Murda Mook vs. Jae Millz battle in Harlem (July 2003)
The one that started it all. Two Harlem legends go bar-for-bar for five rounds in an instant classic. To this day, the streets still can’t call a winner. And yes, that’s the VADO that Mook is referring to at the 2:00 mark. Say it ain’t so, SLIME!
Smack: That’s history right there, man. That particular battle is so historic because these dudes were like two of the dopest battle MCs. The two top battle MCs that was known in Harlem, and they finally got a chance—they’d been goin’ back and forth with each other for a long time—they finally got a chance to battle in front of the SMACK camera. It was a big opportunity.
Eric: Why that battle was important was because traditionally, MC battles were done over records, beats, stuff like that. People have always been battling face-to-face acapella, but it was on the street. We were like the first people to actually document two of the biggest guys battling face-to-face in a street type of setting where there’s really no time clocks, no rules. And just the streets just decide who wins. People were like, Wow, I feel like I’m right on the corner with these guys, as opposed to [there] being a time clock, a host, a beat, a DJ and a judge. None of that was really there. And I think that dynamic made it special because it makes people continuously watch it over and over again. Like, I think he won; I think he won. And it was debated in the barbershops, in the streets; it was just raw… So it was the first time that a raw street battle was documented on that level and brought to the masses.
Smack: I think that battle reached over three million views on YouTube. We had to actually pull it down because somebody else had uploaded [it] but when we pulled it down, it was up to like three to four million views. We re-uploaded it and it’s already got like 200,000-300,000 [views] again. So, I think that battle was definitely historic and it got the attention of everybody and all the rappers in the hip-hop game.
Eric: And that kind of set the tone for where the battle culture is right now. You watch any of the major leagues that are out there or battles, they don’t rhyme over music, they rhyme over this format and this style that we were luckily able to document first and bring to the masses.
Smack: I think it was actually a tie. I think it was a tie. I think that it was a classic because with a classic—my definition of a classic—it’s hard to pick a winner. Both of them came out aggressive, both of them came out with lyricism and bars. And I couldn’t basically pick a winner. So it was a tie to me, and that’s what I consider a classic to me. You know? I don’t know how Eric feel or how he envisions it.
Eric: I’ve watched it sometimes and I’ve thought that Millz has won. And I’ve watched it sometimes and I’ve thought that Mook just won. I’m in agreeance [with Smack]. I know you may think I’m playin’ it safe, but in this instance, I just feel like they both showed up. It was just something to see, man.
Reader Poll: Who won Murda Mook or Jae Millz?