Back in 2011 the future Don’t Flop Champion made his debut against Micky Worthless. Already well known on the UK hip-hop scene from his work with Poisonous Poets, Tony D convincingly beat Micky Worthless, showcasing the laidback flow which would become his trademark. Tony D brought a unique blend of lyricism and humour that hadn’t really been seen in a league that was making itself known for embracing jokes rather than going with the aggressive, gun-toting bars that were popular in the US.
Beginning his march towards the title, Tony D dispatched any bottom tier opponent put before him as he built his name in Don’t Flop. Towards the end of 2011, Don’t Flop put on the Times Change tournament which featured some soon to be known emcees such as multi-syllabic master Soul, footie scheme mad Matter, eventual winner Chris Leese and the sticks dwelling Jefferson Price.
After making light work of Mixy and Token in the first two rounds, Tone came up against Im in the South Semi-Finals. Im was making a name for himself by going light on jokes and hard on bars and it was expected to be a classic contest. But Tony, in his own words, was “coming in at a level that was higher than Hitler’s gas bill” and was widely tipped to pick up the win. However, in the battle Tony D’s complacent attitude cost him the victory as he stumbled his way through his bars with a glazed look in his eyes from enjoying one too many extra-curricular activities before the battle.
Picking his first loss didn’t deter Tony who came back hungrier than before. Rebuilding his unbeatable aura, Tony was eventually matched up against US battle rap veteran Illmaculate in a great clash which Tone narrowly edged – some say thanks to the home advantage. But with a victory over a big name in international battling, Tony was then pitted against his toughest domestic opponent to date, Arkaic.
Arkaic was a Don’t Flop veteran and long time friend of Eurgh’s whose 1W – 4L record did not reveal the complete picture for the talented battle rapper. In a close back and forth contest, Tony picked up the controversial win and was rewarded with a title shot against recently crowned Oshea at Don’t Flop’s Fourth Birthday Weekend event.
If there was ever a time to peak in your battle career – this was it. Tony D versus Oshea for the Don’t Flop title at the biggest UK battle rap event ever held. Oshea, known for his hilarious combination zany jokes and erratic delivery, going up against the smooth flow and intelligent lyricism of Tony D was a match made in heaven. To this day it remains arguably the best UK vs UK battle held in Don’t Flop.
Tony D laid down a statement of intent with a fierce opening round, highlighted with his beautiful Snatch scheme. But Oshea, who has been known to have a beer or two before and during a battle, which can affect his performance, came back just as brutally. Especially in round two when Oshea dissected Tony’s wordplay and labelled it as basic. Despite this, Tony D stuck to his style, wowed the crowd and picked up a close decision that is still being debated to this day.
The newly crowned champ had defenses against toilet humour king Deffinition and the Times Change winner Chris Leese. But the most interesting point of his career as champ came when he was invited to battle in Organik’s King of the Dot league. Going up against Real Deal , this was Tony’s opportunity to make his name known on the international scene and join Shotty Horroh in repping UK battling to the global audience. Unfortunately, much like his battle against Im, Tony fluffed his lines and had to come back to the UK with his tail between his legs.
Addressing his poor King of the Dot performance in his next battle against Charlie Clips, Tony rightly said he “forgot what he wrote, he didn’t forget how to write” and it wasn’t long before Tone returned to the top of the UK battle rap pile with a string of strong performances. Unfortunately, none quite lived up to the highs of his Oshea battle until his most recent appearance at SUNBURN where Tony went up against Double L and reminded everyone that there is still plenty left in the tank for the Don’t Flop Champion.