Early in 2001 the Los Angeles club Root Down put on their first of a three part series called “Sound Clash,” organized & hosted by DJ Dusk. Based on the reggae sound system competitions, this was a hip-hop event – in this case featuring Madlib and Cut Chemist – going head to head, beat for beat for respect in front of a packed club.
Madlib was then unknown to many in the crowd, and Cut Chemist was at the height of his success with Jurassic 5. Each of the tracks had never been released. Each of the three rounds saw the excitement rise. The last round unleashed a partisan celebration from the captivated crowd.
Approximately a year later, the Root Down organized the round two, featuring Will.I.Am and Thes One. The drama and controversy of Round Two arose from the huge aesthetic differences on display between the “combatants.” The theatrics of the evening – clothes being taken off, ludicrous names and costumes – made the night a talking point in Los Angeles to this day. And Will.I.Am wasn’t a multi-platinum artist yet!
The last battle featured Oh No and Exile in 2003. With a relatively dignified display by the youngest pairing of the three, they closed the series with good music and much respect.
Mochilla’s Eric Coleman and B+ filmed all three events, but never had plans to release this as a DVD. However, since the tragic passing of DJ Dusk in 2006 they felt it was important to honor his legacy and share his gifts. This is for him, no edits, no overdubs, no interruptions… just raw hip-hop at its most exciting: vital and real.