Are “Beef” and “Diss Tracks” Good For Hip Hop?

First of all, for those that are reading this and are not familiar with the terms, let us break it down for you. The trusty old urban dictionary defines a Diss Track as “tracks made by one artist to insult another artist. One artist may be from another label or even an ex-member of a group.” Used in a sentence “Nas’ long-awaited response to 50 Cent’s Piggy Bank has finally been released Monday as a diss track titled “MC Burial.” When this escalates and there are diss tracks exchanged coupled with jabs being made via media interviews and social media.

One of the biggest rap beefs of all time is the infamous battle between 2Pac and The Notorious BIG. It was so intense and drawn out that even their record labels and hoods were caught up in the mix evolving it into West Coast (LA and the bay area – Team2Pac) vs East Coast (New York – TeamBiggie). It was only after the tragic death of the two musicians who were both killed during drive-by shootings that the thought of peace occurred. What caused this beef that will always go down in history varies on which side of the divide you fall, but one fact cannot be disputed by either side – that the hip hop world lost two greats as a result of the war.

Another beef that has recently been added into the hall of fame is Pusha T vs Drake. Again we won’t go into the intricacies of why they were fighting to begin with but we will point out the middle ground of the whole thing being quality music.  Pusha T’s The Story of Adidon was a track that many felt crossed the line because he announced that Drake had a secret son that he was hiding from the world. The bars that were dropped however were extremely good and if it wasn’t for the success of Drake’s Scorpian album where he addressed some of the things that Pusha T talked about, many would have seen the song as career ending. Currently, the beef is on ice and we will keep you updated should anything change.

The final conclusion? Is this sector of hip hop good for the industry? Despite the tragic way that the first beef mentioned ended, we have to say yes. This is because of the way beef and diss tracks push musicians to be creative with their lyrics and producers with their beats. Drake’s Back to Back which took aim at Meek Mill was so good it was even nominated for a Grammy! Hit Em Up may not have aged well because of the violent and sexist undertones but when it comes on, you cannot help yourself but move your head kidogo and rap along to the obscene lyrics.

Recently a very small story featuring upcoming rapper BeyT and established media personality Tanasha Donna. Here we will completely give you the reason why the two are beefing! BeyT who is apparently very passionate about the phrase “Kenya To The World” took offense when Tanasha used it in her hit “Radio.” This provoked her to go and make a diss track which was a lot more fire than we have experienced in a while. Will it be good for the local hip hop genre? Only time will tell.

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