I’ve had to be honest with myself lately – there is a dark reason why I love rap music.
Yes, the artists that I hold dear were/are geniuses – artists like Christopher Wallace, Eminem, Nas, Outkast… and so on and so on. But there is another side of me that loves rap music because of the dangerous theatre.
‘Back in the day’ when two rappers had ‘beef’ you knew they actually didn’t like each other – so much so that if they came face-to-face they wouldn’t be able to talk things through (except Nas and Jay, of course). The most famous example is of course Tupac and Biggie’s infamous East Coast v West Coast beef. Those lads hated each other – properly- and that hate may have led to their deaths.
Now I don’t want anyone dying, but something about today’s rap misunderstandings feel manufactured. This Drake and Meek Mills ‘beef’ smells plastic and… well, disappointing. The fact that the situation has caused excitement within hip-hop circles is frankly sad and shows how desperate the culture has become to rekindle the competitive nature of rap.
Yes, Drake’s new track Back to Back made me raise a smile but for people to name Drake the greatest rapper of our era off the back of it? Something is deeply wrong with rap. When you dig deeper, there is not much to the Drake track at all, especially when you compare it to past disrespectful offerings.
This whole affair feels very… meek and it makes me feel very sad about the state of hip-hop.