BY DT THE ARTIST
This was my first experience going to a King of the Dot Event, now a worldwide Branded Phenomenon. When you walk into the building it looks like the stage is set for the heavyweight wrestling championship of the world. The room is filled with hip hop heads waiting for the craziest bars and wittiest punchlines. For those that are new to the scene or have never watched a Rap Battle, this is the basic premise. Two artists are scheduled to battle each other; they are given a few weeks to prepare. Their mission is to totally and verbally destroy each other’s credibility to the audience, while at the same time putting themselves in the better light. When these battles start nothing is off limits, anything that is found in research is usable in the battle ring. And that is exactly what they do.
The organizers step onto the stage and address the crowd, giving the rules for the night’s event. The room fills with smoke and the stage is now set for battle. Then the big screen turns on and the round begins. The first two opponents rip each other verbally, throwing everything at each other, including the kitchen sink. Whatever they have in their personal arsenal becomes a weapon for their verbal warfare. Analogies, wordplay, double entendres, cadence flipping, unique rhyme schemes, these guys use everything they have to lower their opponent to the position of choking, meaning having no rebuttal, no response.
Battle after battle happens and the crowd shows no signs of fatigue, they get hungrier with each round. After each battle has been completed a ten-minute break is given for the audience to talk, grab a drink or smoke. There is no talking during the rounds so as not to disturb the battling MC’s. Battling is a mentally draining experience and requires absolute concentration, which is why opponents try to knock each other off of their game.
According to Wikipedia this is how King of the Dot was created. “Travis Fleetwood, a.k.a. Organik, built a reputation as one of Canada’s elite battle emcees, winning title after title, including four wins at the well known Toronto-based freestyle competition Proud 2B Eh Battle MC, where he met a local producer/DJ by the name of RyanPVP. The two teamed up with the help of promotion guru Avi Rex to put together the first event which was initially intended to be a flash mob style event at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.”
KOTD is an unforgettable experience that I would recommend to any serious hip hop head, or even a lover of the hip hop culture. Fans have so many options to keep the experience going, from the merchandise for sale sporting the KODT logo and each battle rappers specific line, to the videos that get posted online. As well, for the hardcore fans the opportunity to meet your favorite Battle Rapper creates a momentous occasion. While at the event I met a few Battle Rappers that I had seen from watching KOTD videos, such as one of my favorites Charlie Clips, Iron Solomon, Arsenal, Big T, and one of my new favorites Femcee Bonnie Godiva to name a few. Each artist was cool and down to earth and took pictures with audience members.
The event was well organized and looked very professional in terms of delivery. Just the experience of being at the event felt like an opportunity to be among fellow artists. And at the end of the weekend, after the lights go off, everybody goes home and the money gets spent, the biggest thing everybody is looking for is the bragging rights. And trust me the winners deserve it. I look forward to the next KOTD event. Well worth the time. For Info on King of the Dot Events go to www.kotdtv.com or follow them on Instagram @kotdtv.