Put this Hype in your Pipe

26 Aug

Hip hop thrives on Beef, its what keeps hip hop so young and fresh and relevant, that occasional injection of passion. In Botswana it was often hillarious to hear about local hip hop beefs, if you heard about them in the first place. I for one considered the idea pointless but inevitable. The Botswana music industy is after all a very limited street corner for all these local rappers to operate their different cyphers on. In tight spaces invariably someone will tread on the next man’s toes and it can grow into… something… well into something.

The first time I paid attention to local hip hop beef was when I read the 2010 FB comment that Game Bantsi (Zeus if he has his artist swag switched on) ended with the words “…o tla nye…” I must have sniggered wondering why there were so many responses. I read through the time line (and I think I might have thrown in my two cents, probably on some pacifist/mediator/educator tip.) all the while thinking this is silly. I never really did discover exactly what Scar (Real name, Thato Mathlabaphiri) had said or done to prompt the FB comment. However when the online kerfuffle was suddenly on everyone’s lips, including on radio, I got to know that apparently there was “history” unfortunately no details on exactly what the history. That being that I looked at the situation and though, god damn! Lets make this work for us, and by “us” I meant the publication I used to edit. On the publication’s side it would have meant higher sales figures then usual, and I am certain it would have set a new circulation record. As for the supposedly beefing artists it would have meant more milage on the streets, which  would presumably translate into Pulas in their pockets. So it was win-win-win all round.

I got in touch with the subjects of the beef, (Zeus and Scar) and proposed a cover story featuring the two of them. I immediately made it clear that it was all a publicity stunt from which we could all benefit, after all it was the topic of the moment. The proposed interviews would have actually focussed on their individual achivements, and also point out their contribution to Botswana’s hip hop and music scenes. As for the beef… it wouldn’t be mentioned since it would look totally silly next to some top dogs sharing their expereinces on making a success of it.

Guess what, politricks got the better of the Scar/Zeus cover idea and it died in development… even now I am ammused that no one else seemed to have picked up on the opportunity, until now. The public’s hunger for friction is going to attract attention to some of Botswana hip hops biggest stars. I am certain everyone involved will bring out their big guns for this lyrical face off. Now… which street corner must I visit to cop some complimentary tickets… anyone?

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