Lyrical Swords.

Categorised as FEATURES., GENERAL., MUSIC.

Nothing, absolutely nothing (maybe bullets) screams I hate you in hip hop with more clarity and venom than booking studio time and writing beef raps. Lyrical derision needlessly highlighting personal matters such as hemophilia, their mothers sex addiction and as to why they have two dads. They can be sparked from anything as petty as geographical location to accusations of plagiarism, and can result in anything from tragedy to record deals, but regardless they are very much part of Hip Hop history, not all hip hop beefs are born equal, some are mighty, some are poor, some withstand the curse of time, some don’t, almost all are shallow and pointless. Here’s a rundown of how to pick your beef.

Firstly you have to pick your opponent carefully; if a kid flips you off, you don’t turn around punch him in the face – society and it’s morality fascists won’t let you, you just smirk and walk away. That’s a sentiment ignored by KRS ONE in 2001, who I thought of all people would have more sense to endeavor in pointless conflicts and with Nelly of all people, the guy did a collaboration with Tim McGraw for fucks sake. KRS released ‘The Real Hip Hop’ and Nelly responded with the affront to hip hop that was his career up to that point. KRS also attempted to rally people to boycott Nelly’s records, forgetting that generally people who buy Nelly records, wouldn’t know what a KRS ONE is, let alone why they should listen to his moaning.

Take Eminem’s lead and pick a soft target but not one that will return to bite you in the back., he picked his beef with the Insane Clown Posse . You’d have to be an actual paedophile to look bad compared to ICP, the culmination of rednecks dressing up as demonic clowns and touching on subjects such as domestic and child abuse with all the tact of a rap group named Insane Clown Posse, all while dabbling in extreme backyard wrestling. Needless to say, Eminem comprehensively won this, both commercially and critically, and also apparently pistol whipped a Juggalo while he was doing so. I can’t say whether that is true, and certainly can’t condone it, but I can say I would almost definitely not…not pistol-whip one too.

Once you have your target, commence the beef rap, use all weapons at your disposal to savage through their reputation leaving behind slanderous lie after lie about how they love to give you fellatio. Recruit friends too, Dre bought in Snoop, Method bought in the rest of the Wu Tang, and remember it’s all out war, notions of political correctness and compassion are thrown aside momentarily to cut deep, This is not what your mum taught you, and your not going to get an Ivor Novello over this, but who the fuck wants an Ivor Novello. Good examples include Nas’ ‘Ether’, LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ and Ice Cube’s ‘No Vaseline’. Be warned though you may turn out to look like a really angsty teenage ex-girlfriend as a result of it. Repeat several times, and try to milk that cow for as much publicity and money as you can.

Try and avoid confrontation, if you’re genuinely taking my advice on how to beef rap then chances are you’re physically inadequate and lack that Rob Van Dam killer edge needed to start and end a ruckus, and are prone to getting laid out, or worse dead. If you are going to get beaten up or shot follow Fifty Cent’s example. He was shot 9 times and survived, not just by any standard gang-banger either, but by Mike Tyson’s bodyguard, who with that title must have been able to bench press wardrobes and fly. I am not glamorizing gun culture, but I am glamorizing getting shot nine times and then coming back packing more muscle then the WWE roster. With such resilience, he admirably went on to release some of the greatest ring tones ever.

The end result depends on how well you execute the previous steps, if you pick an adversary that is better than you and come out with some substandard bars, then history will engulf you and take you to wherever they are holding Kool Moe Dee. Do it with skill and finesse with a worthy opponent then you’ll transcend to legend status like Nas or Jay Z, or die martyrs like Pac and Biggie. Preferably the first.

words Wazid Abdul.



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