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Monday, June 11, 2012

BEEFING: It’s Role in Naija Hip Hop

BEEFING: It’s Role in Naija Hip Hop
The art of beefing(diss) is essentially a basic element in the Hip Hop genre or the music industry entirely as the case may be. It dates as far back and as old as hip hop itself. Beef is an avenue for an act to exploit existing act’s influence to boost his own chances of being noticed in the music scene. Bragging, another revered tenet of hip hop is mostly the cause of beefs though other subtle culprits exist.
Before a speech or song could be classified as a beef, at least two parties must be involved, which basically would now extend to a verbal war where the two parties engage each other either by abusing each other on songs or on other media ie magazines, newspapers and blog sites.
Beefing is not necessarily attributed to hip hop only, but other genres of music as had earlier been misconstrued due to its seemingly aggressive nature. It might also be between a hip hop act and afro-act as seen in the: Ruggedman and 9ice case. Hip hop beef is also common in the Fuji genre also as various acts in the genre usually engage each other in war of words both on stage and in studio and at times there have even been allegations of casting spells on each other as with the Late Chief Ayinde Barrister and Kollington Ayinla, Sallawa Abeni and Ayinla Omowura who all went a tete a tete with the most recent being Wasiu Alabi Pasuma and Saheed Osupa .

The first notable beef in hip hop happened around 80’s when US rapper KRS-One released a track: “The bridge is over” aimed at rival MC Shan. The track grew to become a legendary hip hop beef and then a prerequisite for other beefs. In the early and late 90’s the hip hop community witnessed an infamous battle between the west coast and the east coast acts which was led by the duo of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. which sadly ended with their deaths.
After the demise of Pac and B.I.G, there was no notable beef except for the LL Cool J and Canibus feud in 1998 which wasn’t protracted, then in the year 2000, 50 cents accumulated multiple bias for himself when he released a controversial track “How to rob” where he rapped about how he would go ahead and rob all rappers, albeit he went on a forced hibernation after he was shot 9 times in may 2000 only to resurface in 2002.
Since the early 2000’s, The Nigerian hip hop scene had it’s own story to tell about beef, which had since become a side attraction for hard core hip hop and avid listeners. Ruggedman can rightly stake a claim to being the father of beef in the Nigerian Hip Hop scene, with his controversial song “Ehen” off his ‘thy kingdom come’ album on which Olu Maintain, Raskie and Eedris Abdul- Kareem all took heavy vocal battering and surprisingly even seemed to have ended their carrers! Since then, beef in hip hop in Nigeria has seen a steady rise.
Before the advent of Rugged man and Mode Nine, Nigerian Hip Hop fans were left at the mercy of the mediocre raps churned out by existing rappers, though rappers like: The Remedies, Raskie and Eedris all got classic tunes which cannot be forgotten by the core Naija Listeners. After the exodus of these ones came a lot of brand new and talented rappers but of course, the excitement is not over yet as the new topic now is not even one notch less exciting… who is the best?.
The two Naija rap heavy weights had engaged each other both lyrically and sub-consciously as most of it were influenced by the fans, the presence of beef in the industry has helped rap fans select the best among numerous acts, more so it opened the way for new artists. Nowadays this art is now being employed as a way to push up sales when an act is about to release a new project and in some cases just to water the ground for the act to make easy ride through the rough roads of fame, and not a few have used the art of beefing to garner up publicity.
The fans also have the roles they played as they induce hate between acts on blogsites as seen in the case of the Rugged man and Modenine’s beef in 2008. The role of fans in beefs is really a major one as any grudge between the Fans’  Favourite and  another Emcee could lead to total bashing of the act as seen in the case of Modenine and Muna- {The Pass the mic brouhaha}, and M.I. and Kelly Hansome. This type of fans-induced beef has led to the relegation of some real talents as the bashing of this acts culminated to the relegation of the affected act into the underground.

Written by Thot Tha Wordsmith
Edited by Tha Watcha. Please drop comments below

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