If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, let me fill you in. Not only did Meek lose the battle between him and Drake, simply due to being unprepared and underestimating his opponent, but he also waged a war against label mate Wale for expressing his opinions on the matter.
During the interview, Wale stated that Meek “Brought a pen to a gun fight.” While I personally completely agree with this statement, it resulted in backlash and a very emotional statement from Meek Mill on Instagram. What I gathered from his statement is that he was upset that Wale criticized him, but isn’t criticism a natural, necessary part of hip-hop? Has the culture become so sensitized that rather than retaliating with bars, they instantly lash out on social networks?
Social media has had a significant impact on hip-hop, both the music itself and the culture, but with that impact also comes a new era of artists and a new way of handling things. When Kendrick referred to himself as the “king of New York” in his verse on Control, rappers who weren’t even mentioned in the song responded with lyrics, not tweets or drawn out Instagram captions. Does it give them an outlet to express their frustrations rather than putting it over a beat? The Drake and Meek Mill beef was instantly compared to previous beefs, including the infamous beef between Nas and Jay-Z. If you are familiar with hip hop beefs in the past, then you know that “diss tracks” were highly anticipated, ghost writing was considered fraud and one would prove themselves by actually showcasing their skills lyrically. In the days of Nas’ “Ether” and Jay-Z’s “The Take Over,” both artists relied on their skills; no gimmicks no dramatics.
Tweets are one thing, lyrics are another; which is why many of us were so excited when Drake dropped “Charged Up” and “Back to Back.” Regardless of the fact that all songs involved were far from the top 5 of all time, it still gave us the competition that hip-hop has been missing. Hip-hop is competitive by nature. However, the biggest rule of thumb is to always come correct and make sure you have your shit together when attacking another emcee.
Do you think that social media is affecting the way that rap beefs are handled? Do you prefer social media rants or artists responding with bars?