I was headed home back from Seun’s place, which was my last port of call for the day, hungry and craving some home cooked Bumshasha. My Ajala-travels-the-world-steez wasn’t yielding any beta result oh jare, so I just kept on strolling with a rather steady gait, trying very hard to make sure my stomach doesn’t send to my legs, signals, causing it to outrun an imaginary Forrest Gump and betray my hard-earned fineboy-ism; Sunshades ‘gummed’ to my face, earplugs plugged in, left hand clutching my BlackBerry in my pocket and slightly mouthing loudly the words to some new material I had just downloaded off the internet, I continued…er…strolling the six streets and four shortcuts to a decent meal. Three tracks later, I remembered Saliu’s house was two shops away, I smiled and walked on smartly hoping to mass-murder the worms having one kain dance rehearsal in my stomach.
Of course I met Saliu who didn’t notice my entrance maybe ‘cuz he was engaged in a shouting match with three shirtless dudes laughing throatily and effortlessly overshadowing the music reverberating off the radio’s speakers. I let them have fun as I went into the dark kitchen (thanks to PHCN) to help myself to some Beans and Dodo, when one of these really happy dudes pointed at me and screamed: “Dodo is for fools!”
I was contemplating forcing my fork down his oesophagus when Saliu quipped: “But Muphasa Modo is a Amalafucka shaa oh! which one be dodo is for fools again? I’m sure he was referring to Sinzu.”
“Saucekid ke? He was referring to Mr. Headwarmer-inside-the-blazing-sun!” The light-skinned cue stick looking one amongst them interjected.
“U people are so BC! Una never hear the latest ni?” Saliu asked amidst laughs.
“Tock ayam lizenin’?” I said in the razzest of accents mimicking the man with one too many pockets known as 9ice.
[Insert throaty laughter here]
“Wait oh Afefe! Who tha heck is that nigga?” Saliu asked as the others stared.
“Seriki? Well I dunno. One thing I do know is; he is taking panadol for someone’s headache if una ask me. Daz all.” I said as I forced cold beans down my throat.
“Ruggedy should just retire and go back to Aba I swear!” Saliu spat.
“Tales by moonlight! Okay I honestly think Ruggedman had it coming shaa… we all know the saying nah; if you stir a hole long enough you might reap a kuluso or something worse. Though I honestly think 9ice and Toni Payne washing Tampons in public is somewhat childish and outrightly stupid in every sense of the word.” I stated.
“Trust me, many people go wound cuz of this rubbish.” Mr Cue Stick said as he smiled probably thinking he said something smart.
“Well that’s what you get when you allegedly knack someone’s wife, record a phone interview and make 79% percent of Nigerian kids fail NECO ‘cuz they had the words STARS and PEOPLES stuck in their heads.” I said in my mind.
I just kept swallowing the prison food as I listened to them trade truths and untruths about the so-called beefs and on goings in the Nigerian music Industry. I couldn’t help but listen to them drop names like 9ice, Mode 9, M.I, Ruggedman, Saucekid, Kelly Hansome, Timaya and even Nico Gravity! I was gon’ spoil their gayfest and correct some assumptions when one of them whose face looked like Agbalumo that they af over massage referred to Timaya as a formidable hip-hop artiste. So I coughed like my life depended on it and quickly exited the building trying very hard not to go back in and drown the foolish entity in my urine. So I walked on home half-deaf and almost scarred as I allowed the many words in my head to have a quickie.
In as much as the issue of BEEF in Nigerian rap/hip-hop/fuji/afro-juju/whatsoever-Genre-the-press-can-come-with have already been over-flogged, I must say that not all FANS often understand or can wordily relate to most of the lyrics or gibberish some of their role models utter. Artistes, often get quoted out of context as regards certain terms, phrases, topical issues et al, some of which can be quite sensitive in nature. One of such terms on the lips of almost every Tomiwa, Saheed and Okechukwu is…nope…not endowed scapegoats…it’s BEEF actually.
[Insert Background Music here]
For mumu’s out there, BEEF shouldn’t be mistaken for a mere DISS or a misunderstanding. BEEF is an hip-hop slang or term for Animosity often arising from a DISS (call out). So we shouldn’t be quick to call every exchange of sordid witty remark; beef. Especially when one party isn’t responding.
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Examples of past Beef in mainstream Hip-hop includes the infamous 2Pac vs. Biggie, Mobb Deep vs. Jay-Z, Jay-Z vs. Nas, 50 Cent vs. Ja Rule, Ja Rule vs. Eminem, Busta Rhymes vs. Ja Rule, DMX vs Ja Rule, LL Cool J vs Canibus, Eminem vs Canibus, Eminem vs. Benzino and The Source magazine, Esham vs. Eminem and D12, Eminem vs Everlast, Royce Da 5’9 vs. Eminem, The Game vs. Joe Budden, The Game vs. Memphis Bleek, Yukmouth vs. The Game, Shaq vs. Mad Skillz, 50 Cent vs. Jadakiss, 50 Cent vs The Game, Boogie Down Productions vs. The Juice Crew, Lil’ Kim vs. Foxy Brown, Ice Cube vs Cypress Hill, MC Hammer vs. Q-Tip, Lil’ Wayne vs. Jay Z, Gloria Velez vs. Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Kim vs. Nicki Minaj and lots more.
NB: Most of the above cited examples were just hyped misunderstandings the press and of course the fans help blow out of proportion.
Now in Naija, Beefs that really had almost everyone fighting for a bite in the Nigerian entertainment industry included;
Tony Tetuila vs. The Remedies - There were many sides to this wahala back then probably due to the split of the group ‘The Remedies’ which Tony tetuila was a part of and had Eddie Montana and Idris Abdul Kareem as members. He had help from The Plantashun Boiz on the Remedies diss track ‘Omode Meta Sere’ thus roping them in.
Tony Tetuila vs. Idris Abdulkareem – The monstrous hit – ‘My car’ by Golden Boy; Tony Tetuila, saw him taking direct shots at ex-group mate Idris Abdulkareem.
Ruggedman vs. Rasqie, Olu Maintain, Idris Abdulkareem et al - Here Ruggedman in year 2002 suddenly had an Epiphany and decided to ‘whip’ these alleged noisemakers, sending direct blows at them for polluting our ears in the debut single ‘Ehen!’ produced by Segun Fakeye at OJB’s place where he had Nomoloss sing the hook. Till date, no sordid responses came from the affected artistes.
Ruggedman vs. Kennis Music – Here Ruggedman who was then signed onto Little Fish Records, called out the owners of the then top record label – Kennis Music, in a track titled ‘Peace or War’ for allegedly sitting on his music and “Dulling his shine”.
Idris Abdulkareem vs. Obasanjo – Pfft! That’s the only expression I can think of now.
Ghetto-P vs. Mode 9 – Now this was hot. The young rapper took direct shots at Modo in the diss track ‘Big Baby’ which was released on the internet in April 2007.
Mode 9 vs. Ruggedman – Modo almost literally took Ruggedman to the cleaners and forgot him there with the diss track ‘Talking to you’ a crazy ass response to Ruggedmans’ ‘To whom it may concern’. Then Rugged went on to release a subtle response titled ‘Banging’. When I asked Ruggedybaba recently if he was subliminally referring to Modo on that track, he replied: “It wasn’t just about him. It was for all cats just indirectly talking cuz I was fed up with it.” Mode 9 went on to release other Ruggedman diss tracks off the album ‘Paradigm Shift’ where ‘Deathblow’, aptly named, was the supposed silencer.
Mode 9 vs. SauceKid – To the best of my knowledge, It’s not clear who called out who, as both parties kept dropping ‘subliminals’. Back in November 2008 when I asked SauceKid what the latest was about Modo taking shots at him in the track ‘Warning’ off the Dj Jimmy Jatts’ compilation ‘The Definition’, he had this to say: “The latest is that Mode 9 does what he does – whatever that is. And I’m Sauce kid, and I vowed to take Nigerian music to another length in ‘Omoge wa jo’, and since then, I haven’t lost my step. I’m here to make history. When I did warning shots, Mode 9’s name didn’t come up. I don’t have a problem with mentioning names as you may know already. Mode 9 does not bother what I’m doing. I don’t listen to Mode 9 music, although I must admit, talking to you was a good track. Banky W blessed that song. That’s all. You should be asking Ghetto-P about Mode 9 by the way. They’ve had run-ins, I’ve never had a run-in with mode-9. Whenever it happens, I’mma do what I gotta do. I’m my own man! Shikenah!” Since then SauceKid and Modo have kept up their infamous romance with the former ‘stealing kisses’ every now and then via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Dampte vs. DaGrin (of blessed memory) – Before the laters demise, Dampte of the ‘Tinkolo ft. YQ’ fame called out DaGrin in a diss track titled ‘Bon Pon Pon’ which had me literally laughing out loud. The track which got sent to my e-mail, portrayed DaGrin in more colours than one over the sossick produced ‘Pon Pon Pon’ beat, with lines such as “…Iwo to’n wrap to tu n’logun….” The reason for the animosity is unclear as both of them were friends and had friends and other things in common. All questions thrown at Dampte as regards the issue yielded no answers. The track of course died a natural death as there was no response from DaGrin before he kicked the bucket.
Saucekid vs. Terry G, Jesse Jags – Here SauceKid a.k.a Sinzu no get manners, takes swipes at Terry G and Jesse Jagz of Chocolate city labeling Terry G a.k.a Intellectual Madman, a ‘Swagga jacker’ (whatever that means), and Jesse Jagz of ‘having no swag’. He went on to say ‘he brought the Swag term to Nigeria via his debut hit ‘Yebariba’ (Ghetto Halleluyah)’. Both called out acts haven’t responded so far to the best of my knowledge. But a press release by Storm, the record label SauceKid is signed on to, detached themselves and businesses from whatsoever beef/personal issues Saucekid had/has with these artistes. Cocky much?
Kelly Hansome vs. Mo’ Hits, Terry G, 2Shots et al – #JambQuestion: What was was intoxicating Kelly Hansome when he took direct hits at Mo’hits and Terry G? [Insert cricket noises here]The former took the most jabs and the later almost suffered the same fate and I think 2Shots was just an addendum so to speak. The diss track ‘Igwe (Kom Kom)’ which was released November 2009 was on the lips of everyone probably because, heavyweights like the Mo’Hits camp (whom I learnt refused to do a track with Kelly), were involved for some unclear reason, such as Don Jazzy supposedly asking Wande Coal to take swipes at him (Kelly Hansome) with the track ‘Na who born the Maga’. Kelly Hansome who has gone on to state that he has no beef with the Mo’ Hits camp and Terry G in recent interviews and then coming back to diss them again in a fresh new song. Hmmph!
Iceberg Slim vs. M.I – We don’t need the C.I.A to decode what inspired Iceberg a.k.a Mr. International to record the subliminal track ‘Am I Better?’ which was released in November 2009. Iceberg was probably still feeling intoxicated from his winning the ‘Best International Artiste’ at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA) 2009. The track saw the young underground act comparing his style/lyrical prowess with Mr. Icredible and throwing a few subliminal jabs. The highpoint of the…er…beef was M.I’s response with the track ‘Somebody wants to Die ft. Ice Prince’ which was, if I must say, a very good response. Let’s just say, M.I without name dropping shook Iceberg off with many witty punch-lines such as “Yes, I do eat beef but right now I’m fasting/You don’t want it anyway, why you acting?/Niggas want drama, I’mma holla when I’m casting….” When I heard this track I was like ‘Choi!’ That isn’t news though, what is news is they both had a jump-off recently at the just concluded NEA’s 2010 and Iceberg Slim was bodied. Slain in cold blood if you ask me.
T-Money vs. Kelly Hansome – Not worth flexing my fingers for oh jare… pls go and use google.
Kelly Hansome vs. Chocolate City – As though the kasala with Kennis Music – the record label he’s signed on to, wasn’t enough, Kelly decides to go on another dissing spree this time dishing M.I and other Chocolate city artistes heavy plates of Eran Maloo. Results? Somebody died again…not literally oh. M.I had me laughing in Ibibio via Twitter when he heard and addressed the issue. Kelly’s brouhaha with M.I started with him having a problem with the line “Kelly Hansome is handsome, I’ll tell him when I see him. But if I want a man it will be Keke or D1″ off M.I’s ‘Fast Money, Fast cars ft. Wizkid’ (produced by Kraft) and M.I’s involvement in the ‘Maga no need pay’ track supposedly taking swipes at his ‘Maga don pay’ hit single. Kelly, who from my last count, has the most diss tracks out there isn’t taking his new ‘Mr. Controversial’ tag lightly. Kelly who employs a bit of rap in the diss track ‘Catch me if you can’, took killer blows at M.I and his other targets with lines such as “…Short black dude says he’s sitting on top/Sitting on top Naija’s Hiphop/But you are so short, I’m the ladder to the top…” M.I not one to be outdone responded via ‘Nobody test me’ a collaborative effort of all Chocolate City recording artiste excluding X.O literally put the cattle in the hearse. One line off M.I’s verse I find hard to get out my head is: “Only one Kelly that I know; Kelly Rowland.” Kelly Hansome has promised to put peeps in their place with his soon to drop Sophomore titled ‘Names of Noisemakers’. What can I say? I’ll just go clip my toe nails and wait for M.I. 2.
A-Q vs. Ruggedman and Jesse Jagz – A-Q, born Gilbert Usen, this young cat called out Ruggedman and Chocolate city’s Producer and Rapper extraordinaire, Jesse Jagz, in his debut track titled ‘Names’ which was released early 2010. The track which had lines like ‘We don’t say Auto-tune, we say Jesse Jagz track/We don’t say whack, we say Ruggedman is back’, kinda sounded to me like another cat tryna pull off a Ruggedman. His attempt really did stamp his presence in many-a-playlist even though the affected acts haven’t dropped official responses. When asked about the purported beef, he said ‘the lyrics on the track were his honest opinions though he still dances to Jesse Jagz ‘Wetin dey’ when it comes on in the club.
9ice vs. Ruggedman, Toni Payne – 9ice dey vex. As a matter of fact the man with many pockets is para-ing. Sincerely, I think 9ice has been acting like a child and taking very terrible shots at his ex-wife via social networking sites over alleged reasons like infidelity and the likes. Ruggedman, who happens to have an affinity for recording private conversations, and has also been accused of betrayal blah blah and blah, has also been served a supposedly fair dish. The whole brouhaha amongst these three musketeers just oozes a lotta Jamb Questions. What’s news is; 9ice whose real names I have forgotten (I crave your pardon), recently dropped a Diss Track with the help of a new act who bears the Moniker – Seriki, titled “Talk I am Listening” dedicated to Micheal Stephens a.k.a Ruggedman who just added a year to his age and celebrated same in Calabar. Ruggedman who is currently waxing an album has sort of shown a bit of indifference and has suddenly turned…er…quite religious, judging from his tweets.
Really, Beef in the Nigerian entertainment industry as a whole, have existed since the 80′s amongst Fuji artistes and the likes. The excitement most of these diss tracks have created has no doubt made music interesting to follow. Even in the ‘adulterated’ Dancehall/Reggaeton Genre (pardon the expression…not!) between the likes of Timaya and Nico Gravity with the later calling out the former in three successive tracks, the brazenness of this fame-thirsty dude ironically baffles me, especially as till date, Timaya hasn’t really responded to Nico’s jabs.
So far, the ‘beef’ in the mainstream Naija Rap/Hiphop industry has been certified healthy ‘and fit for consumption’ by most Hip-hop heads, Critics and Entertainment Pundits alike. I personally do not support the let’s-do-beef route most of these cats are tryna take. The way things are going we might need our own Para-Military outfit so things don’t get out of hand. I don’t wanna be reading about some rapper shooting off the ears of another rapper on the red carpet somewhere. I know most of these B!nshes do it just to reach a wider audience and push record sales, but hey, let it not go beyond that. Beef isn’t meant for everybody oh especially if you’ve got milk teeth. Boast, Brag, Hoot like an Orangootan on heat and Cough on a microphone if you like, but If still you can’t convince your…er…fans to buy your music without mudslinging, just shut up, masturbate to Soulja Boi’s shit, give a Blow Torch Fellatio or shag a hot Dodo. Pardon my Spanish…not!
Words by Adesanya ‘Breezi’ Oluwatosin.
BB PIN: 21D5F23D