You can knock Twitter for a lot of things—letting Neo-Nazis harass folks while banning those who fight back being chief among them—but a particularly stodgy corner of rap fandom doesn't care about all of that. No, their grudge is that rappers resolve beef/beeves through subtweets rather than #barz. As per usual, Lupe Fiasco has arrived, like the legendary feudal Japanese thief Ishikawa Goemon, to save the day for these heads, engaging in a war of rhymes this week with battle-rapper Daylyt a.k.a. the guy who once very seriously speculated that Lil Uzi Vert and Wiz Khalifa were planning to kill God.
The battle is mostly for sport, but it delighted that "real rap" segment of the online world thoroughly, mainly because they don't get out much and need things like this to entertain them. But just how real is it? Is Lupe actually realer than Daylyt? Does any of this matter? Let's find out, bar-by-bar. (Shouts out to HotNewHipHop for the screencaps)
Here's the initial response from Daylyt, clapping back at a tweet where Lupe bragged about his intelligence. "Throwing shape objects" is good because it seems vague at first, but research reveals that Daylyt is possibly referring to the modifiable objects in various Microsoft Office apps. Combine that with "Behind you is whole art." WordArt, perhaps? Daylyt is definitely dissing Lupe by saying that he's running on Windows 98 while he is likely something closer to Windows 10. Clever and nerdy. RealRapScore: 8/10
"Sun Zoo/Sun Tzu".... Sure, but what on earth is a sun zoo? Lupe is drawing upon his comic book and anime background to craft fictional worlds for this battle. Impressive. The Andy Halls reference is to an Englishman, not an American, which makes it less "real rap." But "LARP sword" helps bring it back even if no one uses actual swords in LARPing. "Swords" is just a very hip-hop word because of Wu-Tang, even though that group's name has been tainted in recent years. RealRapScore 7/10
Daylyt's back with a vengeance. He explains his pun, the most "real rap" thing you can do. Also, reinforcing traditional gender roles with that slightly homophobicTony Stark line! Double points in realness! This is so real that my laptop spontaneously birthed a Walkman and Timbs. My beautiful children, I shall treasure them so. RealRapScore 11/10
Speak of the devil (or Lil Uzi Vert), here are the Timbs. Lupe gets points automatically. Never before has anyone attempted to make a triple entendre out of One Tree Hill, so props for the effort. It's fine, I guess. It's fine. RealRapScore: WhoFuckingCares/10
There's more, but you get the picture. Is a rap beef better when it's two dweebs exchanging misspelt bars on a platform? For some, yeah. Is there less wordplay and cleverness these days in rap? Yes, if you're not looking hard enough. Is this battle ultimately kind of silly because it's happening on Twitter, which is not even close to real life in any sense (also they can google references)? ...Yes. Above all, is real hip-hop dead? Meh. Real hip-hop's whatever you want it to be, dudes. If it's Lil Pump rattling off monotone chants for 90 seconds or these nerds going at it cause they're bored, it's all real hip-hop.
Phil is on Twitter.