“The War of Art” or “Why We Battle”

Inspired by the 25th anniversary of the Bridge Wars

In the early 21st century HipHop has begin to over shadow the typical evolution of youth cultures. A major reason for it’s longevity is that it has grown beyond being a simple ‘sub-culture’ or ‘arts culture’ with timeless art, archives and curriculum built upon the lessons that it presents at it’s most positive moments. However, the fame of hip-hop art and commerce is sometimes magnified through negativity. It would be misleading to think that persons of any culture would always have parallel or similar points of view, we are after all human. A culture such as HipHop is very opinion-conscious from who has the flyest style to who the greatest of all-time is. The GOAT argument, in pop culture, is reserved for rappers, but we all know who our favorite DJ’s are and who the graff writers and dancer are that inspire us. It is in the Hiphopper’s nature to debate, to battle, to “show and prove.”

The traditional arenas in which Hiphoppers bring the noise, the skills, the style are the party spot. Your crew is the crew that is the ONE to tear down the house, no matter what the media is. The DJ and his sound system, the MCs,\; the B-Boys & B-Girls ruling the floor; Did your crew do the backdrop or an installation? Flyers? Maybe it’s your clique tht simply threw the party and helped get the tape out of the headlining group. There is always another artist or crew out to push more and the most primal battles come at the center of the circle.

Before rappers gain the type of legendary status of commercial radio playing their major label releases… Before racking up the statistics and victories of big money contests… Before being crowned the king of your city or sector… A DJ or, much more often, an MC will battle their way out of their neighborhood or district. The tradition is rhyme for rhyme, schoolyard to block to park to party, but also getting recordings out and around because you also need money for resources. There-in is developed an instinct to be and fight for number one.

Rhyme battles have been fought epicly from day- or weekend long festivals, pay-per-view, live radio broadcast, on records and simply traditionally in a club open mic or cipher.

Detractors point to conflicts that have seemingly gone beyond musical and lyrical antics but no major incidents have ever been proven to be a result of “rap beef”. In some cases, conflict resolution and even alliances have resulted from conflict among rappers. In many cases, the music inspired by the feuds have become known as classic songs in the cultural cannon. Research some of the following [beyond my wiki gateway]…

South Bronx vs. Queensbridge – the Bridge Wars

Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J

Scribble Jam

Red Bull BC One

Nas vs. Jay-Z

LL Cool J vs. Canibus

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