Music Monday Beefs: It’s Low When Rappers Defame the Dead
By: Evette Champion
If there is one thing we all love is a good beef between rappers; but what happens when one of those is dead and can’t fight back? Is it a legitimate beef, or one attention seeker’s stab to get some sort of reaction from the public? You decide.
Back in 2014, Kanye West (I can almost hear the collective groans now) once said that 2Pac is “the most overrated rapper in history.” According to West,
“How you gonna go compare my music to 2Pac? 2Pac wasn’t no musician. He was an actor. What was he in? Juice? Above the Rim? He was the most overrated rapper in history and you come up in here comparing him to me? A real rapper…a real star?”
He goes on to say that 2Pac only became famous because he “got shot” and that he had spent “time in prison propped up on his street image” during the time when gangsta rap was peaking in its popularity during the 90s.
“Gangsta rap ain’t even real music.”
Oh, did we forget to mention that Kanye changed his tune by later saying that 2Pac was the “best and greatest” rapper later in 2015?
Although the initial article about Kanye vs. Pac may come from a fake news site, Treach from Naughty By Nature took things quite seriously by going in on Kanye and his wife, Kim K. by posting on Twitter a series of memes dissing Kim.
(Video NSFW, as there is cursing)
Another instance where the dead was caught up in some sort of controversy with an artist today is Aaliyah and T-Pain.
In March, 2015, T-Pain came under fire for some of the things he said about Aaliyah’s death only inflating her legacy. People got very upset and slamming the rapper for even using her voice on one of his tracks. He says:
First of all, let me just a lot of people p****d off about that for some reason. I’ve seen people directly say, ‘He doesn’t deserve her vocals.’ And I’m trying to figure out what the f**k did I do. So what happened was they were doing the Aaliyah X album and they came to me for a feature on the album. They had bunch of sessions of her unused tracks. So, instead of being a d**k and charging the s**t out of them, I was like ‘Yo, just give me one of the sessions’ and they were like ‘Cool. We ain’t gotta pay you right?’ It was just like a swap. I did a song for her album and they gave me one for mine.
When he responded to people who were vocal about not wanting to hear “auto tune next to Aaliyah’s voice,” he said:
People tend to–I don’t know man– I’m not trying to discredit Aaliyah in any kind of way. But you know how sometimes when people die–yeah. You know how somebody’s an a**hole their whole life, but when you go to their funeral it’s like ‘This guy was the greatest man that ever walked…’ No, I’m just sayin’!
No, I’m not saying Aaliyah. But it’s like because she passed, nobody is deserving of being next to her. Nobody’s good enough. Nobody is good enough because she passed. If she was still alive, then everybody would’ve been like, ‘Oh! She’s tryna be Beyoncé!’ If she were still alive right now. But now that she’s passed, it’s like ‘Nobody could be her! Nobody could be her!’ That’s just how I feel. That’s how it goes. And that’s how people are, man. People look for s**t to talk about.”
I wouldn’t really classify this as a beef, but maybe more like a poorly explained point of view.
What do you think? Was T-Pain right in his assessment about Aaliyah and her fame, or is he out of line?