By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
The Legendary Fritz and Headkrack tell completely different stories, with the same characters and a few similar plot points: Both believe they're coming out ahead in a feud that's been playing out (mainly) on Knowledge Dropped, Lessons Taught--Eddie D's Saturday-evening hip-hop show on KNON-FM (89.3)--over the past few months. Both believe the other is backing away from a challenge. And both believe they're doing right by local hip-hop. On the last point, they're probably right: A high-profile battle may be just what Dallas hip-hop needs to get more people to pay attention. After all, nothing else seems to be working.
That's the funny thing about hip-hop feuds: No matter who ends up winning, everyone does. There's the exception to every rule (the ultimately tragic Notorious B.I.G./2Pac war), but the win-win theory applies to most hip-hop scuffles: LL Cool J vs. Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One vs. MC Shan, the more recent showdown between Nas and Jay-Z. Nas, in fact, has been able to make a comeback based on his spat with Jay-Z, even though many believed he came up short. So maybe Headkrack vs. Legendary Fritz will work for both of them and bring local hip-hop with it.
Headkrack calls first with his side: How The Legendary Fritz started their feud by insulting him at shows and on record. How he expects that kind of thing because of what he does, hosting Da Show on 97.9 The Beat, along with KeyNote and Supa K, weeknights from 6-10 p.m. How he confronted Fritz at a KRS-One show at the Canyon Club a couple of months ago and again at the Liquid Lounge during one of the club's monthly Final Friday hip-hop shows. How he tried to settle it all back then. How Fritz is running scared.
"We got into a little shouting match or whatever," Headkrack says, referring to the run-in at the KRS-One show. "He said I was weak. And I was like, well, if I'm weak, let's battle right now. But he didn't wanna battle. It don't necessarily have to be a thing in front of a lot of people. It could just be me and you battling right now. Let's settle this. But he didn't wanna do all that...He's dissed and pissed off so many people that, like, I don't even have to battle him anymore. At least not on wax. I can count at least seven records that have been recorded by other people already that dis this guy. And it's not like I said, 'Hey, get involved with this beef.' I don't know what the hell his problem is. He's like the random vigilante gunman, just like blindly shooting at everybody."
Fritz calls later, offering his version: That Headkrack's group--the Burn Unit, which also includes Cold Cris, Soule and MYK--really kicked it off, with its song "Dirty Sizzle." That Headkrack isn't using his position to support local hip-hop. That--according to him--Headkrack wanted pay to play his record. That he's only saying what needs to be said. That something that was supposed to be a game of one-on-one has turned into one against four.
"I'm being viewed by the masses as a hater just because I'm speaking on shit that needs to be spoke on," Fritz says. "I didn't give a damn. 97's ain't gonna play me anyway--I don't care whether they play me or not. That's not even the issue. I was speaking to Headkrack. No one was speaking to the Burn Unit. No one. But when you answer me with the Burn Unit, when you answer me with three other MCs that's supposed to be the top MCs in the city, when all four of you answer me on one song, oh, yeah, my only mission is to fucking shut your shit down."
In terms of sheer output, Fritz has the edge: He responded to Burn Unit's "Dirty Sizzle" with his own "Sizzalean," and he's recorded at least five other tracks calling out Headkrack and his group. As far as vitriol goes, Headkrack (who's set to put out an album later this summer) and the Burn Unit seem to have more below-the-belt punches: Their response to "Sizzalean" was the PC-friendly "Fuck Fag Fritz," and the title is about the nicest thing on that joint. We're not taking sides (we already have one negative song about us, Honky Mofo's "Zac Crain"), but you have to give Fritz credit for his single-mindedness (he says he probably has enough material for a Headkrack album, though he plans to release an unrelated 12-song disc on August 6 instead) as well as his single status, one microphone against four.
"I couldn't come with four other guys trying to rhyme against one," Fritz says. "That's not me. Nah, you gotta be exploited. There's no rules with this war. You come with one song; I come with three songs. And now they're bitching about that. You think the U.S. going to Pakistan with one fucking Scud missile, man? No. You gonna keep firing until it's done."