This historic battle would go down as a classic while some considered it to be controversial because in public opinion there was no clear-cut winner. It took place on a Friday sometime in November 2003 at the Underground clothing store on Third Avenue in the Bronx. Murda Mook who had made a name for himself battling Jae Millz on a previous Smack DVD came ready to defeat a newcomer by the name of Loaded Lux. Loaded Lux even though a new comer to DVD battles had been battling in the streets of Harlem for years. In fact he said he battled Jae Millz off camera five times. Coming into the Mook battle Loaded Lux had a winning record in the hood. “I couldn’t give you a number on how many battles I had. I had so many battles running around in Harlem and Bronx but I lost only one. That battle which, I lost severely was to T-Rex on 135 St in Harlem. I literally went around the neighborhood block to block so I could be considered someone to be reckoned with on the rap tip. Rex’s name was buzzing and back in 1999 he handed me my ass. That was my only severe lost.” Mook who had a little bit more camera experience was considered the champion to the public but he felt like he was still a rookie in the game. “I had a bunch of off camera wins but Jae Millz was my first big battle so I really was a new jack on camera. I felt I was just one and zero because I beat Millz. I don’t really count the off camera battles those were just sparing matches getting me ready for what was to come.” The match was made after both names were buzzing in the streets recalls Lux. “A couple of my friends and his people were talking back and fourth. You know how that goes my man is better than yours on a rap tip. I heard Mook’s name through a mutual friend and I heard about the Jae Millz incident. Then I saw how that went down and from there it really took off.”
Before the match Loaded Lux was visiting family. “I came from Harlem. I have family in the Bronx who live a few blocks from the Underground so I was familiar with the area.” Murda Mook had just come back from school in Massachusetts where he played basketball and was chilling with friends in Harlem. “I went to Elms College in Massachusetts where I played ball. I came all the way back for the battle. My man Roscoe and I were at a friends crib before we rode to the Bronx for the battle.” Going into the battle Mook had never heard Lux but knew of him. “I knew him when he went by the name Pop Lux. By the time I did the J Millz stuff I didn’t know what he was up to. Even though I hadn’t heard him I knew he was nice from cats in the hood. There wasn’t any Youtube back then and if there was I was not aware of it. So I just did my little preparation and went in.” Lux on the other hand watched Mook vs J Millz on Smack Vol.5 a week before and admits that he wasn’t impressed. “I didn’t know about Smack until I saw the DVD a week before when I was getting ready for the battle. I wanted to see who I was up against. When I saw it I didn’t think much of Murda Mook. There wasn’t much that impressed me. In that battle he was really feeling his way on the stage. So the first time I saw him I thought I going to kill this kid I can’t wait for this battle.” A neutral spot was chosen that nobody knew until the day of the battle.
Friends and fans only knew all the talk was about to end in a rap battle, showdown on a Friday night in the Bronx. Loaded Lux was the first to arrive at the location and Mook arrived soon afterwards. “I got there first. I rolled up and it was already packed. I came with only five people but a lot of people from my neck of the woods came. I think we were waiting for Mook to come back from college. He came about ten minutes after I arrived.” As the first around was about to begin it was decided that Mook was going to go first.
“I felt Lux should go first but somehow I ended up going first. That changed my whole strategy on what I wanted to do. So the first round I switched up since I knew I was going first. I wanted to come out with something kind of light but heavy at the same time so he would have to come out with something strong. I wanted to bate him in the beginning because coming off the Jae Millz battle I knew he was going to come out with all his firepower. I wanted to try to get him to shoot all his artillery at once and down the stretch I do what I do.” With his red fitted cap and Lawrence Taylor jersey Mook began the first round.
Highlights From Mooks Round One
“Lux you’re immature just like your measly flow.
This cat here is like government bread easy dough.
I will let him live but you better be easy though.
Because I can make you sit calm (sitcom) like a TV show.”
Hearing Murda Mook’s first verse Lux’s confidence grew as he felt his opponent was subpar. “Mook came out lukewarm. ‘He was light Mike.’ In my head I was like I’m going to kill this. It’s going to be a short night. In the end I can say he was playing possum. He came back harder in the later rounds but when he first started in my mind I thought oh he’s finished especially if he’s going to do that all night.” Lux came out aggressively in the beginning.
Highlights From Lux’s Round One
“This is ugly, this cat.
You’ll put Muggsy on Shaq.
It’s like a pink rugby and gray slacks.
How the f@$k are we a match.
You rapping for dough, packing shows.
Mook, get the hell out.
You might as well be yourself at least you know you are a f@$king sellout.”
“Don’t start. I’m a shark, in a pond with a guppy.
I rap how Mook looks, so yeah this s#!t is goin’ to get ugly.”
“Mook let the mic go, you are ice cold.
If Caucasians brought most of the albums,
you wouldn’t even go white gold.”
There would be many basketball references by Lux through out the battle. “My plan was definitely to try to get the crowd on my side early. When he spit what he spit he didn’t get that reaction he was looking for but I got the one I was looking for. I kind of had the momentum from there.” Hearing Lux for the first time Mook knew his opponent was no amateur. “His first verse was crazy. He did better than what I expected. His first round he came out with a lot of energy. It seemed like everybody there were his people, I had only my man Roscoe and another friend. He had the crowd right off the bat but I wasn’t really worried about that. I knew the environment was hostile for me but the tale of the tape would tell the story.” So as the battle continued Mook spit his second verse.
“I’m past hot! I should be livin’ on mars.
Here’s the list of MC’s that can kill you in eight bars.
Murda, Jigga, Jada, used to be Nas but he’s on some s#!t about the moon and the stars.
Cats falling off, that is part of the cycle.
The way I’m doing this kid has me feeling like Michael.”
Mook finished his verse and once again Lux wasn’t impressed. “When he came back it was a little step up but it was still lukewarm. I was still feeling powerful but he came there strategically.” Mook recalls his strategy for the second round. “What I wanted to do in the second round is show everybody how nice I was. I wasn’t trying to focus on him. I wanted to show cats I was lyrically nice because after Jae Millz I wasn’t sure cats knew I was nice like that. It was still kind of light.” As for Lux he went in with another strong round. Rhyming at one point on Mooks difficulty getting in the industry.
Highlights from Lux’s second round
“My raps are vicious and I’m still with the choruses.
He’s still cutting krill’s, hustling pills like Morpheus.
Walking in the offices,
all out of order.
This lame is in the game and hasn’t scored the whole quarter.
A&R guy is lying worse than his lawyer.
He’s sees Mook’s thirst and won’t bring him to the water.”
Lux continued attacking during that round with witty lines.
“Mook I rally in big bills because if I feel slow on Benjamins.
We are going to do it like the pilgrims and Indians.
You thought 50 had many men?
Dude you get jumped, hit and thrown in the trunk,
like Harry and the Henderson.”
“My plan was to keep the crowd on my side.” With two verses laid out and the crowd on Lux side Mook decided to change gears. At this point he laid out his longest and hardest verse so far delivering a volley of clever lines.
Highlights from Mook’s third round
“This fag wants cocks to run in his rear.
I bet you he’s wearing leotards under his gear.
But he’s swears he’s a nightmare,
thinking I will be fright and quite it.
Pop, admit it, we all know you wouldn’t even fight a ticket.”
“I wanted to see how he was going to react from the third round. When I was rapping the crowd was acting like what I was saying wasn’t hot but they were listening.” Hearing Mooks third verse Lux admits he was shocked. “He shocked me after that. I was like man he was playing possum. He started coming alive. That’s why I call the battle arena the lions den because if you are in the line of fire I don’t care who the person is at the end of the day the joke is on you if your opponent goes in. If you are going against a tough opponent and he has something to say when he gets his flurries to go and his combinations are going through nine times out of ten we are blocking it out of our mind because we can’t play to the crowd. But there’s times when another opponent is going in and you can’t even block it. He might say some stuff that the crowd might miss but you will know and that joint will sting. There was a part of the battle where Mook said something and it stung.”
More highlights from Mook’s third round
“This is un-cut raw coke for you.
If you ready to die I will tell your folks for you.
And if you are out of this world,
we got telescopes for you.
This is easy your dudes better hope for you.”
“In that round he had some stingers. It’s times like that you have to give it to your opponent. Times like that make you go back home and step your game up.” That round people guessed had Lux surprised because in that same round he would slip up on his verse. “When I messed up I was performing to the crowd so I’m listening to see their reaction but at the same time I was forgetting my next line. I slipped and by time I tried to get it back it was mayhem. His people were going at my people and it went back and fourth.” With the slip up, Mook wanted to take advantage quickly. “He messed up and I was trying to go right in. That’s what you do when you opponent messes up but then he tried to start again. I knew he was covering because he messed up. The rules of battling are if you mess up you have to stop.” Even though he slipped, Mook admits Lux hit him with a couple of stingers. “He had a couple of hard lines in the fourth there was one particular line he said something about Foot Locker. Many cats did not really catch that but I caught that one and it stung.” When all the mayhem stopped Mook began the fourth round where he feels he landed a bunch of shots.
Highlights from Mook’s fourth round
“We were here long enough. Now it’s time to let your spirits loose.
I gave you a chance to try to pull your little miracle.
You can try to murder Mook all that you please.
What’s coming out my mouth is sick like I have an oral disease.”
Lux came back in the fourth with shots of his own.
Highlights from Lux’s fourth round
“Mook you are in state of hunger.
You haven’t had a hot line since they started 800 numbers.”
“You heard cats using that afterwards but I was the first cat to say it. I heard cats throw it out. I remember when I came up with that line after I was home writing and an 800 number came up for an infomercial or something.” Another hot line Lux spitted seemed to go over people’s heads.
“Leave the crime for the crooks out your rhymes and your hooks.
You never saw a rap tossed (raptor) up in a dinosaur book.”
“You got to have those combinations. Those dry spots can kill you. People are counting the punchlines. Combinations and punchlines are very important. You throw a line here then wait while they are thinking then hit them with another line. These are things I learned,” Lux explains. Mook felt he landed his biggest blow to end the fifth.
“I felt in the fifth I landed my Hail Mary Haymaker. We were jabbing and jabbing and were both tired I was like I’m going to hit and I’m going to hit hard. I was going to see if he was able to comeback after that. When I hit him with a certain line that’s when I felt like I had him. Everyone in the crowd was ‘stuck.’ Then I knew the tide had turn. He was still hot and he had some lines but it wasn’t with the same intensity as the first four rounds.” In the sixth and the seventh both combatants had solid rounds. Though they said the battle continued outside the eighth and last round on camera Lux decided to end it by getting at some fans that were on the side of Murda Mook. “I was just playing to the crowd. I did not even know if they were with him but they were on his side of the room rooting for him and it all worked.” As the old saying says you stand to close to the target you end up getting hit. At one point Lux threw a line at some girls standing on Mook’s side. “I didn’t even know those chicks. It kind of looked funny though. I was like all right he took advantage of that because the chicks were right next to me. I was like oh s#!t but I didn’t even know them,” explains Mook.
Afterwards both parties said they went out drinking and celebrating their victory. In the aftermath of the battle there was a host of learning experiences for both parties as Mook explains, “When I was rapping and the crowd was just looking, I wasn’t expecting that type of stuff. So I knew then those were his cats. I learned from that type of stuff. I also remember people are always fixated on the new dude. If they think you were the champion they are asking who is this new dude giving the champion a run for his money? People were like that new dude is nice. That’s what happened to me, people would say I think you won but you ain’t kill him that was real close.” Lux also received mix feedback. “After the battle I had mixed feelings. There were some things I felt I could have performed better. When you’re in the battle you are like a sponge some things you learn so you can make it better your next time. I felt good because everyone was talking about it but some of my people were like he might have got you.”
The battle would have just been a street story that happened in the Bronx if wasn’t for Smack. Lux explains how this was the beginning of the wide distribution of hood battles. “I didn’t know how big it was going to get. I was really green to the power of Smack and his wide distribution. On future battles I did do more studying. This went all over the country. We were doing this just in the neighborhood for props. I can go to Delaware, down south, and they know what we were doing. I was like I’m really going to go crazy now that I know the world is watching. This is a whole new level. This became big business after that point so I now need people to see me in the best form possible. We became ghetto celebrities.” They both would go on to have more battles some they would win and some they would lose but those would be stories for another time.
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