Editorial Comment: Feuding is part of rap’s DNA

THE biggest story in the musical industry in the world today isn’t a smash hit that is sending the globe wild and raking in millions of dollars for those behind the song.

Instead, it is the ugly feud between superstar rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar.

They are the biggest stars in hip hop today and they have spent the past few weeks firing at each other.

It’s hard to believe right now that these artists even collaborated on songs with their first collaboration coming in 2011.

Recently, things got even worse when a security guard at Drake’s Toronto mansion was shot by unknown gunmen.

But, for those who have been closely following hip hop, this is nothing new and it is all part of the genre.

It was the same, if not worse, when Tupac and The Notorius B.I.G ruled the game in the ‘90s.

The feud transformed itself into the East Coast/West Coast showdown which, in the end, was directly responsible for the violent death of the two superstar rappers.

Here at home, we have had numerous tiffs between musicians and this week Saintfloew revived his feud with Holy Ten when he claimed the latter was stalking him on social media.

The Silas Mavende hit-maker claimed Holy Ten is “desperate for attention” through his social media rants targeted at him.

He cleared the air amid claims the two were in the process of collaborating on new songs, which Saintfloew denied.

 “He is childish as he keeps mentioning my name all the time to get some attention from fans.

“It’s annoying now that he follows me just to take pictures and videos and make it look like we are in good books,” he said.

He said he will never work with Holy Ten again.

Somehow, this is something that is acceptable in hip hop and we should not judge these artists on what they are saying but as part of an industry which is seemingly pushed by these feuds.

We should know that beyond these feuds is a hidden commercial side.

United States media network CBS noted that the feud between Drake and Lamar has some commercial spin-offs.

“Fans picked sides, yet the beef afforded a commercial boost to all these rap titans: they each trended on X, formerly known as Twitter, following the track’s release. 

“And in Canada, the radio airplay for each artist increased after only one week of the song being out: Drake’s rose by 7.5 percent, Lamar’s by 9.1 percent and J. Cole’s by 400 percent (due to low rotation in prior weeks), according to data from Soundcharts.

“Their beef has also driven streams. Lamar, whose monthly listen count on Spotify had been declining — dropping by nearly 600,000 in the four weeks before the song’s release — is now rising.”

Against this background, it is important for music fans to understand that there is more to these beefs than just throwing stones at each other.

It is part of the DNA of their industry.

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