KOTD: Stay Forever Recap

Stay Forver

Day 1

Day 2

Event Recapped by Contributor Hurricane Du &. staff Writers France, J Smo & Titus

Long Live Pat Stay

In a culture that thrives on negativity, constant debates, and arguments. For one weekend we all came together, battlers, fans, and even leagues all came as one to support a bigger cause. Celebrating life and honoring the memory of the great Pat Stay and raising money for his family. 

Salute to Organik and the entire King of The Dot staff for having the vision to create this event and execute it to its fullest extent. This is the type of event that Pat Stay would’ve wanted, for all of his peers to compete at a high level, take their battles seriously and sprinkle some fun and joyful compliment battles. One underlying aspect of losing someone special is that death can bring the living together, and death can cause the living to find solace in one another. 

28 battlers all come together for a common goal, and it’s to put their God-given talents on display in efforts to raise money for Pat Stay’s family. The event raised $140,000 for his family and all of the battlers performed on this card for free and made the sacrifice for a greater cause.

 Seeing Smack and Organik on stage together for the first time in years, artists we haven’t seen in decades all come together for one cause is one of the most beautiful things this culture has ever seen. When you’re deep into battle rap, it’s easy to become disillusioned and overwhelmed by the negativity. Still, moments like Stay Forever stand out as reasons why we can be proud to be a part of this community. Long Live Pat Stay.

Real Deal vs Loso

Real Deal vs Loso was a back-and-forth we didn’t know we needed.
Loso’s whole attack angle on Real Deal round 1 was; his style is lackluster, he hasn’t faced the same level of battle opponents, and he shaded his work ethic. Pretty good start on character assassination. “…I even made DNA turn thee other cheeks, like a cotton swab” Clever.
“If you ask my opinion, I always thought that being boring was ya motto/ boy your drive wouldn’t cut it if you were OJ in a Bronco!”

Real Deal is up, it’s the bottom of the 1st.

“…I been reading the Bible recently, I got on my apostle like studies, and I’m fearful, cause man we sodomite vs sodomites/ He is awesome right buddy?/ plus I’m deciding if I wanna walk with Christ/ I’m nervous of the thought that he might judge me/ Cause the lord sees everything/ Except my battles, cause God don’t like ugly!” Real Deal even compares his music with Loso in this round. Called Loso a “pastor rapper” and finished off the round pretty strong. Entertaining round 1 from Real Deal.

Real Deal and Loso kept this same energy throughout round 2, and in round 3, Loso decided to take another approach and changed the feel of the battle. “Lets look around man, we had no money for this event/ we came here together/ but you ain’t gotta worry about a sponsor no more/ cause we got an angel investor…”
For the last round of the battle, Real Deal once again flexes his pen, with a lot of metaphors and wordplay, this round is more braggadocio than a tailor-made attack on Loso. Overall this battle was a great display of penmanship and a beautiful way to honor the life of Pat Stay.

Charlie Clips & DNA vs Lu Castro & Real Sikh

Smack is on stage for this one with Organik, Lu & Sikh winning the coin toss, DNA & Clips up first. Comfortable, DNA and Clips go back n forth with clever material. “They done put us against the softest crooks/ a diesel Indian wit good hair/ one of the softest looks!” Charlie Clips kept the comedic visuals coming. DNA & Clips chemistry works in this situation. Lu Castro starts off the bottom of the 1st with a “Skip to my loo” bar, and got the crowd excited immediately. Sikh & Lu also had great timing, and entertaining bars, the crowd loved them, awesome round one.

“This memorial is for Pat, the next one is for ya’ll niggas!” Clips and DNA back up for round 2, their transitions are smooth and the crowd is going crazy. Keep in mind the battlers weren’t paid to perform, and they have crafted top-dollar material for this event. “It ain’t play time I got the heat/ you think Hip Hop is real?/ Well let’s see if ya Knowledge deep”. DNA’s wordplay never disappoints. “You’ll be dead when I air it/ I done sprayed the fastest/ trained assassin/ lights, camera/ main attraction/ he kept thinking that he raw/ until on stage I slapped him..then it started a war, I’m not saying it backward.” Lu Castro cadence was on point. Round 2 was full of energy and highlights.

Round 3, Charlie Clips right at ‘em with a funny bird shit scheme. DNA and Clips perform so well together, with seamless transitions. DNA delivers a segment using Lu’s Battle characteristics and lingo, like “whip the pot”. DNA was dumped in this round. In the bottom of the third round Real Sihk gave us some bars describing the first time he saw Pat Stay, “I can’t explain how heavy the heart is/prepping for all this”, and how much Pat inspired him to compete in the sport of battle rap and then finally coming full circle and actually getting the opportunity to battle Pat Stay. In conclusion, this battle was a great watch and a great tribute to Pat Stay.

Casey Jay vs Myverse

In honor and memory of Pat Stay, Casey Jay, and MyVerse agreed to a three-round compliment battle. “You know what rhymes with kicking ass and taking names? You guess it class/ it’s Casey Jay!” MyVerse character shines in this performance. Watching Casey Jay and MyVerse go line for line, lifting each other up was great to see because as we all know, female battle rap as a culture can be a gritty place to work.

It was refreshing to see the women rap about each other’s journeys and accomplishments in their battle rap careers. “I watched all of your battles/ that shit had me hype/ I love how you write/ You like a Fabolous adlib/ Cause dammit you nice!” Casey’s delivery was on point and made these bars fun to absorb. “And if I needed a favor/ I know you’d do me a favor/ as much love as you show/ I know you, not a hater” Casey was dumping them positive bars on us.

“You know you my favorite BARdashian right? Like, if we was a two on two, I’d be hyped as hell, hear me out, Kylie Penner Verse, see? It writes itself” MyVerse was very comfortable on stage, smooth rounds from her. “If my man cheated on me with you/ I couldn’t even be mad/ I’d just find out and be like ‘dammit she’s bad’” Casey Jay rose to the occasion and still was able to display her talent with bars. As far as Compliment Battles are concerned, Casey Jay vs MyVerse is one for the books!

Dumb Foundead vs Rone

A matchup for longtime fans, Rone vs Dumbfounded is a GrindTime mega match in live time. Both returning to a culture they became legends in and used to further their life, this was the type of star matchup that perfectly honors Pat’s life. From 1st to 3rd, the battle showcases a lot of GT and early KOTD elements, particularly an abundance of comedy from both battlers. 

1st round starts off on Rone, and very early on he lays out his blueprint for this approach in the battle: a ton of Asian jokes combined with pockets of great, rapid rapping. In his best round of the battle, he lands things like his “put the yellow ranger on a ventilator” bar with a rapid flow, classic Rone traits. Dumbfounded responded with some counter writing, playing off Asian stereotypes to land an Asian accent bar early. From there, multiple comedy angles about Rone being on a Barstool and his style of dress would make up most of the round. The closest round of the battle, I edged it to Rone. 

For the rest of the battle, Dumbfounded took control. While Rone 2nd and 3rd were solid, especially his great tribute section to Pat in the 3rd, the jokes got somewhat stale. His action hero angle in the 2nd was a bright spot but Dumbfounded picked and executed a few better approaches and got over more jokes as the battle went on. His comedy-based multis about Rone being frat-like and his Dave Portnoy haymaker to open the 2nd are good examples of how much Dumb had the room, and in my opinion, took the 2nd and 3rd pretty clear. 

Dope, wholesome battle that showed some of the earliest and most fun elements of KOTD. A great battle for a great card, shoutout to both the legend for coming out and putting on for Pat. 

Saynt vs Franchise

Little change of pace from most of the Day 1 matchups, Saynt vs Franchise go at it in what was, by no surprise, a creative gun-bar fest filled with great haymakers and energy. 

The franchise kicked off the battle, and as someone who thought Franchise may still have ring rust, it was refreshing to see him up there on stage very comfortable and landing consistently. 1st was probably his lightest, but his Elvis and Pete Davidson bars back-to-back highlighted his rounds peaks. Inversely, Saynt 1st is probably his best of the battle. Starting with a rebuttal to Franchise (which was okay), he went right into throwing a flurry of punches. His Plot Hole, Stop Asian Hate, and 2 weeks’ notice bars highlighted a round where he was landing about every 4, and in a close round probably had a couple more lines that landed on punch count. Had Saynt winning the 1st on an edge. 

2nd was extremely clear as Saynt 2nd started with a choke. Franchise 2nd was solid as is though, turning the energy up and hitting stride towards the end. “Slide up and spin on ‘em like Computer chairs” is the standout haymaker. Saynt got it back and had some solid content but basically forfeited the round immediately before he got his round out.

And the 3rd, Franchise would continue to use the momentum to carry himself to a win. His callback to Pats iconic introspective round for Charron started the round off with a great feel, and then transitioned right into back-to-back punching, now landing pretty consistently again. Saynt 3rd was solid, but content-wise simply couldn’t keep up pace. Due to the mirror match factor, one could consider the 3rd close if they simply prefer one artist’s style over the others, but for me the gap was evident. 

A solid battle to fill out the card, and a small, worthwhile detour in terms of the styles on the card. 

Dizaster vs Hollohan

Two former KOTD Champions take the stage for a surprise battle. 

Hollohan makes a return to the ring since his last battle in 2015, against T-rex on KOTD’s Blackout card. And It was almost like seeing a whole new battle rapper. The presence, physics, and delivery were on par to make a fitting return in front of this Toronto Crowd.

And Bbg salute to Dizaster for being a part of this card, it had been mentioned prior to this surprise that he was still dealing with recovering from an injury and he couldn’t find the time to get prepared for this, and he was able to make the sacrifice to be a part of this monumental event.

Hollow Da Don vs Charron

We got Smack doing the coin toss, which Hollow won, first round, it’s on Charron, and he gets right to it. Charron’s projection is great, his confidence is clear, and Charron comes across as very prepared at the top of this round. Charron doesn’t forget about the angles either, “…I’m on the same show where Clips at/ nearly every URL rapper freestyled on Flex, you never did that/ you coulda been famous as the goat/ all you did was sit back/ so how are Hollow if you never expanded after the impact?!” Charron came to see Hollow with some heat in his first round. Hollow Da Don, seasoned, came in at the bottom of the 1st freestyling, showcasing his abilities. Hollow’s bars were very well received in the building.

Charron returns in round two with a fire meta verse rebuttal that woke whoever was sleeping up. Charron was witty in this battle, add in the comedy factor and these turned out to be some great rounds. Charron’s rounds were also longer than Hollow Da Don, Hollow’s rounds were 2 minutes. Hollow even says something about cutting Charron’s round short in the 2nd, and then Charron started freestyle about that. After a Colt 45 toast to Pat Stay, Hollow Da Don is back with a Colt 45 rebuttal. Hollow also had some clever gun bars for Charron, “you autistic, I’m artistic, mine got an A R in it!”. Hollow’s freestyle skills are elite and seemingly unlimited. At the end of this round, Hollow says “2 minutes”.

The third round got really interesting, they put a spin on the battle: a four bar trade off. Both artists freestyled back to back for four bars, building off the last word, from the last bar of the previous battler. This exercise in mental skill and pressure was entertaining to watch. Just when we thought things couldn’t get anymore more exciting, Hollow brings out Illmac to complete his round, and Charron brings out Jin! The crowd goes crazy and then Jin vs Illmac begins. Amazing battle with a fire surprise.

illmac vs Jin

A wonderful surprise to the entire battle rap culture. Jin makes his return to the ring after 17 years against illmac for a 1 round battle, which Jin would consider to be a sparring session. 

There is some history underlying between both emcees, back in 2009, Jin tried to set up. a battle against Dizaster & illmac on Grind time. And it all comes back around full circle, in the spirit of Pat Stay and for the greater good, Jin & illmac found themselves in this parallel universe where they are across each other on a stage. 

Day 2

Pathgenic vs XQZ

Two of the more rising talents to have touched the KOTD stage set off Day 2. This beautiful battle featured a lot of good and heartfelt tributes to the legend Pat Stay. We got a really good back and forth from guys who got booked enough prep time and have implemented a ton of wittiness, clever setups and angles, and dope multi-syllabic acrobats. It was cool seeing Pathogenic back on stage again, he had some solid takes on angles. XQZ has a smooth flow with a fluid pace and hard-hitting lines and made the most of his performance. Like everyone else on the card, these guys did Pat proud.

Po Rich vs Joey Gambello

The return of a KOTD champion and a home game for Joey Gambello. This was a dope battle with some unfortunate audio issues for approach but kudos to how he fought thru them. Giving us a blend of humor and some solid angles. Joey Gambello gave us a reminder on how dope he is, he had some fluid pockets, hard punches, and that drug talk we know and love. I’d love to see Joey get some more plates going forward, he’s a very talented battler who almost always gives you something to remember in his battles. It was great to see him again vs a KOTD legend.

Th3 Saga vs Arcane

One of the late additions to the card, this saw the debut of Saga on KOTD as well as Arcane, a KOTD legend, returning to the ring. 

Saga would start 1st and delivered a standard round. Took a while to heat up and some small of constant stumbles throughout. Arcane, to my surprise, snatched the audience early. He did take the Porn angle, which while one can argue is overdone, was executed well and landed heavy in the room. Couple other decent bars to match some of Sagas writing created some clear separation. Arcane was up a pretty comfy 1-0. 

The rest of the battle played out differently, as Saga 2nd and 3rd were both better than his 1st, while Arcane wrote downhill from his 1st. Particularly Sagas 2nd, he caught a good groove and was landing consistently form his Chain of Events bar to his Owen Hart bar. Arcane 2nd was extremely slow to heat up and while his Jamaican food scheme was cool, he simply didn’t have enough. The 3rd played out similar, but with both having some dope Pat tributes. Saga Pat opener into a haymaker going at Arcane was the standout of his 3rd, while Arcane weed scheme was, while a somewhat drawn out, fairly good. Dope of both battlers to put on for Pat with limited prep time.

Frak vs Soul Khan

A near-literal mirror match, Frak vs Soul posed a coming-of-the-ages battle. The 2 talented and, as talked about abundantly in battle, Jewish battlers represent 2 different eras of battle rap they were able to find their niche in. Frak has been a criminally underrated battler for some time and Soul Khan has returned and has been trying to find his footing in Battle Rap again. The result of this battle may have made finding that footing a much harder task. 

The first round started on Soul Khan and was probably his best round. Slow opening but picked up some steam with a couple of bars about how Frak could “never out Jew him”. These flashes of comedy mixed with a few multis were pretty much the peak of what Khan had to offer till the issues in his structure began to show. Pulling out files for different “exposing” angles as he went, Soul got a mixed reaction due to the fact his delivery is just absolutely everywhere. Random pauses/stumbles, comments towards the crowd, and awkward moments of over projection caused the crowd to get a little confused at times, but even with these things he was shown a fair amount of love. Then Frak would respond and pretty much set up the template for the rest of the battle: dominance. 

Frak’s 1st includes rebuttals, a great Pat callback (“Look at Jew(you) go!”), angles, punches, delivery. All of it. Between the comedic angle about how bad Soul vs Diz was, to the Horcrux haymaker, and even a style breakdown, Frak was hitting on all cylinders in what was probably the best performance of his career. The 2nd and 3rd further reflect this as Soul falls more into his delivery-based flaws while Frak stays consistent at his top level. With too much material to truly all quote and give justice to, Frak showed the star flashes he’s been accustomed to giving us for the past few years. Although Soul is past his prime, Frak individual performance makes the battle a near must-see as he stands out as not just the performer of the card but one of the best performers of the entire weekend. And just like every other battle, a big shoutout to both battlers for putting on for Pat.

Mike P vs MadFlex

My most anticipated matchup for the event, Flex vs Mike brought a cross-platform battle many knew would be good but never was realistic to book. 2 extremely talented pure rappers who both act as a swiss army knife in battle rap, this battle includes pretty much all elements of battle rap. Flex has been one of the best on KOTD for years while Mike is someone many fans thought would translate perfectly to the KOTD platform. And all in all, the battle lived up to these expectations. 

Mike would start 1st with a very standard but solid punch-heavy round. His Dawg Strikes Again, Syntax, and Flex Sealed bars all hit and culminated in a respectable round. Madflex just showed a little more, bringing angles about Mikes W/L record and Litework Time based around which came with some punches and jokes. He also brought straight-up punches, such as his “Mike/Mic drop from the ceiling, oh you thought this was a title fight”. And lastly, his Golf bar pretty much sealed the decision for me. Competitive round, but I edged Flex the 1st

Mike 2nd was a step from the 1st, landing consistently and rapping with extreme confidence, using tons of different voice inflections to keep the pace smooth but not redundant. Once Mike got to hopping in and out of their pockets (one of his biggest strengths), he was able to land his Dave Portnoy, Tim Hortons, and Louis CK bars which all landed as haymakers nearly back-to-back. Flex had a consistent battle, but I’d say his 2nd was his lightest in comparison to his other. His angle of Mike crying ran a little long, and the Mike impression was cool but not too crazy. His Mic Check and Hot Mic haymakers were good peaks, but Mike had the more complete round, making it 1-1.

3rd is very close, Mike taking a more long-drawn entertaining approach, incorporating a prolonged Call of Duty comedy section at the end that while it may not have landed many points, was funny. Flex was a bit more direct through his 3rd and landed what may have been the biggest haymaker of the battle with his “Sequel to Bodied/Mike P vs Geechi Gotti” bar, which landed crazy before he closed with some positive words about Pat Stay. Entertaining 3rd all around, but I give it to Flex clearly.

Dope battle that showcased all the elements we wanted from both battlers and mixed a good amount of competitiveness with some light-hearted comedy as well. 

The Saurus vs Kid Twist

The first-ever KOTD champion versus the first-ever American KOTD champion takes the stage as the main event and puts a ribbon on such a beautiful weekend.

In what ultimately ends up being a complete battle, The Saurus kicks things off and lets it be known that he is essentially the blueprint and foundation to battle rap. “It’s time for the guy who wrote the Movie, to meet the guy who wrote the book.” seeing a The Saurus is still a wonderful sight. 2 decades in the game and the multi-syllabic machine is still well-oiled and functioning!  Kid Twist opens up his first changing tempo and starts to compliment The Saurus for his legacy, stature within the culture, and more importantly the good human that he is. 

This battle goes back in time with some sprinkles of WRC history, and a ton of flowers being given by both emcees. And it’s another beautiful compliment battle to commend Pat Stay’s Legacy between two all-time greats and a grand finale to Kid Twist’s battle rap career, as this is his final battle. 


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