“I miss it if I am not in it for any length of time. I don’t feel comfortable, I want trees and I want frequent rain”
Quote about the Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a different place, almost a different place in time altogether. A place where the rain can settle in for months, drenching the person, dampening the spirit and if you aren’t used to it, it can turn the person to imitate the skies, to darkness. Except the northwest doesn’t just offer dark skies and soaked streets but also culture. A strong independent scene that breaks rules, bucks convention and creates its own path. That is what the Pacific Northwest is to those who live there. The scene that is so much more than the surface level that visitors see. Battle rap is part of that undercurrent of culture that is vibrant and growing.
Battle rap is this niche culture that people either understand and live to its fullest, or a culture that is entirely alien to them. It is something happening in dive bars and private event centers when no one else is watching. It happens to be growing due to popular films like Bodied and Versus, yet still relatively unknown. It is a hard thing to explain to someone, people tend to go back and forth with offering up examples like “you know the movie 8 Mile, it is kind of like that except not at all” or “you know the television show Wild N’ Out, it is kind of like that except not at all”. A very difficult thing to explain that there are people flying all across the world to yell at each other for money and often times just for the love.
What keeps the battle rap community growing, thriving, evolving are the die hard fans who support it, sponsor it, pay for it out of pocket, and organize every last detail. For those unfamiliar it is a family, an extended dysfunctional family. The culture is diverse and one specific region that continues to impress and improve is the Northwest. The scene in this part of the country is incredibly close to the battle rap hotspot of Vancouver. With the two countries/regions in such close proximity working with each other and exchanging talent is commonplace. In 2016 there was an event that saw the two communities bridge the divide and since then the organizers of the For MCs By MCs crew have been working closely with KOTD to continue to develop the region into another overall unified front of KOTD.
This brings us to KOTD Northwest. At the time that Copasetic Soul took over the KOTD Vancouver division there was communication between him and Kelly Sasticum and Colin Michael McGee which has become what is now known at the Northwest Division of KOTD. A larger more encompassing representation of the two countries and overall one scene. The collaboration of For MCs By MCs with KOTD Van City Division is a didactic business move that places resources, talent and top tier organizers with each other to strengthen a rapidly growing market. The work that this region has done would not as advanced without the hard work of a large group of people, but to name a couple standout individuals that have made these events possible is needed. Heretic aka Colin Michael McGee and Kelly Sasticum are both driving forces behind the success of the Northwest scene and should be applauded any chance one gets. Some of the regions best known and most polished performers were out for the unification event between the two collaborators. The card featured in the photo below had some talent flown in from other regions of the United States as well such as Versatai from Michigan and Benji Reckless from Texas. The talent featured a lot of For Mcs By Mcs battlers and really showcases the region.
The second drop from the card was Big Pork Vs Progre$$. These two showcase their talent on the KOTD Northwest division after many battles on the well respected and homegrown league For Mcs By Mcs. These two were a great addition to the card as their styles make for a solid clash.
The Northwest division had another notable battle on the card with Vokab vs Benji Reckless. This battle pits an aggressive punching bar heavy battler (Benji Reckless) against one of the most well known and respected veterans in the Northwest (Vokab).
The latest drop from the inaugural Northwest KOTD GZ division is from D Fly Vs Versatai. This battle showcases the best of both battlers work. D Fly is on point with wit, crowd control and overall peak performance. Versatai shows out in some of his best work with complex bars, schemes and punchlines.
This scene is proof positive that hard work and determination can not only create new avenues of culture but also create something forward thinking. These fans, organizers, promoters, and battlers are all the reason why battle rap is so expansive, welcome to a region with a larger vision, welcome to KOTD Northwest.
by: Gabriel Barrio