Rap is like no other genre of music in that it’s a full contact sport. It’s a culture riddled with diss tracks and the releases of embarrassing videos and pictures that have led to physical altercations—sometimes fatal—but Hip-Hop heads love the heated rivalries, because they understand that beef on wax is a cornerstone of the culture. Since the inception of Hip-Hop, rappers have been playing a tug of war with verbal jabs, but they have also been compelled to dig into their opponent’s closet and retrieve some scathing skeletons that can single-handedly destroy a rapper’s career.
For example, the rapper Yung Berg was slated to be the next best thing for the teenage crowd, but his celebrity was shot down pretty quick when his chain was snatched from his neck and people from all walks of life took pictures wearing his questionable jewels. He did nothing to avenge the robbery and ultimately ducked out from the limelight. People quickly labeled him a coward and the young rapper has been quiet since.
With such a globalized media, an artist’s credibility can be shattered in hours, but surprisingly, quite a few rappers have bounced back from the release of some disconcerting material. Below are the top five rhyme slingers who should have been down for the count, but instead, dusted their shoulders’ off and returned with more vigor.
Cam’ron Decides to Dip on the Set
Killa Cam’s street cred took a massive hit when he decided to let his partner in rhyme—Jim Jones—take a severe beating from rival crew, Junior M.A.F.I.A. The video spread like wild fire as Cam seen his childhood friend mobbed by the Brooklyn crew and decided to take off like a shot. This incident mixed with his infatuation with pink and dubious rap style one would think that the Harlem heat maker would’ve been buried alive, but surprisingly he has remained one the most active and consistent rappers in the game and his crew Dip Set continues to be one of the most influential groups in Hip-Hop.
Dr. Dre in The World Class Wreckin’ Cru
Before he was expressing himself and cursing out the police, he was dressed in leather and wore make-up all while he was creating electric-hop music. The late Eazy-E leaked the photos during their feud after the disbandment of their legendary group, NWA. The photos completely contradicted everything the West Coast hit maker stood for, but instead of sinking into obscurity, he arose and released a plethora of hits and ignited the careers’ of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent.
Eminem’s Racist Rant
The Detroit emcee has created his fair share of controversy, but it seemed like it was the end of the road for Em’ when Hip-Hop’s most prestigious publication, The Source, leaked an old track— “Foolish Pride” —with him making some choice remarks about African-Americans. On the track Em spits:
But Black girls only want your money cause they’re dumb chicks
So I’ma say like this
Don’t date a Black girl, take it as a diss
If you want, but if you don’t
I’ma tell you like this, I surely won’t
Never date a Black girl because Blacks only want your money
And that shit aint funny
The Hip-Hop culture is predominantly made-up of African Americans and many were irked by his racist rhymes, but the overall controversy did little to hurt his illustrious career—most people remember the Mariah Carey controversy more.
Lil Wayne Lip-Smacks Daddy
Weezy really started to tighten his grip on the Rap game in 2006, but a shocking photo of him kissing his step-father, Baby, on the lips was leaked and it sent the entire Rap community in a frenzy. Somehow the incident seemed to boost Wayne’s celebrity, because everything thing he has released since then was considered gold by legions of fans. The controversy is still talked about today, but has done nothing to hinder Wayne’s success.
Although, many of Wayne’s fellow rappers have ridiculed him in freestyles and tracks for his homosexual behavior. Former labelmate, Juvenile, was the first to questions Weezy in his diss track, A H*, where he spits, “What kinda ni*** kiss another man?”
Officer Rick Ross
Like many, Ross came into the game rapping about being a drug lord from Miami. Fans around the world fell in love with his distinct voice and smooth flow, but fans mostly loved his Scarface-persona. Therefore, when pictures of Rick Ross dressed as a correctional officer surfaced on the net, people were speechless. At first, he denied that the cop in the photo was him, but picking a bone with beef-extraordinaire 50 Cent made the truth come to light. Fif’ constantly badgered Ross for being a police officer with ridiculous animated skits and even had Ross’s ex-wife, Tia Kemp, admit he worked in law enforcement.
Ross finally confessed he was a correctional officer and The Boss was on track to be Hip-Hop’s Milli Vanilli, but after releasing a plethora of quality music, the man has become the hottest rapper in Hip-Hop. His latest album, Teflon Don, was the best album of 2010 and he also assembled one of the most powerful street teams of all-time, Maybach Music Group. The Miami rapper clearly has apprehended and cuffed the rap game—pun very much intended.
It’s quite shocking how all five rappers escaped these embarrassing ordeals that completely contradict the content they rap about. It seems as if a rapper continues making insightful and inspiring music then no one really cares about their image or validity of their story, regardless of how believable or farfetched it might seem. The power of music is incredible and rappers are poets that are creating music about thought provoking observations and ideologies.