Anyone who thinks 2009 wasn’t a great year for hip hop is mistaken. We still have a couple months to go, a handful of heavyweights with statements to make, and a couple more consequential albums.
First off. At the end of 2008, a year of disappointments – lackluster beefs (think Fat Joe vs 50 Cent) – less than stellar performances, unanswered anticipation, who thought that Royce Da 5’9, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, and Crooked I – would release an impressive self-titled debut album?
I think that I speak for everyone in hip hop when I say that we are sick of the petty beefs.
These are not the days of Jay Z and Nas feuding over the King Of New York title.
When I mention petty beefs – I’m talking about references being taken out of context, internet-escalated beefs, and pathetic attempts to boost sales.
Fortunately, nobody wants to hear that garbage right now. The fans are becoming more astute – they realize that they are being sucked into marketing gimmicks.
Yes. The beefs do garner an abundance of scattered attention on blogs [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ] because of their aggressive content. I will not deny the fact that they are still an important component of lyricism. I personally feel as though they have less significance, at this accelerated time – in the current state of hip hop.
Lately, when I hear Joe Budden’s name brought up in conversation, the insinuations have been negated, strong opinions are still held, but they are based upon his technical skills.
Have you heard Escape Route or Padded Room, the man is completely spazzing out on every track with only a few subliminals shot here and there.
A couple years ago, Joe Budden’s name couldn’t even be mentioned without contention building in the room.
Of course – Budden has been involved in some highly publicized beefs over very trivial matters this year. Most of them, including the one with Method Man, have already been resolved.
I think that hip hop was built on the ability for MC’s to lyrically smash each other as long as you’re not reducing the entire culture. When Charles Hamilton took shots at Jadakiss earlier this year – he lost a lot of respect, and when Budden came sideways at Method Man – everyone in the plethora of hip hop seemed quite disappointed.
I will never be against beefs as a tool to demonstrate who is a better lyricist – when they are used as a promotional tool – or are without merit, I think that they hurt the game that they are trying to elevate.