MTV Cancels Rap Contest After Times Square Melee

By | February 26, 2003 at 12:00 AM

A melee involving Hip-Hop fans in New York’s Times Square on Monday caused MTV to cancel its weeklong “MC Battles” rapping contest, MTV and police officials said.

Thousands of people had lined up overnight and in the early morning outside MTV’s studios in Times Square to enter the contest organized by the station and Def Jam record company, but overcrowding led to pushing and shoving on the streets.

Two police officers were injured and four people were arrested for disorderly conduct, a police statement said.

“We apologize to anyone who traveled far or waited for a long time for the contest, but we’ll provide information soon about future plans,” said Dave Sirulnick, Executive Vice President of News and Production for MTV, a unit of Viacom Inc..

The contest for MCs – a type of freestyle Hip-Hop rapping – was part of Hip-Hop Week that started Monday on MTV.

Contestants had to be 18 years and older to be considered. The first 1,000 eligible and aspiring MC’s would have had the chance to freestyle before a panel of MTV and Def Jam judges for a chance to win a Def Jam recording contract and $25,000.

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