In 2015, Twitter is a rapper’s best friend. We are constantly blasted with a slew of promo and interactions with fans are sprinkled in. Social media has helped spawn many viable careers while giving artists an outlet to voice their opinion. Cosigns are abundant, yet it seems that beef has prevailed as the cornerstone of “Rap Twitter”.
Rappers have egos, and it doesn’t take Kanye on a Beyonce remix to tell you that. The narcissistic complex of most MCs has turned hip-hop into a competition from its conception. Comments generated anger and in turn some of the greatest hip-hop songs ever were created (“Hit Em Up” “2nd Round KO” “Takeover” “Ether”).
While I could give you a history lesson on how the Bridge Wars helped transform New York hip-hop and consequently the entire music business, I won’t. I could go on and on about how regional disputes helped create contrasting styles and a distinct sound. Instead in 2015, every time you refresh your timeline there seems to be another confrontation brewing. Earlier this year everyone was captivated by the controversial title of Thugger’s The Barter 6. The strategic decision was made shortly after Weezy’s public fallout with Cash Money in December… on Twitter. Add all of this together and what do you have? An album that was #1 on iTunes from an artist everyone is quick to mock.
Fast forward nearly 3 months to present day “Rap Twitter”. About 50% of the tweets I have read in the last week have something to do with Meek Mill & Drake. Ghostwriter allegations sparked an open conversation with people who for 364 days of the year remain neutral on hip-hop politics. I’ll remove myself from all speculation, except for the fact that Quentin Miller became a household name overnight. His followers sky rocketed and even his old tracks are getting attention from major blogs. On top of this new exposure, Steve Jobs is currently looking over us smiling after everyone tuned into OVO Sound Radio on Apple’s Beats 1 to hear Drake’s rebuttal.
The antics had everyone on edge and managed to do something impossible: force everyone into live tweeting Funk Flex’s set on Hot 97. At the moment I extremely resented the origin of the beef and how corny it felt for something typically masculine to be started on a smart phone. However, I quickly corrected myself and prevented my old school tendencies from blinding me to how positive this was for hip-hop. We didn’t get a track that night but everyone witnessed the lack of New York content on a New York radio station and it simultaneously added suspense to Meek’s response.
We’re still waiting and trust me that is a good thing. I’ll make sure I use this time to assure myself that this is the best possible thing for hip-hop. Until then I’ll just keep refreshing my timeline like the rest of you. I might be bitter but I’m working on it.