Beef Rap

Beef Rap


“Beef Rapp,” the first track off of MM.. Food.
Written and produced by MF DOOM, (a.k.a. Metal Fingers when he’s producing).

This ditty here is about those rappers who make their living from “beef raps,” fights started with other rappers to boost sales. Battle raps are a true part of Hip Hop, and true battles are things of legend (e.g. MC Shan vs. KRS-One, LL Cool J vs. Kool Moe D, Hammer, Ice-T and Canibus, etc.). DOOM doesn’t care too much for it though, as he explains in XXL Magazine:

Oh yeah, “Beef Rapp.”[sic] Good song. Good choice. I just think it’s a funny word. I don’t get angry at this point, so [rap beef] is like whatever. The challenge is what it’s about with me, the challenge of being such a picky topic to handle. Also, the double entendre with the word beef, the way it’s perceived in the street world and it’s a food—a so-called food—so how it’s perceived in the nutritional realm. The fact that there’s two things that correlate there gave me enough metaphors to play with. But it’s all fun. I always do it with something that’s fun. Anger is something I don’t deal with.

It had to be two things: It had to be a food people could relate to and there had to be another play on the word. For instance, I’d say kon queso, like cheese. Everyone knows “cheese” has a reference in the street, as money and whatnot. And cheese is something that’s always added in addition to a cheeseburger or a beef patty. So it’s about finding a word where you can take two different approaches to it.