The rap game is often rampant with drama as musicians with big egos and erratic personalities slam each other with disses. These disses go far back.
For rap, the music genre that was first popularised in the United States of America (USA) subliminal disses date back to the mid 1980s, the Golden Age of hip hop when Rakim and Big Daddy still ruled.
The 1990s Hip Hop spotlight was filled with Biggie’s coastal beef with Tupac and then came other subliminal disses from giants such as Jay Z, Nas and Puff Daddy (before he became P Diddy).
Now in Botswana’s hip hop scene new rappers are taking obvious shots at others without directly dropping any names.
The rap game is often perceived as warfare because rappers use their lyrical power to take on, immobilise and eventually beat their opponents.
Most of these rappers take shots at others to get fans and publicity.
For new rapper Ted Phaphane also known as Ozi F Teddy, his method is simple.
He fires shots that may not be aimed directly at anyone, but the lyrical bullet may hit all rappers. He recently posted a controversial Facebook status that attracted criticism from the local hip hop community.
The Facebook post aimed at all Botswana rappers and it read, “BW rappers are boring, they only entertain themselves”.
It was not the first time Ozi F Teddy pulled such a stunt. Last year he posted on Facebook citing that “local music is trash”.
His latest post has attracted mixed views from some rappers and fans alike expressing their anger through comments, while those in support of the upcoming musician argue that he has the right to express his views.
Seasoned rapper Scar said he was not aware of such posts because he “never takes these things seriously because they happen in the social networks”.
He said: “I have never been a bad publicity guy and for me it is always about the music reaching out to my people”.
Scar, however, warned rappers to always be careful about their sentiments, saying that whatever they say, there is no turning back.
Another veteran rapper, Kast said he has nothing against bad publicity, but hates it when rappers step on other people’s toes. He said he was aware of Ozi’s post because people tagged him on it.
“I untagged myself from the post and I didn’t respond because that is what he wants (response),” he said.
Kast said Ozi would feel big if people talk about him therefore, he cannot scold him.
For ATI who cited Ozi as a personal friend, he said bad publicity is good for business, but he does not entertain insults and disses.
“It’s a formula that has been used by many others who came before us therefore, he may do what he has to do,” he said.
ATI said it all boils down to personality and therefore, rappers should play a good role in the society.
Ozi and his manager Thapelo Tshimo defended the post.
Tshimo is adamant his client’s comments were not targeted at any particular individual nor were they bordering on arrogance.
“He is one of the most promising local rappers. He knows his game and some people cannot accept that. Because the fans know he is good his competitors are afraid he could influence public opinion, but there is nothing wrong with what he said,” Tshimo told Showbiz.
Ozi said he was real with his Facebook post contrary to other people’s views that he is a desperate attention seeker.
“I have a new single that is doing very well with over 12,000 downloads so why should I try to use that to have people consider me? I have realised that people responded differently to my post and there is nothing wrong because just like I was expressing my opinion they are also entitled to their opinions. What I posted is true. Local rappers are doing the same thing and unless they take my criticism positively the genre will be headed for a dead end,” Ozi said.