Ludacris, Joe Budden, Method Man, Cam'ron, Noreaga, Keith Murray, and others will be on hand May 17 for the finals of MTV's "MC Battle," set to air live that afternoon from the network's New York stud

Ludacris, Joe Budden, Method Man, Cam'ron, Noreaga, Keith Murray, and others will be on hand May 17 for the finals of MTV's "MC Battle," set to air live that afternoon from the network's New York studios.

The two-hour special will feature performances by Ludacris and Budden as well as a rap battle between eight MC finalists. They will compete for a grand prize of $25,000, a Def Jam recording contract, the chance to appear on the Def Jam Vendetta Tour, and inclusion as a character in the sequel to Def Jam's "Vendetta" video game. Winners will be decided by a live vote on MTV.com during the finale.

The week-long "MTV MC Battle" tournament will begin airing on MTV May 14-16 with hour-long episodes each evening. The original pool of 1,000 MCs will be narrowed to 27 by the 14th, and along with five MC radio contest winners, they will battle each other in a lyrical tournament, as the field is narrowed to eight.

The Def Jam Vendetta tour, featuring Ludacris, Budden, Murray, and Capone-N-Noreaga (CNN), kicks off Saturday (May 10) in Milwaukee.