Diary of a Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B Fan/Relentless Hustler…continuation…
Is BEEF Good for the Hip Hop and Rap Culture?
By Steve Clenor, BA, MSMS
It is well-known that beef in hip hop and rap comes from the competitiveness of the culture. One could go as far as saying, during the golden era of rap, it was considered a "sport". Artists would use it as a way to settle their feuds verbally and on wax, instead of killing each other on the streets. It can easily be compared to the break dancing days when dance crews would have issues with a rival neighborhood and they would meet up at an agreed upon location to go at it. I don't mean by fighting it out, but by a dance-off. In today's society, this would be considered kind of childish, weird and silly. However, it solved the purpose of not allowing feuds and arguments to lead to the senseless killings that's been known to ravish our communities. For example, though it became very disrespectful at times, there was a lot to be said and learned from the Jay Z and Nas beef.
The rivalry between Nas and Jay Z was carried out without threatening to become violent. It was two great Mc's competing for the crown of being considered the best at what they do. They both put their best efforts and said what had to be said, and left it up to the fans to decide whom won. Such is the essence of hip hop and rap, if you want to claim the crown as being the best, you'll have to prove it, because everyone is going to doubt you and challenge you for that title. I realize this question is subjective, but is beef in hip hop and rap good for the culture? As I like to keep it 100% real with my readers, I'm not sure which way I stand on this question. My thoughts may appear to be against the culture, but at heart, I love it. In fact, I'm making a career out of it. However, it does not mean that I agree with everything it stands for.
In some ways, I feel that the culture of hip hop and rap being recognized or accepted as a sport is not a good thing. I look at the fact that it promotes rivalry between the artists of this genre. It certainly does not promote team work, understanding, and mutual respect. Some even say, it promotes violence amongst some artists, though I do not agree with this assumption. I think the violence that occur between some of the people involved in the hip hop and rap culture stem from other areas in their life. If we study the culture, one can easily realize that when the beef between some escalate to violence, it's because they had prior issues that was never dealt with on the streets and the war of words just elevate their level of hate for each other and spill outside the realm of music. I feel all of us whom are involved in the culture share blame in this. I have a music website (www.relentlesshustler.com) where I'm constantly updating my news page. Most of the posts that make it to the website involves feuds and disses amongst artists or other music industry professionals. In all honesty, I would prefer not to even play that part in the culture, but it is what the fans want. Most importantly, that's usually what is being reported, and what is happening.
The last couple of weeks, the industry has been buzzing. The current mega beef between Drake and Meek Mill is setting social media on fire. It all started with Meek calling out Drake about the fact that he uses ghostwriters. Drake never seem to have refuted the validity of this accusation, but he has certainly launched several verbal attacks at Meek in the form of two diss songs and making fun of him on social media. It appears that Drake is focused on ending Meek's career. For anyone who may know Meek Mill or know how to contact him, please tell him to wake up and put up a fight. It's not looking good for him right now. All I ask is, for the essence of hip hop and rap, keep it on wax. This has all the makings of a great battle as they are both at the peak of their careers and the hip hop culture has been missing something like this. With the continual decrease of music sales and streaming services battling it out for supremacy, it is good to see that the buzz that this has created has squarely placed the attention of everyone on what is going to happen next. The culture seems rejuvinated and excited again, some say this is what the game has been missing. This is a good thing for the culture. Like any anticipated title, I hope it lives up to the hype.
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