KOTD: Blackout 8 Recap

Blackout 8 Day 1

PPV Rating

Event Recapped by LTBR Staff Writers

Staff Writer: France | Senior Staff Writer: Q Moody | Staff Writer: J Smo

Blackout 8 Day 2

PPV Rating

Event Recapped by LTBR Staff Writers via PPV stream

Staff Writer: France | Senior Staff Writer: Q Moody | Staff Writer: J Smo

LTBR Award Recipients (Day 1 & Day 2)

Battle of the Night/Weekend: A.Ward vs Real Sikh (Day1) | illmac vs Rum Nitty (Day 2) | Jey The Nitewing vs Madflex

Best Individual Performances of the night:
 #1 Real Sikh | #2 illmac | #3 Rum Nitty | #4 A.Ward | #5 Jey The Nitewing | #6 Mike P | #7 Madflex

The Biggest Win of the Night:  Franchise over Arsonal | JC over Lo Pesci 

King Of The Dot made a well-anticipated return with their iconic event series, Blackout, and the Toronto crowd couldn’t have been more thrilled. The anticipation had been building for this event’s revival, and KOTD didn’t disappoint. For those unfamiliar, the Blackout series is unique because of the surprise battle announcements made on the spot, keeping fans on the edge of their seats to find out which name would be called to the stage. This event featured an array of styles, from homegrown talent to midtiers, to top-tier names, all under one roof. The event even featured a few emcees making their Toronto debut, adding an extra layer of excitement to the already electric atmosphere.

The presence of Pat Stay, one of battle rap’s most beloved and iconic figures. forme KOTD champion, Canadian Legend, loving father, and many more titles, was deeply felt throughout the entirety of the event. His legacy and memory resonated throughout the event with bars being catered to him, Long Live Pat Stay chants, Geechi Gotti dedicating a round to him, his family being in attendance, reminding everyone of the lasting impact he had on the culture. Pat Stay’s larger-than-life personality, unmatched talent, and undeniable charisma left an unforgettable mark on the culture, and his spirit continues to inspire and uplift all of us.

A special shoutout goes to Frak, who held down the PPV commentary all by himself. Discussing an event with unannounced matchups is no small feature, and his dedication and expertise deserve endless credit. He held down the commentary in ways many would be incapable of. King Of The Dot’s Blackout event delivered the unexpected, and the unforgettable, and showcased the essence of battle rap diversity at its finest, giving us some of the best battles so far in 2023, and leaving fans eagerly awaiting the next installment of any of KOTD’s other iconic series. Town Bidness, Gully vs. Ganik, maybe a World Domination. 

I say this for everyone, we missed King Of The Dot and we are very ecstatic and fulfilled to see more active, looking forward to their next event. 

Full Day 1 Podcast Recap

We will be introducing our new rating system for individual battles. Similar to the 5 Mics concept, We will give a 5-star rating per battle on the card.   ☆☆☆☆☆

Mike P vs The Saurus

3.25☆ Rating (Recapped by J Smo)


The opening battle of the night saw a matchup of 2 battlers who had an exchange leading up to the weekend, with Mike vs. TheSaurus being a good matchup with a legend to set the tone. The first round started on Mike, and while not the most explosive round Mike delivered a solid around some good flips. Pistol Pete bar sticks out but in terms of punches, energy, angling, and rapping ability it was a more basic Mike round but in patent Mike fashion he would go on to write uphill. The Saurus 1st however acted as his best round, going heavy on name flips like his 1st few rounds for Hollow, and landing back-to-back early. His Mike/Mic scheme was the standout of his round, multiple Mic-related punches led to his most consistent and effective portion of the battle. Little wordplay like “The IQ of 5 7 5 like a Haiku” is an example of the fluidity of The Saurus’s rapping ability within the battle as well, adding to the execution of the content and leading to a clear 1-0 lead. 

In the 2nd round, Mike opens with a change of pace, adding a lot of comedy in this 2nd, starting with an angle about TheSaurus being hostile on Twitter compared to real life. This then connects right into a fat angle, with Mike landing jokes consistently throughout the whole execution. By the 2nd half of the round, Mike is back to punching and his quality is upped, his Synonyms for the Dead bar was fire and his rhyme pocket to the Cayenne Pepper bar is an example of peak Mike P. After a rapping clinic from Mike to close out, it’s back on The Saurus where he takes the ever too familiar Mike P’s wife angle. As is with any angle that’s been done a ton, there must be a certain level of greatness or uniqueness that has to be reached to separate it from the other iterations. While the approach of “your reaction to the angle” had some potential, it comes out to a good but not groundbreaking Adam22 punch. The Saurus then stumbles a little and while not choking he did cut his round which seems a little short and ended up giving the 2nd clear to Mike. 1-1 going into the 3rd

After mentioning his uphill writing earlier, should be no surprise Mikes’s 3rd is his best round and the best round of the battle. Mixing angling, pure rapping, and punching to attack all around. Starting from the “Pay homage to a Greek/Sophisticated Sculpture” bar, he lands a SpiderVerse scheme to follow and fills every second of the round with energy to drive the round home. His angle about The Saurus wife serves as some light counterwriting due to the angle he consistently faces but is an outliner in a round of mostly bombs and aggression. The Saurus 3rd is also good, a step up from his 2nd but a step behind his 1st. His accolade talk round is always going to hit, going over his career history and the body of work he’s had as a legend. Although good, Mike’s round was just a level better in all aspects, taking this just like the 2nd clear and taking the battle overall 2-1.

Good showing from both, and a very good result on Mike who’s now up to a consensus 2-0 since taking the fully independent route as a battler. This time with a win over a good version of a legend. 

Arsonal vs Franchise

2. ☆ Rating (Recapped by J Smo)


2nd battle of the night saw Franchise in a home game vs. a legend in Arsonal. Solid battle on paper that had some promise with Arsonal giving a few solid showings lately. The battle started on Franchise and with his traditional back-to-back/ultra-aggressive style, his 1st would be his best round of the battle. Starting early with some disrespect about taking Arsonal’s girl, landing a Brittany Spears and Night at the Roxbury haymakers early. Also, would land his Sleep with Eaz(ease)/Remy bar that landed as a haymaker shortly after. The whole round sums up the possible peaks of Franchise style: he’s got 1 mode, and if the content in a specific round is great enough, he’ll be great. Arsonal in his 1st round set an early tone for how unserious he was going to be in this battle. His round is mostly him going through the motions, his Bo Jackson and No/Know Lackin bar was solid, but a round of that had little creativity and ended early on a few stumbles and a Jersey. 1-0 clear for Franchise.

From there, the margin of victory for Franchise continued but the quality on both sides took dips. Franchise 2nd has a highlight with the “Cross-Eyed/Looking the wrong way” haymaker, but the overall quality doesn’t meet up to his 1st, revisits the disrespect but the punches did not have the same effectiveness. Ars 2nd has a joke about A.Ward in a strip club and outside of that is just an even more basic version of his 1st. The 3rd follows this template as well, the weakest round from Franchise but still the content just has some effort/creativity to it. A light Arsonal vs a solid Franchise, although he wrote downhill, and a clear win for Franchise across all 3.

A.Ward vs Real Sikh

4.5 ☆ Rating (Recapped by Q Moody)


A battle that really encapsulates the beauty of Blackout. A clash between two of the very best battle rappers in the world and something that could be a main event anywhere was a surprise.

Despite this being his 4th high-profile battle in 8 weeks, there’s a strong case this could be the best A. Ward material of that stretch. His first round was extremely explosive and made it a question in our minds of how Sikh would even be able to combat such a powerful round. Ward’s angle about Sikh’s prior disrespect for KOTD and building to the “face the Chrome” bar was a masterclass in execution. 

All this praise for Ward is deserved and warranted and we’ll definitely talk about Ward more, but Sikh might have been the best version of himself to date in this battle. He felt right at home once again on KOTD. In the face of an incredible round that was designed to turn the crowd on him, Sikh showed off his own freestyling skills with flipping that angle into he said what he said because rappers like Ward were in contention for the chain and immediately put the battle back on an even playing field and he took full advantage of that momentum with a monstrous first round of his own. A round like this really displays how high level of a battler Sikh is, to stand in front of a bomb of a round like that and be able to walk away, arguably having won it. 

The second round starts off with great freestyling from Ward, which generates one of the biggest moments of the whole weekend. But while the round itself was still very good, it’s a bit short and leaves the window there for Sikh to overpower his round. The third rounds are also close in my opinion as they both close out very strongly. The polls from different outlets have Sikh winning this battle and I have Sikh winning this battle as well, but I truly don’t think it’s a insane take to have A. Ward winning. Sikh just had the glow in this battle. 

This is one of the very best battles of the year and the 2nd battle of the year caliber battle for Ward in 6 weeks. I’ve seen a lot of discourse about A. Ward battling too much for the last month or so, and I think that’s a really overblown talking point. For one, he’s always battled a high volume and been extremely productive and consistent with no major dips for the most part, factually battling at a high clip has never been an issue for him. It stands out more because of the events he’s on and names he’s facing consecutively, but Ward is actually battling less this year than he has in years prior. 

The second thing someone might say is that Ward is “losing” these battles. Battle rap is ultimately super subjective, so if people have Ward losing all of these battles it’s not necessarily an outlandish opinion. Out of Frak, Verb, Clips and Sikh, I personally have him at a 3-1 record with the loss being to Sikh. But the point for me is that even if you have him losing some of these battles, in 3 of them I still think he’s very good at LEAST and in 2 of them he’s phenomenal and they’re BOTY level battles and the Verb battle based on all the polls across Twitter and YouTube, is objectively debatable and has been 50/50 everywhere. The Clips battle is meh, but it’s still a debatable with one of the best battle rappers of all time. A. Ward ran a hell of a gauntlet to cap off the summer and kick off autumn, so even if there’s arguments to be made about his record, don’t leave out the part where he delivered two of the best battles of the year.

For Sikh, he’s been having a little bit of an overlooked year and people need to be as loud talking about his wins as they were when talking about his “losses”. Sikh has been a model of consistency for going on 4 years now and has only gotten sharper as time has gone on. He’s one of the best battle rappers in the world, period. On a skill and output level, there are very few battlers who are matching his ability to do so many different things or constantly leveling up every step of the way.

Charron vs Bigg K

2.75 ☆ Rating (Recapped by J Smo)


One of the more heavyweight battles of the whole weekend, Bigg K made his Toronto debut vs. one of the best Canadian battlers in history in Charron. K went first, and it started pretty well. His Trigger Warning and Employee of the Month bars would make you think we were in for another fantastic Bigg K round that we’ve been accustomed to seeing in 2023. But after this, and I mean soon after, K ends his round. A very strict 2-minute round vs. a legend at home is a bold strategy and did not work for K. Charron 1st is just a wave of energy compared to K’s first, with Charron giving off a much more chaotic but attacking energy. A Lot of momentum rap, and one-liners stacking into an overall pocket to hit as a haymaker at the end Charron really showed up to win Round 1. His Tim Duncan and Bipolar bars stood out as clear peaks and the battle started with a dominant 1-0 lead for Charron. 

The 2nd, back on Bigg K, and once again a rather uninspiring and short round. Clowning Charron for his use of gun bars, and angling about Charron’s autism. His Corporate ladder bar is an example of K always having a few standout haymakers, but these first 2 rounds seemed low in quality compared to the work we’ve gotten used to seeing from him. Charron 2nd looked prime to take the round but then he himself experienced a large dip in quality from his 1st. A mix of jokes and general bars, it’s just a bit of a messy round all around with his Carter Deems jump in acting as almost a cheat code reaction in the middle of 2 lackluster 2nds. While K did very little, I thought Charron did even less and found myself scoring it 1-1 going into the 3rd

The final round of the battle sees one of the better rounds from both battlers, so definitely acts as a good deciding round. K finally finds his groove, clowning Charron for his girl and for his nerdiness but this time with much more effectiveness. You mix in some drug talk and you get a good K round, his Jason Williams and Twitter Bot punches being prime examples of him at his best. His angle in the 2nd half about Charron being a salesman was hilarious, and overall you get an all-around round that is very hard to flat-out beat. Charron 3rd takes a more substance-based approach. He starts with a couple of quick and good rebuttals, but almost immediately gets into an angle about Bigg K’s lack of effort and short rounds (perfect timing) in years past. “There’s a difference between calling time and putting the fucking time in” is a great and simple bar to attack an angle everyone is familiar with. This leads into the home run stretch of Charron’s round with his “Being Real” concept, describing some more ordinary ways people hold down themselves and their families, with a huge haymaker about raising money for the late great Pat Stay’s family (LLPS). A close 3rd, it can go either way, but I found myself edging Charron with his flurry on this ending angle and edging him into the battle 2-1. 

Solid, battle, with some highs and lows, but a competitive battle overall between 2 established top tiers in our culture. While the debatable result is going to be held against K by many, the diversity in the matchup and still having a competitive battle shows the versatility K has with opponents and adds a decent debate to his catalog while Charron further shows the difficulty he his to clear as a matchup. 

Geechi Gotti vs Hollohan

2.00 ☆ Rating (Recapped by Q Moody)


I tried hard to find a nice way to talk about this battle, but it proved difficult. Geechi was very good and in a battle where admittedly, I felt like he could come in and coast, I didn’t feel as if he did. Geechi’s first round is excellent and is the highlight of the battle by a country mile. And I think he stays at a high enough level throughout the whole battle to where I can’t say I’m disappointed at all. It’s definitely below the Eazy and Emerson Kennedy performances, but for sure better than he was vs. Coffee and maybe even better than he was vs. Bad Newz as well. With the momentum he has right now, and the Coach Corleone battle at TOS coming up and whatever else may arise, don’t be surprised to see Geechi’s name in contention in what is now a wide-open COTY race

The novelty of seeing Hollohan didn’t yield great results this time and doesn’t give me high hopes in how he’ll be if there’s a next time we see him. I can’t mince words here, he just wasn’t good. And maybe that doesn’t matter much when you factor in the emotional and symbolic weight of him battling Geechi, but his performance felt very dated and he looked uncomfortable. There’s some heartfelt moments that resonated, but otherwise this was a very clear win for Geechi in a one sided battle.

Day 2 Battles

Emerson Kennedy vs Peppe

1.5 ☆ Rating (Recapped by France)


Peppe still has some room to improve his game, There is something offbeat in his delivery that makes his bars difficult to resonate, some of the bars are dope but throughout his performance, it was difficult for him to really establish his presence or build momentum. Peppe showed promise with some solid bars, but his delivery lacked the aggression & conviction to bring home some of his punches at times. While he had a standout second round, his 1st and 3rd rounds fell short in comparison to Emerson’s creativity and consistency throughout the battle.

Emerson Kennedy has been on a farewell tour this year putting on some dope performances around the country with a variety of tiers in opponents and while I am generally a big fan of EK, this performance left a little more to be desired. His humorous moments, such as shooting his shot at Myverse and his ability to seemingly access the venue’s lights, added a unique flair to his performance. Man, somehow, somehow he gets access to the power box of every venue he steps into!  He is always creative and while this might not have been his most outstanding display, Emerson still managed to do enough to secure the win.

Loso vs Joey Gambello

2.50 ☆ Rating (Recapped by France)


A fun battle between Loso and Joey Gambello, a clash of two exceptionally talented battlers. Gambello, known for his wordplay and slick punchlines, animated performance, and his erratic burst of energy, did not disappoint as he delivered a handful of clever and hard-hitting rhymes throughout the battle, especially in his 2nd round. 

The 2nd round of this battle was the most competitive round of the battle, Joey really found himself heating up with some heavy talk. Especially with the “My dog can’t read n the judge threw the book at em!”  bar. This was a solid show from Gambello, and hopefully, he can find a real consistent footing with a new emergence of the battle culture in Toronto over the past year. 

However, it was Loso who managed to dictate the pacing of this battle with his commanding stage presence and his performance. Loso’s ability to project his voice and engage the crowd was a separating factor when you heard both emcees take turns. Loso has a much more polished style and format of attacking his opponent. In this battle, in particular, Loso turned him into a name-flip specialist with some slick Joey/Joe punches. In addition, Loso also showcased some strategic angle punching in his second and third rounds, further displaying his versatility, and showing the levels between the two of them. I will say, that Loso did find himself with a handful of moments in this battle of him bringing back his material or slightly losing place with crowd reaction and repeating himself. He could sharpen the edges in those areas, but despite that, good performance. 

Carter Deems vs Tricky P

1.25 ☆ Rating (Recapped by France)


The battle between Tricky P. and Carter Deems was a unique and…different battle, to say the least. What made this clash different was the abundance of comedic value in both emcees’ wittiness, coupled with the timing of their delivery being a bit unorthodox. Tricky P remained true to his character, bringing his quirky and distinctive flow to the forefront. While he encountered a few stumbles, and some very bizarre lines and was searching to find his footing, he had a decent return to battle rap and brought back his eccentric style.

On the other hand, Carter Deems showed his mastery. Clever punchlines and unmatched humor, his awkward yet infectious delivery! Throughout the battle, it was evident that Carter was in complete control, delivering some of the best bars and jokes of the event. His ability to resonate with the crowd was a testament to his understanding of his own style and how to connect it with the audience. Carter’s performance alone added tremendous value to this battle, as his humor and unique style left a lasting impression and had the crowd thoroughly entertained. Cater’s “They thought I’d grow up & start acting my best, But I already chose the streets like a captcha test!”  Was the bar of the battle.

In the end, the battle between Tricky P and Carter Deems was a refreshing battle from the norm we are used to, but it was Carter’s humor and style that truly shined, his performance makes this battle an enjoyable and laughter-filled experience. 

Jey The Nitewing vs Madflex

4.00 ☆ Rating (Recapped by J Smo)


One of the best battles of the weekend, Jey vs. Madflex just brings elements to the table that your traditional pen vs. pen matchups don’t. Starting 1st one Jey, I will say starting with his low delivery for the first half of the 1st worried me. Jey has always worked at his own pace, and by the time he hit the Griffin/Lion I’m Flying bar, I realized this was all more of a methodical approach as opposed to a “lazy” version of Jey. He picks up with a couple of big haymakers to close his 1st with the Cost of Living and Pension bars, cutting his round some a product that is good but not unbeatable. Madflex 1st is a straight bar-for-bar round, touching on Jey’s history of inconsistency which he would continue to do all battle. His flip on Jey’s Make The Floor bar is my favorite of the round, but performance bars like “Worst Wingman” and angle punch about Jey choking vs. Loso showed versatility in his attacks. Flex rapped a little longer and just seemed to land more and more to the point where he got the 1st kind of clear. Also, have to mention both battlers started with some dope tribute openers to Pat Stay.

After a very dope 1st, the 2nd for Jey takes this battle to another level. After a quick, decent rebuttal Jey gets back to back-to-back punching but this time with increased energy, rapping ability, and content. “You weren’t recognized in life so your death will be nothing new” is just a small example of the unique lyrical style I think Jey has, landing punches that have a double without too much wordplay or word manipulation. Very blunt yet clever. The peak of the round though is easily the 2nd half where he takes an angle on Madflex about a Twitter rant he had months back about him rapping Rum Nitty’s “Screenshot” quotable first, and more layered. “I said that first” has always been a common thing to hear in Battle Rap, even a common angle, but this acts in reverse flipping the complaint on Madflex. Starting with comedy, Jey uses this to lead into a Nitty slogan flip of “read the letter of his suicide while I do the job”, landing heavily. Heating up as it goes, he lands some more real blunt bars: “You want flowers? Take some of mine they don’t think I deserve ‘em anyways”, very simple but very impactful. Ending the round with a full circle moment, he lands his own version of the screenshot bar and puts a bow on one of the most unique and great rounds of the whole BlackOut event. Madflex 2nd is good as well, once again flexing the pen with his Bill and Ted, Dracula, and “Fuck Up this Classic” bars that all showed peaks like his 1st. Flex 2nd is a more than respectable round, but in front of a well-delivered and nuanced angle, he just couldn’t match that same level of impact with his material, and led to a competitive 1-1 going into the 3rd

Back on Jey one more time at the top of the 3rd and once again, takes a slow start to the round but this time to show love to his late Grandmother (RIP) and talked about those in the culture who helped financially to have her funeral at her home, ending it with a joke playing off his choking issues to complete a real wholesome moment. From there, Jey gets into a very message-oriented round, speaking on how he feels about his status in Battle Rap as well as the politics involved. “Every time I come to the table, they hide my chair” Jey speaks a bit about being ducked, and the behavior of “all-time greats” in the culture being shady and focusing too much on the gossip of the culture and not the raps. This is all tied in with real talk about Blue Collar workers and those who hold down their families in some monotonous situations, similar themes to Charron’s 3rd for Bigg K this past weekend. 

After saying the culture will be dead in 20 years from its current actions, real deep thought to end the angle with, he lands a final haymaker to Flex about his loss to Bill in the 100k S1 tourney. Jey has always been one for these deep message 3rds that wrap back to the opponent without being fully direct to them and this great round was no different, and the interpretation of it comes down to a bit of preference. Madflex 3rd makes this extremely contested, as this round he really works the angle about Jey’s shortcomings. He lands his normal good flips like X/Take out Wing, Hot Ones, and Alaskan Nights bars. But his angling is the peak of the round, telling Jey a message many can immediately agree with, “don’t win the battle, win the war, do what you did tonight and do it 9 more times”. It’s a battle with tons of wordplay but also a real attack, approach, and strategy from both. I personally found myself edging Jey the 3rd, and the battle 2-1, but it’s very debatable, and the best outcome could have been from both battlers. Great battle and hopefully a sign of things to come from Jey, with Flex giving another great piece of work to add to an underrated catalog. 

JC vs Lo Pesci

2.00 ☆ Rating (Recapped by J Smo)


A bit of a mismatch, this pen-based battle pits JC up against an older KOTD legend in Loe Pesci. From the 1st round, the pace of the battle was kind of shown, Pesci having his same unique flow but the content is outdated or a little hit or miss. While a complete and clean 1st, JC going through the motions is still equipped on a more modern lyrical level and without doing too much still shows clear separation in the 1st

As the battle goes on, Pesci starts to struggle with the cleanliness of his delivery, gifting the battle to JC as it goes on. Pesci had his moment like the Dustin Diamond flip but combining a bit of outdated material with the stumbles and a choke, JC gets a clean 3-0 with mostly just jokes about Pesci/Daylyt situation as well as some general bars. His 3rd speech on Pesci’s departure from Battle Rap may be his best round being it’s the most direct in a battle that wasn’t very angle-based. Decent battle overall and JC picks up a W in a situation he’s been in almost 100 times before now. 

illmac vs Rum Nitty

4.50 ☆ Rating (Recapped by Q Moody)


Years of hype, and years of what-if questions came to fruition with this one. This battle had sky-high expectations and usually, that’s incredibly difficult to match but Nitty and Illmac did so with ease. 

The only clear round here is the first round, which was a strange viewing experience and at first, concerned me with how the battle would go. Nitty’s round is extremely short (something I’m still really confused by) and it’s dominated by this Canadian cities scheme. A lot of the bars are dope, especially the tan butter/Yellowknife line, but it builds up to this flip on Illmac’s 3 O’s segment vs. A Ward where Nitty does the same thing to the word Toronto and it just falls really flat. Illmac came out the gate in the first round as sharp as ever and I was prepared for things to get ugly. 

Then the Alien finally showed up in the 2nd with an explosive round and gave himself some momentum. I’d be curious to know what people think about Nitty’s best 2nd round of this recent run against Ace Amin, Jaz, and Illmac because they’ve all been phenomenal. But for how good Nitty was, Illmac matched it and his penmanship really was just otherworldly. The same story goes for the 3rd as it’s another razor-close round, where Nitty displays some counterwriting chops and builds it into the Mt. Rushmore/headstone bar that takes the roof off of the building. Illmac’s round is great as well, but while the legacy talk is dope and valid, it felt a little misplaced because Nitty’s stats are greater than Illmac’s and the puncher stuff was getting a tad redundant but the content was still great. 

This is another one of the best battles of the year and extremely close. Illmac got the first round clear and I do give Nitty the 3rd because Illmac’s angle didn’t overpower him, the battle comes down to the 2nd round for me and I straight up don’t know who I give the round to at this point in time. It’s that close of a battle and will remain a hotly contested debate on who won and I think that’s great for the culture. Illmac returned after 4 years off and was just as amazing as ever and Nitty despite the heavy workload, went in there with another all-time great and put on a hell of a show. Just like I said with A. Ward earlier, people can say whatever about the volume of battles but when someone can have that schedule and still perform at this high of a level, there’s only so much you can say. He’s the Alien for a reason.

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