OPINION: Are rap beefs a distraction?

The internet is distracted by beef that is been left unanswered. Photo Illustration by Gillian Palacios / el Don

The internet has been obsessed with the rap beef between two award-winning rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar. While everyone online is fixated on this feud, posts concerning the upcoming election, human rights, and wars overseas have “spontaneously” stopped trending. 

In the age of internet activism, we have seen this trend again and again, considering the rise and fall of movements like #blacklivesmatter, #georgefloyd and #stopasianhate. The trend to stand up for strongly held beliefs on social media has become more of a social status party, where people want to feel included more than they care about finding solutions to problems.

Lawmakers probably pick up on this, interpreting people’s outrage as mere virtue signaling. And maybe they’re right. Because the second a famous rapper throws shade at another one, we forget all about the problems at hand — you know, the ones that we cared so much about. The second another banger hits the radio, we stop hearing about all the important policies that need to change. 

In this younger generation, we have a disconnect between people’s beliefs and actions. Specifically, when we talk about peaceful protests, we riot in the same communities that we live in. We loot small businesses, mom and pop’s, making local problems out of global disasters. 

We saw this in 2020, during the George Floyd protests when media outlets went from actually covering the global issues to blue lives matter, to then posting tik tok challenges of people walking on crates and dancing in place to Drake’s Toosie Slide, Doja Cat’s Say So, and whatever other records took the place of the challenges at hand. 

READ MORE:  The war on TikTok

We are a generation focused on problems and drama and miss the opportunity to make effective change. It’s a trending cycle after every significant social injustice: a new celebrity war replaces the previous heart-wrenching headlines.

Currently, we see this in the multisong rap battle, Drake vs Kendrick, within a week all the news coverage of the student encampments disappeared from the timeline to argue whose bars were the hardest. Previously we’ve seen Tory Lanez vs Megan the Stallion, Nicki Minaj vs Cardi B, and many other artists’ personal problems become national headlines amidst the global crisis. 

If this cycle continues when our generation steps into leadership, authority, and government roles. We will be blinded by whatever distraction is hottest and forget all the problems we rally about now. It’s time now to stand united against all distractions – foreign, domestic, and digital.

1 Comment

  • Fernando Deveras

    Dr. Cornel West calls these elements of our society “Weapons of Mass Distraction.” We can’t let these hyper-sensationalized cultural moments distract us from issues that truly matter… That said, I say Kendrick buried Drake.

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