The Shady Films and WatchLOUD-sponsored Total Slaughter battle event finally went down Saturday night and, well, it happened. The hype built would have been impossible to live up to but for a myriad of reasons the event was more than just a letdown, it was a failure.
All four battles had varying levels of disappointment, and the only real winners of the night were Murda Mook for his third round destruction of an uneven Loaded Lux and New Jersey’s Arsonal in his victory against Big-T, who put together the best complete performance of the night.
Other than that there were rough performances, like Daylyt disgracing himself in his disturbing third round against T-Rex in the championship for Road to Total Slaughter. Then there was Lux’s preaching style finally growing stale and the crowd letting him know it vociferously.
Almost none of that is Shady’s fault. But what was their fault were the constant mic issues that tarnished the main event. Also there was Ebro as a “correspondent” who spent more time talking about how he hates battle rap and the rappers outfits than the actual battling. Finally, there were streaming issues with InDemand that caused so many people to miss the event that Total Slaughter is issuing mass refunds.
With that said, the production value of the event was high, the camera work was slick and the setup of the Hammerstein Ballroom was gorgeous. Besides the mic issues, the event was extremely professional and ran smoothly and used it’s time efficiently. The promo videos before each batter were the type of things the Road to Total Slaughter show could have used to make that more enjoyable.
In the much ballyhooed about main event, Hollow Da Don versus Joe Budden, both battlers elicited boos, and deservingly so. The way each responded to the catcalls only further cemented the fact that Budden was an amateur in the arena. Whereas Hollow acknowledged the boos and responded to the crowd with a freestyled rebuttal, Budden simply asked that the crowd stopped booing him, then put the mic down and quit when they replied with louder boos. It was only after Kay Slay and Sway insisted Budden that he actually finished the round.
In the end Hollow was announced the winner, and rightfully so, he won clearly and the cries of robbery online are confusing. Budden felt out of place, his flow hindered him, he had plenty of solid bars but even more iffy ones. Joe was out of his comfort zone and it showed. When Hollow left some wiggle room for Budden to possibly steal the battle, Joe Budden let himself down and @JoeBudden showed up to ensure the L. It was admirable for Joe to even jump in the ring, and he deserves plenty of credit for taking that risk, but ultimately it was foolish as well. But then again, if he really made the $200k that he claims to have received for the event then, it was well worth it.
If there’s a Total Slaughter 2, which has been hinted at, kinks will need to be worked out on Shady’s side, and if given another opportunity battlers will need to perform better. Total Slaughter can definitely be polished and spit shined into something enormously valuable for battle rap and “the culture,” but as of right now it just isn’t there yet. This isn’t the death knoll for battle rap, it will still exist in the niche it has created for itself and leagues like URL and KOTD will still be successful, but a crossover into the mainstream this was not.
For anyone who happened to miss it, below is the chance to watch the event in full.
Update: Since the previous three segmented clips were removed by YouTube, here’s the solo video of just Budden vs. Hollow.