How Lil Wayne and Nas’ beef low key shaped the rap game today
Let’s rewind it back to a simpler time. It’s 2006. You’re probably in middle school or high school trying to bring “Sexy Back” like Justin Timberlake or obsessed with Borat.
Jay-Z’s retirement has left a void in New York, and N.Y. MCs found themselves fighting for the crown.
50 Cent is beefing with every rapper in the Big Apple (with good reason). T.I. is claiming “King of The South,” and Lil Wayne just declared himself the “BEST RAPPER ALIVE” while Nas is leading the “hip-hop is dead” crusade.
His reasoning is because New York is the Mecca of hip-hop culture, and with NY artists beefing with each other, ‘hip-hop’ is killing itself. Think of it as your childhood home. It groomed you to be the person you are today.
Your childhood memories would be lost if your house was ever sold or washed away. Put it this way, if a rapper from the South was claiming king in an era where Southern hip-hop wasn’t as mainstream, hip-hop is dead. Due to the lack of media outlets and exposure, rappers from the South were viewed as simple, lacking substance and slow.
We are still in 2006. Lil Wayne is out to prove he is the best rapper alive. Remember, Nas is saying hip-hop is dead; even after the release of Weezy’s now critically acclaimed album, Tha Carter II. This ignites a fire in Wayne.
The disrespect that Wayne is getting from Nas is asinine. The lyrical assault displayed on C2 was flawless. Inspired, Wayne went back to the lab and dropped another classic, Dedication 2, within a 5 month span.
Nas is still not giving him the credit he deserves. The amount of classic material Lil Wayne is about to release… to this day in 2018, is still unmatched.
Wayne dropped Dedication 2, Like Father Like Son, I Can’t Feel My Face with New York artist Juelz Santana, Lil Weezy Ana, Drought 3, The Carter 3 Files, and countless features all building up to his album, Tha Carter III.
It’s 2008 and Lil Wayne is gearing up for the release of his biggest album to date. He’s not worried about the sales because Tune knows he will at sell at least a milli (y’all catch that? lol).
Weezy’s still out to prove that he is the BEST RAPPER ALIVE, and at this point, he is putting Southern hip-hop on his back. On “Dr. Carter” he proves it. In the track “Gossip” he says,
“Stop, analyzing, criticizing, you should realize who I am and start epitomizing”
“Dr. Carter” is a lyrical onslaught full of subliminal shots to Nas that would change the landscape of the rap game forever. What “Dr. Carter” is doing is pulling the plug on New York hip-hop and bringing the crown to the South.
In 2007, at the BET Hip-Hop Awards Wayne performed “Gossip”. Responding to Nas telling him that he’s the best rapper in the game and he doesn’t care about his props. In 2008 he would change the rap game forever. Once again to quote the track,
“You don’t have to pick me to win the title fight, but I’m a wear that championship belt so tight.”
It took years for Nas to make “Hip-Hop is Dead” and it took Wayne two years to craft the perfect song to respond. The first verse on “Dr. Carter” addresses concepts and originality.
When Nas dropped “Hip-Hop is Dead” he did it as a concept. It was his campaign to help him sell records.
Wayne sees this as Nas lacking originality and conceptual ideas that actually push the culture forward. Tunechi is mocking Nas because his music isn’t popping and is ridiculing Nas because he only has one style while Wayne has several.
“All I need is ONE MIC” (one of Nas’ best songs) All I need is one take, like hey brighter than a sun ray, gotta pistol on the playground watch the gunplay”
This is a direct diss to Nas. In Nas’ song, “I Gave You Power”, he compared himself to a gun.
Lil Wayne is saying that he’s that much smarter than Nas and he’s essentially playing with him like a kid. Nas sees what Wayne is doing, but won’t acknowledge him as one of the best. Wayne understands this and that is why he is dissing him so effortlessly.
Displaying that, when it comes to rap, he’s that much better than Nas, Wayne goes on to explain to the world not to be like Nas, but to be yourself.
Weezy also says “gotta work everyday, gotta not be cliche….gotta have faith,” he understands that’s cliche and that’s why the first verse ends with a flat line because he was telling you what society tells you to get you motivated. It’s an extended double entendre. Be yourself and you’ll always win. On “Dr. Carter” he says,
“So I stopped writing, Now I’m like lighting and you ain’t Vince Young so don’t clash with the Titan.”
In the second verse it’s all about respect. When Nas said hip-hop is dead, it was disrespectful to the rap game and to Wayne personally.
Weezy is not tripping anymore because he knows Nas’ career is dying off. Nas also criticizes rappers for using other rappers rhymes. Most notably, he’s criticized Jay-Z for biting lyrics.
Jay-Z said when he uses a Biggie line, it’s to embrace his legacy. This second verse is used to pay his respects to Kanye, Jeezy, and Swizz Beats. Nas made a career off rapping over samples to criticize the use of others work in your own work is hypocritical.
That is what Weezy aims to show Nas. He also says Nas can’t battle Wayne bar for bar because he couldn’t keep up and that’s why his career is dying. So Lil Wayne gives Nas a Vicodin, tells him to relax and watch how easy it is for him to run the rap game, killing his career in the process.
In the last verse, Wayne brings it home with his own unique style. His swag and confidence on the track brings his words to life to the point that you can see it vividly. The rap game is alive through him.
If it wasn’t for Wayne’s hard work and sacrifices, there wouldn’t be Future, 2 Chainz, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, Drake or Lil Yachty, Kodak Black and many more of your new favorite artists.
Not only did he diss Nas, but he dissed Nas while birthing a whole new era of hip-hop.
Lil Wayne is the real reason why the South continues to run the rap game today.
Peep the original article on The Speez Channel.