Opinion

BEEF: How Relevant Is It In Our Music Industry?

By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo

In the last couple of years, we have been blessed with some memorable beefs, notable among them; Shatta Wale- Samini, Shatta Wale – Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale-Sarkodie, Sarkodie – M.anifest and Strongman-Medikal.

Now, for the first in the Ghanaian music industry, we have beef among the females and clearly, it seems to be fun. The artistes involved; Eno Barony, Sista Afia and Freda Rhymz are feverishly trying to make a mark, the media is in a frenzy and the fans are enthralled.

Just like every other beef, we would watch with glee as these ladies trade lyrical barbs while they market their brands and music and when we all get frazzled, we move on to the next. That’s how it works, every time!

In the face of this recent beef, some observers, like every other beef, frown on such a phenomenon, querying its relevance to the artistes and to the industry.

What’s Beef?

Beef in music parlance, which also originated from the world of hip hop, is feud between two artistes and the aim is to settle their differences lyrically, in songs. Feuding artistes throw barbs at each other via their songs to win the applause of the fans and most importantly, project their brands.

Beef is necessary in the music industry. Once the musicians are humans and have emotions, we will always have beef and it is acceptable.

As humans, these musicians get into disagreements with each other, they get offended or slighted by each other and they ought to address them as any ordinary human will. The way they go about settling their issues is via the music.

When these musicians are in love, they put in the music, when they sign deals, they disturb us with such news in the song, when they get houses with swimming pools, they make sure we hear about it in the song and when they have disputes with each other, where do you think they will put it? In the song – and that’s where we have our ‘diss’ songs!

Is Beef Essential? Yes!

The most important element in the entertainment industry is attention and beef draws attention. The evidence is in the history and the present where beef and ‘diss’ songs elicit such hoopla in the media and allure among the fans.

Let’s use this recent beef between Eno Barony, Sista Afia and Freda Rhymz as case study.

These three, in spite of how talented they are, have floundered to garner a high level of attention but just 2 weeks of beef and the release of ‘diss’ songs have placed them on a pedestal.  Social media is agog with chatter about them, blogs/bloggers are tripping over themselves to carry any news about this ‘beef-triangle’, mainstream media are booking them for interviews and discussing them, and of course, music fans are all excited with such outcome.

They clearly have our attention, and that’s what beef does. It offers that attention every entertainer needs. How the artistes maximize or leverage on that fixation depends on them and how they parlay it unto other ventures.

Does Beef Guarantee Success? No!

Beef is good and acceptable but it is not a surety for success in the business. There are countless number of artistes across the world that were involved in beef and ‘diss’ songs and still had their careers plummet. There are also that group of musicians who never entangle themselves in beef but end up being the most successful.

At the end of the day, your talent, strategy, marketing drive and business acumen would ensure your longevity and success in the industry. When beef comes your way, you weigh your options, weigh your ‘foe’ – assess your options and jump on it.

I solidly support this beef-triangle between these females as it gives them that attention they have always craved for, but after all this is over, what would count essentially, are their songs, their brands and whatever ventures they have.

Nobody survives on beef and diss songs forever. Even 50Cent got tired at a point.  It is never long-lasting, so, feuding artistes must always have a plan after the hype on the beef dwindles.

How to Win With ‘Diss Songs’

Beef and ‘diss’ songs have no formula and no rules but, over the period, the industry has invariably had some blueprint on what a quality diss song should be.

Keep it raw but clean, leave family, spouses and kids out of it and make it solely about your ‘foe’ and their business.  Keeping it clean without ‘swear’ words ensures rotation on radio and television.

Remarkably, in this era of streaming and views, Eno Barony, Sista Afia and Freda Rhymz are doing something most of their male counterparts failed to capitalize on. These ladies and their handlers are business-minded as they strategically release music videos to back the diss songs.

After just 6 days of release, Sista Afia’s ‘U Got Nerves’ has already garnered  close to 134,800 views on You Tube, Eno Barony’s ‘Rap Goddess’ and ‘Argument Done’ have attained 102,500 (1 week) and 167,500 (3days) respectively and Freda Rhymz’s ‘Point of Correction’ had 14, 650 in less than 24 hours.

Beef is short-lived, so it is always prudent to make the best out of it, especially when you have our attention within that moment.

Respect It!

It is okay for the naysayers to scowl at beefs, ‘diss’ songs and the feuding acts; that’s their prerogative but they should respect beef and what the positives it brings. They should embrace the fact that beef and ‘diss’ songs are part of the making of the music industry and they should also respect that.

They should also respect the fact that, they are many that love the phenomenon of beef and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with supporting beefs and diss songs, and to an extent, supporting the acts and their brands.

By all means, regardless of your inclinations, put some respect on beef!

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