Posts Tagged ‘beef’

Warning: Both video clips use excessive language in the lyrics. NSFW!!

(Contains NSFW lyrics)

Long ago, when rappers didn’t rock with each other (keeping it PG-14 here), and it hit a fever pitch, they ended up on a Beef DVD and engaged in RAP BEEF (Hence the obviously NSFW Boondocks clip). The series, for those that don’t remember, spoke on some of the biggest beefs in hip-hop–and some not so much. Beef III, per Wikipedia, was released in 2005, followed by a short-lived BET series, then left in the early-to-mid-2000s like snap music.

(But, even snap music had beefs. Contains NSFW lyrics)

These days, when rappers don’t rock with each other, instead of dropping diss tracks and/or appearing on camera slugging it out, they’ll usually hop on Twitter and spew their disdain, then drop the bars. Part of me is like “cool. If it keeps dudes from killing each other over stupid ish, let the boys cook on Twitter, drop some IG bars, and keep it at that.” But, I’ll be honest. I miss those old days when rappers would actually go at each other on tracks if there was animosity. Heck, I even miss the days when artists would knuckle up, beat their differences out of each other, then get back to their business(es). Now, I’m not condoning violence in music. Nor am I saying that artists should beat the crap out of one another every time they’ve got a problem. There’s enough black-on-black violence in the world. But artists should–oh, I don’t know–hash out their differences artistically!

Twitter Novels and “artsy” selfies (ugh) be damned, we know that Twitter isn’t (that) artistic, y’all.

Perhaps the root of this “Twitter Beef” rap era still falls upon the deaths of so many hip-hop artists because of overblown beefs, rivalries, set trippin’, etc. Artists, as angry as they are at each other, they don’t want to live and die for their music. That’s commendable, as it’s often not that deep of an issue to kill over someone going at you on a track or whatever. But, at the same time, wasting energy to tweet “oh I don’t eff with Rapper B” when they could’ve used that time to make music or what-have-you? It comes off as sneaky and disingenuous, kind of like a troll in a message board who types racist ideologies just to get a rise from people.

I’m the type of artist that’d rather use whatever fuel you give me to go harder on a track, so I just don’t understand tweeting about not rocking with someone. Can someone out there explain it to me?

…”or nah?”

Until next time.

Speed on the Beat

Wale-sad-2

Why Wale? This is a question I ask myself every time I hear something negative in hip-hop news regarding Wale. I mean, the guy isn’t exactly a gangster rapper, so why do people continuously tempt him to push wigs back or what-have-you? Why does Twitter love to troll Wale? Why does most of the DMV throw salt his way whenever he speaks? The following include some theories on “Why Wale?”, as in “why is Wale a target for so many?”

1) He’s been dubbed as being from D.C., but isn’t exactly a D.C. native.

Let’s start off with the “obvious” one. Wale, when he was first getting buzz, was credited as being from D.C., but attended school in PG County, Montgomery County, and so on. This, like many artists from the DMV (Bossman, Logic, Fat Trel to an extent, most go-go bands, etc.) is more a fault of publications not knowing that the DMV is a diverse area. In other words, there’s more to the area than D.C. and Baltimore. Wale’s from Gaithersburg, he got some buzz in PG, he appropriated D.C.-centric music (go-go) to help create said buzz, and people (read again: reporters et al) decided that he was from the district. Granted, Wale, early on, did little to assuage this fallacy and correct it. For that, one can argue he’s a bit wrong. But, it’s not all on him–nor should it be.

2) Wale is outspoken, which leads to “s-s-s-s-shots fired.”

Aside from being a Seinfeld enthusiast, Wale is probably one of the most opinionated guys in hip-hop not named Speed on the Beat (shameless plug). These opinions, at times, rub people the wrong way. When you consider the many, many, many diss tracks that have been released over the years to Wale, you notice a trend. Many of these tracks revolve around, simply put, “he said, she said BS” that Wale might’ve said to someone or someone might’ve said to him or about him. Few of these beefs have legitimate reasons behind them. By legitimate, I’m talking more “business” reasons, and let’s just leave it at that. I’m not a beefmonger.

3) Wale is outspoken, which leads to people trying to get to him.

Wale’s name and image is cannon fodder to trolls and gossip sites. From linking him to Ka–I mean “La Reina” to provoking him to almost pop off on some dude at a WWE show in D.C., people love to push his buttons. It’s probably because he’s an outspoken guy and lets everything said about him get to him in some way. In some ways, it seems as if he’s got a “me against the world” complex. I’m just speculating, guys. Don’t send the goon squad.

Wale’s got to learn to let cooler heads prevail. He’d probably avoid some of the strife he receives if he learned to chill. Wale, people know you love to voice your opinion. People will use that against you if it means they get to brag to their friends that they were the one(s) that pissed Wale off and got him to rant on something. Heck, look at The Gifted‘s intro. The guy on there started off as a Wale troll. Wale got wind of it and, in a moment of self-parody, decided to include the guy on his intro. If Wale is able to do that more often, trolls and such wouldn’t be as quick to go off on him. Unless, of course, Wale loves to troll the trolls by acting upset.

#ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm.

Now, Wale, as a human being, has the right to respond to negative vibes. I just wish he’d not resort to responding every time.

4) Wale doesn’t put everyone on from the DMV.

Let’s be honest here. If you’re in the DMV, chances are, you’ll run into someone trying to rap/sing/produce/model/what-the-[bleep]-ever. With that said, it’s flat-out impossible for one man to put an entire city on his back, regardless of what rappers tell you. It’s even more impossible when that one man, again, isn’t exactly from the city people want him to put on his back. In this case, I’m taken back to a Jay Z line from the track “Do U Wanna Ride” from Kingdom Come.

“I put my [ninjas] on, my [ninjas] put their [ninjas] on…”

Translation: you can’t depend on every person from your area to help you out. If I did that, shoot, I’d still be waiting on K-Swift to play J dot Speed songs in her mixes in heaven. Artists, if you want to get on, you’ve got to, nine times out of ten, get yourself on. Not everyone can, will, or is obligated to, help you do that.

5) Some believe he looks at himself as the “best in the world” (no CM Punk).

If you’re good at something, you should be proud of it. Granted, “being proud” shouldn’t include getting ready to spaz on Complex editors because they didn’t include you in their top-50 list, but you should be proud of what you do. Some don’t like that, possibly because they’ve failed in some way, and will dedicate their lives to pushing the buttons of those who’ve done something (goes back to #3).

The list goes on, but I’ll stop at five because I’d rather not take up too much space/time.

It can be argued that Mr. Ralph Folarin brings some of this stuff upon himself because of his temperament. He’s a guy that, if carried, will try to joan on someone twice as hard. In some ways, the relationship between Wale and his victims/trolls is symbiotic in nature. They troll him, he trolls back, someone gets angry, then the figurative shots are fired. I wouldn’t suggest he’s doing it because he’s “sensitive” or whatever. It’s more of a “damn, maybe I’ve said too much” situation sometimes. But, as is the case with social media, once it’s out there, it’s usually out there to stay. So, because it’s out there, someone will continue to press the issue, until it gets out of hand. In short, it’s more than likely that Wale’s “rampages” and so-on are brought on by his (over?)use of social media, his outspoken nature (including to people who are just as, if not more, outspoken), and the fact that trolls love to push buttons. Combine all three and you’ve got a perfect storm of [tomfoolery].

So, why Wale? In the end, it becomes not a question of why, but why not?

Until next time and my apologies for potentially rambling,

Speed on the Beat

Happy (Day After) Cyber Hump Day. Looks like I’m pulling triple duty this week, with my usual TWIHH post and part three of the (Not-So) Social Media series over at SpeedontheBeat.com (Caution: Part Three of the series is highly NSFW. Viewer discretion is strongly advised). But, I hope you’ve gotten your fill of stuffing, turkey, ratchet beatdowns and Twitter thirsting after that one young’un chick who seems/seemed catfishy is supposedly from the University of Maryland that had people in a tizzy about a week or so back (Hi Reyna).

Apparently, this is the safest for work photo existing

Apparently, this is the safest for work photo existing of her.

For this one, I’d like to go a bit personal and talk a bit about an event that impacted me and my approach to music. Yes, for those who forgot, I also do record and produce music under this lovely little moniker.

During my early years at UMD, I wasn’t DK, Dee Redd, Eyedeal or any of them. I was little ol’ J dot Speed, the kid that popped up randomly at Juke Joint, performed, then left to do sociology homework at McKeldin. Like a ninja, I came on stage, killed it, then stealthily sneaked out (except when I didn’t and made a complete fool of myself, but that’s how I learn). I wasn’t in it for fame or money or anything. I just had good music, and I wanted to share it. Even though I found a couple of gems in that year, I wasn’t even trying to be a talent head hunter.

I had less studio options than I do now. So most of the time I’d write something down in class, run back to Centerville 5 North, write “ON AIR” on our dry erase board, and record. Sometimes, I’d even have pow-wows with other artists, potentially trying to craft another song or a collabo. These collabos usually didn’t go anywhere, except for one time when my friend Dre and I decided to do a song together and perform it at Juke Joint. These were magic times for me. I mean, even after the fact that I’d been signed a few times growing up, I was still able to find joy, peace, and harmony in music. I was able to voice opinions I held dormant with music. I was able to speak to the world and heal it through my glitchy, uber-no-fi songs. I was able to make nothing but friends through it all.

Until everything went south.

jrocandike

Ikey (left) with J-Roc at Maryland Day 2007

While working on that Dre/Speed collabo, our mutual friend Ikey (yes, “Green Card” and “Coming to America” Ikey a/k/a Ike da Kid) was also working on projects with a friend, J-Roc. We’d all play our stuff to each other, and would perfect our respective segments and samples based on critiques. Now, somewhere in the midst of this, Ike and J-Roc performed a song entitled “Made Men” at Juke Joint. It had a line that went something like “My name is J-R, to the OC and I’m a boss, ballin’ up in the VIP.” I thought it was kind of cool, so I took the phrasing of the line to craft the following for a track entitled “I Got ‘Em”:

“My name is J-D, to the O-T/And son I’m a boss, what you supposed to be?”

I didn’t think anything of it (though I probably should have–look at Can-i-Bus and LL as an example of re-purposing lines starting beef), until I performed the song at what I like to call “Speed’s Maryland Day Meltdown.” At Maryland Day 2007, going on right after Ikey and J-Roc was me. So, here I was: 5’7, in a white Orioles fitted, shades–which I eventually beamed at someone in the audience, trying to be “cool”–capris, and a durag (Fashion Gods and Common Sense, forgive me) spitting lyrics. The first song I performed was “I Got ‘Em.”

Ike and J-Roc left the event after the first verse, and I got a couple of “ooohs,” but not of the “kill ’em” variety. Because of this performance, I’m pretty sure that I’m still banned from stepping foot near Stamp and McKeldin Mall during Maryland Day. I know I was barred from Juke Joint for a couple of performances. Walking back to Dre’s dorm in Easton, I ran into Ike and J-Roc and I congratulated them on their performance.

“Good job, y’all. You guys doing anything later? Dre and I may head down to South Campus. I think DJ [Strawberry]’s people are doing something, so I heard.”

All I got was icy stares scalding enough, they’d make heat melt. Ike and J-Roc walked away as I looked back at them, dumbfounded.

“What’s going on,” I asked the group I was with.

“Well, Speed, you did just diss the [stuffing] out of Ike and Jeremie,” one of them said, somewhat laughing at what’d just transpired.

“I did? How,” I asked, completely oblivious to the fact that my homage and re-purposed line came off and came out exactly like sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-shots fired.

Over the next month-plus through the end of the semester, there was a feeling of animosity in the air. Any cliché you can insert about the tension, it’d apply. Friends chose sides (the second time that happened among our group of friends that year). People got offended. Threats were fired off and glances exchanged. But, there was no music being made.

Until that damned “Cannon” remake. Now, I’m the type of person that will congratulate a person for dissing me. I’ll say “yo, dude. That bar was crazy. I didn’t think you’d go at me like that!” I’m just crazy like that. And, looking back six years later, that ish did kind of go in, except when it devolved into bar after bar…after bar of “Speed, you’re short” jokes. But, for the first time, I was taken aback and legitimately pissed off by the amount of foolishness that’d risen from a line that was initially meant as a kudos for a good bar.  So, naturally, I fired back with something out of Game’s playbook, a 10-minute track where I just spazzed even more than Ike and J-Roc had. This went back and forth until the end of the semester.

For two years, Ike and I didn’t speak. I eventually removed the disses I’d dropped because J-Roc got killed and I, you know, didn’t want to speak ill of the dead over some BS rap “beef.” Eventually, Ike and I kind of reconciled–or at least stopped being so “damn dawg” about the fact that things went down as they did. It was funny how it happened. It was a random day during our Senior year. We were both in McKeldin and I happened to just say “screw it” and say “Hey, Ike. Man, my bad for all that. We were young and hotheaded.” And that was that.

So how did all of this impact me to become “The No-Fi King,” you’re probably wondering. Well, it gave me an even tougher skin. Realizing that people may get offended by things I said, I became more aware of what I said, how I said it, and who I said it to. Essentially, the Ike “beef” made me grow up musically and personally. That horrible Maryland Day debacle made me realize that I had incredibly bad anxiety issues and no amount of pre-gaming before a performance would alleviate them. Heck, they’d probably make them worse. So, future performances, I approached them soberly and without any craziness. And if I hadn’t been lyrically challenged by Ike during the beef, I probably wouldn’t have continued to do this music thing. Because I’ll be honest: to me, Ike was probably the most lyrical cat at UMD during our tenure there. So, while I’d beaten up on children before in battles, Ike represented the first man I’d battled/beefed with. And, at that point, I hope I pushed him to do the same.

Six years later and we’re still both making noise in our respective areas, though. So, I guess I did what he did.