Sun. Apr 14th, 2019

Cold war fun as DJs, rappers clash

’MAPALO NKHELOANE

MASERU – Local rappers Nirex and Rifle ThreeShotz have descended into a war of words on Facebook with Pablo DJ, effectively re-ignited long-standing but dormant beef between rappers and DJ.

Earlier this month a well-known local turntablist Pablo DJ, apparently irked by local rappers’ attitude, went to his Facebook timeline to post a piece of advice to the rhymers whom he regards as colleagues.

“Local rappers! Let me tell you the truth why DJs seem to get more bookings. Their attitude towards their work says it all. Well, not every DJ has that go getter attitude. DJ’s do not have States (United States of America) artiste’s ego yet they live in Lesotho. If it is time to work, they work. Well, there are some who have mood swings like women and easily get annoyed,” Pablo wrote on Facebook.

“Yet you… you want to be treated like kings, be offered Hennessey, cigars, ladies, and be given towels to wipe sweat as you perform. You even end up telling the person behind the sound system that he is messing up your music with poor quality music system…

“Ego and attitude of some of you does not encourage people to work with you. You like to complain. A promoter cannot afford to deal with crying babies and the event at the same time. We need each other, we are in the same industry therefore stop acting as if you are in America,” he added.

People loved this post. By last Tuesday afternoon, the post had been liked by 454 people, shared on Facebook by 40 people and attracted 187 comments. However, the “advice” did not go down well with some of the intended recipients – local rappers. Facebook then went up in flames. Rappers and DJs started trading barbs over who was more important in the industry.

Renowned rapper, Nirex, is one of the rappers who did not take Pablo’s post lying down. Nirex went on a spree and wrote on his own timeline that he “honestly” does not understand why a mere local DJ could coach rappers about their craft while his job “is just to download music for free, load them up on decks and synchronise them”. He emphasised that producing music, especially quality music that people would enjoy, is no child’s play.

Nirex said you cannot compare “how am I going to make a song, can I perform it and entertain people?(sic)” to “when should I play these international songs I have on my flash or burned on a Princo CD”? “Performing live is one of the hardest things for a rapper to do, especially for someone who gets unbearably anxious in front of crowds like me. You are going to compare that to pressing play? Playing songs people already like? Songs we see all the time on TV! That people already have in their phones?

“DJs are getting gigs, no doubt, for some reason going to shows to watch DJs is what has been hot for a while, no one is fighting you or throwing shade on your profession, just eat and keep your mouth closed when you chew,” Nirex wrote.

He continued to say that a DJ can be booked all year round and that is because new music is always coming out and therefore all a DJ has got to do is download. Nirex indicated that DJs are entirely dependent on creators to create music but “a rapper has to make music, be a good performer and be relevant at the time to get booked”.

Another rapper, Rifle ThreeShotz also wrote on Facebook that: “DJs are now motivational speakers. Now everyone knows why local hip hop ain’t blowing up. Fans, slay queen, rappers, photographers want to be DJs of late. Might as well tell the Prime Minister to be a DJ. Y’all DJs got people in the mix yeah!” However, another popular rapper T-Mech (real name Thulo Monyake) of the Magic In Progress (MIP) seemed to take heed of Pablo’s advice.

“Many of us already are not selling our music so why not just hand the DJs two or three songs released or unreleased, have them play during their sets if and when the DJ feels like he or she is ready or comfortable.

“Why not collaborate with a DJs so you are guaranteed airplay when they are booked everywhere and possibly roll through to perform with?” T-Mech. When contacted by Public Eye this week, Nirex said he did not appreciate the tone in which Pablo addressed the whole matter. He said rappers are not that unprofessional to the extent of stooping as low as demanding ridiculous things when booked.

Nirex said it was unfair for Pablo to make it seem like all rappers are like that because that is what people took from his status. Pablo had however emphasised in his post that he did not mean all rappers behave the same. But Nirex insisted that the status made rappers look bad to both fans and promoters.

He said: “If he was trying to offer advice, I do not think it was necessary to call rappers cry-babies or to say things like ‘this is not the States’. He could have worded his status better.

“To me it sounded like an attack on all rappers so I decided to share my two cents. Some DJs have an attitude as well but I have never seen a rapper attack a DJ or even belittle their work on social media, it is always the other way round.”

Nirex further indicated that he felt Pablo was also being boastful while also making it seem like DJs work more than rappers “hence I pointed out on my status that a rapper’s job is actually harder than a DJ’s”.

“I mean, how do you tell rappers their music is low quality when you have never made a high-quality song yourself as someone in the music industry? “I agree with him that the reason why DJs get more bookings than rappers is because of their attitude. It is true to some extent. As someone who has been in the music industry for a while now I know for a fact bookings are done according to relationships more than the actual work; promoters book their friends,” Nirex told Public Eye.

Music fanatics also had an input on the matter. Some emphasised that Hip Hop artists also get bookings but they never go out of their way to brag about it. They went as far as giving an example about Jiji F’s appearance on South African soapie Rhythm City performing a song he worked on with Nirex; emphasising that neither Jiji F nor Nirex came and claimed that DJs do not know their job.

A lot of shade was thrown and a lot of feelings were caught. Some fans went as far as dishing up comments like ‘DJs come cheap’. They say sometimes it takes just a six pack of alcohol to book a DJ. Nirex, however, also told Public Eye he would really like to see DJs and rappers do more collaborative work rather than everyone just doing their own thing.

He also says he hopes a day will come when fans show as much interest in the music local artistes create as they relish conflict on social media. Nirex says this is just showing upcoming artistes that scandals will get them more attention than actually working on their craft which pulls them back.

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