As Eminem and Snoop Dogg’s recent verbal spar fizzled to an anticlimactic conclusion, many were left wondering how bad things had to be for them to even care in the first place, myself included. Clearly this was no real “beef” in the traditional sense. There was no chance Em and Snoop were going to catch eyes at Russell Crowe’s birthday bash and whip the glocks out, riddling a hapless James Corden with bullets while Gal Gadot watched on in horror. It was all pretty toothless stuff, and led me to the deduction that the Triple OGs should probably think about finally recording that blues album or retire with enough wealth to feed an impoverished nation, rather than forcing the spirit of hip-hop out of bed, interrupting its afternoon nap.
All respect is due to the originators and innovators, but there should some a time when one rises above such childish transgressions and approaches their senior years a little more distinguished than talking shit in a Breakfast Club interview. Kool Moe Dee and Busy Bee purportedly had the first ever rap battle at a house party in the Bronx. This was undeniably a huge moment for hip-hop but I guarantee that if they livestreamed a 2021 rematch the ticket sales would be disappointing at best.
Rap beef is mostly stupid. As a hip-hop fan, I can say that. The beefs where lives are threatened and taken are the most stupid, but the beefs which drag in baby mothers and tour managers are pretty high up there. The non-violent, strictly on-wax beefs are stupid too, in a more hilarious way. Something has always seemed funny about trying to convince someone you temporarily hate that you are a better rapper than them. Yet somehow the absurdity of the rap beef is amplified when the rappers involved are over 50. It feels like by that point you should have gained the perspective to sit back and watch the whippersnappers run about and make fools of themselves with a wry smile.
This probably isn’t an age thing, I’m making it so unnecessarily. You can be the type of person to take offence to rhythmic poems at any age, we should never assume that an older person has ever learned anything. My mum’s friend still can’t spell the word ‘lose’. So I take it all back, have yourself some beef at any age, the older the better. I choose to imagine an 82-year-old Jay-Z in some futuristic hovering Tesla pod versus a 76-year-old, earthbound and still spry, Pusha T. Livestream that and I’ll happily eat my words for a cut of the profits.