Back in the day, rap beef used to be a legitimate aspect of being in the game, but Yasiin Bey, says the new age of feuding on social media is “s**tty.” The rapper formerly known as Mos Def stopped by Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” to share his thoughts on today’s rap beef and the danger it presents.
While Yasiin Bey admitted feuding has always had a place in hip-hop culture, he said social media and internet put a new spin on things. “The beefs, you see people can’t get along for more than two seconds. Everybody getting big bags of money… [saying,] ‘You ain’t this, you ain’t this’… All on Instagram,” he explained. “What kind of shit is this?”
The artist then reflected on how real beef went down back in the '90s. “When it was really dangerous, and s**tty in the '90s, where n***as was really going all out there to the same places and you could legit see somebody on the ave, none of that was happening,” he said. “If somebody on the radio and somebody wanted to make it pop, they know where you at.”
Yasiin also addressed the problems that social media creates. “Now it’s a lot of crazy noise. But it’s dangerous because a lot of people’s egos is involved because they did it on camera for the Instagram,” he explained. “Now people got a point to prove because it’s all on TV all the time. None of it’s real. Until some real s**t happens, and someone can get hurt.” The rapper then questioned why other artists aren’t addressing their issues directly. “We used to go places, and just go, and we didn’t tell nobody where we was at.”
Yasiin Bey doesn’t necessarily blame specific rappers for this “fake beef,” though. He suggests there’s a hidden agenda behind platforms and even labels. “I love the culture, but what it looks like is that the technical process around it, so that the only people that really benefit off of the culture are the algorithms, the platforms, not the names. I’m not with that,” he said.
In this year alone, there have been quite a lot of beefs. Drake and Meek Mill as well as Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma’s ongoing beef are probably the most notable feuds to date. Those stand-offs were most definitely solidified by the releases of “Back to Back” and “ShETHER,” but a number of other artists have turned to Instagram and Twitter to hash out their differences.
Check out Yasiin Bey's comments about rap beef at the 38:00 minute mark in the video below.