As rap has ascended to the forefront of pop music, prominent rap beefs have taken on increased stature in pop culture. The war of words has elevated their battlegrounds from the early days of playground sound-offs to leaving it all in the booth. And lately, beef has been served up extra rare on the social media timeline.
The competitive sport of rap beef has an intense and protracted history, but the most polarizing bout occurred between Tupac and Notorious B.I.G., whose epic lyrical quarrel turned infamously deadly. These profound leaders of Los Angeles and New York City were the cultural representation of the epic "east coast vs. west coast" war of words. It introduced varying rap styles that led to their war to be dubbed the “godfather” of all lyrical combat.
Once upon a time, rap beefs stemmed from the aura of flexing your lyrical muscles over hard-hitting beats. But as years passed, its roots of "leaving it all on wax" have become an afterthought. Now, it is being replaced by social media platforms—the new center stage to air out dirty laundry. What once was an appropriate art form of showcasing disrespect on face-grabbing beats has been watered down to become throwaway fodder for an artist's image and income.