Have Trigger Fingers Turned to Twitter Fingers?

By Joseph Bonney
Hip-hop Journalist

Hip-hop culture has been notorious for having feuds between rappers also known as beef. Back in the day you had Death Row Vs. Bad Boy. Rappers like Tupac and Biggie would snap at each other on beats, picking out the flaws and weaknesses of the opponent. The term ethered, which is when someone is clearly defeated by their opponent, was coined by Nas, who attacked Jay-Z on a track called “Ether”. Sometimes verbal accusations would escalate to physical confrontation, such as G-Unit attacking Maybach Music’s Gunplay and stealing his chain. Even though you might not like to hear about quarrel between rappers, it was direct and meant to get a message sent across to other musicians that they meant business.

Nowadays, you have beef like Drake and Meek Mill. The point isn’t who won the conflict (even though most would say Drake), but it was how it was overtly publicized through social media as a type of Shakespearian play. When Meek Mill accused Drake of having a ghost writer on his track “R.I.C.O.”, instead of rapping about it on wax or maybe going behind the scenes to confront him, he blasted Drake all over social media. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in hip-hop.

The Game and Waka Flocka Flame were going at each other on Instagram over something petty. Waka openly stated that rappers who try to act like revolutionaries at the same time, do questionable things on social media. Game got wind of this statement, and went at Waka stating that he doesn’t want “war” with him. Like Waka Flocka, I was also confused. This could’ve easily been handled behind doors and not out in the garbage of a black hole that social media can be. Waka stated in a video response, “If you felt I was even talking about you, you should have called me.”  That is exactly what Game should’ve done. Not try to instigate a battle that didn’t need to happen.

Many say that this use of going on social media to attack a person’s character is just the way of the internet age. Some say newspapers and radio stations did the same thing in the past for rapper, these stations and papers didn’t have the same magnitude and impact that the internet has today. I’m not stating that there should be confrontation between rappers, or guns need to be pulled out, but what happened to the competition? What happened to laying a rapper out on a track. The respectability of putting your anger/criticism into words, is now hidden behind the sensory of your fingers on a keyboard.  Hopefully, like the way of Myspace, this slowly disappears.   

Featured image by Joseph Bonney.

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