The Bay Area hip hop scene has had its share of beef, too -- it birthed Tupac, after all, one of the great sacrifices of rap feuding. Last year Vallejo rapper Mac Dre was gunned down in Kansas City, and further murders have taken place in retaliation for the killing, which remains unsolved.
For the most part, however, local hip hop cats get along well with one another, and we'd like to encourage that as much as possible. To that end, we've come up with a couple of nonviolent rap feuds for our local cognoscenti of MCs to engage in with their peers. You know, for when it inevitably comes time for such a thing.
I Challenge You To: A Battle With Gravity!
S.F. rapper JT the Bigga Figga has had a record label called Getlow for many years, but Atlanta's Ying Yang Twins are now associated with the phrase thanks to their hit "Get Low," and New York's Memphis Bleek started another label called Get Low. This is a beef that must be settled. Gentlemen, it's time to ask yourself: How low can you go?
I Challenge You To: A Freestyle in Jesus' Name!
East Bay resident MC Hammer has a television ministry these days but has been popping up on the comeback trail through various televised award shows (the BET Awards, VH1's Hip Hop Honors) and on local remixes such as "It's Gettin' Hot" from Oakland's the Team. We'd love to see him challenge Harlem rapper Ma$e, who flirted with priesthood before joining forces with 50 Cent and G-Unit, to a duel of rhyming sermons, wherein the Rev. Run from Run-D.M.C. can man the decks. Biblical names like John and Luke should make for easy rhyme fodder. Leviticus, not so much.
I Challenge You To: A Game of Boggle!
The Bay Area's rap slang is regularly exported and plagiarized, and our best recent contribution is "hyphy," a composite of "hyper" and "fly." Like Hanukkah, hyphy's spelling is contested almost as much as its meaning. Fairfield's Federation has an anthem called "Hyphy," while Oakland's Keak Da Sneak has "Super Hyphie." Things are about to really heat up in '06 when Federation drops "Super Dooper Extra Mega Hyphy" and Keak counters with "Really Really Very Much Quite Hyphie." Before things get ugly, SF Weekly is hosting a deciding game of Boggle between the two camps. Russell Simmons and Al Sharpton will be on hand to supervise.