After a successful debut in Arizona earlier in the month, GZ Battles was back at it in Toronto this past Saturday (March 26).
This was the first GZ event in Toronto since the new year has begun, and for a significant change of pace, all the matches were judged. The card also had an unofficial “Canada vs. USA” feel to it, as most of the battles involved emcees from the two countries.
The card was made up of some GZ vets, as well as some new talents who are looking to climb the ranks to the KOTD roster.
Scandalis vs. N-Pose
The Headliner, pitting Toronto (Scandalis) vs. Detroit (N-Pose).
Even though it was at the end of the event, both battlers were still able to bring energy to their performances and capture the crowd’s attention.
Scandalis, who is a familiar name in Toronto’s hip-hop scene, started the battle with an impressive first round, but lost a lot of momentum in the second after a few stumbles and pauses. He was able to recover and have a strong third round, which may have been the best of the battle.
N-Pose was N-Pose, but even funnier. After a solid first round he turned up the comedy, mixing it in with his punches, all of which were well-received by the crowd. He kept everyone interested throughout the battle, and it was a clear win.
Judges gave it to N-Pose.
Tez vs. Franchise
This battle was a GZ classic. Almost.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Franchise, now would be a good time to get acquainted since the BeastMode street rapper has been making waves. Just recently he made his debut at The Trap NY against Younga Baby, and before that he came off a great showing against New Jersey’s Lotta Zay.
Franchise went first and brought a solid opening round. His gun-bar-heavy style combined with his aggression on stage is always entertaining to watch, and seemed to captivate the crowd here as well. Franchise continued to bring that same aggression into the second round, hitting with a series of haymakers that shook the room. It was an explosive performance.
Tez was solid too though. He intertwined punches with humor and even added a couple rebuttals that landed well with the crowd.
Unfortunately, after a clean third from Franchise, Tez was unable to remember his material for his third round. He tried to salvage what he could by freestyling but it wasn't enough.
Judges gave it to Franchise.
Perspectivez vs. Balbowuh
GZ vet Perspectivez took on Kentucky’s Balbowuh, who was making his GZ debut after a highly praised PY tryout. Both battlers brought big energy to the battle and were able to entertain the crowd from both sides.
The battle was a serious back and forth, and for many people in attendance, the verdict on a winner could have gone either way, which will only make it better for debate when the footage drops.
Judges gave a split decision to Balbowuh .
Adversary vs. Z Hunna
After having a tough battle with Troy Brown at GZ’s "Checkmate" last May, BeastMode standout Z Hunna was back in the ring, squaring off with the Maryland native Adversary, who some might recognize from BET’s 106 and Park.
Mississauga’s Z Hunna had three solid rounds he got out cleanly for the most part, and had a few lines that garnered some heavy reaction from the crowd. Unfortunately for him, his American counterpart may have had performance of the night. Right from the jump, Adversary brought a high-energy performance that he was able to sustain for all three of his rounds. He mixed heavy punches and humor very well, and was able to engage the crowd throughout the battle.
Judges' decision went to Adversary.
Peppe vs. A1
Ok, so if you don't already know, I'm Peppe. Instead of reviewing my own battle, I'm going to quote what Organik said about it in KOTD's Talkback Facebook group.
A1 vs. Peppe was dope! Good battle to start the night. A1 has good energy but hurts himself when he talks through his opponents rounds. Other than that he had a good showing and Peppe had really good crowd control from the jump with a lot of haymakers.
Judges gave it to me.
Klutch vs. Prehistoric
There was $800 on the line for this battle, turning the pressure up THAT much more.
To many who follow GZ, Ottawa’s Prehistoric has become a familiar name around the scene. Having already done three GZ battles in the past two years, Prehistoric was looking to take a win over battle rap veteran Klutch, who has faced some notable names during his career, including Conceited.
Prehistoric came with his usual style of multies and a quicker-paced flow, and his writing was impressive, but a lot of his material wasn't landing with the crowd. He was able to pick up steam towards the end of his third, but it was too late.
On the other hand, California’s Klutch was able to engage the crowd and seemed to be more comfortable throughout the battle. After a solid first, Klutch began to pull away in the second, after landing multiple punches and haymakers. His presence seemed to outweigh Prehistoric, and at this point, you could see the difference in performance. In the third, Klutch turned to humor, taking a “What rhymes with Prehistoric?” angle that the crowd loved.
Judges gave it to Klutch.
Stackboy Chuck vs. Complex
This may have been the most controversial battle of the event. Detroit emcee Stackboy Chuck made his GZ return against former Grind Timer Complex. After winning the coin toss, Stackboy decided to go first and was able to deliver a solid opening round against the New York veteran. Stackboy’s performance began to grow after that, as he landed some heavy punches in the second round, and began to really gain the crowd.
Complex, on the other hand, seemed to bring more energy throughout the battle compared to Stackboy. He was able to maintain his presence through each round, while landing some punches himself. We saw a little bit of freestyling from both emcees in their third rounds, which may have made the battle look even closer.
The judges gave a split decision to Stackboy Chuck.
Were you there? Let us know your thoughts on the event in the comments below.