Can A Great Feud Revive Rap?

If you take a quick glance at the hip-hop landscape and you’ll notice, things have gotten a little stale.

I mean, there’s Kanye West making noise but most of the other big names seem to be on hiatus. The indies are grinding, making blips here and there, but are still under the radar for the most part. So much like a forest fire, all it took was a little spark for the next perceived slight to back draft into something bigger.

Kid Cudi and Wale are the latest to have their spat ignited by the masses. The craziest part — it all started over one lyric.

In a recent Complex magazine interview, Cudi touched on his past drug use, becoming a father, he and Kanye’s creative chemistry but the one question that got everyone’s attention was his response to a lyric in Wale’s “Thank You” freestyle where he said, “throwing ’round wallets like the dude that Kid Cudi hit,” a reference an incident between Cudi and a concert goer in December 2009.

“It wasn’t a shot, it’s just a simple-ass rhyme by a simple-ass rapper. You can’t let that shit faze you,” said Cudi.

Oh snap, it’s on now!

But that was only the beginning. Cudi managed to get in shots of his own at Wale in the same interview, stating, “people like Wale get mad that ‘Ye ain’t give him no beats–‘Ye ain’t give you no beats because we ain’t [expletive] with your raps.” He continued, “it’s not a conspiracy theory. We don’t [expletive] with you musically, so we’re not going to provide music for you.”

Harsh. So what’s the tale of the tape?

In one corner, you have Wale, the de facto face of DMV (D.C., Md. Va.) hip-hop. He’s managed to reach a level of mainstream notoriety will simultaneously exposing the country to Go-Go, the sound native to his city, while bringing on long-time collaborators from the area along for the journey.

In the other corner, you have Cudi, a very unique artist, who is, technically, part of a new crop of Cleveland-bred emcees, like Chip The Ripper and others, carrying the torch Bone Thugs-N-Harmony helped light many moons ago. Although he cut his teeth doing shows in NYC and abroad, many would say he ushered in an era of mainstream emo rap with his debut album, Man On The Moon: The End of Day while having a well-documented hand in crafting Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreak in 2008.

There’s history too. They’re former collaborators and XXL Freshman classmates. Both had highly anticipated, generally well-received, debuts that still left some listeners unsure of what to expect from them as artists. Even with something left to prove, neither is shy about telling you how dope they think they are either.While it’s hardly the clash of the titans we’ve seen in the past. Jay-Z

and Nas, LL Cool J and Cannibus, Common and Ice Cube. 50 Cent and Kanye

West. It’s still interesting because in both, you’re getting very

different perspectives at similar places in their career.Click here to read the rest of “How a great feud can revive rap music” by clicking here.

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