In an unprecedented flood of support, Ether, the first Battle Rap event put on by Alki David‘s FilmOn Networks and ETV.com, as well as Fresh Coast Media’s Lush One, broke records as the largest Internet Pay Per View battle tournament of all time, with tens of thousands logging on to the pay per view on ETV.com. The live event also sold out the Belasco Theater in Downtown LA at ticket prices from $40 to $450 . Despite some complications (the L.A. Weekly reported that a DDoS attack knocked down several FilmOn servers but was quickly repelled, and there were some intermittent sound problems typical for such a large and complicated event), the night was lauded as a first for Battle Rap, a triumph for West Coast hip hop, and the night that got legendary Cassidy out of retirement.
The show notched 1.5 million views on YouTube in its first 48 hours before FilmOn’s lawyers started getting them taken down for copyright infringement. The full battle is available legally on ETV.com/rap.
BattleRap.com called it “The Match That Set the World on Fire” and provided its readers with excellent wall to wall coverage including video interviews, transcripts and tweet decks. In its interviews, Cassidy seemed very satisfied as he sucked on a bottle of Moet Chandon, Dizaster was frustrated but praised the event overall saying, “If its good for Cassidy, its good for Battle Rap” and Daylyt claimed to have $400,000 ready to produce a battle between him and Cassidy.
Lush told TV Mix: “This past weekend Alki David made history once again, this time within the realm of live pay per view, and the burgeoning battle rap art form plus subculture. The end result is one of the most intense and discussed moments in hip-hop history and nothing short of an instant classic. The event simultaneously ushered back in a resurgence for the demand of the intimate feel of battle rap’s origins, while showcasing the growth and exponential progress of the culture.
The night at the Belasco was the scene of some epic battles–Chaz Kangas wrote in the L.A. Weekly that The Saurus and Arsonal rocked the crowd, “with rounds that pushed the limits of performance and taste to extreme levels. Illmaculate showed why, after a decade, he’s been welcome in every era of battle rap. Bigg K and Conceited had what many consider to be the best battle of the night, while the veteran Serious Jones and shock-master Daylyt surprised fans by having a good old fashion solid battle with no antics or incidents.”
But when the fire marshals shut the night down after one awkward round between Cassidy and Dizaster, most thought the event was over. Quickly Alki David and Lush One devised a plan and got the word out–the battle would be completed in an undisclosed location and made available on PPV to all who paid to watch either at the Belasco or on ETV.com.
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As Lush told BattleRap.com:
“What are you gonna do? You gonna represent hip hop or you gonna fuckin’ let your fans down? Or are you gonna do the most you can? Both Diz and Cassidy — they could have been like, ‘Fuck this shit,’ and they didn’t. Alki [David] could have been like, ‘Fuck this shit,’ but he didn’t. I could have been like ‘Fuck this shit,’ my whole squad could have been like, ‘Fuck this shit.’ But we all rose to the occasion in the name of Fresh Coast, King Of The Dot [and] ETV powered by FilmOn. It just had to happen.”
The social media traffic was massive, with the hashtag #Ether trending throughout the two days of battles. Once the final battle was posted, fans seemed grateful and began to praise Lush and FilmOn for staging such an epic battle.
“I knew Battle Rap had a large and devoted audience but even I was impressed by the attendance and ppv buys and sheer passion of the fans about Ether,” says Alki David. “It’s just the beginning. We will be announcing major battle and major names in the coming weeks that will show we are truly raising the bar on the battle rap genre.”
Chris Mitchell, Editor-in-Cheif of BattleRap.com, told TV Mix: “Whenever something crazy happens at an event, the controversy always overshadows everything else. But usually only for a few days. Once the uproar settles, people start dissecting the actual battles and their place in the history books. Ether had its problems and its controversies, but it also had some incredible performances from guys like Big T, Bigg K, Danny Meyers and Illmaculate.”
Watch the full match at http://www.etv.com/rap.
Battle rap is always on tap, 24/7 via FilmOn at http://www.filmon.com/tv/battle-rap
<a href=”http://www.filmon.com/tv/channel/battle-rap” >Battle Rap</a>