The Top 10 King Of The Dot Battles Of 2015

On this year's list: A title match, several big surprises, and the most viewed English-language battle of the year.

King Of The Dot had another massive year in 2015. The Canadian/West Coast league threw a ton of successful events across four divisions (plus a card in Massachusetts), partnered with New Era and Drake, developed some new talent and had the most viewed English-language battle of the year (more on that later). Their content repeatedly went viral on Facebook and in the mainstream media, not, as in previous years, because of scandals, but based on sheer quality and likability.

This list was incredibly tough to finalize since there were so many good battles to choose from, but also because so many KOTD regulars polarize fans. Here are our Top 10 picks for the best releases from 2015, with five more honorable mentions listed below.

Conceited vs. Dumbfoundead

Who: Conceited (Brooklyn, N.Y.) vs. Dumbfoundead (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Where: KOTD's "Blackout 5" in Toronto, Canada
When: Feb. 8, 2015

You’ve probably seen this one already, considering it got more views than any other (English-language) battle in 2015: 3.62 million, as of Jan. 12.

It's a perfect style clash between two certified celebrities in front of a hyped crowd, but more importantly it's also the first battle in a long time that you could show someone to initiate them into becoming a battle rap fan. There's no complicated backstory, obscure references or dense wordplay. Just great performances and funny jokes from two of the scene's most charismatic and popular emcees.

If you doubt this battle's impact, just look at how many subscriptions it drove to KOTD's YouTube channel (7,292 and counting).


In comparison, Charlie Clips vs. Loaded Lux did 466. Loaded Lux vs. Hollow Da Don did 775. Dizaster vs. Canibus has done 4,500. Shotty Horroh vs. Arsonal has done almost 20,000 since 2012. So not only did this battle get more views than any other match-up, it brought more new fans to the scene by being incredibly accessible and easily digested by a fresh audience.

Check out the lyrics for the battle, our full review of it, our before/after interviews with Dumbfoundead and our live updates from the event.

Bigg K vs. Ill Will

Who: Ill Will (Pontiac, Mich.) vs. Bigg K (Norfolk, Va.)
Where: KOTD's "MASSacre" in Holyoke, Mass.
When: May 16, 2015

The match-up fans had been demanding for years delivered on all fronts and was easily one of the best battles of 2015.

Bigg K has become one of the most consistent battlers in the game simply because he never takes a round off and creates a ton of replay value every time. This battle is no different; he comes out throwing haymakers, addressing Will directly as he sails through a refreshingly long first round.

Will gives a strong showing in his KOTD debut as well, but he really heats up in Round 2, which is arguably the round of the battle. He truly lets loose by then, using his intense delivery and uninhibited performance to distinguish himself from K.

The third round is something of a toss-up where, in K, we see one of the realest rebuttals of all time followed by a gradual loss of steam, and in Will, we see a slightly clumsy start that eventually fortifies into a solid round.

No matter who you have winning, you’re arguably right, but you would be wrong to skip this classic.

Fresco vs. The Saurus

Who: Fresco (Rockford, Ill.) vs. The Saurus (Las Vegas, Nev. )
Where: KOTD's "Back To Baysics 3" in San José, Calif.
When: Oct. 24, 2015

Fresco openly stated that KOTD’s cash bonus promised to Performance Of The Night motivated him to go extra hard for The Saurus. If that’s the case, can we just pay this dude $1,000 more for every battle? His momentum builds exponentially throughout all three rounds and by the end of the battle every line is getting haymaker reaction. Oh, and Saurus holds his own as usual, too.

Much like his Bigg K battle, Saurus spends a lot of his time here being an excellent sport. He arguably gets outclassed in every round, but not for any lack of content, and he’ll be the first to admit it. Fresco was just on some other shit.

Since his return against Yung Ill early last year, Fresco has really found his voice in the modern era. He’s always had bars, but today he employs a shamelessness in rapping about things he doesn’t live that makes for some truly amazing punchlines. The guy doesn’t even smoke weed, but his gun and lifestyle bars will make your face hurt by the end of the battle.

Daylyt vs. Iron Solomon

Who: Daylyt (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Iron Solomon (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Where: KOTD's "World Domination 5" in Toronto, Canada
When: Aug. 22, 2015

To most in attendance, this was the battle of the weekend at KOTD’s “World Domination 5.” Forget about the Iron Solomon you saw versus Murda Mook and prepare to once again see Daylyt on his A-game.

This is another very disputable battle that few have bothered debating with any tenacity, simply because the quality of every round is so high and the atmosphere so positive. Day showed Iron the utmost respect, as he tends to do with high profile matches that he takes seriously, which allowed Iron to get all his material out and wash his hands of the Mook showing.

Day was in his bars-only bag, including that absurd third-round haymaker that always brings the house down. For many, though, Iron’s borderline literary style was enough to outclass Day (and mid-round freestyles never hurt). Whichever you prefer, you can’t really go wrong.

Rone vs. Big T

Who: Rone (Philadelphia, Pa.) vs. Big T (Chicago, Ill.)
Where: KOTD's "Blackout 5" in Toronto, Canada
When: Feb. 8, 2015

In a way, style clashes are what have set KOTD apart for years, and this is another great example. Gun bars meet comedy with a surprising amount of crossover, and there’s a friendly rapport between Big T and Rone that makes this lots of fun to watch (save some slight stumbles by Rone and a couple mid-sentence “QUIET!”s by T).

T came out swinging in this display, doing enough to take the first round on most scorecards. He brought his signature gun sounds, but he also made a conscious effort to address Rone specifically and adapt somewhat to his style. Rone had a solid first as well, but his real strength here is in consistency. After the first round, he took over the battle fairly convincingly, including a hilarious (and cruel) third round detailing the shame and embarrassment of being overweight.

Interestingly, T had some minor antics — like dancing to Rone’s double time — during Rone’s rounds that made the battle even more enjoyable. At a couple of moments, it’s unclear whether the crowd is cheering for Rone’s lyrics or T’s response, but the result is fantastic regardless. Judging by their interactions during and after the battle, it’s clear both emcees had a good time with the clash, and it’s pretty infectious.

The Saurus vs. Rone

Who: The Saurus (Las Vegas, Calif.) vs. Rone (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Where: KOTD's "Back To Basics" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: April 18, 2015

Rone (or should I say “Hard Hitting Poet”?) has a way of making rap battles fun to watch for people who have no experience whatsoever with the culture, and this is a prime example. This isn’t just The Rone Show though; Saurus more than holds up his end.

It’s always a blast to see two vets say the meanest shit possible to each other while sporting friendly grins. This battle is just six polished, hilarious rounds, and the "Back To Basics" setting was a perfect backdrop for it. Saurus was his usual self, slinging multi's and bars inextricably related to personals breaking Rone down. Oddly enough, his rebuttals are probably the low point of this battle. Nothing dreadful, but they seem a bit uninspired and stumble-y (take note, battle rappers: no rebuttals are better than weak rebuttals). They hardly detract from his performance though, and he stays consistent throughout.

Rone, however, seems to be earning a reputation for his ferocious third rounds. He goes through his West Coast resume in a way that will really make you wonder why you’re just now realizing he’s one of the best in the world. This is a debatable classic, but that third will likely influence a lot of people’s perception.

Daylyt vs. Madchild

Who: Daylyt (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Madchild (Vancouver, Canada)
Where: KOTD's "Blackout 5" in Toronto, Canada
When: Feb. 8, 2015

What an unusual but awesome match-up this was. It’s safe to say that pretty much no one predicted this for KOTD’s mystery "Blackout 5" event, but it sure didn’t disappoint.

Let’s get one thing clear: Madchild has had the best showing of any of the industry dudes, by a mile. Although his performance versus Dirtbag Dan was a bit cleaner, he was truly creative and had a commanding presence versus Day. He voluntarily went first, and he was colossal throughout.

Day’s performance was flawless, however, and it could be argued that he took every round. Regardless, no one seems to be doing round-by-round breakdowns for this one, simply because it was such a fun battle to watch. Madchild’s borderline-mythical references turn out to be a great match for Day’s absurdist similes and double entendres; the “child” and “daylight” flips are extremely inventive and entertaining.

This is a quintessential Daylyt performance (nursery rhyme bars included) and Madchild’s broad range of content makes the battle all the more re-playable.

Read the lyrics to it here.

Pat Stay vs. Illmaculate

Who: Illmaculate (Portland, Ore.) vs. Pat Stay (Dartmouth, N.S., Canada)
Where: KOTD's "World Domination 5" in Toronto, Canada
When: Aug. 22, 2015

There’s no guarantee that every title match will have replay value. Luckily, this one does, and I question what you’re doing with your time if you haven’t seen it yet.

Again, you can’t really beat Pat in Round 1 (unless you’re The Saurus), and Illmac is one of the only battlers to have accepted that and successfully worked it into his plan of attack. This makes for a nice first from Pat and an all-around masterful performance from Illmac, each round having meticulous structure and purpose.

There have been a few holdouts still disappointed with the decision, but to dwell on the relatively non-controversial third round would be beating a dead horse. Pat communicated quite clearly that the chain didn’t mean all that much to him, and Illmac relieved him of it expertly that round. Overall, this is a more than solid battle that marks the beginning of what could be a new American legacy for KOTD.

If you missed our feature interview where we played chess with Illmac, check it here.

Carter Deems vs. Illmaculate

Who: Carter Deems (Atlanta, Ga.) vs. Illmaculate (Portland, Ore.)
Where: KOTD's "Back To Basics" in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: April 18, 2015

Here it is: the surprise battle from "Back To Basics" that features one of the most epic punchlines of all time in Carter’s second round.

Whether or not you accept the fact that he’s the goddamn man, Carter has magical powers among much of the KOTD audience. Even without saying so, he dictates the tone of every battle he participates in, forcing his opponents to adapt to his bizarre, non sequitur-filled approach. Usually, that results in a strange clash of styles whose only replay value lives in Carter’s rounds.

Illmac, however, rises to the challenge far better than most. It’s impossible to out-cat-bar Carter, but Illmac does his darnedest and frequently leaves the crowd in stitches. Above all, he’s an incredibly good sport and seems to enjoy watching Carter do his thing just as much as everyone else.

To quote him, “I got 3-0'ed by the second round,” but this is still a low-key classic and a great battle to show someone who doesn’t follow the culture.

Bigg K vs. Caustic

Who: Caustic (San Jose, Calif.) vs. Bigg K (Norfolk, Va.)
Where: KOTD's "Back To Baysics 3" in San Jose, Calif.
When: Oct. 24, 2015

This is the clash that earned Caustic and Bigg K cash bonuses for winning Battle of the Night at KOTD’s "Back to Baysics 3." In his intro, Organik referred to it as an “unofficial #1 Contender match," and that’s decidedly moot now, but K and Caustic both show why they’ve cemented themselves as KOTD staples. On Caustic’s end, there are jokes, bars, and a surprising amount of realness, while K brings his seemingly unbeatable brand of punches and wordplay.

This battle is more than worth watching for the competitive back-and-forth and for the way it might subvert your expectations. Bet you didn’t expect K to follow up Caustic’s harrowingly real third round with one entirely about a cat, but here we are. Round 1 is debatable, but most fans had K taking the first two rounds and Caustic with a standout third.

Check out the lyrics to this battle too.

Honorable mentions

Here are five more battles that are definitely worth your time.

Want more? Check out all our Year In Review coverage or our "Blackout 6" previews.

Words by Jackson Yates and Chris Mitchell.

What were your favorite KOTD battles of 2015? Let us know in the comments below.