A new documentary about the rise of underground Hip Hop in Los Angeles during the 90s and 2000s features Otherwize, the MC who famously won a battle against Eminem at the 1997 Rap Olympics.

Otherwize was big at the LA hip hop scene and proved to be invincible to Eminem attacks. He left Em without a crown at the event that was organised specifically to let Slim Shady shine. However, this victory did not bring Otherwize any long-term gains. The LA rapper remembers how it was to battle a white MC for the first time and what were the outcomes for him:

I never battled a white person before. So I battled him with the shit that I learned. I approached him with that, and I won. And I blew my money at the fucking bar. And got my Rolex stolen from me later that night. So what do you wanna know about my hard times?

After that, producers cued the fragment from the Rock the Bells interview with Eminem, where he shared his perspective:

I didn’t know that the battle that was taking place before the Rap Olympics was whoever wins that gets £500 and a Rolex. And then he comes from around the screen and just gets in my face. I don’t remember one line he said, but he was screaming in my face. And I’m like, “Oh, shit”. And everybody’s like, “Oh, he’s killing him, he’s killing him!” But I had already choked. So it really didn’t matter what the guy did. And I lost.

However, DJ Breeze, who directed this documentary and was instrumental in establishing the underground hip hop scene in the 1990s, has a more detailed account of this event — and more complimentary to Marshall’s performance. He shared it in the interview with HipHopDX:

Eminem held his own as well. The battle with Wize had to go extra rounds because these dudes were going at it. The battle had also a slight racial overtone to it. Obviously ’cause there were few white rappers at the time. So it definitely started to take on the feel of Black versus white. I will say this, the battle between those two guys was phenomenal. It had to go extra rounds because at one point it just seem like they were so evenly matched.

Even though you could feel the crowd wanting Otherwize to win, you couldn’t deny Eminem skill set. But I do feel confidently 100 percent that Otherwize did win the battle. Did he blow them out of the water? No, he did not. But he did win. It also adds a kind of lore to Otherwize’s name considering Eminem bought all the footage so nobody could see the battle.

However, everybody could see the battle after a short search on YouTube. And now you can see its fragment in the documentary – not the Otherwize part, though. So it remains a mystery still — what exactly Otherwize did to beat Marshall, whose skills were honed in multiple battles.

Watch the clip from “Where We’re From”:

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