Rap is a competitive genre and at times bloody. If you are a rapper prepare for war since beef is never inevitable. Beef builds and ends careers depending on how one handles it. Smart acts capitalize on beef, score points and go as far as wooing fans from the rival camps.
Among many reasons, rappers create feuds over egos, betrayal, relationships or even over a name.
Lomwe vs. Tay Grin is probably the most highly publicized beef in Malawi. Lomwe claimed Tay Grin stole his song at the studio which he originally did with his former FM 101 Power colleague Mphatso Chikalipo.
Lomwe went on to record a Tay Grin diss mixtape which had songs like “Rumours of War”, “u dont want it” and “Death of Gule”. Tay Grin never did a straight reply but subliminal shots were heard in songs like “Beasting” featuring Tumi, Zubz and Naseela and “All the way” feat Sonye.
The battle of egos was probably Jolly Bro vs. Phyzix. This was the period when Blantyres Jolly Bro and Lilongwes Phyzix were both big. It was a question of who really ride or die for their city.
Both artists released songs throwing jabs at each other. Many believed this beef could have gone bloody because both artists had street credibility.
Soon after a 2014 successful Genii, D1 and Third Eye collabo on “The moment”, Genni Black released “Dats dat heat” which had some lines that did not impress Third Eye. In the song, Genii raps, “with all respect, am never D1 or Third, if I’m the One I can’t be second to Third”.
Third Eye went on to rant on social media and recorded his response “Genii Wack”. Genii Black challenged Third Eye to a rap battle but Third Eye demanded K1 million upfront saying he doesnt battle for free.
Around 2005 and 2006, NIC was hired by FM 101 Power as a Sprite Hip Hop show and Hip Hop Drill host. Real Elements accused NIC for being selfish. Real Elements claimed NIC was only playing his and his friends music. They faced each other in a battle which was live on Power 101 radio.
The Basements Cyclone and Pittie Boys Cyclone had a feud over rap name. No specific songs were released but subliminal shots were fired in either group or solo projects. The feud died when both rappers went silent.
Another heated feud between Gwamba and Third Eye ensued around 2017-2018. The rappers were at loggerheads, exposing each other on social media after a Soul Label Entertainment deal went sour.
Below are some notable Rap Beefs in Malawi;
N.I.C vs. Real Elements
NIC was hired by FM 101 Power as a Sprite Hip Hop show and Hip Hop Drill host. Real Elements accused NIC for being selfish arrogant. Real Elements claimed NIC was only playing his, and his hommies music on the radio shows. They faced each other in a battle which was live on radio.
Gwamba vs. Slessor and Tanaposi
This beef has been dragging for years before Slessor and Gwamba blew up. Tanaposi was already an established rapper with hits like “Kuzimva Juice”. HB records, a label which Tanaposi and Slessor belonged to had a tagline which said “I work hard, I work really really hard”. Apparently, Gwamba fired some subliminal lines dissing the tagline. Since Tanaposi disappeared on the scene, Slessor and Gwamba have been at each others throat.
Gwamba vs. Dizzo
This was a fight for supremacy in Lilongwe. The then up and coming rapper Gwamba traded jabs with producer/rapper Dizzo. Gwamba did a song “Mmesa” with Krazie G in which the then new kids on the block were questioning why some rappers had so many mixtapes and songs but havent blown up yet. Apparently, the subliminal shots were aimed at Dominant One, Third Eye and Dizzo. Dominant and Third Eye never replied, however Dizzo went on to record “Break a few hearts”. The beef was later quashed.
Soul Rebel Entertainment vs. Trap Squad
Rap beef between Blantyre outfit Trap Squad and Lilongwe rivals Soul Rebel Entertainment artists reached a fever pitch when it almost escalated to a scuffle at 2015 UMP festival. Members from both crews had been attacking each other on social media. No specific songs have been released and no one knows what really started the beef. Prior to the UMP festival, Gwamba tweeted “All this bullshit ends tomorrow” And Revolver replied, “F*ck subtweeting, ticheza mawa ngati mukutifuna. And i’ll be in 25 next weekend, we can take it there”
Revolver vs. Pop Dogg
It all started after some blogs went viral with news that the Ireland based Pop Dogg would be shooting his next video in Dublin City. Revolver criticized the media for giving Pop Dogg massive coverage. He went on to address Pop Doggs pass in the Mdub industry by questioning his citizenship. Revolver ranted on twitter, “How the hell is pop dogg still getting media coverage in malawi? First, he aint even a malawian citizen”. “And even if he was, his music is still garbage. Kodi amalawi timatengeka tikangomva kuti munthu ali kunja bwanji, we aint proud of our own?” Pop Dogg replied, “Hey dude, I hear you are an artist in Malawi unfortunately I never heard of you till you shade status. “If you focus on your music like the likes of Gwamba your name will be popping outside.”
The Basement vs. Phyzix
The Basement was launching their “Talk of the Town” album at the then French Cultural Center in Blantyre. Phyzix was scheduled to perform but due reasons beyond the organizers control, he failed to perform. Having travelled from Lilongwe to Blantyre for a no-show, the Lilongwe based “Gamba” got furious. No songs were released but there was tension between the two acts which were at their peak in mid 2000s.