Tonight at Hammerstein Ballroom, rap history was made. Four battles. Four winners. Years of controversy.
Arsonal and Big T started the night once fans packed the concert hall. People were on their toes immediately, and Arsonal was the first one to spit, as Big T won the coin toss. That should have been a disadvantage, but Arsonal lit into him from the jump, electrifying the crowd and showing why he’s known as the most disrespectful battle rapper in the world. Big T was on point, but he stumbled in rounds two and three, and since Arsonal had a flawless performance, the New Jersey rapper took home the first win of the night.
Next was T-Rex, the heavy-hitting Harlem spitter who became the most popular rapper on “Road To Total Slaughter” show in recent weeks, versus Daylyt, the Watts, CA native known for his outrageous antics (he even told us he “everybody knows I have a bag of antics”). Case in point – he showed up to the red carpet in only boxers.
Rex was a monster from the first line, picking Daylyt apart and continuing his streak as one of the most consistent battle rappers out right now. Daylyt…was Daylyt. Dressed like Spawn, he stood on stage frozen while T-Rex spit his first verse.
T-Rex won the battle through and through, but Daylyt himself sealed the deal in the third round, when he suddenly started ripping off his costume, claiming that he’d “forgotten his medicine” and rambling that he had no clue who he was. Then he collapsed on-stage in nothing but boxers, and stayed that way until Ebro, one of two official commentators, told him to “get the fuck up.” No one had ever seen anything like it. Say what you want about Daylyt – the guy knows how to put on a show.
What followed was one of the illest rap battle upsets of all time – hands down. Loaded Lux, the man dubbed by many as “battle rap’s savior,” was vaulted into fame after destroying Calicoe last summer. Ten years prior, he faced off with Murda Mook in a landmark battle that helped put the battle rap scene on to a larger map. To this day, it’s one of the greatest rap battles ever recorded on film.
Mook was all business. He had personal punchlines, rebuttals, breakdowns of Loaded Lux’s rhymes as nothing more than “righteous bullshit.” He lit the place on fire and didn’t slack off for a second. Lux, on the other hand, choked a couple times, perhaps feeling caught off-guard by how dominant Mook’s performance was. The crowd even started booing Lux. By the end of the battle, every person in Hammerstein knew that Murda Mook had put 11 years into this battle, and it paying off – he won by a landslide.
With that, the stage was set for the event of a lifetime. Joe Budden put his career on the line for the sake of battling Hollow Da Don, and time will tell whether or not he suffers from it.
Sway, the official host for the night, let it be known before Joe and Hollow started that both MCs had agreed to skip tossing the coin and instead allow Hollow to go first. He didn’t waste a second, screaming for Paul Rosenberg and Jimmy Iovine to suck dick and claiming his money was cut by half.
But Budden was ready for battle, and his rebuttal was fire – “You asked me where’s my last hit, nigga where’s your first one?” His first round was actually better than Hollow’s. Nobody expected Joe to come out swinging that nice.
The second round was more even. Hollow jumped on the fact that Budden was new to battle rap, saying he sounded like he was reading off a piece of paper. He even said that Total Slaughter was Eminem’s way of telling Joe he’s free to leave Shady Records now. Ouch. Budden laid into Hollow yet again, but the edge was taken off. The lines weren’t hitting as hard. And then he fell apart.
In the final round of the night, Hollow went all out. He brought up Tahiry and Budden’s history as a reality TV star, even stopping the clock to tell Budden that he’d fuck him up if he ever hit a woman again. The two had to be separated as things got tense for a little.
Perhaps Budden was rattled, because his third round was totally off. The crowd seemed smitten with Hollow, and boos started emanating from the crowd. Budden kept telling people to quiet down until he couldn’t take it anymore, and then announced that he would stop rapping if people didn’t stop booing.
That was the moment the battle was decided. People naturally kept booing, and Budden threw the mic down and seemed to walk away. Hollow, sharp as ever, picked the mic up immediately and started taunting Joe with a couple freestyled lines about leaving the stage. The crowd was in shock. The horn sounded. The battle was over. Hollow won in a unanimous decision.
What Budden’s choice will do for his career remains to be seen, but what Total Slaughter did for rap music on the night of July 12, 2014, is already historic. Murda Mook was by far the highlight of the night, and every single participant helped bring battle rap to new heights.
We can’t have a recap without addressing the Pay-Per-View situation. In fact, the sheer demand for Total Slaughter was so high that the InDemand servers crashed, causing the PPV outage. We hate that the people who love this sport and paid to see it happen live were robbed of that opportunity. Learn how to get your refund here (as well as half off on the next Total Slaughter stream), and know that we were disappointed.
Now the question is, who’ll be next to step into the Total Slaughter ring?