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Hip-Hop music and culture have influenced so many musical genres and fashion trends that there is little question about its value to the world. However, the origins of Hip-Hop are currently under debate after a user on X suggested that it wasn’t born from competition.

Breaking the wall a bit here, Hip-Hop wasn’t always something I viewed as a competitive sport. I was too busy being fascinated by the concept of rhyming words over beats, scratching, breaking, and graffiti— the pillars of the culture itself. It wasn’t until much later that I saw value in competition when I began entering rap battles as a fledgling MC. During that time of my journey, I absolutely wanted nothing more than to tear another rapper’s head off in battle, all in the spirit of wanting to be the best.

Social media is currently in serious debate over the decision J. Cole made to withdraw from a battle with Kendrick Lamar after the Compton rapper seemingly took shots at his North Carolina counterpart on Future and Metro Boomin’s “Like That” track. Oddly enough, many listeners feel that the Dreamville honcho let the culture down for not engaging in the battle further and saying that he intends to remove “7 Minute Drill” from his Might Delete Later project.

If you want my opinion, I don’t see a need to debate Cole’s choice to step aside because I don’t know these people well enough to question their motives. My real life has way more of my focus and concern than some battle of the super MCs debate that social media can’t seem to let go of. The fact people are calling each other names and coming to digital blows over this is cornier to me than what J. Cole did.

Twitter user @RonObasi posed a thought in the wake of these recent happenings that garnered some passionate and even disrespectful replies.

“[S]aying hip hop was born from competition is a crazy narrative and a lie. Lets do our homework please,” @RonObasi wrote on Tuesday (April 9). “Also saying hip hop is at its best & “healthy” when n*ggas using their platforms and influences to beef was/is crazy. Sound just like white men we claim to hate.”

Since putting up the reply, fans from all sides of the debate have chimed in and even blasted the assertion that Hip-Hop wasn’t meant to be a clash of talent. As I view it, every rapper, producer, DJ, and graffiti writer should feel like they’re the best, even if they feel they’re only in competition with themselves.

I do agree that the music and culture aren’t necessarily healthier when the top names are going at each other. I feel we as a culture could do more for all under the banner of unity and togetherness. It all seems like a pipe dream at this point, considering how folks are approaching J. Cole’s decision. And if you don’t like what I’m saying here, we can battle if you want.

Check out the replies below.

Photo: Getty