A melee involving hip-hop fans and would-be rappers today (Feb. 24) in New York's Times Square caused MTV to cancel its weeklong "MC Battles" rapping contest, MTV and police officials said.

A melee involving hip-hop fans and would-be rappers today (Feb. 24) in New York's Times Square 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 cable network and the Def Jam label, 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 VP of news and production for MTV, a unit of Viacom Inc.

The freestyle rap contest was part of MTV's "Hip-Hop Week" programming that started today. 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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