Responding to requests from the New York City Police Department, MTV announced on Monday that it had postponed an MC battle scheduled to take place at the cable outlet's Times Square studios that day.
The product of a partnership between MTV and Def Jam Records, the contest was to award one aspiring rapper with $25,000 and a Def Jam recording contract. The contest was open only to the first 1000 entrants, but thousands began lining up outside MTV's Times Square studios in the wee hours of Monday morning (February 24). By Monday's morning rush, police asked that the event be canceled due to overcrowding.
"After having done numerous events and similar talent searches in Times Square and throughout the country, we're disappointed we had to take this measure, but we'll announce details about rescheduling MC battles shortly," said Dave Sirulnick, Executive Vice President of News and Production for MTV. "We also apologize to anyone who traveled far or waited for a long time for the contest, but we'll provide information soon about future plans."
Def Jam also pledged that the contest would go on, with president Kevin Liles saying, "We're working to make sure the MC battles happen soon … The streets will be heard."
In the past, the network has successfully staged open searches for on-air personalities, and regularly lines up potential audience members outside its Times Square studios.