NJ: Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2005: Operation Takeover

We bring you #4 on Ras Benzo’s list of what you should  not be doing in 2012.
4.  Starting a beef with people WAY more famous than you
There was a time in urban music when the playing field was a lot more even; a time when labels, artists and their fans worked together to make a way for the genre. It used to be that if you wanted to get some attention and make a name, you could pick a target and start some beef! Remember when Lolita Gooden made a name for herself when she dissed those four dudes who cancelled their appearance at a show? No. you don’t. But you do remember Roxanne Shante! It was the start of her career and the moment that rappers realized they could make a name for themselves by taking shots at people more famous than them.

Well, that was 1984. Since then, so many artists have used this vehicle to breath life into their careers that the mechanism has lost its strength as a genuine dynamic. For the most part, rappers nowadays of the same caliber tend to take issue with one another over trifling things and to keep their names in the public forum (GAME, I’m looking at YOU!). But there are times when an artist oversteps their bounds by starting a beef with someone way more famous than them. It is an over-estimated effort to be on a level out of their reach and it usually ends badly for them.

Back at the end of October 2009, Beanie Sigel released “I’m Not Your Average Cat” a track in which he explains his issues with Jay-Z. To be fair, it’s not as much of a diss record as it is a public letter complaining about why you’re mad your homie don’t f_ck with you anymore. To put this into context, while Jay-Z has spent much of the new millennium building up his career, Beanie has had countless run-ins with the law, and at the time of the release of this song was actually heading to jail for a year. Why would he continue to f_ck with you after all he has done, and all of the negative attention you continue to bring to yourself.

Jigga’s response to this track was simple, short and didn’t even require a beat:

“Beanie Sigel had a record deal,a record label and a clothing line and never went platinum. I don’t know in the history of rap has anyone done so much with so little. If that’s not pushing a person sh!t” – Jay-Z

In the end, and after sitting in jail for a year, Beanie apologized, saying “I got caught in the moment and put my feelings out there. I should have never done that.” This illustrates a great reason why you don’t beef with people more famous than you. As much as they have given you, they can easily take away. Jay never professionally responded and continues to enjoy media stardom. Beanie, on the other hand… if I told you that he’s facing 3 years in prison for tax evasion, and is not currently doing anything anyone cares about, would you be surprised?

Want more?
How about when your whole rap career gets eclipsed by this girl:

In the wake of Nicki Minaj’s rise to success, Lil Kim was left without a place on top of the hottest female rapper’s list. After firing shots via twitter and waiting in the shadows for the perfect moment to strike like an evil villain from a Disney movie, Kimmy Blanco (damn, that just sounds like a wack attempt to grab at the straws of her fleeting success) pounced on her misinterpretation of the lyrical hit “Roman’s Revenge” as an opportunity to step into the spotlight. It was that and “Y U Mad” that triggered her to release “The Warning.” She also took to the airwaves to express her displeasure even going so far as to attempt to eclipse the rising star by releasing a mixtape called Black Friday as an assault on Minaj’s Pink Friday.

But who gives a f_ck? First of all, Kim has no real right to be mad at this young lady’s success. She should be honored that a female performer is able to follow in her footsteps and take the game to such a new level. Nicki is way too famous to be beefing with over this foolishness and doing so makes us less of a fan of Kim, even if we are not fans of Nicki. At the time, radio-waves were flooded with new music from the young artist and no one was even thinking about playing a Lil Kim song. You would think the unevenness of response to this “beef” would be enough to make Kim drop it and go back to whatever the hell she was doing before this started, but NO. She continues to play herself by tweeting and even going on air and saying that she would do a song with Nicki… for 7 MILLION DOLLARS!

Do I even have to explain why no one would f_ck with you after something like this? Do you understand how being this out of touch with what is going on makes you a liability where once you may have been an asset? This type of behavior is great for headlines, but bad for your public image. You’re trying to shoot down an eagle with a rubber band and asking the eagle to pay you to shoot at it? Anyway, yeah, so… When was the last time you heard from Lil Kim? Does it even matter?

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Ras Benzo is a writer and a man of action. He is a musician and a Smokin’ Words artist. His contributions include producing some of the most progressive and well-received music in the Atlanta Urban Arts scene, and his time spent with the legendary open mic event, “FreeForum Xchange” has earned him accolades and awards including “Most Prolific Writer” at the 2005 Underground Awards. His own blog www.thicknuss.blogspot.com is a favorite among cultural enthusiasts and represents his literary efforts to link the legacy of the past with the responsibilities of the present.

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