Egos should be checked right before the arrogant thoughts leave their heads. Unity within the music business isn’t really prominent. Everyone has their cliques and entourages but there is no affiliation with other successful musicians. Respect is hardly given. Of course music is ego-driven; ego is shown through award shows and the artist themselves. But the egos have lead to the greatest collaborations and the nastiest rivalries! The most recent rivalry is between new school rappers Wale and Kid Cudi.
Who knows where this beef stems from but it seems as if arrogance is a major part of it. On one side there is Wale, a D.C. native, whom through tweets complains about not getting enough recognition in the radio market and through his mixtapes brags about being the best new school rapper out there. On the other side is Kid Cudi hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, whose style is totally different from Wale but seems to hold his own. In a recent interview he egotistically confronts and disses Wale by calling him a “simple a** rapper.” This beef was bought to the forefront by Wale but it seemed to fly under the radar. Off Wale’s mixtape, More About Nothing the first verse of the song, “Numbers Won” talks about the strained relationship between him and Cudi. He raps, “I lost my connection with a brethren/athlete mentality said f**k my competition/me and him was homies/maybe we still cool/but every time we book/we stay in our green room.” This makes you think can rappers or other genre musicians really be friends or are they bred to be enemies.
There are so many failed relationships whether business or personal in the music business. A prime example is G-Unit, the group consisted of 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck and The Game. Through riffs and differences the latter two have since been disassociated from the group. This exemplifies the term frienemies, friends one moment becoming bitter enemies the next. R. Kelly and Jay-Z went through a similar disagreement. We had two musical geniuses collaborating on albums to them not being able to share the same stage.
The ego, according to psychologist Sigmund Freud, represents what may be called reason and common sense. Implementing the ego into music has been going on for the longest time but in the last decade, arrogance has become synonymous. Combining the ego with arrogance has formed a super-ego. The new definition of the super-ego differs from Freud’s. His definition says that the super-ego is the police of the personality whereas the new definition takes that of Freud defining the id. According to Freud, the id is the pleasure principle, it is selfish and “doesn’t care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction.” So these new school rappers are obviously driven by their pleasure principle. And the fact that most of them are super sensitive.
The introduction to Jim Jones’ song with the similar title pretty much sums up what a frenemy is. Talking over the instrumental he says, “This sh** is f**ked up cause/some n— call it tough love/it’s crazy cause/you might know a n— all your life/and he got a twisted ulterior motive/and he just want to see you do bad/see a smile on your face all day/so he just acting like your friend/when he is really your enemy/or your best friend can become your enemy/through the jealousy/so we call those frienemies.”
Who can you trust? Is the person that you’re the most closest to, going to betray you? Can there really be friendly competition? Decide who you’re going to allow in your circle and who is going to be loyal. The point is business and pleasure do not always mix and the outcome is unstable. Only the strongest relationships will survive the bumps and bruises. Betrayal is not an option in a loyal friendship.
“Friend or foe/who you with?”
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