Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More than beef at stake behind BET Hip-Hop Awards' brawls

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Presidential campaign heating up on eve of first debate? Ehh. Al-Qaeda terrorists on the rebound in Afghanistan? Yaaaawn. Iran and Israel's escalating war of words over nuclear attainment? Boooriiing. All of that pales in comparison to rappers beefing at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

Yes yes, y'all. Rap reached old levels of absurdity last weekend when two melees broke out at the Atlanta Civic Center taping of the BET Hip-Hop Awards. It was like the ’95 Source Awards or the 2004 Vibe Awards or the 2008 Ozone Awards all over again. Chalk it up to music business politics.

By now you've heard all about it, watched the grainy Blair Witch-style video footage, probably even made predictions (i.e. bets) on the final outcome. As it's been widely reported, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross's entourages almost got into backstage fisticuffs (footage above). A lot of noise was made. Police had to restore the order. A mirror was shattered in the process. (That's seven more years of bad luck in case anyone's counting.)

Meanwhile, in the parking lot of the Civic Center, Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group signee/resident wild boy, Gunplay, got jumped by members of 50 Cent's crew. It was a World Star moment, according to the cameraman:

To the networks credit, BET released a statement criticizing those who participated. The brawls are mostly attributed to long-standing beefs between both crews: Jeezy and Ross haven't been on good terms since Ross rapped about his BMF-sized delusions of grandeur ("I think I'm Big Meech!") in the song "Blowin' Money Fast." (The irony being that Ross, a former correctional officer turned pop rapper, successfully appropriated the street cred of one of the most criminal drug syndicates in recent history (that's BMF) while it's mythical figure of a leader (that's Big Meech) sat in a cell where he continues to serve 30 years for doing exactly what rappers purport to do in their raps.) The song didn't sit well with Jeezy, who probably felt that Ross was encroaching on his turf. Nevermind the fact that Jeezy — who actually was affiliated with Big Meech and other Atlanta-based BMF members — had lyrically distanced himself from the crew in recent years in order to avoid getting his own ass in a legal sling.

Then there's Ross and Fiddy, whose beef goes back to — actually, who can remember what the hell they started beefing about? It was probably just a case of 50 Cent being mad because Ross was hotter at the time. But things quickly escalated to new levels of nastiness when Fiddy released a porno featuring one of Ross's baby's mamas as Fiddy narrated the wackness. So Ross's artist Gunplay pretty much got caught in some stale crossfire — the beef was presumed long dead since Ross has been killing the charts.

Meanwhile, a kinder, gentler 50 recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey where he apologized to the Couch Queen for naming his bitch Oprah. But the most interesting part of his interview with O came when Curtis Jackson let down his 50 Cent mask and talked about the dysfunctional mentality that fuels his hip-hop success and the weariness that comes with playing the role. He also admitted to outgrowing his own fanbase as he continues to segue into bigger business moves. At this point in his career, Curtis' 50 Cent character is just that — a thug portrayal that enables him to stay plugged into his original audience demographic. So where was the Deepak Chopra-quoting, Oprah-loving 50 Cent Saturday at the BET HHA taping? Getting his hustle on, no doubt.

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