"Witness the birth of the next great American sports league," boasts the trailer for Total Slaughter (seen below), the battle-rap series hosted by Eminem and brought to you by Shady Films and WatchLOUD.com. And now, the program will enjoy the same mainstream platform as America's beloved MMA, appearing on pay-per-view live July 12 from New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.
The Em-backed Slaughterhouse will partner with and participate in the campaign to bring battle culture to mainstream America: "This is the exact same way the UFC was to MMA," says Royce da 5'9. "They thought these guys were bar-brawlers and cab-drivers, they didn't realize how much technical skill went into it until somebody put that on a platform. This is the exact same vision that we all see in these guys. These guys are gladiators."
While this production is not the first of it's kind, Total Slaughter's availability on PPV will bring new widespread attention to a spoken-word tradition predating the rise of rap music — battles of wit such as the dozens and signifying. The broadcast event will bring into the spotlight dis-masters of rap who don't chart for their art, premiering with a rematch between Harlem's Murda Mook and Loaded Lux, who went head-to-head in 2003 in a match still exciting debate.
Veteran Joe Budden of Slaughterhouse will face Hollow Da Don, the self-proclaimed king of the battle game, in a match already evoking beefy buzz. There will also be a webseries called The Road to Total Slaughter on WatchLOUD.com where Slaughterhouse will judge a tournament that decides the undercard for the rest of the competition — meet the first eight contestants here. Weirdly, it doesn't seem anyone invited Cadalack Ron to the party.