During a period of time in Hip Hop where "Rachet" equals ratings which equals money, you rarely get anything presented in the mainstream that isn't questionable from a substance standpoint. The skill of lyricism and wordplay often takes a back seat to the disrespectful antics and off the wall stunts for attention. In an attempt to flip the script Eminem's Shady Film's put together Total Slaughter, a pay per view battle rap event that was primed to put the underground battle rap scene on the radar of the mainstream. With URL/SMACK reigniting the battle element via weekly spots on BET's 106 & Park, that process was already underway but the main event of the Shady card was a true first. Rapper circuit stand out Hollow the Don vs. Signed Shady artist, former Def Jam artist Joe Budden. The idea was ingenious, but the actual execution was lacking.
Before we reached that point, the viewing audience, well those that didn't get shut out by the struggling online stream had a few battles to witness. The undercard wasn't too bad. The opening battle saw Arsonal of NJ beat Big T which was in all honesty the most complete match up of the night. T-Rex won by default after Daylyt's ridiculous Spawn costume gimmick turned his 3rd round showing into one of the saddest moments in battle rap history. We did get to witness the long awaited rematch between Murda Mook and Loaded Lux. I honestly thought that Lux would have this in the bag but it would appear the wave that Lux has been riding since his "He gon' get this work!" laced victory over Calicoe finally crashed. The holier than thou, street preacher rhymes seemed to miss the Total Slaughter crowd and Mook took full advantage of this. Calmly attacking the inconsistencies in Loaded Lux's on stage performance lead to a 3 round sweep for the Harlem rep.
Unbeknownst to us this would truly be the highlight of the night as Hollow vs. Joe Budden would fall short on a few levels. Overlooking the steady microphone issues, the 2 MCs just didn't seem to be able to connect with the crowd. Hollow was wild and all over the space and Budden decided to truly embrace "Industry Rapper" role with steady lines about money and established success. Hollow would pull out the expected Tahiry bars which got a few giggles from the crowd. Joe seemed almost bothered or disinterested in being there. By the time round 3 was underway all real interest in the battle was gone and we all wished the 2 artists involved would stop.
Overall the Total Slaughter pay per view wasn't a failure but I wonder how many new fans it won over? If I could give a few suggestions into the future of Total Slaughter it would the following. No more over the top gimmicks. Daylyt set the mark of what does not need to take place in a battle. Set the parameters for just how much "extra" activity is allowed within a contest regarding props.. In addition to that please include women into the mix. There are too many talented lady MC's to not have them included.
For a first time venture the production quality was on point and for those that already enjoy the battle aspect of Hip Hop there should definitely be a follow up event. Hopefully with a few tweaks it can impress and capture new viewers as well.