Ahead of this weekend’s first Total Slaughter event, battle rapper Illmaculate spoke with Battle Rap about Eminem’s influence on battle culture in the mainstream.

“I think Eminem kind of put Battle Rap on a stage that it had never seen,” Illmaculate said. “When 8 Mile dropped and everything, you had 5 million battle emcees that just came out the wood-work…That’s your average person’s first connection. That alone speaks volumes for his contribution to Battle Rap and where he’s put the pedestal.”

Last month, Illmaculate told Battle Rap that despite the large following, the culture remains “an inside thing” and shared his thoughts on the Total Slaughter league’s possible role moving forward.

“Even the references, like you almost have to know some history of like this dude’s last battle,” he said. “That’s not the case with every battle, but like there’s a lot of like inside [information] and subcultural references and I think that Total Slaughter has the ability to once again up the stakes and put it on a larger scale and maybe open up some resources for the battle community at large.”

To read the full story visit Battle Rap.