Lonnie, Aubrey, and the politics of beef

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The battle, the participants, the reason for the battle…follow me.

1981: Kool Moe Dee vs Busy Bee Starski. Busy Bee was on the mic saying nobody could touch him. Moe Dee heard it. Battle ensues.

around 1986-87: Kool Moe Dee vs LL Cool J. Moe Dee says LL stole his style

1985-1986: The Bridge Wars (BDP vs The Juice Crew). KRS takes offense to the song “The Bridge” where The Juice Crew allegedly says that hiphop started in Queens. (That didn’t really happen, KRS just wanted to get his name up on them)

Say…1994-95ish: Ice Cube vs Common. Another instance of word misinterpretation. This time on the part of Ice Cube and Westside Connection.  Mack 10 went as far as saying that hiphop started in the west. lol picture that.

2001: Jay-Z vs Nas: They had a load of personal history, but at the end of the day, Jay-Z was in mortal kombat and in order to be the official winner, he had to beat the boss at the end.

2012: Common vs Drake: This whole thing is (allegedly) over Serena Williams. “They” say that Common is jealous that Drake got with her, and he does not like the way Drake treats Serena. At this point, I will call this pure speculation. For those who have not followed Common’s career, this story explains the song “Sweet” but what Common did in Sweet, he has done consistently throughout his career; Common attacked today’s reigning rap trend. On Resurrection he attacked the gangsta concept, on One Day he attacked the blatant sampling that was going on in the jiggy era (cough, cough puff)…On Like Water For Chocolate…there’s “Doinit”…Electric Circus had “Aquarius”…Be? Chi City… this is nothing new. Popular rappers in 2011-2012 are generally on the soft side. Drake takes offense though. Which, I honestly do not blame him for. He responds with a pretty ill subliminal verse, which I honestly do not blame him for. Common responds with a pretty ill verse, that I do not blame him for. Many fans of Common’s hay day are totally biased, and somewhat delusional about what Common’s current lyrical capabilities are. On the other hand, Drake fans are equally biased, and are coming up with any scenario possible for why Common should not have dissed Drake.  Now we are here. There is an uproar, but there are more- larger hiphop culture concepts that are surfacing based on this clash of the generations.

The hip-hop battle always has, and always will, primarily be a method of proving superiority as an emcee. Furthermore, the only logic behind dissing another rapper that you need is that you want to show superiority over said rapper. At one point, emcees had to battle to even get respected as an emcee on the mic. This is the culture of emceeing within hiphop.  Always has been, always will be. “You are getting a lot of publicity for your skill level, but i’m better than you. I deserve your publicity and I am going to prove that.” or “You going platinum, but you ain’t nice like that” or “We bumped heads in private, so to get you back i’m going to have a negative affect on your career by dissing you” and now that we are in the capitalist era of hiphop (Have been for about 15 years now) “This is really going to boost my sales” Whatever the case, ALL of these reasons to diss another rapper are valid. Nobody is immune to lyrical warfare in rap. That’s like being an NBA player, but never once having to man up on another individual player.

But cats aren’t seeing it this way anymore. Hiphop fans have become republican. Their ideologies protect the careers and interests of the record executives and the popular rappers…the top 1% of rap, if you will.  Now, if a rapper disses a rapper with more status in pop culture..he is hating. He should just fall back and let niggas get money.  Trying to get publicity as a rapper by outrapping some one who is hotter is somehow frowned upon.  This basically started with how Jay-Z would rationalize not participating in battles with other rappers in the post-ether era. I call this the Numbers Don’t Lie Theorem.  Eliminating the competition and marginalizing the prospects of the battle in hiphop music aids in diminishing the possibility for rappers to infiltrate rap’s pop culture. There are only a couple types of artist who become popular in a given era.  If one can not diss one of those couple to try to get a spot as pop culture’s elite emcee, then he has to depend on the record labels or the general public to simply like his music and want to promote it. There is the jedi mind trick. When Jadakiss squared off with 50 cent in 2005 he rapped, “this is the best thing to ever happen to us.” He was referring to the opportunity to showcase his lyricism and skill as an emcee against a mainstream giant; an opportunity that fans do not believe less popular rappers should even get, unless the more popular rapper decides to pursue…a concept that will keep the rich getting richer and the poor staying poor. That is, unless you are conforming to what the labels want. Sound familiar? Occupy hiphop.

I have read and heard many variations of this theorem expressed for why people think Common is wrong for dissing Drake. Common is old. lol Nobody was saying this about LL though when he was dissing Canibus. Why not? Well, because in 1997/1998 people only wanted to hear a good battle and did not make irrelevant elements relevant. Common’s age only means one thing within the concept of a battle with Drake…that Drake is getting Common past his prime. 2011 Kevin Garnett status. Not that Common isn’t capable, but one would have to believe that Drake has a far greater chance to out rap this Common than the bony homie from stoney Common Sense. Other than that, common being old is just another method that hiphop republicans use to discredit his attempt to lyrically slay Drake. Old is the hiphop black.

Im not sure what will come about in result of this war of words, but there is one thing I do know… I want to hear a good battle. I want Drake to respond with a “old nigga you washed” and Common to come on some Foreman/Moorer. As of now, imo, the battle is at a stand still. If it were a boxing match, i’d probably give the decision to Common on a split because he has been the aggressor, and I’ve only heard of Drake saying Common’s name at a concert and on twitter.  I am not interested in the peanut gallery though. OMG! COMMON DONT WANT IT WITH DRAKE, HE SONNED ICE CUBE 15 YEARS AGO!… and WHY OLD RAPPERS ALWAYS GOTTA HATE ON YOUNG CATS GETTING THEY PAPER MAN STOP HATIN’ HE A HATER HATE HATE HATE HATE HE TRYING TO GET PUBLICITY… Yes, we get it.