By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
It is galling to always have critics and commentators chime in with the Notorious B.I.G – Tupac example anytime there’s a chatter on music ‘beef’. Yes, they had a misunderstanding but several reports posit that there was more to their unfortunate deaths than just a lyrical war.
In that same vein, there have been countless music ‘beefs’ that never degenerated into any form of violence. They have their dispute, settle it on songs, make the best out of it and move on.
Just like everything else in life, there’s always going to be the tendency of having excesses or spill-overs, just as we had with Stonebwoy pulling a gun at the 2019 VGMA platform, but, under no circumstance should violence be encouraged in relation to artistes having a disagreement and expressing it on songs.
As a staunch supporter of music ‘beef’ and the exhibition of lyrical supremacy, primarily because of the business that could be derived from such a venture, I must, without any hesitation, condemn the near physical altercation that transpired between feuding acts, Sista Afia and Freda Rhymz.
No Room for Violence
The most infamous musical beef to ever happen among female acts in the world was between American rappers, Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown – a feud that started in the 90s all the way into the 2000s.
At the commencement of that feud, it was all lyrical until things went haywire in 2001, when guns were pulled and a shooting ensued when members of the two camps met at a radio station.
On March 17, 2005, Kim was convicted on “charges of perjury and conspiracy for lying to investigators and to a federal grand jury.” Though she faced up to 20 years of incarceration, Kim received a sentence of 366 days and three years of probation. She served her entire sentence before being released on July 3, 2006.
Sista Afia’s attempt to turn her lyrical showdown with Freda Rhymz physical is one of the most stupid moves by any Ghanaian act in recent times. It was ill-advised, not thought-through and silly.
She first tweeted of her intentions, prodding Freda if she would be able to tell her in the face of all the lyrical jabs that were thrown at her. Commentators lashed out at her for the tweet, accusing her of wanting to turn the beef violent.
That act by Sista Afia could have spiraled out of control and her behaviour should be treated with all the disdain and contempt it deserves.
It is Business, Not Street Fight
For wanting to take the beef unto the streets tells of Afia’s lack of understanding and grounding when it comes to beef and diss dongs. Her decision to turn a lyrical war into fisticuff is lame and to even think that she also produced diss songs makes her move very laughable.
As compared to Freda Rhymz and Eno Barony, Sista Afia undoubtedly was enjoying appreciable buzz, more than the two before the ‘beef’ but the ‘beef’ elevated the stock for all three acts. The numbers don’t lie!
Sista Afia produced one quality tune, the Victor AD-assisted ‘Paper’. After almost 6months since its release, the music video to the song has only generated 281,450 views, whereas her two diss songs, ‘WMT’ and ‘U Got Nerves’ have chalked 152,300 after a 1 month and 176,480 in less than 3 weeks.
The buzz she has attained during this period of beefing is more than she ever got since coming into the music industry. The number of interviews she has granted and the number of critical mentions she achieved in such a short span outweighs whatever she had since her introduction to the industry.
Maybe unbeknownst to her, she won new fans during this beef but her infantile actions would not only make her lose those fanatics, but thwart the business of staying relevant with the situation. Critically for her is the fact that, she’s lost any form of ‘street credibility’, something that could go against her in the patronage of her works by fans in the future.
If Afia was heavily affected by the jabs from Freda as she is making it seem, all she had to so was channel all that angst and frustration into making another diss song.
It is simple; if she grew weary of the beef, all she had to do was move on, build on the momentum garnered with the ‘beef’ and release new material.
Women Are Emotional Beings?
As inappropriate and untoward as Sista Afia’s actions were, her defenders are using the lame excuse of emotions to justify her actions; the fact that women are emotional and not cut out for ‘beefs’.
Women are too emotional for ‘beefs’? That’s hogwash!
‘Beef’ is part of the music industry and if the trade can accommodate women then of course, it can contain them under any circumstance of feud.
The assertion of women being emotional and not cut out for ‘beef’ is also flawed, considering the fact that, almost all the spill-overs of ‘beef’s around the world have involved men.
As humans, we are emotional – there’s no exception. The music business involves guts, risk, commitment, dedication and perseverance. Critically, one needs a tough skin to shrug off all the negativity that comes with the trade.
‘Beef’ comes with almost every trait that defines the music industry, so, if do not have the mental fortitude to engage in it, don’t start or get involved.
Beef Is Good But…
As I have always maintained, ‘beef’ is a good; it generates attention, draws numbers and elevates brands. However, under no circumstance should it spiral into situations where there’s destruction to life and property. When that happens, the plot shifts from the laws of beef, to laws of the security services.
When, as an artiste, you become foolish enough to allow ‘beef’ to get the better of you, which would see you get into any physical altercation, no fan would follow you to the Police Station. No industry player would follow you to the court and none of the above would even come visit you when you are behind bars.
We only support the culture and the business, we don’t support any form of imbecility!