When Harlem's Murda Mook took down Upper West Side rapper Iron Solomon for the top honor at Summer Madness 2, Mook became the victor of the biggest rap battle in the history of hip hop.
But before Mook and Solomon squared off, Fuse's Yasmine Richard chatted with the two Manhattan MCs. As you might expect, Mook did not hold back when assessing his upcoming competitor. "I'm going to make people understand he is a fraud," Mook says bluntly. "Everything you can possibly say about him is going to be said."
Mook also explains where he gets his ideas from: "Vigorous research, hours and hours, thinking of strategies... but it comes naturally to me. Battle Rap for Dummies? I don't know how to do that."
Solomon, on the other hand, was focusing more on the history of battle rap when he chatted with Richard pre-competition. "A lot of the greatest MCs come from a battle background, from Nas to Jay-Z to Eminem. It went from being a subculture to its own industry within hip hop. It's incredible to see what the fans have turned it into."
The event brought in plenty of star power on the sidelines—Diddy, Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes popped up at NYC's Webster Hall to check out the melee. A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip tells us why rap battle are still important to him, even at this point in his unimpeachable career: "We're all MCs at the end of the day, that's the unifying factor. When you see it done like this, you just want to support it because it rings bells within you of who you are."
To hear what the other rap-battle competitors at Summer Madness 2 had to say about the Battle Royale and each other, check out the video above.