Breaking your broad’s hips, legs, jaws, lips? Stabbing you in the neck with the pen you wrote your shit with? Driving by your funeral with a t-shirt that says “I did it?” Even the simple act of shaking your hands with balled fists? Yes, at this point, it’s been established. That’s the Don’s shit.
Rarely in the recent years of battle rap has an artist left the stylistic footprint that the Brooklyn born -Queens bred MC Hollow Da Don has imprinted on the scene. His spastic, horrorcore, at times nonsensical schemes and patterns are recognizable to even the most casual battle rap fan. And don’t bother fighting fire with fire. It’s a well known fact, you can’t beat the master with the style that he made up.
Hollow got his start on the streets of New York and Houston, where he moved after turning 14. Like many legends of the craft, battling came naturally to him, transitioning from the cypher to the throwdown with confidence and without difficulty. In 2006, he took his experience to BET’s Freestyle Fridays, where his murder streak of seven straight opponents left him in the Hall of Fame. The next year he continued to get his freestyle reps in, putting up a strong performance in the Houston division of Jumpoff’s World Rap Championships, earning an MVP nomination and a respectable 8-2 record.
Despite his considerable skills as a freestyler, Hollow’s career would take off with the birth of leagues where MCs could blend their frees with written rhymes. Making his debut in NYC’s Fight Klub in 2008, Hollow steamrolled the competition, winning ten straight battles before finally falling to New Jersey’s Arsonal in a controversial matchup. At the same time, Hollow was tearing through the newly formed East Coast division of Grind Time and making trips out to the Fresh Coast and St. Louis to clash with their veterans. A student of the game, Hollow claimed that his knowledge of battle rap and its fans allowed him to succeed in any environment.
However, it would be back in his home of New York where Hollow would leave his biggest mark on the world of battle rap, debuting in SMACK’s Ultimate Rap League against Chicago’s Big T. Hollow absolutely dismantled the Chi-Town representative with what is arguably the most complete and devastating performance ever recorded on a URL camera. His mixture of northern and southern slang, vicious street bars and ridiculous joke concepts won over the URL crowd in a way few rappers can.
Today Hollow resides in The Bronx, recording music with his Loyalty Ova Money crew and biding his time until his next big battle. Whoever steps up to the plate better come prepared with an arsenal of tricks if they expect to beat the Di-ni-ni-non at his own game; as Hollow himself is guaranteed to tell you, they’re going to need it.