Kendrick Lamar vs. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- The Next Rap Feud?
Rap feuds have both plagued and blessed the music industry. In my years of observing the rap scene I have noticed that this is one industry that embraces the idea of “even bad press is still good press”. While most “beefs” in recent times have quickly died down, Common vs. Drake for example (ha Canadian’s fighting), they still remain as important as a turntable. As long as rap music embraces the tough, gangsta, mentality of 50 Cent or The Game, rap feuds are here to stay. But it is the entertainment media that exploits this side of what can arguably be called the most successful music industry (money wise). I mean come on Kendrick Lamar releases one song about how he’s the greatest (Control Freestyle) and the industry nearly craps itself. “I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you”. Yeah Kendrick called out half the game in one freestyle but at the end of the day he has love for fellow artists. So why bring this up now? I mean every artist that he “dissed” released their own version of ‘Control’ in response and it seemed as though that was that. Until the media needs something to talk about.
Flash forward to The Grammy’s 2014. Kendrick Lamar has been nominated for seven Grammy awards for his break through album “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” which has gone Platinum. Entering the night all I read about was how he was a lock in for Best New Artist & Best Rap Album. When I saw him at Lollapalooza 2013 it made sense that he was the best; he had the swagger, the skill and most importantly the screaming fans. But wait Mr. Thrift Shop himself Macklemore and mastermind Ryan Lewis are also nominated for seven Grammy’s?! Their independent album “The Heist” has sold ruffly the same amount of sales as “M.A.A.D City” (around 1.2 million each respectfully). Now I’m not here to debate which album is better, they’re both classics get over it, but rather talk about the fallout of who won. As it is well documented “The Heist” was released independently by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. They produced the entire thing, promoted and did everything by themselves. Compared to Kendrick who had the full force of Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records & Top Dawg Entertainment.
In this industry money talks. Money controls who comes out on top. But wait… Kendrick Lamar did not win a single Grammy. While winning a Grammy is not everything it still is a huge blow to Kendrick for loosing out so badly to Macklemore & Lewis. The Thrift Shop boys won Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song & Best Rap Album. They now own the rap industry. As of this morning they are the best. They beat out Drake, Jay-Z, Kendrick AND Mr. Yeezus himself Kanye West for Best Rap Album. As someone who listens to a lot of rap radio stations I have to say I’ve heard all of the other nominations for Best Rap Song besides Thrift Shop on the mainstream radio. The independent boys did it… They won
But will this be the start of a new rap feud? As it is being reported apparently Macklemore reached out to Kendrick last night to say “he was robbed” but will the industry twist this into a new feud? When the Pac vs. Biggie feud began the industry took a misquote from Pac and twisted it into the most deadly feud in rap history. Pac didn’t blame Biggie for the shooting but Suge Knight and Death Row Records wanted to capitalize on a media frenzy. Will Kendrick’s crew take this defeat personally and beef with Macklemore simply for the press? Or will the media create a fire out of a spark? One thing I’m certain about is Kendrick will not go down quietly about loosing to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.