This week in sensationalism I will be turning my attention to the music industry—specifically, the “beef” that has been brewing between west coast hip-hop figureheads Snak The Ripper and Madchild. News outlets have been quick to perpetuate the veracity of the conflict, going so far as to say that the beef is reminiscent of Biggie and Tupac, and that it is threatening to “…TEAR APART WESTERN CANADA.” Yes, Noisey actually reported this. Seriously.
What is more embarrassing is how all this malarky got started. Unlike hip-hop beefs of the 90’s where spats were usually instigated by actual violence and murder, this beef was ignited because of a tweet. Yes, a tweet. This is not as a result of gats popping and bodies dropping, this is a result of Madchild tweeting “Snak The Rippers name should be Snak the loud mouth piece of shit talking bitch…” Now I know there is a probably more to the story than this tweet, but the fact that Snak The Ripper decided to proceed and publicly address the situation as a result of said tweet says it all. This is the passive aggressive beef of 2015 where rappers throw shots over Instagram instead of out the window of their caddies. It’s less entertaining, but at least nobody is actually getting killed as a result.
This hasn’t stopped them from talking about violence, though. In true hip-hop fashion, a barrage of diss tracks were recorded and released in the following weeks as a result of the tweet, and each rapper took their turns taking shots that ranged from personal to fantastical. They talked about shtooping each others loved ones, they talked about how full of shit each other were—and most importantly to the media, they talked about killing each other. It was all done in a very passive aggressive “I should do this to you because you said that” manner, but nonetheless it garnered a lot of attention. Both rappers had been struggling for views on their most recent musical efforts, and it appears that the salacious and violent nature of this beef has reignited interest among fans.
Which brings me to the point of this little rant. The only people that are losing here are the fans. Both of these artists have an extremely devoted fan base—so much so that each respective rapper considers them as a family—and with this beef they are being pitted against each other. The rappers have acknowledged this and were both quick to comment that they don’t want to see any violence occur among fans as a result of their issues with one another. Unfortunately, their concerns are hard to take seriously when they talk about killing each other while brandishing machetes bigger than themselves in their videos.
These rappers claim that they have created music movements that allow fans to be part of a family instead of simply a fan club. They also claim that they are rooted in positivity and not for profit, yet they have membership packages and merchandise for each prospective movement. Madchild’s “Battleaxe Warriors” have apparel that is curiously reminiscent of biker gang attire—even though Madchild preaches against gang affiliation— and Snak The Ripper's “Stompdown Killaz” have similarly provocative imagery with a ski mask crossed by baseball bats as its logo. Now I’m not saying there's any causal link between merchandise and gangsterism, but come on guys—really?
I really hope the young, naïve, and immature fans alike see through this bullshit, because it would be pretty ridiculous to see violence or negativity come as a result of allegiance to either one of these “positive music movements.”
Just a 23-year-old Irishman stuck in the city that fun forgot, cutting through the bullshit one story at a time. My hobbies include pretending I’m a scribbler, navigating sobriety, and consuming lemon-flavoured libations. I imagine myself becoming a famous writer one day, but if that doesn’t work out, I can always fall back on cooking professionally and screaming at people.