The origin of the word “beef” in rap can be traced back to the roots of hip-hop culture in the 1970s in New York’s urban neighborhoods. Although the term has become popularized over the years, its original use had a broader meaning than simply referring to musical disputes. Mafia families of the day used the term “beef” as a general descriptor for money or territorial disputes.
The word “beef” was used in rap circles to describe any type of conflict or disagreement, whether personal, territorial or artistic. It emerged as street slang that reflected the reality of the neighborhoods where hip-hop was born, which were often plagued by tensions and rivalries. In this context, “beef” became a way to express discontent and assert identity and pride, whether through music or direct confrontations.
Rap Beefs Heated Up as Crews Got More Famous
Over time, the term “beef” became more closely associated with disputes in the musical realm. Rappers began to use it to describe rivalries and verbal confrontations between them. These “rap battles” where MC’s from rival crews took turns dissing each other through freestyle and written rhymes became a staple of hip-hop culture, with artists competing to demonstrate their lyrical skill and wit.
One of the earliest and most iconic examples of “beef” in rap was the rivalry between Bronx born rappers KRS-One and Queens native MC Shan in the 1980s. Their diss-tracks and response records pioneered the use of recorded rap music as a means of expressing conflict and competition. The beef reached its crescendo when BDP released their classic “The Bridge is Over”, which dissed MC Shan and the entire borough of Queensbridge.
Rap Beefs Have Become Marketing Vehicles
With the rise of the Internet and social media, disputes and controversies in rap have become even more visible and accessible to the public. This has generated endless expectations and close analysis of every phrase and every move.
The also called beefs have also been used as clever marketing techniques and sometimes make us doubt whether the beefs are real or not. These “mini-controversies” can help artists on both sides of the beef with record sales and social media engagement. However, some beefs can get out of hand, and progress into physical confrontations between crews.
We have a long list of legendary beefs and here are some of them. At the moment we don’t know of any beef with G13 and its artists. But who knows, maybe tomorrow some clever guy will make a diss rap about us that goes viral!
G13 Club is a private social club for medical and recreational cannabis users based in Barcelona. It is also a space for musical and artistic development that promotes a multitude of activities focused on the expression and exhibition of urban, hip hop, reggae and skate culture.