Ayo Beasley… holla at Smack and set this jawn up!
From Harlem USA to Anytown, East Jablip, the streets are talking about the beef between Ma$e and Cam’ron. And while we NEVER want anything to trickle over into real rap rumble, we must admit hearing rap battles on “wax” gives us a bit of nostalgia. We long for those good ole’ days when an emcee used that pen to get at his or her rival. And let’s be clear… isn’t that how it all started?
Think “The Jam” ala 1974: An unnamed rapper calls out the more popular master of ceremony to try and take that coveted spot next to the deejay or imagine what it was like when a sucka emcee thought he was about to come from the Queens to the Bronx to dead a notable rhyme-spitter for biting a rhyme. Battle Rap wars are foundational to Hip-Hop culture. Lyricists like Roxanne Shante made history as a battle rapper in Queens Bridge and took that popularity (and a fluke recording between doing the laundry) to the banks with the legendary “Roxanne Battles”. MC Lyte basically destroyed Antoinette with her “10% Dis” jump off. Hip-Hop lore is still trying to sort out the KRS-One and BDP vs. MC Shan and Cold Chillin’ vs. Cool C/Steady B and The Hilltop Hustler’s battles by debating a series of face-to-face, on stage and on record battles that left many an emcee bloodied and bodied. You really had to be there (…psssst The Source with our 30 year-history was there!)
And then there was “Ether” (The biggest ‘L’ Jay Z ever took) and “Shether” (almost two decades later a rap annihilation by Remy Ma that decapitated Rap music’s favorite Barbie, Nicki Minaj).
Thanksgiving weekend brought that back for us.
When Ma$e dropped “The Oracle”, we were punched in the gut by a blast from the shiny suit past. No one has heard from Ma$e since he became a preacher and was rocking with Creflo Dollar. Oh wait… we did see him rock out on the Bad Boy Reunion… but aside from that near silence. So when Oracle dropped we almost fell out our seats. To add further injury to aural assault Cam’ron quickly responded with “Dinner Time” forcing true Hip-Hop heads in the frenzy of who got the dub.
Each side is claiming victory! Cam’ron’s smirking all over social media and Ma$e is popping up on radio shows. Is this how Harlem does it though?
Yup! Harlem loves to battle.
They love to pick the fight and floss on people. While ASAP Mob and Dipset are probably the best-known rap crew from that hood doing it, The Dot Mob has held it down in their own way (so what they got issues), having this battle thing on lock. Murda Mook and T-Rex have etched out an industry from the streets of Harlem and opened the doors for so many from that town and era to eat off of battling. They didn’t do it alone: Loaded Lux, Charlie Clips, K-Shine, Head Ice, Tori Doe, Matrimony, Swave Seva, Krissy Yamagucci and Ms. Hustle all have kept that back and forth alive through platforms like SMACK/URL, King of The Dot and Queen of The Ring. For many, battle rapping and the leagues that nurture that talent are the true keepers of real rap traditions… like really cooking another rapper with your words.
Perhaps Ma$e is giving the world a nod that he is open to get back in there and mix it up. True, his beef come from some deep-rooted personal thing with Killa Cam and to the naked eye might seem like the Meek Mill/Drake battle a few years ago. But maybe not…
Maybe Ma$e is open to getting back in the ring and knocking some heads off. Recently in and interview on Ebro in The Morning, he talked about his victory –slaying Cam with some facts. But then he dropped something crazy that shows that he has his ears to the street. He shouted out “Don Demarco” after he was told that he had one through an informal Hot 97 Twitter poll that his rap was better than Cam’s (fast forward to about 12:10 mins.). Dj Don Demarco is from and infamous crew of DJs out of queens called Desert Storm that also included DJ Clue, and DJ Envy. Every time a battle rapper spits a haymaker and the crowd reacts, he drops a horn and his name as an audio hi-five to the lyricist. Is Ma$e opening the door to do a Cassidy?
Could URL possibly get Ma$e on board to challenge some of those young guns like Tay Roc or T-Top? Could it be the battle of swag with Goodz the Animal? Does he really want that smoke or was he just shouting out the league that makes it hard for you to through diss or battle raps without dangerous lyrics?
Smack and Beasley… seems like the ball is in your court.