Barely two weeks into 2019 and the local hip hop scene continues to solidify itself as one of the most active and interesting movements in Malta right now.
After a series of seemingly unrelated releases, all the dots have been connected… and it looks like we have a fully-fledged rap battle on our hands.
It all started last week with local rapper Ben Miller’s release Di-Vision, an innocent and nostalgic banger in of itself… were it not for all the subtle shade being thrown at local rappers
“I don’t mean to bust your bubble, but I really pity locals, cause all you do is mumble rap with shitty vocals,” the rapper boldly claimed, in a verse that many took to be a dig at popular newcomer-trio 215Collective.
Di-Vision‘s final frame, showing Miller walk towards the camera to the words “Just the beginning”, ended up setting the scene for one busy – and shady – week.
Soon enough, people were tagging the young hip hop collective in comments, with some even going so far as to mention specific names… particularly Lydon (Eddie Fresco), arguably the most vocal member of the group. But it didn’t take long for fellow 215 member Aidan (known as Caro) to also join in.
The whole thing quickly evolved into a battle of words between slightly more old school rappers with an 00s rap sound, and the newer, younger generation of 2010s cloud rappers, echoing two of Malta’s current strongest hip hop movements.
Just one day later, Ben Miller’s best friend and collaborator Isaac Vassallo dropped a teaser for another track… and the shade was undeniable this time
“Loosen up your snake E, I think it might be, a little too tight,” Isaac, who goes by Zac, raps to the camera while driving. There was no denying that this next track, Silence, was going to be a direct diss at 215 and Eddie Fresco, who famously has a large neck tattoo of a snake.
A couple of tags later, and it didn’t take long for 215 to start replying.
“I’m sorry you had to do this to yourself,” a visibly entertained Eddie Fresco said on an Instagram story hours after. “The track is already done, but I’m giving you one week to drop yours first.”
Isaac’s track was slated for today, but as Eddie kept pushing Zac to release the full version of Silence, there was a sudden change in schedule.
Last night, Isaac suddenly dropped Silence, name dropping all of 215’s members, but taking particular aim at Eddie Fresco
If you were looking for the ante to be upped, then you’ve come to the right place.
All three members of 215 are dissed in Silence, from Caro’s “fake British accent” to “the kid in soccer shoes and dreadlocks” (Yannick) who Zac says he can barely understand.
Just like that, the track spread like wildfire, making it to many people’s newsfeeds on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
But that wasn’t the end of it. At noon today, Eddie Fresco released his reply… Snaky
Yep. Shots officially fired both ways.
From the get-go, the first 215 reply kicks off by mocking the Miller / Zac duo, quoting Ben’s initial “You’ll never get signed” verse and Zac’s… well, everything.
“Ain’t got a career so I’ll make it for you, the game’s your job, well I’ll unemploy you,” Eddie cheekily raps, adding “Postin’ tracks all on Facebook, but when you’re booked ain’t no faces”.
You might be thinking it’s all useless petty bickering, but this is the very spirit of hip hop… and the young Maltese artists involved know this all too well
“To me its all fun and games,” Eddie Fresco told Lovin Malta just after dropping his track. “Rap is a sport, and competition is key to keeping it healthy. I took it as a quick way to show my fanbase and new listeners what I’m actually capable of doing and that I can make an ambient hip-hop album on one day and decide to go boom bap the next.”
In fact, this latest series of back-and-forths have not come in the way of 215 Collective’s release schedule, which currently has Yannick’s new track release penned for later today at 5pm ahead of his new album towards the end of the month.
On the other side of this ongoing rap “feud”, Ben and Isaac are on the exact same page.
“I love this post, honestly, well done,” Ben Miller commented on Eddie Fresco’s photoshop of him and Isaac holding hands ahead of the noon release. “It’s all respect and fun.”
“Thank you for being a good sport,” Eddie replied, clearly showing that beyond the beef, there’s no hard feelings.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what else there is in store for this rap saga. Bring on the bangers!