The word ‘beef’ is slang that basically refers to deep hatred for someone or a thing.
It’s more typical in everyday life when competitors develop friction among themselves. Musicians likewise often develop this friction and the wording ‘beef’ is used to label it.
When talking about historic accounts of beef in the music industry, the names Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G flash into the minds of most music lovers.
For starters, legendary rapper 2Pac was a good friend of the Notorious B.I.G. The two however later became rivals after 2Pac suspected B.I.G as having had a hand in his (2Pac’s) first legal trouble.
Songs dissing each other were recorded, the craze which worsened contention between the once companions. In outline, 2pac was shot shortly after by a faceless hitman and died due to cardiac failure related with the four shots.
Soon after, Notorious B.I.G was also shot in a traffic jam by suspected 2Pac’s “West Coast” crew. The music world realised this could not go and worked to end the East and West coast rivalry.
Beef did not end with the African-Americans but came as far as our own Rwandan music industry in the years 2008 and 09. Many local artists largely turned controversial due to their questionable relationships with each other.
Local rap-star Riderman developed rows with several artists like the ‘Big Guns’ and UTP’s ‘Neg G’. This was often exhibited in their songs like Riderman’s ‘Amatopito’ dissing the ‘Guns’ and NEG G’s ‘Umurabyo’ relocating Riderman’s then wonder single ‘Inkuba’.
Latent king, Bulldog was also engaged in belly-aching the other power, K8 Kavuyo. K8 later provoked DMS and several other artists into beef creating a rare stage of competition in the industry.
And the fans, they take sides about beef when debate comes up. Some say yes and some are negative to beef tendencies. The ‘Yes’ side say that an industry without beef exhibits less competion which renders it more of boring.
Bably, a local upcoming rapper says that beef is not bad as long as it is played in a friendly manner. He adds that beef should not involve fighting or murder but rather act as a tool of correcting the ‘lost sheep’, the musician in the wrong.
Anita Kamikazi, a student at SFB disagrees with Bably. She says that mainly rappers have beef because of envy for each other.
She also stresses that the troublemakers end up losing fans in their bid to create news. “Myself, I have developed a negative stance towards hip-hop, beef is primitive,” she wraps it up.
However, a good analyst would help me to shed some light that beef does not only appear in hip-hop music, but seems to be a general music infection.
African-American RnB goddess Beyonce provoked Janet Jackson into a celebrity ‘cold war’. She uttered in an interview that the Jacksons had a terrible background, and boasted of her own family’s first class early existence.
And the other non hip-hop ‘beef-stars’ are neighbour Uganda’s Radio and Weasle against their arch rival Bebe Cool. The last scenario in their rough game was the shooting of the latter on the suspected architects of Goodlyf, Radio and Weasle.
With all these accounts, where is this beef taking us? Perhaps our musical forefathers were wrong fighting each other and we blindly followed the paths and, perhaps it’s high time we corrected ourselves.
Tupac died, Bebe Cool is bedridden, the Goodlyf crew is wanted, what does this beef have in store for the music industry?