Beef season is here and we’ve seen hip hop’s top artists in Kenya flex their lyrical muscles on the mic over the past month. Who won? This isn’t as easy to decide as 50 VS Ja Rule or Drake VS Meek. The Who is King rap beef hasn’t reached the threshold to go among the greats even in Kenya but the real question is, will beef spice up the industry?
My thoughts? Glad you asked because I was still going to share them anyway. I’m a proponent of beefs. I’m not talking about running up on another rapper and leaving him all black and blue. I support lyrical war and I have plenty of reasons why I think beef is the oxygen of hiphop.
Gangsta rap was founded on the ground of agitation for rights and highlighting the situation black people were undergoing at the time. Hip hop originated from the East Coast without a doubt but the West Coast made gangsta rap pop. So why do I think beef is necessary? Navigate your eyes to the points beneath.
Gets the juices flowing
In the real sense, there should be no loser in a beef. Look at Jay VS Nas for example. Ether was fire and even Jay had no way of coming back from that but you can’t really pin that as a loss because he also had fire tracks throughout the whole beef.
It’s expected that a rapper will bring his A game to any beef and anything short of that warrants your G card to be stripped from you. Some of the most memorable tracks in the past have been diss tracks and that is simply because an artist took time to express his or her emotions creatively.
New age rappers are killing this spirit because they’re beefing on Twitter and Instagram where the only creative outlet you have is a fixed number of filters. The Young Thug’s of today need to get back in the booth and give the fans a reason to listen to them. I’ve bought two or three albums from Kenyan artists and the reason I bought them is because I liked the content.
There’s strength in numbers
If you’ve followed any rap beef, you have to have noticed that alliances always form. When Meek called out Drake, his backing came from Funkmaster Flex who recently called out Drake at a concert. When Ja Rule was beefing with 50, he and Fat Joe came together to fight a common enemy.
Looking at it from a creative standpoint, you get great music. Picture Ja Rule’s New York. Any time the track plays you can’t help to sing along even if the closest to New York you’ve been is the JKIA International Departures Terminal.
The West Coast/East Coast beef started as something between two artists but ended up bringing cities into the fold because in all that mudslinging there’s always that one person that will cradle your ego. Kristoff jumped into the Who is King bandwagon even though he was barely a lord.
We love controversy
Khaligraph, Rabbit, Octo and Juliani are all well known and considering all Kenyan paparazzo’s are mobile based (found on whatsapp) we have no intel on these artists. When diss tracks drop, secrets are shared, names are called and history is revived.
As fans, we need something to talk about especially if you do not churn out quality music on a consistent basis. You can steer away from beefs but once you make eye contact with hip hop’s butcher; your secrets are all out in the open.
A sex tape isn’t what we want to talk about, just to make things clear.
So whether you’re a blues fan or listen to country music in the city, you cannot escape the dynamism and entertainment hip hop brings to the music industry. There’re a number of beefs that can get you going if you haven’t acquainted yourself with the industry. Chiwawa VS Kleptomaniacs is a good start for Kenya. And no, Young Thug calling out Plies or Lil Wayne on social media isn’t beef. That’s collard greens.