In this article, we look back at a few of his classic matches and reflect on the career of one of the most talented, entertaining and consistent battlers of all time.
With two albums under his belt (one solo and one as part of Flight Distance), Bender was already a respected name in Canada’s hip-hop scene. His first match-up was against Barracuda, another battle newcomer with hip-hop credentials. While both men commanded respect on a track, as soon as they stepped into the ring the difference in ability was clear. Crowd control, punchlines, penmanship – Bender outshone his opponent in every category and claimed his first unanimous victory.
Perhaps it was his friendship with Loe Pesci (King of the Dot fan-favourite and then president of the Montreal division) which prepared him for the ring, or perhaps it was simply an innate talent for the battle rap stage. There was one thing for sure: Bender was one to watch.
Then, in his third round against Miracle, Bender spit that scheme…
Over the next year, Bender began a murder spree which shot him to the top of the King of the Dot roster: convincingly claiming the scalps of Scott Free, Skelly and Aftershock. Then, in his third round against Miracle, Bender spit that scheme: “Sorry player. I’m Noriega crossed with Schwarzenegger. The orphan maker, orchestrate your fate in the torture chamber…” Punch after multisyllabic punch rained down on Miracle and Bender took away his fifth win in five battles.
At the same event as Bender vs Miracle was the final of King of the Dot’s 16-man Grand Prix tournament, which saw Loe Pesci go up against Arcane to win a battle with The Saurus and a shot at the King of the Dot title. After using underhanded tactics to beat Pesci and going on to have a debatable win against The Saurus (which seemed to some to have more to do with the cost of The Saurus’ flights from the US than the battle itself) Arcane had firmly established himself as one of the greatest villains in battle-rap history.
Thus the stage was set for Blackout, King of the Dot’s most ambitious event to-date, headlined by their fifth title match: Arcane vs Bender. The league’s most hated villain against its brightest rising star. Bender went in with the crowd behind him and the people’s champ didn’t disappoint: breaking down Arcane’s underhanded tactics against Pesci and hitting him with another haymaker-filled ‘Sorry player’ scheme. Bender claimed another victory and with it the title of King of the Dot champion.
Bender went on to battle with six leagues across five countries against an impressive list of opponents including Thesaurus, Syd Vicious, Big T, 24/7, Soul and Arkaic (each one a classic). So whether a long-time fan or a first-time viewer, stick on a Flight Distance record, load up a Bender battle and pay tribute to the passing of a battle-rap legend.
Rest in peace.