2014 will no doubt be remembered as the year that local hip hop was split by the feud of its two biggest rappers.The feud threatened to change the whole face of hip hop in South Africa and even, at one point, got physical.
Here’s how it all played out:
April - JuneWith a new album about to drop, AKA takes to Twitter to promote his new single, Congratulate. While on Twitter he claimed to have the biggest song in the country, in a thinly veiled attack on Cassper and his popular radio hit, Doc Shebeleza. “There’s a rapper running around saying he got the biggest song in the country…I challenge you to find his song in the iTunes Top 100.”
Over the next months, things got intense with both rappers tweeting and subtweeting each other about how much bigger their song was than the other.
JulyThe pair moved their fight to the studio where Cassper dropped a new single, Phumakim, which mentioned AKA directly and said, among other things, that he was AKA’s favourite rapper.
As both rappers prepared for the release of their latest albums, the heat was turned up and spread to interviews. It was then that Cassper gave an interview to The Juice where he said that he was not scared of AKA and that AKA must watch his back. He also ruled out any chance of the pair ever collaborating or even sharing a stage, saying the beef had, without public knowledge, become too personal to remedy.
AugustWith both artists' respective albums now out, the pair took to the road to promote the albums on nationwide tours and on TV. It was on one of these TV performances that Cassper claims things turned physical. The pair were scheduled to both perform on Live Amp when a member of AKA’s entourage allegedly pulled a gun on Cassper and his team. Cassper laid a charge with the police over the incident but it was later thrown out of court. AKA remained largely silent on the issue, but did issue a statement saying he did not condone violence.
September - OctoberAs the dust started to settle, the pair both tried to calm the waters. Every song and every tweet each rapper released was being scrutinized for possible secret messages of hate towards the other, but both rappers had come out saying the beef was over.
NovemberThe beef gets resurrected (just a little) when MTV releases its list of the Hottest MCs in Mzansi. The list places Cassper at number 2 and AKA at number 3, even though rumours spread that the original list had it the other way around. AKA didn't really respond to the list, but Cassper talks openly of being disappointed at the decision to not crown him at number 1.
In an interview with The Juice, Cassper says he has put the beef with AKA behind him, but then releases a song called Beef that seems to bring all the old skeltons back out the closet with thinly veiled insults directed at AKA and other rappers.
DecemberCassper tweets an apology to K.O for disrespecting him on the song Beef and stretches an olive branch to AKA, expressing his wish to do a collaboration with him. AKA remains mum.
Will this beef ever end? We can only hope it’s on AKA and Casspers New Year's resolution list.