Rappers should focus on music

Hip-hop feuds are nothing new. Lyrical battles go all the way back to the early 1990s, when Dr. Dre’s now-fabled beef with former confidante Easy E made headlines. The feud certainly didn’t hurt the sales of Dre’s album “The Chronic.”No music fans will forget the feud between Tupac Shakur and Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace. The tragic feud helped fuel a longstanding rivalry between East Coast and West Coast styles of rap that still exists today.Today, artists are still going at it. However, the concept of rap feuds has turned into a commercially fueled nightmare, with hip-hop magazines gobbling up the chance to interview hip-hop’s biggest stars on whom they hate this week.Rappers such as Ja Rule have used magazines to make claims and threats against other rappers, hoping to gain some street credibility and live up to their gun-wielding lyrics.The publications have dragged out unnecessary feuds in hopes of selling magazines. Most recently, underground rapper Benzino, who’s also a co-founder of The Source magazine, has dragged on a verbal war with Eminem over the issue of race in rap. However, rather than inspiring industry-altering music, the feud made the rapper look like a jealous hater and hurt the magazine’s credibility.And now, reminiscent of the Death Row-Bad Boy wars, we have the Shady-Aftermath camp going at it with Ja Rule’s Murder Inc. masterminds. However, the feud is helping both rappers lose credibility, and rather than getting quality music, we’re getting songs and interviews filled with unsubstantiated claims and threats.Rap music has moved in a different direction. Artists such as OutKast have figured it out and have focused on experimenting with different styles, thus making them the best-selling rap artists today. Rappers should stop worrying about what other rappers are doing and focus on releasing something that people actually want to buy.

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