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www.complex.com

www.complex.com


Things just ain’t the same for the Hip Hop dis track. There was a time when Hip Hop history exposed us to some of the greatest dis songs, beefs and battles of all time. MC Shan vs. KRS One. Common vs. Ice Cube. Jay Z vs. Nas. Even Kendrick’s infamous “Control” verse from last year temporarily breathed new life into the idea of the dis track. But recent history hasn’t been so good to fans of a great battle. The latest dust up between Jay Z and Drake, starting with Drizzy’s Rolling Stone interview, then with Hova’s response on Jay Electronica’s “We Made It” and Drake’s semi-rebuttal on “Draft Day” is Grade A proof that the dis song in Hip Hop isn’t as strong, as sought after or as relevant as it once was. Here are a few reasons why.


OVERABUNDANCE OF RAP BEEF – For one thing, there are way too many rappers. And that means there are way too many rappers that are mad at each other for whatever reason. 21st Century Rap Beef seems way too watered down and weakened, which makes for weaker dis tracks.


LACK OF CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE – Time was, the Hip Hop dis song was an event, from “The Bridge Is Over” to “Hit ‘Em Up”. Now they’re almost afterthoughts. Remember Common’s “Sweet” and Drake’s response verse on French Montana’s “Stay Schemin’”? Having a hard time with those, aren’t you?


Stay Schemin Drake
TOO MANY SUBLIMINAL/INDIRECT SHOTS – Drake, on both “Stay Schemin’” and “Draft Day”, always seems careful not to mention artists by name. There use to be more in your face, take no prisoners disses in Hip Hop. Not to say that there aren’t the direct disses out there anymore, but there’s still too much “under the cover of darkness” dissing.


THE “BEEF” BUSINESS MODEL – Remember those “Beef” DVDs from the early 2000s? They did a good job of making Hip Hop beef into a promotional tool for artists, almost to the level of mix tapes. Sadly, they also contributed to decreased attention for Hip Hop dis tracks from fans and less need for emcees to actually make them.


SHORT ATTENTION SPANS – Right there in line with the current state of music being disposable. With the rapid fire speed in which music is released to fans, there’s less and less time to savor, decipher and ponder the sting of a dis track like there use to be.


HYPERSENSITIVITY – Just about anyone or anything can get got these days when it comes to Hip Hop. Just look at Wale. From major music publications to fans at WWE events, no one is seems safe from his wrath. A dis track against another rapper might be the furthest thing from his mind.


WHAT WAS ONCE OFF LIMITS NO LONGER IS – Some might argue that this has actually always been the case and there’s never been honor amongst thieves, but any subject is up for grabs now: family, crew, and baby mama drama included. Nothing is off the table.


DISPOSABILITY – Let’s be honest: We as Hip Hop fans have become extremely spoiled. We listen to digital music and then toss it in our MacBook’s trash bin once we’re done. With the music being as disposable as it is, our interest in a good old-fashioned Hip Hop battle has waned.


Kanye West Best
RAPPER RANTS – Social media platforms require a little less creativity and cleverness in terms of disses, so if you can’t rant about a rival rapper on Twitter, there’s less of a point in creating a punishing dis song.

THE SUCCESS OF BATTLE RAP LEAGUES – When fans can go and see some of the most talented battle rappers in the world go at each other in almost prize fight-level events through leagues like Grind Time Now and UW, why wait for a new dis track from your favorite rapper to drop?

Did you see Kanye West on Jimmy Kimmel last night? It was an event that was filled with laughs, cringes, and face-palming moments. In case you didn’t know, both Kimmel and West were in a battle with words over a skit Kimmel did parodying the Black Skinhead rapper. In the skit, Kimmel used a child to reenact an interview West did, complete with profanity and milkshakes. This lead to an unhappy West posting hateful tweets on Twitter bashing the comedian.

Since Kendrick Lamar said he was the king of New York, many rappers took to Twitter to vent. Yes, Twitter. While only a limited number of rappers have responded to Lamar, Jay Z and Nas are doing it big. Word has leaked from the Def Jam website that Jay Z and Nas are planning to release a free mixtape titled The Kings of NY. On the cover of the mixtape, you can clearly make out that the top line states that P. Diddy is producing the tracks on the album.

 

The whole reason why Kanye West and Jay Z released Watch The Throne is because the plethora of new talent entering the rap game was staggering; they had to prove they were worth something or get out. When Lamar stated that ruled NY, all eyes were on Jay and Nas to see how they would respond.

 

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So by now, I’m sure you have heard about the fights between several Hip-Hop moguls and their flunkies at this past weekend’s taping of the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards. I was surprised to see that such huge stars would waste their time and energy on some ignorant shi*.

In 2012, it’s sad to see some of Hip Hop’s most successful emccees/entrepreneus behaving like high school freshman. I mean, I could understand a young kid like Chief Keef getting into a scuffle but we are talking about multi-millionaire fathers who are all over the age of 35!

What happened? I’m not sure and I’m really not concerned, but I am more embarrassed than anything. The reports that have surfaced over the last day have talked about: Jeezy VS Ross, G Unit VS Maybach Music, and a Diddy VS 50 Cent conflict. The common denominator in the Jeezy VS Ross and G Unit VS Maybach Music disputes seems to be Rick Ross’ homeboy Gunplay. Haven’t heard one song from this guy, but he knows how to work the press. Props….

If the younger generation of emcees like Chief Keef and Souljah Boy can’t look up to these guys, who will they look up to? In the meantime, this will probably be one of the highest rated BET Awards shows in history due to its anticipation and Viacom will win “Big.” In the meantime, we continue to look like Monkeys fighting for roles in the next casting of “Planet of The Apes.”

In the words of Pimp C, “Them white people laughin at ’em, that’s was happenin
The same stupid ass ni** still ain’t figured it out
Long as they stay divided, man we gon’ run the South.”

P.S. – Robert Johnson sold us out when he sold BET to Viacom, but I’ll save that for another story….


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nicki-minaj-old-school
Love her or hate her, you can’t deny she’s interesting and that she’ll make American Idol fun to watch again if she joins the show as a Judge. With that in mind we thought it was time for an article to let you know 10 Fun Facts about Nicki Minaj…


1. As with most artists, Nicki Minaj isn’t her real name. Nicki was actually born Onika Tanya Maraj, and she was born in in Saint James, Trinidad & Tabago.


2. A lot of celebrities are on Twitter these days but did you know that Nick is very, very popular on there? As of last month she had made a whopping 14,000 tweets and has over 14 million followers.


3. We’ve all seen rappers beef, and Nicki has one going on of her own with Lil’ Kim. The two have swapped verbal jabs at each other on several tracks, and Nicki’s popular song Roman’s Revenge is widely considered a diss against Lil’ Kim.


4. According to Nicki she did not have the most pleasant of childhoods. She’s stated that when she was a child her father was a heavy drinker, and once burned their house down with her mother inside.


Nikci Minaj

5. A lot of rappers are tatted up and some are completely covered from head to toe. Nicky has a tattoo as well, but she kept it simple only having one that says “God you are always with me” in Chinese characters.


6. Everyone loves food, and Nicki really loves food. She’s reported to have ordered around 550 chicken legs, 300 chicken wings, and 60 bottles of coke from a popular restaurant Nando’s in the UK to bring back home the US after a show.


7. Most people already know that Nicki Minaj was born in the Bronx. What you might not know is she’s the first female rap artists to ever perform at Yankee Stadium.


8. What’s Nicki have in common with Shaq and Old Dirty Bastard? Nicknames. Nicki Minaj has several different aliases like The Ninja, The Harajuku Barbie, Nicki Lewinski, and she sometimes just uses her alter ego Roman Zolanski.


Nicki_Minaj-Idol

9. Nicki has rapped about damn near anything you could ever think of, but recently she entered the political arena by spiting the verse “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney, You lazy bitches is f*cking up the economy”. The rhyme was so catchy that Obama was even asked about it and replied “I’m not sure that’s actually what happened. I think she had a song on there, a little rap that said that.” Needless to say, she wasn’t supporting Mitt Romney as Nicki replied to the comment on Twitter.


10. As strange as Nicki acts at times the list has been pretty tame so far. Want it a little weirder? Did you know that Nicki’s alter ego Roman Zolanski is actually a little boy that lives inside of her, and that he’s violent? Actually, he was Roman’s twin sister, but was later confirmed to be male. He’s also gay and British in case you were wondering.

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OK before I start, I must admit that I haven’t invested one second of my time figuring out what the Common-Drake beef is about or if it’s even real. So, here is my quick hypothesis on how the whole thing started: Common slipped a line in a song on his new album or exclusive track that might have been referring to Drake. If it wasn’t referring to Drake, over speculation perhaps? If it’s an authentic beef (which I doubt it is, if not Common is pathetic of Drake is a higher caliber writer than I credit him for) and is acknowledged by both parties, what could the beef be over?

I mean Serena Williams is a fine woman but say it ain’t so Joe?

Ugh. I’m so tired of rap beefs, especially the ones to boost record sales. That is so ‘06. Not
even “gangsta” rappers beef with each other any more.
Like, Common, really? Your last album was so shaky I’m not surprised at your assume tactic.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re my top 5 personal favorite rappers but I can’t tolerate this —
especially by someone with your resume.

This is the Common that dropped “The B**** In Yoo.” Why are you shooting at anyone? The same Com’ that rocked the White House?

Drake sings and does other weird stuff with his voice and body

“He opened his mouth and said some things,” said Common on Sway in the Morning, “so if he
want–then say what he want [inaudible].”
(For MTV’s timeline of the queef, click here)
Common is way too old for this. Every one knows this. Maybe that’s why I don’t care and won’t
invest my time in learning about the beef. Because it’s inauthentic, boring, and flat–kinda like
models.

I’m happy to see the senseless queefing between two great artist die down, but why is Common still doing interviews about the situation. Drake is a smart artist and he knows that he can’t win a lyrical battle with Common, so props to him for keeping things “Canada Dry.” On the other hand Common, say it ain’t so homie?

P.S. The picture above is me and Common at his album signing in 2008…