Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Bridge Wars: MC Shan VS KRS-One

Some say that the Bridge Wars arose from a misunderstanding over a song and initially involved Queensbridge's MC Shan (Juice Crew) and the South Bronx's KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions (BDP). MC Shan released the Marley Marl produced song 'The Bridge' in 1985. BDP thought they were trying to say that hip hop started in Queensbridge when they were actually just talking about their home and some of the artists who came before them. The song never actually talks about the start of hip hop. Take a listen:

These are the lyrics that started it all:

You love to hear the story, again and again,
Of how it all got started way back when,
The monument is right in your face,
Sit and listen for a while to the name of the place,
The Bridge,

MC Shan stated that he never meant for the song to mean what BDP was construing it as. He said, "Everyone knows that hip hop started in the Bronx." Unfortunately, that is not how BDP interpreted his words.

KRS-One and BDP responded in 1986 with the song 'South Bronx.' This song intentionally made the statement that the South Bronx was indeed the birthplace of hip hop and attacks MC Shan in the process.

The story is that the song was first heard at a concert right after MC Shan had performed 'The Bridge.' For example:

Party people in the place to be, KRS-One attacks,
Ya got dropped off MCA cause the rhymes you wrote was wack,
So you think that hip-hop had its start out in Queensbridge,
If you popped that junk up in the Bronx you might not live

Or these lines:

Show all the people in the place that you are wack,
Instead of trying take out LL, you need to take your homeboys off the crack

MC Shan was, in fact, on MCA before he made 'The Bridge' but he left the label after releasing one single. The LL line stems from the song 'Beat Biter' that MC Shan made claiming that LL Cool J stole beats from Marley Marl. And the beef goes on...

In 1987, the Juice Crew responded to KRS-One with 'Kill That Noise'. The song states that he never said that hip hop started in Queens and suggests that BDP was just trying to join their crew.

KRS-One was not having that at all. He then responded with 'The Bridge Is Over', which blatantly took direct shots at Marley Marl and MC Shan.

What's the matter with your MC, Marley Marl?
Don't you know that he's out of touch?
What's the matter with your DJ, MC Shan?
On the wheels of steel Marley sucks
You better change what's coming out your speaker
Your better off talking about your wack Puma sneaker
Cuz Bronx created Hip-Hop
Queens will only get dropped

What many people don't know is that the beef actually stems from Mr. Magic dissing KRS-One and Scott La Rock's demo tape and calling it 'wack' and not because of MC Shan's 'The Bridge'. BDP just used the 'Queens vs South Bronx' as a way to go after Mr. Magic, Marley Marl and the Juice Crew since Mr. Magic was apart of their crew. KRS-One made a statement about it to MTV and in the documentary Beef. This war catapulted KRS-One's career while ultimately ending what was left of MC Shan's at the time. It went on for many years to come with individuals taking shots at one another through their records. In 2001, MC Shan took one last shot at KRS-One on the QB's Finest compilation:

Hip hop was set out in the dark
The Bridge was never Over, we left our mark

The war has ended, as Marley Marl and KRS-One have since squashed the beef and even recorded a collaborative album called Hip-Hop Lives. KRS-One and MC Shan have also squashed their differences:

Good to know there is life after beef...

Whats beef?

-Mixtape Chic

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