Flatline for fans in Toronto
By: Mike RyckmanThe King of the Dot hip-hop event Flatline was held on Saturday, Nov 5. Drawing in a crowd of more than 500 including Canadian hip-hop star Drake, it was no surprise the event was an outstanding success, according to Travis “Organik” Fleetwood, creator of KOTD.
“We brought Drake out for this event, you know. He put up three grand for this battle,” said Organik. “ We’re doing what we can for our city. Even though we’re on top we still work twice as hard for the fans and for our community.”
The co-main event of the evening was between New York City’s DNA and Los Angeles California’s Dizaster.
There had been a lot of animosity built up between these two artists for a year due to failed attempts to set up a battle involving both. New York’s division and the Los Angeles division couldn’t come to terms with both artists so Organik felt like it was up to him.
“ I knew it was one of the biggest battles that could ever happen and never did, so when New York failed on setting it up, and LA failed on setting it up we felt it’s only right someone from the outside stepped in with some incentive other people couldn’t offer,” said Organik.
The battle went exactly as Organik had planned as both artists came very well prepared and put on an entertaining back-and-forth battle for the fans.
Although the battle wasn’t judged and no clear winner was decided, some fans and battle rappers believe that 20-year-old DNA from New York bested Dizaster two out of the three rounds.
“The way DNA ended that third round was the best trap that anyone could place in a battle, it was a flawless ending and that’s why I think he won the battle,” said Philadelphia battle rapper Uno Lavos.
Tyrell Myres, a fan in the crowd, said that bar for bar DNA seemed to be better, and his concepts and wordplay made the crowd react more than Dizaster’s did.
The great thing about battle rap, according to fan Nolan Buchan, is that winning and losing don’t matter, it’s the performance that counts, and getting paid.
Knowing that he was a bit off tonight, Dizaster was still full of positive energy and had nothing but good things to say after the event.
“I could have done better with my performance but I am…. happy with the battle, the shit’s a classic,” said Disaster. “DNA is a young cat, a talented kid. He’s going to be doing big things in the future as well as myself. I love Canada. Drake came to see my battle and paid me almost two grand.”
Speaking with DNA after the event it became apparent that the battle rappers project such a different aura outside than they do inside the ring. Most of the intensity and ruthlessness seems to die off when interacting with fans.
“KOTD has definitely been showing mad love. I knew they would. they got the most unbiased crowds. That’s why I love this city,” said DNA. “ The battle was one of the best battles in 2011, in my opinion. We both had great performances. I can’t wait to see it on camera.”
In the main event of the night, former Durham College student, from Whitby, Rich “PoRich” Moss partnered up with fellow Canadian, from Scarborough, Eddy Diaz to battle against two of the best American battle rappers for $5,000.
Their opponents were Los Angeles, California’s TheSaurus and his partner from Portland, Oregon, Illmaculate.
Together the American team hold two first-place titles as partners in the World Rap Championships and were invited to King of the Dot to compete in a year-long tournament that led to the finals at Flatline in Toronto against PoRich and Diaz.
The battle seemed to get very intense early on during TheSaurus and Illmaculate’s first round when TheSaurus let his emotions get the best of him and he physically pushed Diaz in the ring.
“It was a good battle, it got kinda heated for a second,” said TheSaurus. He explained that PoRich and Diaz were talking during his partner Illmaculate’s round, a gesture that is considered disrespectful in the battle rap community. “So I shoved Diaz halfway across the ring,” TheSaurus said.
Diaz stated that instead of reacting to his opponent’s physical attack with one of his own, he swallowed all his anger and came back with a verbal rebuttal that sent the crowd into a frenzy that favored the Canadian team, a rebuttal that his partner, PoRich, considers won them the battle.
“Normally we wouldn’t talk during people’s rounds, and we’ve stuck to that all tournament, but when TheSaurus started muttering things to Illmaculate we took it upon ourselves to talk a bit of trash during their verses,” said PoRich. “ This made TheSaurus crack and push Diaz, and when the ring flooded Diaz came up with this flip in his head that put the crowd on our side and made TheSaurus the villain, which in my mind won us the battle.”
Walking away with two oversized cheques for $2,500 each, PoRich and Diaz managed to beat two of the best battle rappers and keep the KOTD grand prix championship at home in Toronto.