Growing up at a time when American hiphop culture could best be described as a raging inferno; consuming quicker than a locust, yours truly cautiously monitored how hiphop culture found its head into several cultures around the world with ease.
Complimented by a vibrant urban fashion trend and other rudiments that hugely appealed to the youth, it swiftly became a global phenomenon.
Hiphop has become vivacious and a multi million dollar industry putting more than food on the table for numerous emcees. Aside becoming the then all-time buzz, it also stood as a craze, effortlessly catching up with the entire hip-nation. Thanks to the infamous East Coast -West Coast feud, the music genre achieved such intensity, stature and popularity.
For example the fierce rivalry between the East Coast West Coast was responsible for the tragic deaths of both Tupac and Biggie, two of America’s most promising and high flying stars at the time. They were young and vibrant but their careers were cut short by the senseless feud that was brought on mostly by unnecessary craze for popularity as rumored.
To set the fact straight, it was an important tool for most artistes back in the United States to get a head start. It was a powerful tool which was very much exploited by those involved in the process and with strong lyrics containing curses, the artistes pour invectives on each other to such an alarming rate. I’m not that old but I have followed the hipop scene from a distance but still unable to uncover the very plot that brings about the feud.
However it is important for one to recognize that it is here with us and no matter what people say, it has come to stay. It may not be on the high but still making the rounds.
The rivalry was transferred into the executive boardrooms, resulting in a cold blood between their respective music labels: Death Row Records and Bad Boys Records. Those also speculated to have contributed to the feud include the likes of Tim Dog whose scathing diss track “Fuck Compton” aimed at N.W.A among other artists including Compton’s Most Wanted and DJ Quik set the tone for the most populous rivalry ever in the hiphop game.
With strong punch line lyrics, club shooting and street clashes, the feud made wide rotations repeatedly hitting the headlines until the demise of the two frontrunners; Tupac and Notorious B.I.G in a six month span. That was preceded by the controversial Nas – Jay Z feud which received attention because of their status in the music industry. They later made up and release a joint track. Their feud was branded a marketing gimmick with Jay Z said to have benefited from the outcome.
Come to Ghana and you are promised of a rather intriguing feud though devoid of any street fighting and gun pulling. Currently, the hiplife craze environment is witnessing an enduring beef between some of its own players with Obrafour being the latest to stick his fingers into the eyes of some of his colleagues. His song ‘Kasiebo’ which won the Best Collaboration at the just ended music award is said to contain lyrics unnecessary taking a swipe at some colleagues of his.
He took on Okyeame Kwame, Obour on their song ‘Killing The Game.’ It did not go down well with most people but the former down played the issue. Is ‘Kasiebo’ a marketing gimmick for Obrafour to get himself back into the industry after such a long absence? It is difficult to say so but past incidents could be a pointer to that effect. Take for example, the story of both Ex-Doe and Chicago. The two were or are they still good friends. They released a joint collaborated masterpiece and brought some spice into the hiplife scene with their ‘Ewe’ version of rap. It was classic.
They later fell off or just a make up to get their albums sold? It was such an intense rivalry that was so disturbing that then Joy FM morning show host Komla Dumor invited them over to the studio, separately, to iron out their differences. Nothing concrete came out of it.
Another feud that readily comes to mind is the Quata versus Kwaw Kese beef which unfortunately died out before Kwaw attempted to reply Quata’s diss track. A several more of such beefs have come up occasionally, though they might be bogus. Unlike the East Coast – West Coast rivalry which transcended individual rappers and their camps, many have continually wondered the necessity of any more Hip-Life feud or beef as the hiplife enthusiasts would like to call it.
Noticeably, these beefs have only managed to bring to these artists little more than a cheap publicity which has chiefly failed to bring them commercial success, a contrast to the Hip Hop scenarios.
It appears most sinking artistes are desperately trying to take advantage of the situation of having a go at their colleagues just to give them the needed commercial success they want.
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