Calling into the AngryFans Radio show last night (April 9), King of the Dot representative Lush One detailed his view on ghostwriting in the Battle Rap world, healthy competition among leagues and his thoughts on Rapgrid’s pick for the best battle of all time.
Looking back at what some have come to consider industry standards in events like earlier iterations of Grindtime, Lush One explained always wanting to see progression within Battle Rap specifically and within Hip Hop generally.
“There’s a whole contingent of people that will just off top say that those are among the greatest events in Battle Rap history,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that obviously weren’t even really that aware of battle culture and were getting into it at a later time. That’s kind of like—the way I look at it, we wouldn’t have had Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ if we didn’t have  before that. We wouldn’t have had 2001 if we didn’t have the muthafuckin’ original Chronic before that, if we didn’t have Illmatic before that. The tone that we set and what we did with those events set the stage for Summer Madness, we didn’t even realize it. As a culture, Hip Hop naturally we try to outdo what we did last and we try to be on that next shit so we were basically just trying to outdo anything that had ever been done and that’s what we accomplished. Now, many say to this day, those events still have that crown but then you could easily say those are the same type of people that could be like, ‘Oh, Illmatic’s the greatest album ever and I’m not gonna listen to good kid m.A.A.d. city.’ It becomes almost separated like the Old School heads versus the New School heads.
“The way I look at it, it’s all necessary, it’s all classic, and it all needs to be preserved,” he continued. “The reason people don’t really wanna acknowledge our contributions to the game is because a lot of people don’t feel that King of the Dot and Fresh Coast is the #1 region and league in the game. Now, if we did have that title, maybe people would be like, ‘Oh yeah, they’ve always been the shit, I’ve always been on the dick.’ What we gotta do as the motherfucking coast, is chop all these motherfucking heads back off and take this shit back over and then they gon’ know what the fuck we done and what the fuck we gon’ do. Fuck what we done did, it’s about what we about to do to ya’ll motherfuckers.”
Responding to a question about last year’s controversy surrounding the use of ghostwritten material in a top-billing KOTD battle, Lush One addressed the incident.
“Ghostwriting, and that just happened to be the catalyst for it, but ghostwriting been an epidemic in Battle Rap,” he said. “Do I think it’s some ho-ass, buster shit that I don’t condone? Hell motherfucking yeah. That shit is gay. Actually, no offense to gay people, it’s way worse than that. It’s some shit that I have no respect for whatsoever, but, people have been doing it. They’re not the first to do it, they’re not gonna be the last to do it and there’s a lot of worse offenders that didn’t even get called out.
“I definitely don’t respect it, it’s kind of like when you find out that Santa Claus isn’t real,” he added. “Eventually you get over it and you just realize that’s just part of it. To me, what separated Battle Rap from the other realm of Hip Hop was, this is a test of an emcee’s skill level. You don’t need any glamour and glitz or gloss or anything extra when it comes to Battle Rap. All you have is an emcee’s heart and an emcee’s skill. Now, all of that is compromised…Battle Rap in general is figuring itself out. It’s at that like awkward teenage phase right now: we was hatched out the egg, we did the damn thing, and now we’re kind of like that episode of The Brady Bunch, Peter Brady’s voice changes. We’re kind of figuring out where it’s gonna go and manifest.”
Later in the interview, asked to list his favorite Grindtime events, Lush One placed a battle between Passwurdz and Hollow Da Don at the top.
“I definitely would have to say the battle that was listed as Rapgrid’s #1 battle of all time: Pass versus Hollow,” he said before describing who he thought won. “Ultimately, who just battled Loaded Lux and got paid dumb-ass racks and is balling out the game and got phone calls from Drake all the time? It just depends. The fact of the matter is, yeah, I would never say Pass lost, maybe bar-for-bar Pass might have got it, but if you look at what Hollow brought to the table. He did all that shit in a foreign crowd right after he had his jaw broken and wired shut, wired jaw like fucking Kanye in ‘03. He’s freestyling like 50% of his shit.”
Addressing the place of inter-league competition on the scene, Lush went on to pay respect to the work that SMACK/URL have put in for the culture.
“At the end of the day, anybody that fucks with Battle Rap period, if you don’t respect SMACK and URL and what they’ve done, you’re playing yourself,” he said. “Do we try to compete with them? Hell yeah. We’re going for that top spot. But regardless, they make the stadium bigger. They make the entire Universe of battling bigger. Anytime their followers go up, all of battlers followers go up. It trickles down, it benefits everybody. You gotta respect it. Guess what, if anybody keeps URL on their motherfucking toes it’s KOTD. Guaranteed.”