Hip-Hop Culture — 28 December 2011

By Justin Michael Carter

Common, the movie star/conscious rapper who came through a battle with Ice Cube and Westside Connection unscathed, has taken aim at Drake on a track from his new album The Dreamer/The Believer. On “Sweet” Common essentially calls Drake “a little bitch” and exclaims that he “ain’t even a man yet.” In contrast to “Bada Boom” the carefully constructed warning shot Ludacris unleashed on Drake a few weeks back, on “Sweet” Common seems content to simply state for the record that he does not like Drake and he thinks the former Degrassi star is soft. As “Bada Boom” and “Sweet” would indicate, dislike for Drake has been steadily bubbling among OG’s in the Hip Hop community for a while now. Like Erykah Badu’s donkey, it’s something everybody knows is there no matter how hard she tries to hide it under those trench coats and crazy outfits.

After reviewing his two album sample size, the OG’s have pounced on Drake, convinced he is not built for war. Hip Hop OG’s once content to watch Drake’s success from afar with some degree of indifference have grown tired of hearing the Toronto native wax poetic about his perceived stature in the rap game. For several months now Drake has made vague allusions to coronations, sitting on thrones, nameless rappers biting his style, and anonymous attacks from undisclosed emcees. In some ways this may have been a self fulfilling prophecy for Drake. His comments in verses, social media, magazines, and websites seem to have kicked up a hornet’s nest skeptical about what the Young Money representative is actually made of.

If Drake is unfamiliar with the way competition works, he should take a look at the Republican primaries. For the last several months, whenever a new front runner has emerged, the field collectively pounces on them during debates to see what they are made of. Sometimes the new frontrunner has crumbled like Rick Perry did, under the weight of his own incompetence. In other cases they have shown flashes they belong with the big boys like Herman Cain did before succumbing to a lady pyramid of white women. What the candidates didn’t do is refuse to engage their opposition like Drake has done up until this point. This would be political suicide, the equivalent of not voting for yourself on Election Day.

If American politics is too foreign for the Canadian emcee to comprehend then he should consider taking a look a American football for competitive guidance. Leading up to the Jesus Bowl that took place this past Sunday between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, Tom Brady said all of the right things when the media asked about Tim Tebow. Then, as the game unfolded, Brady proceeded to place him over his knee and spank Tebow as if Giselle had just pushed him out of her womb. At one point in the game, Brady rushed for a touchdown then spiked the football so hard in the Broncos end-zone it may still be making its journey to the center of the earth. There is a reason why Brady put a little extra stank on his endzone celebration. All it took was the mere prospect of matching wits with Tim Tebow, the up and coming young Golden Boy, to really get Tom Brady’s competitive juices flowing.

In Boxing, whenever a hot young prospect begins to make some noise in a weight division, the older gods step in to test their mettle. Anyone mourning the death of the heavyweight division need only look in the direction of the Klitschko brothers because they are the ones holding the murder weapon. The Ukranian giants have perfected the art of making fights with promising young heavyweights before they are ready for prime time then leaving their respective careers in tatters. However, there are times in boxing when a young prospect proves he is for real by taking out a wily veteran a la Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston. What these boxers never do is refuse to take the fight, as Drake has seemed content to do up until this point in his rhyme fighting career.

Competition is what Hip Hop was built on. Younger rappers cutting through older spitters in order to establish their own careers and veterans snuffing out potential threats before they can gain their proper footing in the game. These generational beefs are as Hip Hop as two turntables and a mic. On “Sweet” Drake is dismissed as a dude so soft, if he gets in Common’s presence he will “feel like a little hoe.” If Drake truly believes he is the rapper he has made himself out to be in his music he will have to step into the booth and prove Common wrong.


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