Hip Hop is a game of beef. It is one of the traits that best describes Hip Hop. Now, this kind of beef is not the edible kind. Hip Hop is a game of ego and beef is a way artists get to show you just how much pride runs in their veins. In the early 90’s there was the legendary beef between Tupac “2 pac” Shakur and Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace (Notorious B.I.G.). This beef was the focal point of the East Coast and West Coast Hip Hop Rivalry. For those that follow Hip Hop what happened in between and how the story ended.
This article is about the Malawian Hip Hop beef. Malawi’s Hip Hop has had its own share of beef but I think, still, there is not enough battle from the booth. Back in the days we had Phyzix beefing with Fredokiss and Jolly Bro. We heard and enjoyed several diss songs between the two camps. This beef marked the preamble of the Lilongwe versus Blantyre Hip Hop rivalry. Then came the Daredevils feud with Tay Grin. Here I’m not sure if it was Daredevils beefing with Tay Grin or just Marcus beefing Tay Grin. Then there was the Big Brother Africa famed Lomwe, who took it to the booth and aimed shots at the Nyau King (Tay Grin). It is however sad to note that Tay did not fire back to all the diss songs despite trading under the banner of Hip Hop. Not so long ago, there was Lilongwe’s Pitie Boiz feud with Blantyre’s Basement. Then came “Pini ya Blackberry” famed Marste, who got in a standoff with Zomba’s Avocado, who brutally put out diss songs savaging Marste. The Lilongwe artist played it all modest and dissed back subtly. Lilongwe’s Krazie G subtly fired shots at Blantyre’s Chavura of the Trap Squad. I can go on and on how artists engage themselves in this ego flexing exercise in Hip Hop.
Lately, the Hip Hop scene has gone mild. Artists are no longer throwing jabs at each other. Are the Hip Hop artists going soft? Well, before you answer that, KeiM of the Classmates has just proven that Hip Hop is not going to stay long in this mild phase. I recently came across his record, Bad Crown, where he took shots at several artists among them being Home Grown’s Classik, Hyphen (formerly known as Young Kay), Lilongwe’s Tsar Leo and the Miracle Money Camp.
Excerpts from KeiM’s verse;
“F*** miracle money that ni**a is on illusions// No disrespect to my homie but that is not for me// Do what you do but make sure you are doing your sh** honestly…”
“… Young Kay your First Impression Album had you looking promising but you let a ni**a down with your empty promises// Damn, my ni**a you almost had the crown now I only look up to the ni**as that hold me down…//
“When I walk the talk I got your eyes on my cool Jays when I’m in Lls// Even when I’m in my city, f*** the other side … my side stay winning// we killing everything and you know it…”
“Would you hate me if I tell you this is the making of the greatest rapper Malawi has ever seen? Would that piss you off? Would you hate me if I tell you that Classik ain’t classic enough? Would you hate me if I tell you none of these rappers are keeping up? Everybody is entitled to his opinion…”
My first reaction when I heard the song was “Hip Hop is about to get exciting again”. KeiM for whatever reason, has voiced out his concerns, disappointments and observations in his verse.
The question I have for all of you readers is; “Is KeiM’s verse a rallying call for war or a wakeup call?” I personally think the game was on a sleeping mode and things are about to get exciting with this wakeup call. KeiM is igniting a rap battle. We all know Young Kay took a break and made a comeback as Hyphen. Young Kay has been described as one of the greats in Malawi’s Music circles. You can’t talk about Hip Hop in Malawi without mentioning Hyphen. Now, with that kind of status you just can’t sit around and take shots without firing back. As for Classik, well the Home Grown African boys at a certain point were the talk of the town. It is said that they are lyricists and I don’t expect a lyricists to sit around and take such kind of shots and brush it off. For Miracle Money and Tsar Leo, I can’t say much I’m just waiting to hear what their reaction will be.
With these new school artists there has been a tendency of taking it to social media when they have a feud. A sort of social media beef. They would rather take their grievances to social media than settle it in the booth. I don’t think that is the way to go. I personally expect these artists that have been called out by KeiM to respond using the very medium KeiM has employed.
It is not wrong to tweet about it or post a Facebook post about it but when you are called out you need to show up. Hip Hop is game of ego and beef and as per expectation, Hip Hop artists need to now and then flex their ego muscles by indulging in a non-violent feud. Beef keeps Hip Hop alive. KeiM is just flexing his ego muscles. Who will come out and face him? He is more like an undefeated champ that is daring any challenger to come forward. Who will respond first to the call out? I would be interested to know who else is joining this feud.
I am not in any way saying these artists should take it to the street and exchange blows, all I am advocating here is healthy Hip Hop and beef makes Hip Hop healthy. A little beef has never hurt anybody. Beef is a contest that shows the fans who is the better artist.
When that next beef song comes out share me that downloadable link, I would love to be the first to get my hands on that record.