After weeks of lead-up, a battle between Slaughterhouse emcee and Hollow Da Don was confirmed last week. Calling into week’s Angry Fans Radio Show, Joe Budden detailed his decision to battle, explained why he thinks more mainstream artists should take the leap into Battle Rap and offered some thoughts on his upcoming match up against Hollow Da Don.
When asked about his general support for Battle Rap, Budden described widespread mainstream support for the scene.
“I don’t watch on the low,” he says. “I’m a supporter of the culture. [Tsu] Surf is my man. I’m good friends with a lot of the battlers. I think I speak for a lot of mainstream when I saw we all watch. Certainly it’s not just me. Fab called me to ask for my opinion on the [Loaded] Lux [vs] Hollow battle. I’ve spoken to Puff about it. It’s a growing culture. For me, it’s really not about Hollow. It’s about just being a student of a game and just doing everything that I can do to add to the culture to bring some visibility that maybe was not there prior…What other guys gonna do it? They all gonna take the scapegoat like Cassidy just took in his interview.
“Cassidy is saying he wouldn’t do it because he feels like it would be a step backwards,” he continues. “That’s bullshit. You have to be able to recognize bullshit when you see it. Cassidy is not getting paid Loaded Lux money right now from anywhere. I’m just talking logic. This is no offense to Cassidy. No disrespect to him and his ability. But you not getting $50,000 from anywhere. So why would you not take advantage of your ability in a culture that applauds lyricist? Why would a JR Writer not wanna do this? Why would a Fred the Godson now wanna do this? I could name plenty of people that maybe got gobbled up in the mainstream machine of labels and politics that thanks to SMACK and Norbes and UW and King of the Dot and all the leagues that have been here before Total Slaughter have now opened an avenue for.”
Talking about his response to fans’ call for him to battle Hollow, Budden said he initially disregarded the idea.
“Initially, my first reaction was, ‘I’m not fucking battling this kid.’” he said. “‘I got an album I’m working on. I’m working on the Slaughterhouse album. I have a mixtape out. I have a Slaughterhouse I’m putting out. Where’s the time to do it?’ Where’s the time for me to battle him? I would like for the playing field to be even. Don’t get it fucked up, I don’t sleep at all. He’s somewhere in a house able to write all day. I’m unable to do that. So that was my initial reaction. As things started to progress a window opened. I thought to myself, ‘I think I could.’ It’s always been on my bucket list to do it. I came up as a battle rapper. I got my record deal as a battle rapper. It’s always been on my bucket list to get on stage and do it. Just like the adrenaline rush from getting on a roller coaster. I’m not the only artist that feels that way. We just saw Ab-Soul Tweet earlier that he would love to do the same thing. I would encourage him to do it. We gotta start getting rid of the fear of what would happen when you get on the stage. The fear of your image being tainted. I feel like it’s perfect for me because my image is always been ‘I don’t really give a fuck about my image.’”
i wish i could battle rap, like in a league. i think i would b tiiight
— ab-soul (@abdashsoul) April 30, 2014
Joe Budden Says Total Slaughter Event Cost “Probably About A Million Dollars”
Asked if the Shady and Slaughterhouse helmed Total Slaughter series would represent a “next level” achievement for Battle Rap, Joe Budden professed respect for all the leagues that came before and hinted that Smack tried to recruit him for the Hollow Da Don battle but may have had trouble paying his asking price.
“When you say next level, I can’t really speak about that or what Total Slaughter will do,” he said. “I can tell you that they’ve invested a lot of money into this event. So this will be, as far as just looking at it, stage wise, it’s probably about a million dollars in production here. I can’t speak about the next level because I have so much respect for the other leagues. When you add the name Shady and you add the name Eminem, your resources grow. I’m certain that Smack would have loved to have—I’ve spoken to Smack. Smack is my nigga. Let’s just get that out the way. Smack would have loved to book me and Hollow. But when I told him what the financial amount that I would need, it was a lot. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of money.”
Joe Budden Details Upcoming Battle Against Hollow Da Don
Talking specifically about Hollow Da Don’s strengths as a battler and his own preparation leading up to the event, Budden broached the subject of his decade long public life as a possible strength.
“I got blue blood,” he said when asked about the possible effects of personals directed his way. “There’s ice in my veins. There’s absolutely nothing anybody can say that will rattle me. In my humble opinion—and this is only my opinion—the second he does that he loses.
“I think I would have to take some points away from Hollow if he did that because it’s a very novice route to take,” he went on. “My 14-year old son would think to do that. You know, ‘Let me talk about him getting punched in the face. Let me talk about him proposing.’ I can tell you everything that he would talk about in that instance. ‘Let me talk about “Pump It Up.” Let me talk about everything that’s been broadcast.’ Because I’ve lived my life in the public for over a decade that would backfire…that means I’ve been successful for that long and you have not. So now I can grown-man you for three rounds.”
Moving onto his own preparation, Budden stayed mum but seemed to allude that he wouldn’t use personals himself.
“I can’t give away too much of what I’m thinking, but I could care less about Hollow’s character’s defects,” he said. “You on lean and I popped pills and did angel dust for a long time, so it’s kind of even playing field. I could see you in that area if we talk about drugs. But I don’t care about that.”
The Mood Muzik rapper went on to describe Hollow as “great in every area” and offered his own reaction to coming into the battle as an underdog.
“I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of this battle if I didn’t—I’m a Virgo, I always try to be ahead of the play,” he says when asked if he was worried about the performance aspect. “I’ve always mapped out every possible variable in this battle. So I’m worried about it all, personally. When you talk about an emcee as seasoned as Hollow, he’s great in every area. He’s great at freestyling. He’s great at rebuttals. He’s great at performance. He’s great at jokes. He’s great at personals. He has bars. He has schemes. He has punches. There’s not anything that he cannot do. So you have to factor these things in. It has to be a concern.
“I’m the underdog which I expected,” he continues. “I love it. My dick gets hard every time I fucking think about being an underdog. ‘Cause I’m not often the underdog, so this is wonderful. But, there are some people that really don’t know about my penmanship. They are going to find out.”