When the Ultimate Rap League (URL) released the line-up for "Summer Madness 3," some fans were surprised that the much-discussed face-off between Hollow Da Don and Loaded Lux was not scheduled. Other notable URL battlers, such as DNA, Charlie Clips and Tsu Surf, were also not included in the line-up.
URL host and co-founder SMACK made a video blog discussing the September 8 event and a new theme, "bars over names," explaining why some prominent figures in Battle Rap were not slated to appear at the annual card.
"It's not about the big names no more," SMACK says in the video. "Because a lot of the big names that actually perform on the stage ain't delivering the quality battles and the quality performances that we're looking for."
URL co-founder Beasley echoed SMACK's video comments in an exclusive statement to HipHopDX. "We want to show fans and emcees that just because one guy's profile isn't that big, that it doesn't mean that he can't compete with another emcee who has a name or profile that is larger," Beasley says. "We want to see hunger and aggression, that drive that has gotten the culture to level that it is today. [At 'Summer Madness 3'], you can expect hunger, bars and great battles."
Loaded Lux, who had one of the league's most acclaimed showings at last year's event, addressed his not appearing at "Summer Madness 3" in his new song, "Bout My Money."
"Some have asked 'bout 'Summer Madness,'" Lux says on the song. "I tell them, 'These questions you come at SMACK with' / Smack him and ask him why in the fuck would he double backwards?"
The song can be heard below.
URL's Beasley Responds To Loaded Lux's "Bout My Money"
URL responded to the song with a statement to HipHopDX yesterday (August 27), explaining their stance on the track.
"We thought it was dope and creative," Beasley said regarding the Loaded Lux song. "I think SMACK's blog is the equivalent to the effect of Kendrick Lamar's verse on 'Control.' We got guys showing up to battles prepared now, emcees making diss tracks and blogs. Lux is a super talent, but he is asking for a tremendous amount of money to battle that just isn't available in the culture at the present time. I can't put a price on his talent, but as business I have to do what's economically sound for URL and a battle between him and Hollow Da Don is more then we are willing and able to pay at the present time.
"Lux is smart and he's getting the fans pumped up," Beasley continued. "In a lot of ways we are viewed like a record label and he is playing the role of the disgruntled artist. The fans are looking at us like, 'Just pay him,' and we're like, 'From where?' All jokes aside, we have a plan in place to make this happen and Lux and Hollow want it to happen on URL as well, so stay tuned to URL's rebuttal to Lux's track. I promise you. It's going to shake the game up."
Whether or not URL's plans for a Hollow and Lux battle come to fruition, the "Summer Madness 3" card is set to feature several rappers who have been a part of the series since the beginning, Beasley says.
"We have some of the usual suspects from past 'Summer Madness' events like T-Rex, Calicoe, John John Da Don and K-Shine, but we also brought in a lot of new faces, leaving some of the top tier emcees without a slot to participate," Beasley said. "SMACK made a blog talking about how some of the top-tier emcees aren't showing up and how he wants to see more hunger. The blog set off a firestorm of Twitter rants, blogs, Facebook discussions and eventually led to the Loaded Lux diss record. [Other] emcees have threatened to not attend. Others have made slick remarks on Twitter. This is so selfish and self-centered to me. Why can't you be happy for other emcees [who are] your friends, who finally have their shot to shine on the biggest event in Battle Rap? These are the same guys who supported you when you appeared on Summer Madness events in the past. I think when these guys begin to become allies outside of competition on stage, the culture will flourish."
Nonetheless, Beasley also said that he wouldn't rule out a surprise match-up announced before the event. "You'll have to show up and see," he said.