Friday, 26 November 2010

the Lil Kim vs Nicki Minaj situation and rap beef dynamics

'Black Friday' is depressing. There is a vicious, voyeuristic pleasure to be had in the diss track modes of hip hop, but the issues operating underneath these spats - which have ended up being fatal in a number of tragic, well-known cases - are way serious if you value rap as more then just a capitalist-appropriated form of entertainment.
So Nicki took "subliminal shots" at Lil Kim? Nah, she just dipped into the usual hip hop braggadocio posturing, a card any newcomer earning their spurs is bound to pull. She drew on a convention that Kim has both participated in and profited from. Sad times when someone with such a golden CV has to attack a younger artist - one who has consistently paid homage - for some borrowed shine. I  agree wholeheartedly with all the points Minaj makes in this radio interview. Kim would have served herself better by taking an MC Lyte approach: accepting the dues paid with the good grace of a veteran confident in her legacy, and propelling any new projects on love and support from her hip hop sistren, not shunning them and insisting on an unnecessarily aggressive oppositional stance.
I think Kim is a victim of a tradition that traps both male and female rappers - a tradition that hip hop did not create. I believe she is acting on a number of damaging motives rooted in issues of race, gender and class. I think engaging in this as a spectator, and turning it into a form of titillating, ringside fun perpetuates a whole lotta nasty ish.

Pass the baton on ma. There is room for everyone. Unity is the one

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