Desmond Smalley | Contributing Writer
Underground rapper Action Bronson dissed rap legend Ghostface Killah on his relevance to the industry. Action Bronson, a native of Queens, New York is considered one of the most popular underground rappers. He is known for his hilarious, and impulsive wordplay. While his lyrical technique is creative, his flow is flawed.
Almost everyone who hears him immediately prompts listeners of the sound of Ghostface Killah, the mid 40’s Wu-tang assassin who is one of the most acclaimed rappers in the genre’s history.
Since Bronson’s scaling at the beginning of the decade, the two have managed to coincide peacefully. When asked about the apparent similarities, Bronson tends to dismiss the comparisons but paid homage, making Ghostface more prone to feel flattered than disrespected. However, this week the pairs’ relationship went to dumps, following Bronson’s appearance on the ESPN show SportsNation.
When asked about Ghostface, Bronson went off script: “He’s not rapping like this no more,” he said, adding that Ghostface “needs something” – seeming to imply that he is no longer relevant. This was unquestionably bad form. Lyrically motivated New York MCs are, even more than other rappers, expected to maintain respect for those who came before them. Especially true if you’re white (Eminem for example, consistently shouted out those who inspired him).
Sure, Bronson has been more of a critic’s darling than Ghost in recent years. But his collection can’t compare with his Wu-Tang predecessor’s, and even today Ghostface has by no means fallen off.
Bronson’s insults inspired an epic, six-minute rebuttal from Ghostface , in which he told his side of the story, alongside threatening Bronson’s life in a number of ways. “Don’t let me hang you from a rope and gut you like a pig,” he said at one point, also threatening to set Bronson’s beard on fire.
Although Ghostface didn’t break into rhyme, it was a glorious hip-hop performance nonetheless. Discoursing over the Teddy Pendergrass’ song “Be For Real”, he at times paused to let the chorus sink in, making the case that Bronson was a “fraud,” and which the gray sweat pants he wore, held up, near his crotch, with his left hand, escalated the tension.
Following Ghostface menacing video, he called Bronson, asserting to make things right. Bronson took it back to Twitter, praising Ghostface as an “idol,” whose tweets were shortly deleted after. This inspired Ghost’s public wrath, with him ensuring that he maintains contacts in all 50 states “that’ll do disappearing acts on mother f***rs for nothing.” Bronson quickly put up a sequence of apologetic tweets, stating: “ When your wrong ur wrong and I was wrong. I apologized for the comments. I’ll always be a stand up human. Much love.” His feed since then has shown the desire to put the incident behind him.
It is certainly never positive when real-life violence is present. But in this case it seems likely that Ghost was only sending a message. No one faults Ghostface for clapping back as he did, in fact, doing it the most classic Wu-Tang style imaginable. For the sake of hip-hop, one hopes that Action Bronson and Ghostface will follow course and settle this beef as it should be – through the lyrics.