen by the premier league’s co-founder, Organik, and October’s Very Own’s Drake in the city’s historic Opera House venue to mark KOTD’s five-year anniversary; WD4 was a spectacle of battle rap’s wit and intensity, or as King of the Dot puts it, “the Olympics of battle rap.” The history made, rivalries formed and anticipation met speaks once again for Toronto’s claim to the title of battle rap capital of the world.
Read on for a re-cap following the jump.
Downtown Toronto’s Opera House allowed KOTD to experiment with a new lay-out. The WD4 stage reflected a Ultimate Rap League look rather than the cypher-like format they have used in past events. The venue, which mimics the atmosphere of an authentic opera theatre, allowed the battlers to present themselves more vocally atop a stage overlooking the spectators. Microphones surrounded much of the centre stage in a successful attempt to drown out any background chatter, but that didn’t stop KOTD’s front-men from emphasizing the importance of ”shutting the fuck up” before an audience that couldn’t seem to keep their tongues bit once the battle card commenced. Nevertheless, a fully amplified stage made it easy for spectators to cue in to on-stage trash talk which contributed several surprising twists to the first night of events.
Rumours on the low surrounding the August 23 match-up between Charron and Shotgun Suge had surfaced just days before WD4’s official start. Charron had apparently planned to tap Shotgun Suge’s pockets and parody his “tap your pockets” catchphrase. All word-of-mouth hit the fan when the panel announced the URL-battle rapper had backed out of the competition, leaving spectators in dismay.
DNA’s face immediately appeared on the big screen with a message of solution. The New York City battle rapper told the Toronto crowd of his intentions to make it to the Opera House stage from the Big Apple in five minutes tops to fill the void in front of Charron.
Regardless of whether the plot was staged or not, the surprise battle was undoubtedly the stand-out event of the first night. The two young lyricists proved their worth; Charron made it clear that he was ready for a shot at the KOTD title while DNA’s versatile verbal bout put up a tough front for the Ottawa battler to overcome.
Bonnie Godiva and Young Gattas, otherwise known as Lush One’s double-crush, carried out the first all-female battle event in KOTD history. Although a promo-only match with no official judging, many heads were turned as the two femmes went back in forth in lyrical bouts from fashion game trash-talk to gossip lore.
“Bonnie Godiva versus Young Gattas was incredible,” said Lush One. “[It was] the most stylistically advanced female battle I’ve ever seen.”
The “beef” circulating the WD4 ring was heavy and hot from beginning to start. No battle was more evident of this than Charlie Clips and Hollohan’s. The racial tension between both battlers eventually played out in Charlie Clip’s favour, whose strategy in reacting to Hollohan’s well-crafted bars in such a hostile environment won him the battle. Clips even had Bonnie Godiva re-enter the ring and finish off the last of his bars, “in the name of Rosa Parks… Take your white ass to back of the bus.” The crowd went hysteric. It was nothing less than bonus points for Charlie Clips who made numerous verbal jabs at SMACK and URL to win the crowd.
The main event on the card was the title match between former KOTD champion Arcane and the crowd-favourite Pat Stay. And for the many present, it was safe to say the battle had victor before it even ensued.
Lush One, who participated more on the co-hosting side of things on the second night stated “Pat Stay won the title match before the doors at the venue had even opened,” in a WD4 re-cap. “It was in the air. The battle was his to lose and he delivered.”
Pat Stay even sacrificed a bar from his second round to ask fans who they really want to see represent the country and numbers don’t lie when the hundreds of heads packed tightly in the Opera House respond by hailing the Nova Scotia based battle rapper.
Drake, who alongside Organik spent a great amount of time executing “the best” battle card KOTD has seen to date could not make an appearance to co-judge the headlining battles due to performance preparation for the MTV Video Music Awards which took place in Brooklyn on August 26. He gave his message of apology on the Opera House big screen and told fans “I wish I could be there.” October’s Very Own later tweeted, “I can’t believe I’m missing #WD4 @KingOfTheDot.”
The full World Domination 4 PayPerView stream is available for purchase on KOTD’s website.
Written by Zack Noureddine for HipHopCanada
Photography by Ajani Charles for HipHopCanada
Photography by Ajani Charles
Check out the official King of the Dot website, KingOfTheDot.com.
Tags: Arcane, Bonnie Godiva, Charlie Clips, Charron, DNA, Drake, Gully TK, Hollohans, King Of The Dot, Lush One, October's Very Own, Organik, OVO, Pat Stay, Shotgun Suge, World Domination 4, Young Gattas, Zack Noureddine