These days, rap beef can feel more personal and combative due to social media and the fact that MCs are finding any and every reason to compete or call each other out. While this is never a good thing, it's always been a part of hip-hop, and can actually be an entertaining, relevant, and legitimately useful tool in competition, displays of skill, and bettering each other. That is, as long as it's about the rapping, not about the drama. One of the best current examples of that is the feud between Royce Da 5'9" and Lupe Fiasco, former podcast co-hosts turned lyrical opponents. On his new song with KXNG Crooked and Benzhan, "Never the Same," the former seemed to re-spark this fire.
"I'm not here to bury the hatch, it's just I don't care to relax," Royce Da 5'9" rapped on the cut. "I don't think that Lupe's who I should spit my disparity at, I don't think Mickey Factz is who I should give a charity match." It's not a hard diss and might even be interpreted as a peace offering, but the first line paints it in a very particular context. For those unaware, he and Lupe Fiasco started beefing after some light lyrical exchanges as podcast co-hosts on The Lupe & Royce Show. However, when they scrapped the show after getting more serious about their disses, it was clear that they set their sights on dominating each other through their pen.
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Lupe Fiasco Gets Shots On New Royce Da 5'9" Verse: Listen
"You forgot the dude who about the Chi whose was locked inside," Royce Da 5'9" rapped on "Silence of the Lambda," referencing Charles "Chilly" Patton, the Chicago rapper's longtime manager who's been behind bars for a while. "Without him, you'd be dead, probably dread standing beside you, fed salmon and lied to, while the red camera disguise you. You violent but where was that for the Craig Kallmans and Kysers?" On the other hand, this is what Lupe Fiasco had for Royce on "Steve Jobs." "Listening to your track record, I could see you were skipping classics, I did it on my first one and delivered to the masses. Your songs are unmemorable, your verses are impenetrable, I ain't even listen to that diss record, I only f**k with you 'cause of your interviews."
Meanwhile, some time after the Detroit MC called Lupe a "b***h" on IG Live, he slightly backtracked. "Do I regret it?" he pondered on The Breakfast Club. "I don't know if 'regret' is the right word, but I'm not happy about saying that, 'cause I don't think he's a b***h. I don't think we should speak to each other that way, but I do understand why I said it, 'cause it was just a reaction. It was a point that [things pushed me] to, and I feel like I gave a lot of warning points. I gave a lot of lead into it, and that's me knowing myself." For the record, Royce still likes Lupe on a personal level despite not speaking since their podcast, so this seems like a purely artistic duel. For more on Royce Da 5'9" and Lupe Fiasco, check back in with HNHH.
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