- The controversy sparked by King of the Dot's latest title match between Arcane and Dizaster set off a firestorm akin to the MLB steroids fiasco, rocking the battle scene globally.
Instead of performance enhancing drugs, the focus has been on performance enhancing lyrics, namely those Arcane bought off California rapper Caustic. But we'll get to that soon.
The title match was between Dizaster, whose aggressive bars and jaw-dropping freestyles have made him one of the most popular battler rappers on the planet, and Number 1 contender Arcane. The challenger was coming off a bulldozer-run through KOTD's Grand Prix tournament, winning for the second straight time with decisive victories over some of the league's best and pocketing $5,000 in the process.
Ahead of the battle, fans were divided, but the consensus was that if anyone could beat Dizaster for the title, it was Arcane.
Leading up to event, the two were already trading shots over Twitter:
- For weeks, Dizaster (and what seemed like every one of his 30,000 Twitter followers) had it out for Arcane.
- Then came the big day.
Blackout 3 drew the largest crowd to date for a KOTD event, selling out The Guvernment with around 1,200 people in attendance, including legitimate rap celebrities Drake and Maestro Fresh Wes.
The card was stacked with some of the best battlers in the world, hailing from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
- TOBattleBlog was there, jockeying for position around the ring during some impressive early battles. We eventually got tired of the crush and headed to the second floor to try to get an overhead view. It quickly became obvious that what we had gained in sight, we'd lost in sound.
The battles were inaudible on the outskirts of the crowd and clear sight lines were hard to find with a general admission ticket. Most people watched the battles on a large screen that was set up above the stage.
A little hustle got us into the VIP section, on stage and next to a speaker, with a better view than 99 per cent of the audience.
The Math Hoffa/Pat Stay battle that came before the main event, as well as strong showings from Madness, Uno Lavoz, 100 Bulletz and Charron had the crowd excited and set expectations high for the main event.
When it arrived we were ready, but it was clear the crowd was getting restless and rowdy after a whole lot of drinks.
THE BATTLE BEGINS
- If you haven't already seen the battle, here it is. All 58 minutes of it...
Dizaster rapped first, laying out a densely written round about how he could prove that Arcane had bought some of the rhymes that helped cement his spot in the title match.
At the end of his round, Diz papered the crowd with dozens of copies of what seemed to be a PayPal receipt that showed Arcane transferring money to Caustic (a California MC who's been killing competition internationally):
- And a Facebook conversation between the two that showed them negotiating a price for the rhymes:
- (photos via Luciano Crakk's Instagram feed)
- Diz devoted all three rounds to the concept: a dangerous strategy, especially when it didn't go over well with the crowd.
Diz's approach played to the people in the first few rows, and will likely be convincing in the YouTube footage, but it left the other 1,000 people in the venue confused. People in the back struggled to see/hear/understand what was going on, and the massive turnout meant that most of the crowd wasn't particularly well-versed in battle culture and history.
And that's when the boo-ing started. Diz later claimed that it was Arcane fans who set off the catcalls (his hometown of Hamilton is a short drive from the Toronto venue). From what we could tell, the crowd was unimpressed with the champ's weak bars, repetitive angles and lame rebuttals.
We saw one particular rapper (with an axe to grind against Dizaster) boo early and loudly, but that's all it took to ignite the crowd.
- From our vantage point, Arcane was the clear winner, staying true to his style of intricate wordplay and dagger-sharp personal attacks.
Arcane won on the strength of his bars and performance. 3-0, no contest. When your opponent is reduced to a screaming, cartoonish villain you've clearly done something right.
But Dizaster's ploy should've worked. I mean, he had proof that his opponent paid for lyrics, right?
**UPDATE Feb 15, 2013**
A few things become clear after watching the YouTube footage:
-It's easy to follow Diz's concept throughout all three rounds, which explains why so many people online are backing him. The crowd at the event had no idea what he was talking about and eventually turned on him because of it. He couldn't believe people were booing him and lost his composure.
-Dizaster brought some heavy content in the third whenever he abandoned his PayPal scheme. If it had been a five round battle, things may have turned out differently.
-There's a strong case to be made for Dizaster winning that battle if you give him the third and DQ Arcane from the first round for getting exposed. (Or DQ him completely for getting exposed...)
-Diz said he found the evidence on Caustic's computer when Caustic was in L.A. to battle John John Da Don at Resurgeance. That event was on Jan. 12 so Diz wrote and prepared his rounds in two weeks.
-Arcane still clearly won that battle with his performance and content. Four judges (Knamelis, Adam Bomb, Dax Flox and Yaz) went with Arcane. Shotty Horroh gave it to Diz.
THE BATTLE ENDS, THE WAR BEGINS
Dizaster was right that something fishy had gone on with Arcane and Caustic.
Late in 2012, the two rappers had used the same line in different battles.
Arcane against Chedda Cheese in the Grand Prix finals when he said:
You got dumped by a stripper, Chedda/
You ain't never gonna live it down/
That girl's pussy like the White House/
No Bush and there's a black guy in it now.
Filmed Nov. 17, 2012
Released on YouTube Dec. 5, 2012
We were there for the event, and it was clearly the line of the night. It got the biggest reaction and had us quoting it to our friends the next day.
- But then, just days later, U.K. battle league Don't Flop released a video where Caustic said to Jefferson Price:
"He's insecure about his dick so he constantly lives in doubt/
His girl's pussy is like the White House/
No Bush and there's a black guy in it now."
Filmed Oct. 20, 2012
Released Dec. 8, 2012
- There were some rumblings online when people noticed the similarity ... even though it may actually have been first said by comedian Jeff Ross.