The Destructive Legacy of Rap Beef

The last 12 months of rap beef got me thinking, I mean who really wins? We like beef, it entertains us, it gives us those on the spot ‘Oh shit, he said that’ moments that we debate for weeks. but it’s easy to forget the actual fallout.

Rappers react in ways they usually wouldn’t. When you consume the tracks, videos, memes, and decode the lyrics its apparent that rap beef is not just about discrediting an artists skills or creative merit. Its morphed into an environment where anything can be said.

Things get discussed in the public domain that shouldnt, issues get raised that no DJ or journalist would dare to ask or publish. Statements get made that would never see the light of day in a police station or court of law.

It’s not destroy and rebuild, it’s destroy and destroy

Controversial issues or secrets that were once buried are dug up and open for conversation. When the beef strays from being about the art or the culture we’re in a different territory altogether. No one considers the destructive legacy that follows the consensual snitching where rappers inform on each other for views and followers in the name of the culture or entertainment.

Regardless of the original intentions or the need to save face, rappers expose each other, they discredit every positive attribute, and belittle all previous accomplishments. It’s not destroy and rebuild, it’s destroy and destroy.

After shots are fired the thirst for information is potent. The artist with the bigger following basically promotes the conflict and the artist with the lesser following, thereby self snitching, exposing the conflict and derogatory comments to their bigger audience.

Within the first 24 hour the social network numbers grow, but it isn’t from new fans looking to consume or appreciate the craft. It’s savages looking for more insight on the labrish. Once the hype dies down everyone goes back to listening to his or her favourite artists and playlists.

Fans judge and critique the work that follows with more scrutiny than before, they want more venom, they want continuous fire. Artists have to work harder to make a hit and prove that they are relevant beyond the conflict. Video views are scrutinised, chart positions are watched and discussed on the roads.

Some artists benefit for a season, but they are plagued by questions about the beef for the duration of their career. The media become obsessed with the conflict, it over shadows their art or their artistic integrity. Rappers become the unofficial spokesman for their competitors, and they never walk away from it.

Very few come unscathed from rap beef, the effects last for years. The victims will always be victims. The losers go down in the history books as the losers, nothing is forgotten. The Social networks and platforms are the only true winners who document the conflict with greater clarity and detail than any previous win. We the fans encourage all of this fuckery.

We the fans encourage all of this fuckery.

Rap beef is the only form of conflict where a win could be seen as a loss. One win eventually be a loss at some point. In this instance 50 Cent is the only artist that isn’t affected by the law of averages because he is the Sun Tsu of rap.

We actually make excuses for rap beef; ‘its entertaining’, ‘its good for the scene’, ‘its like a sport’….nah that’s battle rap. Don’t confuse it.

The sobering reality is that rap beef is the epitome of modern day coonery and buffoonery that we all endorse and encourage, we’re all guilty of participating.

“Cant we all just get along?” No. We love it, and as long as we do so it will never stop.