On July 12, 2014, battle-rap fans, and a few hip-hop celebrities, gathered together inside the legendary Hammerstein Ballroom, located within the Manhattan Center Studios in New York City, to show love and support for Eminem Presents: Total Slaughter, a PPV event that surely went down in history as a monumental night for hip-hop.
Sway Calloway, from the Wake Up Show, MTV and Shade45′s Sway In The Morning fame, hosted the event, and Hot97′s Ebro, who later apologized to the battle rap community for criticizing the battle rap culture, and Royce Da 5'9", a member of Slaughter House, did the live commentary, and DJ Kay Slay was front and center as the mediator. Sway introduced the first judged battle, which was Arsonal Da Rebel vs. Big T, and it was a bar-fest! But no one was surprised when Arsonal, who’s motto is, “You can’t spell BARS without putting that ARS in it,” managed to chop Big T down to size, and after three rounds of vicious back-and-forth lyrical exchanges, the three judges rightfully awarded Arsonal with a well deserved victory.
The second battle of the night was between the Road To Total Slaughter reality show finalists, Dot Mobb members Daylyt and T-Rex. Both emcees had their eyes on the prize, which was to be crowned the first ever Road To Total Slaughter champion. T-Rex, known for making his opponents choke off his presence alone, rhymed first and received good crowd reaction. While Daylyt, dressed in a Spawn outfit, tried to win the battle with what he does best rhymes and antics. But unfortunately for Daylyt, tonight’s battle didn’t go in his favor, and the judges awarded T-Rex—who was flawless in his entire Road To Total Slaughter battles with the well-deserved victory.
Then the long awaited rematch between Murda Mook and Loaded Lux finally got underway. Lux went first and lyrically he continued where he left off from him and Murda Mook’s first rap battle way back in 2007 on Smack DVD. That battle ended with no clear winners, but tonight, Lux, a true wordsmith in every sense of the word, was ready to prove that he was the superior emcee back then and now. So, with great proficiency, Lux convincingly rhymed three solid rounds filled with complicated terminology, which at times puzzled the audience.
Mook took Lux’s punches fairly well and appeared to not have any chinks in his armor. He was extremely confident in his material and it showed, so much so that the fans who felt that Mook didn’t deserve the title of battle raps’ pound-for-pound king, forgot all about his lack-luster battle against Iron Solomon, and began to side with Mookhammad Ali. Both emcees were prepared for the battle, but at the end of the third round, it clearly showed that Mook wanted to win the war. Whether he proved that tonight or not, one thing is for sure, the judges awarded the battle to Mook, and for the first time in Harlem’s battle-rap world, Mook reigns supreme. And hopefully, sometime in the near future, these two lyrical combatants can battle each other once again in what would be historically battle raps’ first trilogy.
The main event battle of the night was between Joe Budden, a mainstream hip-hop artist, and Hollow Da Don, one of the fiercest emcees in the history of battle-rap. Joe made history by becoming the first successful mainstream recording artist to battle a professional battle rapper on stage, and although many fans gave Joe props for his act of bravery during a crucial time when mostly all mainstream emcees are apprehensive about stepping into the battle rap arena only a few battle rap fans believed Joe really had a genuine chance of beating Hollow, especially when Hollow just went the distance with Loaded Lux.
The battle began and Hollow rhymed first, and he definitely got the crowd cheering early. A short while later Da Dininon was in his bag when he rhymed, “Nah put up that Jagged Edge, I got 112, I want Joe to see (Jodeci).” The crowd went bananas over that line, and that was one of the many highlights of Hollow’s first round. When it was Joe’s turn to rhyme, he got a great reception from the audience. They showed him a lot of love, and then it began Joe’s first and official battle rap round. No one knew what to expect, but everyone was listening, and wondering if Joe would be a formidable opponent for Hollow? And then Joe rhymed, and rhymed, and then he said a line that stuck, “And to my lost fans, can’t figure what my aim is, here I go again making another (b-word) famous!” The crowd went berserk, and from that moment on Joe was in the battle to win it. He managed to land a few more jabs during that round. But the question was would those shots be enough for him to steal the round?
For the second round, Hollow continued doing what Hollow does best sticking to his game plan and exposing Joe’s character. Joe, feeling more confident than the first round, fired back at Da Dininon with a few heat-seeking missiles that got the audience in an uproar. And from the look of things the fans unofficially had the battle pretty much even at this point.
The third round came and Hollow went straight for Joe’s jugular, and he got real personal about all the women in Joe’s life. He even warned the “Pump It Up” star that if he beats up another woman he would face dire consequences. But Joe laughed the threat away casually, and tried to steal the final round with haymakers that didn’t land. The crowd got agitated and started booing. Joe continued through the turmoil, and eventually his battle-rap inexperienced showed when he laid the mic down on the floor in an attempt to avoid the boos. The round ended, and after a short deliberation, the judges wholeheartedly awarded Hollow Da Don with a well-deserved victory.
The fans that went to see Total Slaughter in person, were all part of hip hop history, but somehow, the online customers that purchased the Eminem Presents Total Slaughter PPV Event on the Internet, mobile and tablet devices were disappointed. Instead of getting their $19.95 live stream as expected; they were denied watching the entire event due to InDemand not being able to deliver the live stream service, but a few computer savvy fans were skilled enough to find bootleg versions of Total Slaughter being streamed online via a couple of Ustream channels. Even though the view was fuzzy, they still managed to catch the ending part of the event.
InDemand issued an apology via Twitter, "Sincerest apologies to @TotalSlaughter buyers unable to access 7/12 event online. Everyone charged for the online stream will get a refund.”
Even though InDemand is giving their online customers a refund, they have to keep in mind that the disappointment of fans not being able to watch Total Slaughter as expected and in real-time left a real bad taste in the mouths of many battle rap fans. Therefore, to remedy this dire situation, InDemand, on top of giving out the refund, is going to give their affected on-line customers the opportunity to watch Total Slaughter for the next 7 days, and they will also give these customers a 50% discount on the next Total Slaughter live stream.