[Opinion] Hip Hop Beef is Dead
It’s ironic that 50 Cent killed hip hop beefs but he did. R.I.P. They’re over. The Common-Drake fiasco is an exercise in retro hop but hipsters this time aren’t taking. They like Drake too much. Common, for them, is as suspect as Drake is. The man who has Maya Angelou on records? The guy who made “Come Close” f/ Mary J. Blige? Yeah. The guy whose career was resurrected by the captain of ‘you can be whoever you want’ rap can’t make diss records anymore. No matter how right he is. Or how ridiculous it is to hear Drake say, “You’re like the fuckin’- finish line we can’t wait to run into you..” The point isn’t that either of them are soft, the point is that rap no longer cares if you are. Beef doesn’t sell records anymore (as 50 Cent mastered) nor does it add to the allure of the rapper as caricature of the underbelly. It only adds to the pointlessness. The malaise associated with beefing with a character when you’re two of maybe 20 people in the game making any real money.
Characters. That’s what hip hop is now. They’re acts. Not actors. I have nothing but respect for both parties in the game. There’s no doubt though that when Ross survived the onslaught of 50 Cent‘s potentially career killing barrage he became the Goku of the fuckin’ rap game. Teflon Don indeed. You can no longer make any character assumptions based on their reality. Rap creates it’s own. It has created a reality that, like many other things, is layered. Rap reality is far from rap fantasy. No one cares about the reality though. You can thank “50 v. Ross” for that.
And, it’s precedent has extended far beyond street hip hop and the chasm it created has quickly been filled. Think Donald Glover. Think Danny Brown. Think Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, Drake and anyone else that had a great post – gangster rap album this year. That isn’t to say that gangster rap doesn’t still exist or that it still doesn’t excite. Or that there are enthusiasts out there longing for a return to Biggie era east coast rap. It only means that even when the sun is setting on that kind of genre’d rap there will still be people to light fires and wait for the come around. I ain’t one.
So, you can miss me with all that. It’s ain’t that I like it. I don’t anymore than you do. It’s just that it ain’t true anymore. I like the emo- dancy, dancy, techno beat direction that rap is taking. I’ll like it until I don’t anymore. And I’ll acknowledge that it would take a scandal of gargantuan proportions to bring rap beef back. Such a thing would probably involve guns. You can miss me with that too.