Saturday, July 23, 2011

Consequence Rages Against Kanye's Machine

While it was some time in the making, soon-to-be former G.O.O.D. Music rapper Consequence yesterday, with the release of his new song (below) that accuses his co-worker, Pusha T, of lyrical forgery, officially declared war on his record label complete with a promissory heat-seeking missile soon to be aimed at his boss, Kanye West.

In the song -- named The Plagiarist Society -- Consequence shuns subliminal bars in favor of a clear and obvious threat, referring to Pusha by his government name: "Terrence ... go take a breather on the terrace before he does something to make his team perish/ 'Cause he ain't nothing but a body shield for that coward from the Midwest/ So yes, you can bet that your boss is next."

For months now Consequence has alleged that Pusha not only copied his lyrics, but also the title for My God, the lead single for his Fear of God mixtape.

But those who are quick to dismiss Consequence as a wannabe rapper/weed carrier whose best rapping moments are behind him only need to give his music a closer listen to find out where much of Kanye's lyrical and rhyming styles originate, and how it is arguable that without Cons, Kanye might not be the superstar rapper that he is today.

There is also some significance in Consequence using a Dilla beat for this diss track; Kanye has listed Dilla as one of his main inspirations, and Consequence recorded an entire album with Dilla while he was alive whereas Kanye only had the chance to produce what turned out to be a knockoff version of The Takeover for a song on the posthumously released Pay Jay album.  

Consequence, who is also Q-Tip's cousin, was a vital part of Beats Rhymes & Life -- one of Tribe's most slept on albums -- which featured co-production from Dilla (as one-third of The Ummah) on each track. And Kanye, who seemingly readily accepted Q-Tip's invitation to join him on stage last week in Brooklyn, makes no secret about being influenced by both Tribe and its lead emcee. Years later, when Kanye decided to try his hand at rapping, who is the one person that Kanye makes sure to keep in his inner circle? Consequence. None of this is by coincidence.

For someone as calculating and shrewd as Kanye is, selecting Consequence as his then-right hand man was not a strategic move that resulted from Consequence's impressive resume and underground connections which made Kanye's claims of being a backpacker that much plausible. And the fact that Cons can rap his ass off didn't hurt, either.

Years later we would find out that Cons has trouble making a good album (ironically titled Don't Quit Your Day Job). However, through it all his level of rhyming remained of the highest of quality, with witty wordplay and precise rhymes that could regularly bring a knowing smile to the listener's screwed-up face.

Consequence a couple of months ago released another song that alluded to some of the tensions that clearly had been building up after Pusha signed to GOOD Music:
I think it's kind of scary to have an empty soul
'Cause when an emcee goes from the Da Vinci code
To having plenty O's and being 'bout the Benjis, bro
Won't be long before friendly foes
Run up with the semi, though

So, I ain't takin' no chances
'Cause this is just a sign that my prayers have been answered
'Cause I've become a vine and my team is the branches
So there's too much on the line not to be making them anthems

And pushing Phantoms unless you got a different plan
'Cause for the fam I done been a sacrificial lamb
So any man who steps after me
Know it's blasphemy if he ain't gonna blast for me.
Now I am more than sure that Pusha, if he chooses to respond, will be quite the lyrical adversary, but I don't know if Kanye can handle Cons on his own. It will be interesting to see how (or if) Kanye responds, or if he will send his G.O.O.D. Music soldiers to fight the war much like Jay-Z sent his minions after Jim Jones and Game instead of directly addressing the beef.

One thing is for sure, though -- Kanye will emerge from this disagreement relatively unscathed, powered by the music industry, media and his worldwide legions of fans that will turn a deaf ear to anything Consequence has to say negative about him and his record label.

While I may not be Consequence's biggest fan, I can certainly recognize talent when I hear it. Just because he chooses to revolt against what he sees an oppressive situation is no reason to dismiss his clear and obvious talent. I am waiting to hear what he has to say to and about Kanye.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting and informative article. Thanks!