Besides a free comedy show, the rivalry has fortunately pulled some of rap’s most low-key dignitaries out of the woodwork to drop gems for the millennial generation.
On one end of the reaction spectrum, there’s T.I. and Nick Cannon, who expressed subtle disappointment in the two men for what the Us or Else rapper has dubbed pure foolery. Sitting down with Atlanta’s Streetz Morning Takeover radio show, he held back any personal opinion on who would become the victor between Brown and Soulja, but did mention that he was grabbing his popcorn for the show just like everyone else.
"Really man, I'm just, you know, sitting back and watching the show like everybody else, man," he admitted. “I ain’t really got no words for it, you know what I mean. My little ol' voice in the midst of all these people who cheering for the foolishness ain't going to… you know. I’m just sitting here watching the show.”
Nick Cannon’s talk with VladTV revealed that he, too, wasn’t a fan of Brown and Soulja's highly anticipated boxing match. Reflecting on on his silver-spoon-less upbringing, Cannon reminded everyone that a lifestyle in the hood is nothing to glorify, and when he was granted the opportunity to leave, he didn’t think twice about it. If you’ll recall, Brown and Soulja Boy have both had their share of “Bompton” boasting, the most recent being Soulja's hike through Compton’s hood as he hailed the Piru Blood gang’s signs and howled out their “Su-Woo” call.
Despite being raised around those who weren’t lucky enough to make it out, Cannon said, he promised himself to give back to underprivileged communities from gang-torn areas. And that eventually became the premise beneath his opposition to gang-banging celebrities who exalt such lifestyles.
“I never want to glorify that,” he said in the interview. “When I see a lot of these artists come up now and want to join a gang after you become a millionaire — man, do you know how hard it was for me to get away from that sh**? Do you know how many drive-bys I barely made it out of?” Cannon even revealed that he had a conversation with Breezy before, as well as other entertainers, in which he expressed that even after the fame, some people still feel they have something to prove. That, he says, is when the gang-banging, heavy tattoos, and image transformation begins.
“It’s insecurity mixed in with the lack of guidance,” he said. “A real man knows that he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone.”
And with all the talk of violence, Bad Boy Records’ Harlemite, Ma$e, made a surprise drop-in on the feud as well. In a video, he answers a fan’s inquiry about “who’s got next in boxing.” Well, according to his New York upbringing, he’s not too familiar with the boxing industry.
“I’m not from the block of boxing anyway,” he said. “My block was all shooters, so we would be the wrong guys.” After another question regarding who he thinks will come out on top between Brown and Soulja, he fairly judged that he would need to see their training skills first.
“But you know me I ain’t got nothing to do with that,” he assured. “I don’t want to be a part of it.”
On similar neutral grounding, Houston-native Slim Thug tipped his hat off to both of the men for using an alternative to their beef that didn’t involve street violence.
“I wanna big salute Soulja Boy and Chris Brown for taking it out of the streets and taking it to the ring, man,” the H-Town rapper said. “Ain’t nobody supposed to be in the streets, you know, gang fights ain’t supposed to happen over Instagram likes or beefs or whatever started it.”
He added a guideline to keep children and family out of it (ahem, Soulja Boy), and that he was happy they transformed their “bullsh*t beef” to business instead.
“Tough guys don’t shoot, tough guys box it out,” he said. “Any punk can pick up a pistol and shoot, that’s why the punks think they’re so tough nowadays, because that’s easy. But to put your hands up, and be a man, fight it out — that’s what it is. Win that bread. Good luck.”
See the reactions from hip-hop’s luminaries below.
(Photos from Left: Prince Williams/WireImage, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for BET, Prince Williams/WireImage)