KOTR: The Dark Ages

KOTR: The Dark Ages event review by Kray Shendo

Hey! Do you like surreal battle rap events? WELL HAVE ALL THE SURREAL BATTLE EVENTS IN THE WOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRLD!

My name is Kray Shendo and, on the 16th of May, in God’s great city of Blackburn, the Dark Ages returned for one last time to wreak havoc on the souls of men. But on this occasion there was no great plague, no overbearing corrupt Catholic church stifling man’s innovative spirit. No. On this occasion, there were battles. And this is a roundup of those battles.

Wizdom vs TaisterMeister

Some battles are better short and sweet. Without the cushion of a full crowd in attendance at this point it was decided that this battle would kick off the event before Micky arrived to get the event underway. Wizdom confidently swept through his rounds with a well-executed series of aggressive bars and jokes, punctuated by a classic grime double-time in his 2nd round. Ah, but I am a sucker for double-time.

Taister hit back in similar vein, dotting his bars with more wordplay, with construction that hinted at the beginnings of a punchy, intricate style. However, the nerves of the six-day prep time and the difficulty of one’s first battle got to him, and he stumbled through both rounds before collapsing in his 2nd. The win, deservedly, went to Wizdom.

Bowski vs Dean

A very ent-

Wait no hang on a fucking minute, this is supposed to be Krazyman vs Jr the Juggernaut

What? Oh shit, yeah. It didn’t happen. Krazyman, you shook fassyole wasteman. Why’d you have to stand JR up like that? You know how many times JR has been no-showed in his career?! Man was getting no-showed for battles before you were having hot dinners, peon. Anyway,

Bowski vs Dean

A very entertaining battle. This was always going to be a style clash, but thankfully it was a style clash that worked. It was during Bowski’s 1st, roaring things like “You shag your grandad” “I’m the big man on campus, you are the campest” that we all knew this was going to be a vintage Bowski performance, his delivery and crowd control on point as usual.

Dean – slightly more prepped due to not having to organise an entire event – had longer rounds, and more intricate material, choosing to dispense with the fat jokes after a section in round 1 and focus mainly on descriptive angles on how Bowski runs his league. Bowski’s 2nd included a memorable two-pint chugging challenge, which is a brilliant way to stall for time ’cause you’ve forgotten all your fucking bars. Dean took the win, close in the crowd’s eyes, 2-1 in mine.

N.B. Dean rhymed “Jack Straw” with “Iraq War”, which is a GOAT related multi for politics fans, IF YOU DON’T KNOW, GET TO KNOW

Suus vs Kray Shendo

(…Handing over to DEEEEAAAAAN on this one)

Suus vs Kray Shendo continued the rookies vs Vets theme with Krays multi-focused nerdy ferocity coming up against Suus’ almost lackadaisical swagger in a real style clash. This matchup was intensely close but the room ended up siding with Suus thanks to some excellently navigated angles from a veteran of UK battle rap. Great battle.

…Thanks, Dean.

Pseudonym vs J-Short

Let’s be honest, who here wasn’t worried about Pseudonym having ring rust? Well, Pseudonym showed little evidence of it here. His performance was very composed, aggressive and highly entertaining. Labeling J “Barry”, in a maneuver I still don’t quite understand, he attacked various aspects of J-Short’s persona, ranging from his hair colour to dress sense, freestyle abilities, age and position in Don’t Flop. Oh, and his mum. Don’t forget that. Wouldn’t be a classic 2008 performance without some of that.

J-Short blended a few writtens with a lot of freestyling pretty much seamlessly. He attacked Pseudonym’s age and the various foibles of the ’09 era, but did seem to be obsessed with bringing up an upcoming battle in Chicago that he apparently has. The crowd – VERY narrowly – gave this battle to Pseudonym. I’m personally undecided as to a winner; it was a very enjoyable and competitive battle.

J-Short and Suus a.k.a. ‘Northern Eastenders fans’ vs Micky Worthless and Kray Shendo a.k.a. ‘Big Dick Bastards’

(…By Dean again.)

The long awaited rematch between Kray Shendo and Suus seemed at first to be a platform for J-Shorts free styling ability to shine with all MCs basically billing it as “J-Short vs some geezers” before it started. However this wasn’t the case – every MC came through with some very entertaining material (as well as J-Short’s free style virtuoso of course). Girlfriends were dissed, teammates turned on each other, people got banned from the league… everything you could expect from trademark KOTR anarchy, really.

That freestyle doubles was the most fun I’ve had in a battle in ages. Suus spent half of his bars thanking J-Short for carrying him, and me and Micky stuck to the game plan we formulated two hours in advance: Micky rambles abuse at the pair while I think of something to say, then if it goes badly, ban J-Short from the league.

J-Short was banned from the league four times at this event.

I’ve been Kray Shendo. Thank you for your time.

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