In the nearly 50 years that have passed since hip hop’s inception, the genre has been entrenched in competition. Rap battles were once seen as a rite of passage to discovering the spotlight. But nowadays, combat rap has become a sport in its own right, with fighters leveraging their samurai spirit in a ruthless verbal war to assassinate their opponent’s character. Warning: these fights are not for the faint of heart. Through the use of witty pun and cleverly crafted slurs, shouted rhythmically between echoes of cheers and boos, viewers can feel the tension across the screen after each heartbreaking line.
Travis “Organik” Fleetwood and his pioneering combat rap league Point king are largely responsible for helping catapult this underground subculture into a profitable business. With more eyes than ever on the sport, King of the Dot recently signed an exclusive deal with Twitch to kick off the first-ever full season of combat rap, pitting the country’s top fighters against each other for a grand prize of $ 100,000. .
We sat down with Organik to choose his brain on King of the Dot’s new exclusive Twitch show. S1 and the future of its relentless standards organization.
What was / is the inspiration behind the show and the âS1 / seasonal formatâ?
Fight rappers are some of the most talented human beings in the world and people only see them perform a few times a year. S1 is about giving our artists the chance to be a part of something bigger, something that lasts all year and something that can change their lives. The format gamifies combat rap. This rewards consistency and elevates new talent quickly, as you end up having matches that most veterans wouldn’t take in a regular battle. We are excited to charge our artists year round and open up new monetization opportunities so that they can build careers with their unmatched talent.
Why were LA, Detroit, NYC and Atlanta chosen as locations?
Our divisions are North, East, South and West and they bring talent from across their region. There is too much talent for individual cities to be represented. Combat rap is more competitive than sports because your pride and reputation are on the line every second of the game. The difference is, you don’t have to do the 500-pound bench press or run 4 seconds for 40 yards to participate in combat rap, so we find our talent all over the map. We’re using LA, Detroit, NY, and Atlanta this year, but who knows? Next year you might see a division in America and another division on another continent.
In addition to crowning a champion, will there be other awards, MVP, Rookie of the Year, stars, etc. ?
The annual KOTD S1 awards ceremony will take place in December. After the season, we’ll have a fan-focused voting session to help us determine the winners for Battle Of The Year, Battler Of The Year, Breakout Battler Of The Year, MVB (Most Valuable Battler) and Moment Of The Year as well. . We want to inspire artists to push their creative boundaries and our annual awards allow us to show our gratitude for the moments artists have created for us to enjoy throughout Season S1. In addition, the semi-finalists will also receive a cash prize for their efforts.
How would you describe the relationship with Twitch and the weekly content programming / development?
Our relationship with Twitch was incredibly organic and has grown over the years. One of the league partners worked with their 7th employee and they always wanted us to democratize live PPV events to their large global audience. During the pandemic there was a chance to do something that has never been done with the 2020 Grand Prix and we took the opportunity to bet on ourselves and Twitch did the same. They are known to have some of the strictest community guidelines of any online platform and the Music team has fought to protect us and the numbers we have achieved together are proof of the strength of the rap culture. .
The rest of the list is made up entirely of battle rap creators, but we wanted to give them the opportunity to expand their platform. These guys play sports, drive sports cars, shop for street clothes and luxury items, cook big meals, and travel the world when they’re not on stage. People need to understand that they are 360 ââhuman beings and we want to shine a light on that so that fans can deepen their universe. It also opens up the possibility for brands to work in space and benefit from a real and deep influence that these creators have with their fans, because their shows are more than just performances. All in all, we love that Twitch has empowered our creators.
How will fans be able to participate?
Fans will be able to participate every day of the week. Depending on how much they want to get involved, they can log in to watch the battles, they can vote for who they think they won, they can ask questions by dropping Bits in the chat and artists can read them after the competition. and they can subscribe to the channel to make sure they get more content from their favorite league. Besides S1 Battles, fans can dive deep with our talent into their shows and ask more personal questions, spend time getting to know them in new ways, and directly support them with Bits and Subscriptions. If they want to represent S1 or their region, they can also grab some of the limited edition products we’re launching, which are coordinated in colors for each division.
It hasn’t been announced yet, but they’ll soon be able to participate in a new way with battle rap collectibles thanks to a partnership that we’ll unveil shortly. As fans read this, they should be able to register at kotdtv.com for early access.
What’s going on for KOTD and the season format? Content, locations, expansion?
The future is bright for battle rap and that has always been my main priority. We’ve been the most innovative league in the world for over a decade and despite the competitive nature of the sport, we love helping other leagues that are in this culture for the right reasons. Every step of the way, we’ve stayed true to the fans, we’ve helped the artists reach a level where they can make a living rapping, and we’re about to take it to another level. The most important growth regions for battle rap are far from the shores of North America, but luckily I’ve practiced saying “Battler to my right” in a few other languages, so stay tuned, dig in .