when rap turns entirely to ego

when rap turns entirely to ego
when rap turns entirely to ego

The use of a scapegoat is one of the primordial rites of humanity. We find a first written trace in Leviticus, where God commands the prophet Aaron to place his two hands on a goat, to confess the sins of his tribe, then to send the animal into the desert. Over the centuries and in all cultures, the philosopher argued [français] René Girard, peoples at war resolved conflicts by agreeing to collectively place the blame on an expiatory victim – a disgusting and unjust decision, but above all cathartic.

Perhaps this tradition explains why it is so satisfying to see two of the most important musicians of the 21st century tear each other apart.e century, Drake and Kendrick Lamar. The rappers’ quarrel which has attracted general attention for several weeks has been emptied with songs full of twists and turns, full of very 2020s references – to Ozempic, to disinformation, to AI, to Taylor Swift, to elite pedophile networks.

Bursts of insults interspersed

These two superstars leveled accusations so venomous that the cancellation [“ostracisation”, “effacement”], the punishment in vogue today for the misdeeds of celebrities, hardly seems sufficient. So far, the consensus is that Lamar has “won” this war – but if that’s the case, what really matters is Drake’s defeat. We are witnessing the modern implementation of an ancient rite, the desecration of an individual for the moral purification of the masses.

The conflict arose from what seems in hindsight an idle question: Who is the greatest rapper? A J. Cole verse on a Drake song last fall posited that he, Drake and Lamar were the “big three” hip-hop. At the start of the year, Lamar fought back. “There is only one big one and it’s me”, he rapped in an angry tone. Cole issued a response, then quickly recanted, but Drake took Lamar’s bait, and the two men began trading insults in succession. More than eight songs followed – as well as an interlude! – in less than a month. The question of who was the better rapper gave way to a deeper debate about hip-hop, masculinity, and nothing less than the nature of evil.

Fighting is older than rap, but this showdown is new in its scale and velocity. When Jay-Z and Nas feuded in the early 2000s, they did so at a time when rap wasn’t quite synonymous with pop. But in today’s fractured music ecosystem, Drake, 37, thirteen times ranked No. 1 in Billboard Hot 100, and Lamar, 36, the only rapper to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, has made a name for himself like few rappers before them.

The yin and yang of popular rap

The most consequential rap clash that has ever happened before, the one between Biggie and Tupac [ce dernier a été assassiné le 13 septembre 1996]has been bubbling for months and manifested itself in physical releases [de CD]broadcasts on local radios and direct clashes.

Drake and Lamar, for their part, use digital technologies to record songs all the time, broadcast them instantly around the planet and feed an entire universe teeming with commentators, remixers, fans, haters [“détracteurs haineux”] and voyeurs.

This global audience has been prepared for the confrontation for a long time. Since the early 2010s, Drake and Lamar have reigned like the yin and yang of popular rap: the entertainer e



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