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‘Beefs’ In the Ghanaian Music Industry- Are beefs helpful or…..

Beefs‘, or better defined in modern English as feud, defined as a prolonged or bitter quarrel between two parties under consideration or the victims involved.

Beef, though informal, as used in the music industry is quite synonymous to and formally referred to as feud, estrangement, brawl, grumble, objection and many more.

In comparison with other sectors or even life in general, the Ghanaian music artistry has had its share of brawls, this time lyrically, when artists release songs in order to degrade or pull the other through the streets. This is more prevalent in the music industry, in the genre of music called Hip hop which results from an artist dissing another artist through their music by using degrading remarks and derogatory statements amidst raining insults at the referrer (the one being referred to).

Lyrical frictions mostly occur due to a number of factors. This results from jealousy, love entanglement, cheating, backbiting, inappropriate termination of contract, loyalty and the like. Some may be trivial and not taken to heart but unfortunately, others may be too much of a diss, too piercing that it would be taken very seriously by the opponent which may lead to tight grudges against the other.

It may be that society frowns upon lyrical grumbles for a number of reasons. This includes the fact that it does not speak well of the artists involved, it being unhealthy for the youth and listeners, it is regarded as a form of disrespect to audience, not forgetting the fact that it can lead to death in severe cases.

What was the first beef in Hip hop?

The first known Hip Hop feud was the Roxanne Wars’. The Roxanne Wars began in 1984 when Roxanne Shante and Marley Marl released the song ‘Roxanne‘s Revenge’.

Lyrical feuds may get stronger and fiercer when it is received well in the hearts of the two parties involved in it. That is, when the fans or proponents of the respective parties get into it and decide to back their favorite artist up. This may cause friction in a locality which would lead to the destruction of life just for the adoration of the artist. History has it that the first deaths occurred from lyrical feuds was between Biggie Smalls and Tupac, two American hip hop artists who dissed one another in music pieces.

Not only do lyrical feuds occur in the Ghanaian music industry but in other developed nations as well.

Let us take a different view of lyrical disses.

Though it may seem to be too negative, people have different views concerning lyrical brawls. Feuds are now considered an avenue for gaining popularity and making wealth by the artists involved. Indeed, a lot of artists have gained fame and made quite an amount of cash. Beefs may come in two ways; planned and unplanned.

Some people literally sit down to construct beefs. These are well-composed initiatives taken by the parties involved in order that the purpose for the cooperation is finally established and fruitful be it for fame, wealth or any other reason behind the diss.

What is really surprising about beefs is that we all thought it was centered on a particular gender. Most people felt it was more appropriate for men. It would interest you to know that even females’ artists have gotten along with the flow. Female hip hop artist like Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, which resulted in unhealthy insults hurled on one another. Ghanaian musicians like Eno Barony and Efya. Have also hopped on with the trend.

Ghanaian male artists like Sarkodie and M.anifest were equally involved in a lyrical feud where both rained insults on the other and were noted for getting an appealing number of streams. Another beef could be recalled from two Reggae/Dancehall artists involved in a lyrical throwback which would have been a total clash. In fact, it became very serious and had to be dissolved. Likewise, Kweku Smoke and Lyrical Joe were involved in rap disses not forgetting Amerado and Medikal.

This lyrical beef could even involve opposite genders, like here in Ghana, Eno Barony and Medikal. This was a diss song released for Medikal degrading Medikal with the use of vulgar words that could actually make him go dumb. It all started when Medikal said that Eno Barony is indeed a good rapper but cannot be compared to him because he stands out from all other rappers.

Here in Ghana, one notable thing about diss songs is that these diss songs are released on songs in which the parties involved in the lyrical feud are featured on, not their own pieces. Yet, the songs are still released because there seem to be an adoration rap battle. It is seen as a source of entertainment, yet the songs don’t gain many listeners as it is regarded as verbally repulsive.

However diss songs would be, it should not lead to fatalities. The end result would depend on the parties placed on different benches and how their respective proponents would receive it.

written by Ruth Ama Onumah


    • Oh okay,right.Looking at it from a different angle, it puts a kind of fire in the industry and some feel that vibe. Opinions indeed are like noses; everyone’s got theirs.


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