Posted on October 3, 2012 AT 04:54am
Disses are a fundamental part of hip-hop, much like battling it’s a test of who can step to whom in a matter of wordplay. Sometimes it’s for business and other times it’s more personal… and when it gets personal, someone is usually going to get chopped right at the knees.
Enter The Jokerr, an Arizona rapper and multi-instrumentalist with a fairly decent sized fanbase and a rather sizable collection of disses; in fact he’s released an album full of them. For the most part he’s dissed a whole lot of nobodies with the exception of Tech N9ne in the song “The Maestro”. However, in Sidekick, his latest video to promote the diss album “Trail of Destruction”, he points a huge finger at the guys of Funk Volume; notably SwizZz and co-founder/flagship artist Hopsin. To some that might be expected from anyone looking to get attention because Hopsin has been making great strides with Funk Volume with guest appearances and his own solo material. This diss comes off as an interesting one though, because, Jokerr sings throughout the whole song. The instrumental that backs his layered vocals is a bright, cheery pop song featuring live drums, horns, guitars, and a sax solo to boot. The combo sounds like quite the opposite of a diss track seems and would seem fairly hard to take seriously. The video even features puppet versions of Funk Volume artists and dolls dancing about like a children’s TV show. Lyrically it also feels like less of a diss and more of a straight-up criticism, lacking a lot the ad-hominem attack that diss tracks tend to have. If anything it seems kind of awkward calling this an outright diss.
The total package of the track comes off kick in the teeth with a brightly coloured boot. The Jokerr goes on about how SwizZz is living like a sidekick and how his career is “fed to him on a silver spoon” by Hopsin. It seems like the whole song is a jab at SwizZz with a few nose flicks for Hopsin in regards to who he’s signed, notably Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton. The song however isn’t what makes it all seem so caustic, though the jabs could be felt. At the end Joker basically pulls an El-P “Linda Tripp” move (though not nearly as harsh as the Co-Flo classic) and plays a recorded phone conversation between himself and Hopsin. In the conversation Jokerr calls him hypocritical for “parading Christian values” while his label Funk Volume and the artists he signs represent things contrary to those values. Hopsin then states how he doesn’t like the drug related lyrical content of Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton and how he doesn’t care about rap music.
Feel free to call it what you wish, Jokerr chooses to call it “The Downfall of Funk Volume”. Some have just chalked it up to hating on rising stars with a larger audience while many have praised him for the song. To me it seems to come off as putting Hopsin “on blast” for his apparent contradictions, especially considering the wildly popular, morally driven, rap song, Ill Mind of Hopsin 5.
Be sure to check out the video below and tell me what you think in the comments section below.
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