Why the world needs a rap feud

BET Hip Hop Awards
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, right, performs at the BET Hip Hop Awards, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


The world today needs a feud between Kendrick Lamar
and Drake.

Why?

This is a generation that avoids confrontation. Long conversations are replaced by threads of text, calls to thrash someone good lose steam on Facebook and so forth.

This generation’s attitude has even transformed competition into “hating.”

“Why are you making waves? Jealous ‘cause X is doing better? Eat your ice cream sandwich and shut up.”

This is not hip-hop. Hip-hop is rooted in sport, challenging one’s peer for the glory of a win.

Music fans today have gone the way of children’s soccer programs, coddling their rappers instead of rousing them to fight.

Drake is the most notorious offender here. Here’s a person championed as the leader of the new school, but he hasn’t been tested as an MC. Bragging about how “real” he is isn’t a substitute for fighting his own battles.

Jay Z in his heyday fought off many a rhyme-monster for the “crown.”

“The Blueprint” (2001) is a landmark album and a blatant middle finger to rivals Nas and Prodigy. (People study the diss record “Takeover” as if it were a lost hadith.)

This is good — imaginations spark when rappers step up their penmanship. Automatic “Yays” everywhere.

Where is Drake’s “Takeover?” Where is his rhyme mandate of heaven? Why is he allowed to pass a milestone that his predecessors had to go through?

Why are Common and Pusha T discouraged from coaxing Drake to battle?

Any reason is a good reason for rappers to duel on wax.

KRS-One arguably started his career when he challenged MC Shan to the Bridge Wars.

Nas got so mad at Jay Z for sleeping with his “baby mama” that he resurrected his career from nothing to avenge the offense — and won the feud.

Kendrick Lamar’s campaign for “Control” is an exposing moment for everyone who looks in the mirror and thinks “rapper.”

His challenge is one that forces rappers to look past their own fortune and mystique in order to defend them. If Drake is who he says he is, he’ll respond.

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