14 Comments Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
Whatâ€™s Beef 2009
When did battle rappers stop rapping?
In the first month of â€˜09, hip-hop has already seen more beef than your local butcher shop. Some were snoozers (Soulja Boy vs. Bow Wowâ€¦ puh-leeze!) and others brought out the best in uber-lyrical beasts (Saigon vs. Joe Budden). But overall, this yearâ€™s rivalries have signaled a shift in the way rappers are trading blows.
Take the latest, most-talked-about beef that weâ€™ve seen thus far, between 50 Cent and Rick Ross. Rap heads are already hailing 50 the victor after one solid, but not career-devastating, diss record. But the major brunt of his offensive is off the wax: Fifâ€™ taking Rickâ€™s babyâ€™s mom shopping for furs, making threats on camera, paid-for legal documents, and even a cartoon sketch. Now, while all are disrespectful, defaming and hilariousâ€”the core ingredients for an Ether-laced trackâ€”none have rhythm or are laid over a beat. Shouldnâ€™t the outcome of a hip-hop battle be determined by the mud slinging that goes down on a record? When did a video showing AngryMC damn-near smashing RivalMCâ€™s babyâ€™s mother become more lethal weaponry than AngryMC rapping about smashing RivalMCâ€™s babyâ€™s mother? Sure, there were a few Summer Jam-screen casualties in years past (poor Prodigy) but there was always an accompanying punchline (â€œTwinkletoes, youâ€™re breaking my heartâ€¦â€). Today, cats are just mouthing off directly to other rappers via YouTube, sans beat and rhyme scheme.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, though, the era of Flip cam rap (YN, what up?!) keeps me watching. And Iâ€™d much rather the tensions spill onto WorldStarHipHop than the streets. But if weâ€™re going to be judging these dudes as rappers, can we get some bars and hooks? What do yâ€™all think? Should the thumping that takes place outside of the ropes count? Or is everything fair game in rap battle, rhyme or not?–John Kennedy
Rick Ross – “Mafia Music”
50 Cent â€“ “Officer Ricky (Donâ€™t Try Me)”
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