When you think about battle rap, Harlem’s own Murda Mook is one lyricist who stands out. Mook, known by hip hop aficionados for slaughtering in the Smack/URL arena, is continuing to preserve the battle rap evolution.
“The Gladiator School is a league put together by myself and Snoop Dogg, where we are taking battle rappers that have been already cultivated and new ones as well and putting them against each other,” Mook explained to BET.com about his new project. The goal is to give battle rap a different spin and surround the showdowns around events.
“We can raise awareness to the powers that be about battle rap or you may have a certain hip hop artist who can never make it to a live hip hop battle,” Mook said.
The world will get its first taste of Snoop and Mook’s Gladiator School when the 2014 BET Awards air on October 14. The competition features T-Rex versus Rum Nitty and John John Da Don versus Arsonal.
“Earlier on when I did my first Smack battle, it was just something to do,” Mook recalled. “We didn’t think about it, we were just trying to get signed,” he continued. “You battle somebody it would travel that you are nice and then you get signed. But then when the cameras started taping it just turned into its own genre.”
Already considered a battle rap legend, Mook is putting his skills to the mainstream test again. He recently made headlines for a potential battle against YMCMB’s Drake and he is prepping the release of his forthcoming project with DJ Absolut, The Purge.
Check the video below to hear Mook talk about his loyalty to Ruff Ryders, his new single, “Red Cross,” with Snoop Dogg and Ron Browz, plus more.
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(Photo: Brad Barket/BET/Getty Images for BET)