It would appear that we are on the verge of something “major” in the hip-hop world. After a series of social media attacks from both sides, Chris Brown and Soulja Boy seem primed to square up in the ring. The two have gone back and forth recently on Instagram starting over Brown’s ex Karreuche Tran, who is the mother of Brown’s child and the object of Soulja’s affection. It moved to Soulja Boy, real name DeAndre Way dissing Brown over his incident of domestic violence involving Rihanna. This led to Soulja challenging Brown to fisticuffs and Brown agreeing after Soulja bought Tran and Brown’s daughter into the matter. The whole ordeal has gotten the attention of several big figures in the entertainment industry, namely 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather is even said to be training Mr. Tell ‘Em, a claim that has been disputed by Way’s manager, Wack 100. Oh yea, he just happens to also be former 50 cohort, The Game’s manager. Even Iron Mike Tyson has weighed in, giving his vote for Brown. Tyson went so far as to record a song dissing Soulja Boy…for some reason.
The fact that there is so much involvement from outsiders is what leads me to my assertion, this is good for hip-hop. One of the main objectives rap and hip-hop naysayers have is that the music and culture promote violence. It has been blamed for the seemingly ever increasing homicide rate in most urban communities. The prolific weapon and drug use referred to by artist has, along with its often objectification of women has lead to it being condemned by many. The latter is a different post, but the violence, this is where there is room for impact. While ‘Breezy v. Big Soula’ might not be the “Thrilla in Manilla” 2017, it has a chance to change the narrative. Can you imagine, if one gets knocked out, the hooks and punchlines (see what I did there?) that would be thrown around by rappers in their verses? How about the fact that more artists and personalities are trying to get in on it? Internet personality Riff Raff has challenged to a bout for $2 million and Florida rapper Kodak Black called out Weezy for the title “Greatest Rapper”.
These may seem like petty insignificant squabbles, but I assure you they are important. They have the potential to change the way that hip hop is viewed. Those on the outside get to see the separation of fantasy and reality as gang members have spoken out against rappers falsely claiming membership. I think it is important the youth know the difference. This is making no mention of the revenue it could generate for the urban community. I think it should happen.-Josh Buckhalter