Fast rising Cameroonian rappers, Young Holiday and Boy TAG have been on the media spotlight recently following a Facebook post by Young Holiday last May 29th.
In the said Facebook post, Young Holiday invited Boy TAG for a rap battle which he turned down giving a couple of reasons. I’m not too rap inclined but I’ve followed content relating to rap battles etc. and I think the whole approach by both artists is an insult to this long time tradition that goes back to the early 70s.
No doubt, these two are amongst the best currently in the rap game, looking at work put out to the public, content and concept, lyrics, branding etc. But I’m a little disappointed that the battle that could be legendary was belittled to end in a Facebook comment thread as though recording studios no longer have microphones.
Fortunately or Unfortunately, Boy Tag turned the request down saying that he is signed to a label, he is acting professional and thinking money at this stage of his career etc. The ‘signed to a label’ part can be understood as some labels can lock artists not to release any studio performance or sing anywhere without permission; but on the part of the money, just like Young Holiday said, the various tracks could still be put for sale and benefit both artists.
Just to take you back to the history of rap battles as I’ve read some content about it; In 1981, Busy Bee Starski during a Christmas celebration did a freestyle and shit-talked about many artists, little did he know that one of the artists he named, Kool Moe Dee was in same venue who later took the stage and delivered a freestyle response which became one of the most famous moments in rap battle history.
This is to tell you that the whole idea of Hip Hop has always been on ground, on the field or face to face if possible. If rappers are now using Facebook posts and comments threads to battle and explain to each other what ought to be or not, then we can start listing many rappers around here who have that talent.
What I’m saying is that the genesis of a rap battle is through a track, Freestyle or studio release that could engage the audience and see fans of the other artist call him to drop a reply. Many people use Facebook nowadays for popularity and publicity stunts and I will not like to say this is the case here, but don’t blame someone who thinks in that direction.
I remember Askia dropped a song/freestyle a few months ago and she asked other rappers to challenge her on same beats. We saw other rappers, including Young Holiday jump on the challenge and it was very entertaining and provided good content and engagement among them artists, the media and audience. Though other rappers took it as an opportunity for them to insult Askia, the history of these battles have seen rappers fight, insult, diss etc., so it’s not strange.
Nutshell, we need that content and engagement to be gotten from songs and not through Facebook posts and engagements. I’m looking forward to consume and enjoy such content that will help release this stress of being referred to as a “Cameroonian” and/or living in Cameroon.