Everything You Missed At GZ Battles' First Defense

EVENT RECAP: We spoke with Vancouver battler Pigsty to get the details on his own battle against Ayem, the long-awaited match-up between Uno Lavoz and Sketch Menace and the GZ title match between poRICH and DDSS.

King of the Dot's Vancouver division took another step in the right direction last Saturday night (July 26) with an event that received positive reviews across the board. BattleRap.com spoke with North Vancouver's own Pigsty, who picked up a win against Fresh Coast veteran Ayem, to get his thoughts on the event.

BattleRap.com: So in general, how was it?

Pigsty: It was pretty good. There were around 200 to 250 people there, which is about standard for a Vancouver event. We have trouble doing the summer shows sometimes ‘cuz it’s always super nice out here, but we had a good crowd for sure. We have a pretty localized fanbase at this point, so it was a lot of regulars.

The Squad was in the building--Bishop Brigante, Organik, Gully, Avi--that’s the first time most of them have been in Vancouver since about four years ago when Sketch battled Aspire. So that was big, just having them there. Their presence made it feel more like an official KOTD event.

Let’s talk about the GZ Battles title match first. Going into this it felt like DDSS was kind of the underdog despite being the champion. His name still doesn’t hold as much weight as poRICH’s even though he had some impressive performances in his run to the title. How did it go down in the building?

Vancouver is DDSS’s place, but there wasn’t any evidence of bias on either side. Po is a very charismatic guy and gets the crowd on his side easily. They both got equal applause at the beginning but DDSS definitely had a lot of people in the building.

DDSS showing off his height advantage against poRICH. Shot by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada. DDSS showing off his height advantage. Shot by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada.

And who took it?

DDSS took it. Po did a thing where his second round ended with some beginning bars from his third. I could kinda tell too … As a battle rapper you can see the shift in someone’s facial expression, when it’s like: ‘Oh shit.’

So Po, near the end of his second, starts getting that weird look but he’s still spitting good bars so I figured he’d gotten it back on track. But then at the start of his third he was using the same ones again. I remember after he went back to his corner at the end of his second, Sketch was telling him that he’d done awesome but Po was saying that he’d fucked up. I guess he just misplaced his bars.

I know for a fact that Dan [DDSS] had been up writing two days before the event. I was actually at his house and he was falling asleep sitting up over his notepad and I was waking him up like: 'Yo, you gotta wake up and finish this stuff.' I was kind of worried about him because I knew how late he’d left it but he actually had a pretty flawless performance.

He did a whole first round that rhymed with 'poRICH' and just rocked on the rhyme scheme, which is pretty hard to do while keeping it interesting.

The second and third were classic DDSS. They both did 'Game of Thrones' bars. Dan had this really good one [GoT SPOILER ALERT]: 'Call me King Joffrey, ‘cuz I’d have to choke and die for y’all to say this imp got me.'

Dammmmmmn. That’s great. So it was a clear win for DDSS?

The first round was debatable, but the second and third were definitely all Dan’s. At the end of Dan’s second round, he had a line like, ‘I’ll put G on him’ and then Lil G came in and said, ‘Suck my dick.’ It was a pretty funny Lil G cameo. Po goes, ‘You’re all enablers, he’s terrible and he knows it.’ [Laughs]

[This battle is already released. Check it out in our Battles section.]

What about Uno Lavoz vs. Sketch Menace?

It was really entertaining. I’d heard Sketch’s bars--hoooooooly shit, like 70 times leading up to this--‘cuz he was supposed to battle Uno previously at the Gastown event.

Right, they’ve been going back and forth for what seems like a year.

Yeah, they’ve been building up hype for a long time talking about how they dislike each other. Sketch didn’t show up to the event until five minutes before his battle and when he arrived he was wearing a full suit and was planning a big show.

Sketch Menace giving Uno Lavoz the suit and tie treatment. Shot by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada. Uno Lavoz getting the suit-and-tie treatment. Shot by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada.

Sketch started off in the first doing a whole 'yeah I’m white and I’m not apologizing for it' angle. He had a line like: 'I hang out with my best friends Nathan, John and Mark-type / Sunday morning crossword drinking coffee in the park life.' Stuff where he was embracing his real character. And he said at the beginning of the battle too, 'You thought you were gonna battle Sketch today, but let me introduce you to Zack.'

Uno came out really funny in the first but his second was the highlight of the battle. He did the most hilarious 'milk bars' you’ve heard in your life.

Embracing the image that his opponents have given him as being a milk-truck driver?

Yeah for sure. And he was relating it to some street-type shit, like: 'What do you know about having to keep your truck refrigerated ‘cuz the block is hot?' It came off so funny and the crowd was laughing really hard.

I’d say Sketch definitely won the first and Uno won the second. The third though, Uno started slipping and did his signature stumbling. Sketch was just seamless in the third and got it based on the strength of that round.

Sketch had some antics too. He brought an extendable shovel and said: 'And if he thinks what I’m diggin’ ain’t credible / My shovel’s like my clips bitch, because not only are they real, but the shit is extendable.' Then he pulled it out and opened it up and started doing Uno’s ‘digging’ dance around him. It was funny.

Tell me about your battle with Ayem. He’s a veteran but he’s one of the most slept-on guys in the scene. He’s had a few really nice performances but hasn’t gotten much traction in terms of a fan base.

Yeah, for sure. That’s sort of the angle I took going into it too–how long he’s been around but how little known he is. But he’s awesome. The dude was crazy. He beat me the first round for sure. And I remember that moment where I was thinking ‘Oh shit, I’ve gotta step it up.'

Pigsty battling Ayem at First Defense. Shot by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada. Pigsty battling Ayem at First Defense. Shot by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada.

What were his angles for you?

He was just doing a lot of bars. His whole second round was jokes about my eye, which was weird because my second round was a joke round as well and it went over a lot better than his. There was a guy in the crowd who kept laughing at setups and he was throwing Ayem off. He kept looking over like ‘What the fuck?’ I did sort of 'mixed race' jokes in my second round and he did 'one eye' jokes in his. I had this line: 'He’s got his fist all in your face like he’s part of the struggle / He’s from the Oreo race like Marlo and Shuffle.'

It all came down to the third and it’s all based on preference. I took a personal angle in the third and I had the room pretty silent, which is a weird feeling when you know you’re so good that everyone is shutting up. If you like general battle drama stuff you’ll probably think I won, but if you want to hear some directed bars you’ll probably like his third. I don’t want to give any of the lines away because I want the shock value to hit when people watch it.

Lex D versus Cody The Catch. Cody, I guess you battled him a while ago? He’s had a couple battles cancelled on him lately? Or he cancelled them? 

Yeah it’s all been people cancelling on him. It’s not any of his stuff at all. First it was Cadalack Ron. I forget which event that was now, it was so long ago. It was that day there was a shooting at L.A.X. so Cadalack wasn’t able to get through at that point. The second time was just Cadalack going through his personal issues. Then there was the Wise Guy battle which got cancelled twice as well I believe.

So yeah, unfortunately, Cody had those issues. But Lex, we knew he was very reliable. He’s been to Vancouver twice with no issue. He’s one of the easiest people to deal with when he comes here as well. So that was awesome that he actually showed up. It started off and Lex used a bunch of no-show lines, sort of like, ‘Your dad no-showed your life’ and stuff like that was pretty funny. But Cody was honestly at his best. I haven’t seen Cody that good in a very, very long time. I kind of thought he got Lex 3-0.


Yeah, Lex’s confidence sort of waned in the second especially. You could tell the crowd was riding with Cody. The strength of Cody’s performance was sort of affecting Lex but he did have the line of the battle. He was just doing a bunch of tattoo jokes about Cody’s rose on his neck. It was something like, ‘He’s native so when someone litters he cries a single tear tattoo.’ That was pretty funny.

Cody had some line that was like, ‘Your upper lip looks like both of Dizaster’s eyebrows.’ Pretty funny too. It was just a really good back-and-forth battle. Cody had more conviction in his delivery, obviously that did it too. He delivers jokes aggressively which is a weird thing to do but it really works for him.

What about the other battle? Blasphem-E and Apos?

That was the first one. It was a good battle to start off the night. It was super disrespectful. Blasphem-E had a third round about dude’s deceased mother and all this shit. It was kind of really personal. Apos won that one either 2-1 or 3-0. Yeah, they were both just super disrespectful. Mean. I can’t remember any standout lines from that one. It was just a good way to start out the night.

Apos vs. Blasphem-E. Shot by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada. Apos vs. Blasphem-E. Shot by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada.

So who would you say had the performance of the night?

Performance of the night. I’m trying not to be biased here but I think Dan ‘cause he did it on such short notice. But, honestly, for the complete package and everything it was probably Sketch. All the extra stuff he put into his performance along with his consistency. His delivery was really there. He was barely even rapping into the mic and he was still reaching the back of the room. Just a crazy performance from him. It was obviously fine-tuned over months. I’d say Sketch for sure.

Battle of the night?

Battle of the night is DDSS and poRICH. For sure. I would even say mine and Ayem’s too just because of how close it was. That’s what a lot of people were saying to me at the event, that me and Ayem actually resembled a battle the most. Tie between DDSS and Po and me and Ayem for sure.

Any drama behind the scenes? Anything go on that will be referenced in upcoming battles?

Nah, it actually went off without a hitch. Funeral Nick was there. He was in white Daylyt face-paint. He did a 20-minute set of dancing on the stage. He showed up in one of those fucking John Cena-ass chain-link fucking chains. [Laughs] I couldn’t even believe it. The Squad was really happy to see him ‘cause I guess he came on a couple of dates on their tour. Nick was just hitchhiking across Western Canada and hitting the King of the Dot tour dates. I’m not lying either. He was hitchhiking. I remember I saw him on Facebook like, ‘Can someone give me a ride to Calgary?’ I guess he just went and got one. Pretty awesome. They were so stoked to see him. It was so funny to see their faces light up when they saw Funeral Nick.

So can we expect another Funeral Nick battle somewhere down the road?

Aw man, I hope not. [Laughs] I think those guys know better. They think he’s funny but they don’t think he’s that funny.

Another thing that was cool is that there were only five battles on the card but it was good. It wasn’t like people complaining about it being too short or anything. I don’t know, good pace of the event. Just non-stop action ‘cause all the four top battles were crazy.

Also of note:

-In the building: Osa, Scott Jackson (who did a killer beatbox set)

-One of the battles didn’t happen because Laugh N’ Stalk had trouble getting his passport in time.

Follow Pigsty and his friends El Cheapo on Twitter and check out his battle against Diaz below.

Photos by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada. Follow him on IG for more.