Everything You Missed At GZ Battles' "Blood Shed"

An impressive debut, a match-up with $2,000 on the line and a whole lot of cancelled battles.

Four cancelled battles didn't get in the way of a great night at GZ Battles' "Blood Shed" in Toronto on Nov. 28. The three battles that did go down delivered a healthy dose of entertainment to the lively crowd, which was the largest one a Toronto GZ event has seen in some time. Most importantly, the $2,000 Ground Zero Grand Prix finals went off without a hitch, providing a fitting ending to the 10-month tournament.

Urban The Element vs. Aftershock

Urban The Element. Photo by Christian Andrabado.

The GZGP finale was a solid battle with both emcees executing their game plans to perfection. Urban's delivery was excellent and he kept barreling through his bars even when some of his hotter content got slept on by the crowd. Aftershock was just better. He showed way more diversity, weaving together comedy, aggression, freestyles, disrespect, local references, and a thorough breakdown of Urban's gun-bars-and-wordplay style.

Aftershock in the main event. Photo by Christian Andrabado.

I was one of five judges who gave the unanimous win to Aftershock, and spoke with both emcees to get their thoughts after the battle.

Yung Casper vs. Jay Rell

Yung Casper vs. Jay Rell. Photo by Christian Andrabado.

Anyone who follows URL's Proving Grounds or the Michigan battle rap scene knows that Detroit emcee Jay Rell is a beast. His GZ debut proved that his charisma and comedy work in front of a Toronto crowd too. Sure there were a few stumbles, but Rell stumbling is often more entertaining than other emcees spitting cleanly. Even with Casper having his best performance in a while (and definitely bouncing back from his showing against PH) this was still a clear win for Rell.

Yung Casper. Photo by Christian Andrabado.

Jay Rell. Photo by Christian Andrabado.

We caught up with Rell (along with his Alpha League teammate N Pose, who was supposed to be facing G Mayne Frost) after the battle for an interview.

Krome vs. Perspectivez

Perspectivez rapping against Krome. Photo by Christian Andrabado.

This first battle of the night set the tone nicely, with both emcees giving it their all and hitting with the crowd repeatedly. KOTD veteran Perspectivez started with momentum but Montreal newcomer Krome owned the third round, making it the night's most debatable battle.

Here's a taste:



The No-Shows

KP and Blaze both cancelled ahead of the event with excuses Gully described as "legitimate." Their battles — against Shotti P and Stackboy Chuck respectively — have been added to the PY Tournament going down in Toronto on Dec. 19.

G Mayne Frost dropped out the day of the event, saying he got stuck with car issues on the 20-hour drive to Toronto from his home in Florida.

Xcel blamed border issues for his absence, his second in a row for GZ after missing his first match-up against Realiztic on Day 3 of "World Domination 5." Realiztic released his third round in a video since he's given up on the battle and the bars were crafted specifically for Xcel.

Post-Event Interview & 2015 Wrapup

Gully TK. Photo by Christian Andrabado.

At the end of the night we caught up with GZ host and organizer Gully TK for his thoughts on the event and the standout emcees from the league in 2015.

The Extras

Bishop Brigante rapping at "Blood Shed." Photo by Christian Andrabado.
Bishop Brigante rapping at "Blood Shed." Photo by Christian Andrabado.

To make up for the cancelled battles and to keep the crowd warmed up, Canadian beatbox legend Scott Jackson hosted a couple of beatbox battles on the stage, and Bishop Brigante rocked a set.



All photos by Christian Andrabado for BattleRap.com. Follow him here.

Thoughts? Questions? Highlights from GZ in 2015? Let us know in the comments below.