Local Rappers Catch Beef, the Province’s Attention
Culture / November 24, 2015
From mean tweets to diss tracks, here’s what rap rivalries are all about
Like most 21st century drama, it all started with an impulsive and ill-conceived Twitter provocation. On Oct. 29, BC rap veteran and ex-Swollen Members vocalist Shane “Madchild” Bunting issued a tweet calling out his longtime friend and collaborator, William “Snak the Ripper” Fyvie, which read, “Snak the rippers name should be Snak the loud mouth piece of shit talking punk bitch. .. There , I got that off my chest [sic].”
The tweet was removed within minutes, but the damage had been done as someone managed to screen-cap it and sent it to Snak. Reportedly, Madchild personally called to apologize for the nasty tweet, but Snak would have none of it.
The next day, on Oct. 30, Snak the Ripper publicly released a diss track complete with a music video on YouTube called “Assisted Suicide”, in which he questioned Madchild’s commitment to sobriety following his years of drug addiction, and assailed his reputation with threatening lines like “Go delete another tweet and start praying to God / ‘Cause if I see you in the street I’m dislocatin’ your jaw.”
It took Madchild five days to reply with his own diss-track, “The Funeral”, wherein he addressed the Surrey-born Snak’s allegations of his continued drug abuse, saying “You’re a liar, angry at the world—you’re a phony. / And I ain’t touched coke in over three years so blow me.” He refuted Snak’s claims and challenged him to a public battle at King of the Dot, a battle-rap league backed by none other than Drake himself.
Snak ignored the challenge, but eagerly replied the next day on Nov. 5 with his second diss track, the not-so-subtly titled “Child Abuse”. Madchild responded for the second and final time on Nov. 9 with an audio-only track “Fatal Attraction”, where he dismissed Snak’s commitment to the beef as a publicity stunt, and warned him that if the drama continued it could result in violent clashes between both of the rappers’ affiliated crews, Madchild’s BAXWAR (Battleaxe Warriors) and Snak’s SDK (Stompdown Killaz).
Undeterred, Snak the Ripper replied the next day with a new single “Triple Homicide”, rapping “Won three rounds, the fans are bringin’ the props, / Stop acting like you still got a shot at King of the Dot. / There ain’t gon’ be no fuckin’ battle when I see you face-to-face, / You acting like you running shit so I’mma break your legs.”
Apparently content with taking the high road, Madchild replied two days later with a link to his video for “Fatal Attraction” and a brief statement that read, “New video in response to Snak. Thanks I’m happy to moving on with life.”
Calvin Tiu, better known to some by his stage name Kalvonix, is a Kwantlen-based rapper that knows a thing or two about what it means to defend your reputation in the rap game. “Because hip hop is caught between a poetical and political art form, and a multi-million dollar money machine, many rappers approach the craft with different mindsets,” says Kalvonix. “Those who still value rap as an art form take precautions on how they carry themselves, what they rap about, and who their audience is. With that in mind, reputation isn’t something to be taken lightly as a rapper. I would argue that as a rapper, your reputation is everything.”
When it comes to determining a rap victor, Kalvonix contends that, “There is definitely no sure-fire way to determine the winner of a rap beef. Personally, I think people tend to side with whichever rapper they prefer. I’d say what matters most is that both rappers involved bring their best to the table and ultimately create diss tracks that keep people talking.”
Kalvonix admits that he’d only heard of Snak the Ripper because of the beef, and believes that ultimately it will raise his profile and expose the artist to a larger fan-base. So far it seems most people have taken Snak’s side on this one, but as Kalvonix cautions, “only time will tell.”