Hip Hop came into being in the 70’s. Hip Hop culture is comprised of sub art forms; these art forms constitute the generic framework of Hip Hop culture. Hip Hop first caught public attention through Graffiti and Breakdancing. The Graffiti movement began within the regions of 1972 when a Greek American teenager tagged his name and his street number “Taki 183” on New York Subway system walls.
As Hip Hop culture progressed it morphed into something bigger, it became a tool that gave hope to the hopeless and a voice to the voiceless.
The environment had a fundamental role to play when dancing, rapping and deejaying where created. An immigrant from Jamaica DJ Kool Herc (Clive Campbell) who was barely 18 years old introduced the huge sound systems of his native country, Jamaica to parties at the inner-city.
The earliest purveyors of the deejay sub art form such as Grand Wizard Theodore, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash, were responsible for the isolation and extension of the breakbeat (a situation where all sounds but the drums drop out in a dance record), thereby causing dancers to improvise their moves. Their new style resonated with Hip Hop enthusiasts of that era. Fashion, style, and norms would be influenced by the unfolding way of life now known today as Hip Hop Culture.
In the past, Hip Hop was labeled ‘chaotic’ by the authorities who were startled by the new wave the subculture genre was generating. They branded it as an art form that promoted gang violence in the Bronx and other American cities and proceeded to clamp down on the art form.
The release of Sugarhill Gang’s song “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979 brought Rap into national prominence. The song became a chart-topper thereby giving rise to the new pop genre “Rap”.
The major pioneers of the rap music genre were Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Kurtis Blow, and the Cold Crush Brothers, they constitute rap’s old school.
The new school of rap music kicked off in the mid-1980s, among the pioneers was Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy who combined rap wit radical political ideology.
This growing consciousness of hip-hop saw a new breed of rappers such as the NWA comprised of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy E releasing a controversial album “Straight Outta Compton” that questioned and challenged the authorities. This insolent movement galvanized more rappers to re-invent a new rap genre known as gangster rap.
Before going into Hip Hop beef culture, it is worthy to note that recent Hip Hop culture has become more tainted with lyrics that demean the feminine sex. The lyrics today, often purvey terms like hoes, bitches, and whores, these words are pervasive and demeaning to the womenfolk.
Humanity has been cursed with the need for competition, without competition, change won’t suffice, and without change, life would be meaningless. Competition has been the basis for Hip Hop rivalry for decades, these feuds or beef often end up quashed or fatal.
The beef between Tupac Amaru Shakur known professionally as 2pac and George Latore Wallace known professionally as The Notorious B.I.G in the 90’s was one historic case of Hip Hop beef that ended fatally.
Another case of Hip Hop feuds that lasted decades was the beef between Jay Z and NAS, in this scenario, the feud ended peacefully as both parties quashed their beef peacefully.
The heat and clout generated during both historic events resonated around the world. Hip Hop enthusiasts were always clutching their radios frantically to see the next statement their idols were going to put out.
The rivalry generated between feuding parties in the Hip Hop industry can serve as a catalyst for an artist’s career. When you have an industry that churns out billions of dollars annually, it causes rappers to seek professional help that will assist them in staying relevant in a highly competitive industry.
An old saying goes, there is no smoke without fire, for with the right embers the fields shall be set alight.
It could be borne out of personal contempt of another rapper’s work or it could be an artist manager poking ideas into his client’s head that beefing another rapper is the best way to sell out shows. This usually bears fruit 75% of the time, with the feuding parties selling out concert tickets faster than they are produced. However, 25% of the time it ends up fatal or unproductive, rather damaging a feuding party’s career or both.
An advice, do not beef someone who is more connected in the industry than you, it usually doesn’t end well.
The biological rivalry that exists between every male species replicates itself in Hip Hop Beefs. Some may think the male species are usually more suited to Hip Hop beef because any rancor or clout that exists between men only serves to promote and expand their talent in the art form. This is highly debatable given the career of female rap battle champion, Roxanne Shante, popularly known for Roxanne’s Revenge.
Shante basically laid out the blueprint for rap beef, she inspired more women like Salt-N-Pepa to create a response track at Slick Rick and Doug E fresh, this inadvertently launched their career.
The ability of a rapper to square up to someone that is more superior makes the prospects of his/her career more alluring.
Fast forward to modern day civilization, this effectively means more streams and revenue off streaming apps and sites.
Hip Hop icon, Eminem, recently released an Album, Kamikaze. Eminem in his usual lyrical superiority took a swipe at Machine Gun Kelly MGK, in the song Kill Shot. It was earlier speculated that Eminem chastised MGK for commenting on his 22-year-old daughter’s Instagram page.
However, when Eminem sat down with Sway Calloway, he distanced himself from earlier speculations by the media. He made it known to the Sway why he decided to make the song Kill Shot. He dissed MGK over his insinuations that Eminem had him blackballed.
Eminem who acknowledges that people consider him irrelevant in today’s Hip-Hop culture, in the process of trying to annihilate MGK, he inadvertently makes him bigger through free publicity.
Decades later, rap feuds that occur among women have grown more entertaining, it is noteworthy that there has been a new trend in the way any female beef is executed. However, this trend doesn’t pose a threat to pre-established norms. The stigma surrounding female MCs, where there is a superficial rule that there can be only one number one female rapper, that stigma must be broken in order for the genre to move forward.
The case of Nicki Minaj and Cardi B looks more like a petty break down of decorum between two rappers. Cardi B has been on a warpath ever since she and Nicki Minaj started their verbal altercations on social media. This chatter morphed into an actual physical confrontation at the Harper’s Bazaar event.
All hell broke loose at the event when shoes started flying at Nicki Minaj and Cardi B’ ending up with a swollen face. The prompt intervention of the security personnel ensured that the situation was de-escalated.
After the event, Cardi’s team hurriedly put out a statement that Cardi B acted the way she did when she discovered that Nicki Minaj was slandering her newborn Kulture. In her defense, Nicki laughed off the gullible attempt of Cardi’s camp trying to seek public eye with a shambolic and fictitious claim. She reiterated that she would never dare slander anyone’s child, rather Cardi was trying to worm her way into people’s heart through payola and sympathy.
The altercation between both rappers at the Bazaar will go down in memory as a petty display of rancor between rappers in the modern age, a rancor that usually ends up sour for one party. Nicki Minaj has a history of emerging victorious in any beef she has encountered, with a Cardi B in the picture now, one wonders how this will all play out.
Female beef is relatively unhealthy since rappers take their battles to the streets rather than the booth. There is a line that was made by Jill Scott queens don’t swing if you know what I mean, but I’m about to whoop yo tail give me some gasoline. At the end of the day, there’s a time and place for everything.
Through research, we discovered that mainstream hip-hop won’t be able to support more than one rap queen at a time. The indices are there, Nicki Minaj has arguably been the number one female mc for a long time. In the 90’s, female MCs generated some heat, Lil Kim, Eve, Missy Elliot, and Lauryn Hill, they all generated some heat back in the day.
However, none has been more successful than Nicki Minaj, her latest album Queen is still topping charts with no sign of abating in the near future.
This is why a battle between Cardi B’ and Nicki Minaj might end up lopsided for one party, your guess is as good as mine as to whose side the pendulum will swing.
Hip-hop Beef is better suited to male rappers, they have a way of utilizing the clout feuds generates to further their careers. Rather than engaging in pettiness, the feuding parties hit the studio and cook up some sick lines.
Female rappers, on the other hand, should refocus their energy on expanding their careers. Engaging in pettiness is often destructive as it favors the artiste that is at the top of the pecking order. However, there is a time and place for everything, and what Remy Ma did on Shether was like no other female or rap diss record, that impact is still resonating on Hip-hop culture.
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