Everything You Need to Know Before Total Slaughter

Here's your guide to tonight's Total Slaughter event featuring Joe Budden vs. Hollow Da Don.

Total Slaughter has arrived and the hype has reached fever pitch. Battle fans are buzzing on social media and celebrities like Pusha-T, Cee-Lo, Macklemore and Jadakiss have all given their two cents on what might happen at tonight's event.

For anyone who's new to Battle Rap, you picked a good day to start paying attention. Industry rapper Joe Budden of Slaughterhouse will be taking on Hollow Da Don, one of the greatest battle rappers to ever do it. Loaded Lux and Murda Mook will face off in a rematch of their 2003 street classic. Dot Mob crewmates T-Rex and Daylyt will clash in the Road to Total Slaughter tournament final. And Arsonal will square off against Big T in a last-minute addition to the card.

For many observers, this is a make-or-break moment for the scene and it's definitely the biggest push yet to bring the growing subculture from street-corner to stage.

If you're in New York, the show starts at 8:00 p.m. at the Hammerstein Ballroom. If you can't make it in person, you can order the pay-per-view online (and possibly from your cable company on-demand) for $19.95. Go to TotalSlaughter.TV for more information.


Here's what you need to know about the battles:



Everyone in both the rap world and the battling world has their eyes on this one. In the last few days, Budden and Hollow have been on a media blitz, sparring in interviews on Hot 97, Power 105 and BET's "106 & Park." Budden and Hollow have spent most of their time in the interviews taking digs at each other and both have landed some nice jabs, and it’s given us an indication of what angles we can expect in the battle -- from Budden: “I’m Joe Budden” and from Hollow: “Yeah, but that’s not actually a good thing.”

To add to the controversy, there have apparently been some 11th-hour changes to the judges for this matchup. Poison Pen and Drect have been replaced by Go-Rilla Warfare’s Mz Gracie, and a “mystery judge.”

If past industry-rapper/battle-rapper matchups give us any insight into what could happen tonight, we could see an absolute meltdown (like Canibus against Dizaster) or a tight competition (like Dirtbag Dan/Madchild, Daylyt/Ab-Soul and Ness Lee/Tumi.)

Either way, it should at least be entertaining.

What to watch for:

Everything really. Hollow's rebuttals and Joe's rapping ability could edge it either way though.


The battle for the Total Slaughter tournament final comes down to two members of Dot Mob. T-Rex was flawless is his run to the finals, with dominant wins over Cortez, Marv Won, and Big T (who all choked). Daylyt squeaked by on split decisions against Arsonal and Dizaster. Daylyt has said he's not bringing any antics for this battle since he’s expecting lots of first-time viewers and wants to be known as a lyricist rather than a sideshow. Then again, it’s Daylyt, so it’s tough to know what to believe.

What to watch for:

Whether T-Rex can capitalize on his momentum from the show to wash Daylyt, thereby solidifying his spot as one of the greatest of all time.

Daylyt becoming a full-blown celebrity after this performance.



This is the arguably the biggest rematch battle rap has ever seen, although there aren’t many to compare it to since the scene usually stays away from repeated matchups.

Lux and Mook's eight-round Smack DVD clash was one of the first street classics, and modern MCs are still biting wordplay from it around 10 years later. Over the years, both Lux and Mook have changed as battlers but their reputations as foundation-forming pillars of the scene have remained intact.

Lux is coming off two renowned performances: against Calicoe at Summer Madness 2 in 2012, and Hollow Da Don earlier this year. Mook has been even less active in the modern era, with only a heavily-hated-on performance against Iron Solomon in the last few years. Still, he has enough classics under his belt that he can’t be counted out.

What to watch for:

The biggest question is whether these two can step on the stage again without tarnishing their legacies or the legacy of their first matchup.


From what Arsonal said on Twitter, this battle was set up with only a few days notice. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. As we saw from Charron and DNA at KOTD’s World Domination 4, sometimes a last-minute change can light a fire under and the MCs and put their freestyle abilities to the test.

This is technically a rematch of an on-beat battle from the MC WAR league from about six months ago, but since it’s available to view only on their website, most people won’t have seen it.

What to watch for:

Arsonal has been in hot water with some fans for recycling the same content against Swave Sevah and Daylyt. It’ll be interesting to see if he has entirely fresh material on such short notice.

If Big T brings any “Arab” jokes since there was speculation that he was supposed to face Dizaster for third place in the tournament. Some were wondering if Arsonal was the replacement after Diz got dropped for dropping Math Hoffa.