Following up from the "Blackout 5" mega-event in Toronto, KOTD's Fresh Coast division is taking a step in the opposite direction with a new event dubbed "Back To Basics."
The trailer promises: "No lav mics. No stage. No entourage. No hosts. Just battles. Pit format."
Here's the full card:
- John John Da Don vs. Kid Twist
- Rone vs. The Saurus
- KG The Poet vs. Head I.C.E
- Fredo vs. Anygma
- RemyD vs. Psycoses
- PNut vs. Xcel
- Sketch Menace vs. Reverse Live
- Danny Myers vs. Cali Smoov
- Megadef vs. Madflex
UPDATE: There will also be a secret "main event" match-up announced during the live pay-per-view.
The main event will be the unlikely match-up between John John Da Don and Kid Twist. BattleRap.com asked KOTD staff member Kingfly how it came together: "Kyle ['Avocado' Gray] jokingly said let's do John John Da Don and Twist and we all actually loved it. Ganik talked to Twist and he liked the idea/battle - I talked to John John and he liked the idea/battle and we made it happen."
Already announced was Rone vs. The Saurus, two veterans coming off a string of strong performances who have somehow never crossed paths despite running in similar circles for years.
The event also features a healthy dose of local talent who are popular with core fans but often overlooked for the bigger cards KOTD Fresh Coast has been throwing for the last year or so.
BattleRap.com reached out to KOTD staff/cameraman/editor Kyle "Avocado" Gray to get the details on the theme of the event.
"We're going back to basics as a result of huge events not pleasing the fans and battles ultimately suffering because of it. The disconnect that the stage creates between the fans and the battles takes away the raw energy that we all grew up loving with battle rap. Me, J-Pro and Kingfly came up with this solution and we've been working on this concept, I personally think that this is the only way I want to do battles out West from now on."
Events in the West have had major issues recently (though have also produced some phenomenal battles), starting with "Battle Of Los Angeles 5" ending on a sour note when Dizaster punched Math Hoffa in June, and then again with cancelled battles and non-payment issues at "Battle Of The Bay 7," a co-production between Teddy Grizzle and KOTD.
Though not officially affiliated with KOTD, FilmOn's "Ether" event in Los Angeles is also generally regarded by fans as a flop, despite its headliner between Dizaster and Cassidy generating massive attention online. A common theme became apparent in BattleRap.com's post-"Ether" interviews though: battle rap needs to return to its origins.
The final "Back To Basics" card should have between six and eight battles on it. Again, Avocado explains: "We're trying to set up good matches that won't put us in debt and also sort of return to the roots of what made the West grow up. This isn't a mega-event by any means, it's an event to reestablish the West as being authentic to the culture of battle rap."
BattleRap.com also asked about Lush One's involvement in the event, since the trailer explicitly mentions that the event will have no hosts. Lush has been working with FilmOn again, recently launching an online talk show called "Ether Weekly."
"Currently, the people working this particular event are J-Pro and myself, along with Kingfly and Organik," Avocado said. "The 'no hosts' part in the trailer means there will be no hosts in the 'ring' with the battlers, only the battlers and nobody else. I have a new concept I've always wanted to try, and me and my camera team are super excited to try it out. It's hard to explain, but it's along the lines of what we did for BOTB7. You can see the crowd but they aren't the focus."
Stay tuned to BattleRap.com for more B2B match-up announcements.
The event goes down April 18 at House Of Gods in Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale March 4, and only around 200 will be available. Buy them here. A live pay-per-view will be available to buy on April 5.
The venue is a stripped-down warehouse in an industrial complex of downtown Los Angeles. Their website states that "House Of Gods is a creative, eclectic space built by Artists for Artists." Also, there is a rooftop terrace where BBQ and beer will be available for purchase. Here are some pictures from their website:
Thoughts on the event? Leave them in the comments section below.