When SMACK/URL announced its "Summer Madness 3" card, some were surprised that DNA was not billed to perform at the annual Battle Rap event. DNA, who performed at "Summer Madness" and "Summer Madness 2" addressed his not being scheduled to appear at "Summer Madness 3" with a verse about the event and an exclusive interview with HipHopDX.
The verse DNA released features commentary on this year's "Summer Madness 3" and it acts as DNA's response to a recent blog from SMACK, who said some of the more known battle rappers have not been delivering quality performances.
"SMACK dropped a blog saying top tier battlers need to become more motivated and take their craft serious, so I decided to do so and drop a round getting at everyone on the 'Summer Madness 3' card and have some fun lyrically and let URL know I'm still willing to battle," DNA said in an exclusive statement to HipHopDX. "I took SMACK's blog as being a good and bad. Good [because] it's gonna make a lot of us top tier battlers step it up. [But it was] bad because some battlers feel like he took shots and the way he went about it was wrong."
DNA also said he understood that some of the more notable figures in the Battle Rap circuit were not taking their work seriously.
"Yeah, some of them weren't," DNA said. "But its a lot of stuff behind-the-scenes that can make an artist unmotivated. Me playing devil's advocate, I see both sides. As a company, you want your product to perform to its fullest capability, but if the product isn't happy then it's hard to do that."
DNA was asked about the "behind-the-scenes" matters.
"I mean I don't know everyone's situation," DNA said. "But money is the root to all evil. I'll just leave it at that."
So while DNA isn't scheduled to battle at this year's "Summer Madness 3," he still took time to discuss the current card, which features Daylyt versus Swave Sevah, Arsonal versus K-Shine, Math Hoffa versus Serius Jones, Big T versus O-Red, Calicoe versus T-Rex, JC versus John John Da Don, Tay Roc versus Ill Will and Jaz the Rapper versus Ms. Hustle.
"I think the 'Summer Madness 3' card has a lot of dope battlers and talented emcees on it," DNA said. "I just think 'Summer Madness' has had so many big names on it that people expect a lot. The previous 'Summer Madness' events were historic so we have to wait and see how this one turns out."
DNA's verse can be seen and heard below.
DNA isn't the only battle rapper to respond to SMACK's blog about quality performances. Loaded Lux spoke with HipHopDX about his grievances concerning the "Summer Madness 3" card and the SMACK blog.
"For [SMACK] to say that [in the blog], I owed it to my real fans to respond," Loaded Lux said in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "I want them to know the whole story. So I rewrote the second verse [of 'Bout My Money']. Also, when they revealed the money discussions, I thought they crossed the line. I had been promoting that I was gonna be on 'Summer Madness 3' based on five months of assurances from the URL camp that they would meet our financial requirements. We had a meeting in March 2013 to discuss 'SM3.' Everything was good. We had an agreement. Then in July, they tell me [there was] no deal. I sacrificed a lot waiting for them to get their act together. Now it seems like they just played me to keep interest until the last minute. So it was imperative that I have my say, so I put it in the song. It just seemed to fit the song. I felt I was standing up for the pioneers of our profession. If it wasn't for us, you don't have the up-and-comers. Older against the younger. That's a divide-and-conquer tactic, oldest trick in the book."
URL's Beasley addressed the matter in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX.
"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," URL's Beasley said exclusively to HipHopDX. "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."