February 3, 2012 in Features, Smitty in the City by

Portland Rap Beef: Why the DJ Chill/Luck One Beef Is Ridiculous + Why I’m Getting Involved

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Photography by Adrian Adel

If you haven’t heard by now, DJ Chill and Luck One aren’t the best of friends.

DJ Chill, aka the Chillest Illest, aka Young Chillingsworth has been making music in the Portland area for 20 years. Formerly a  member of the early-90’s rap group Five Fingers of Funk, Chill has been the tour DJ for Strange Music stars Tech N9ne & Krizz Kaliko for the last ten years. In addition, he has dropped countless mixtapes over the years, and is a bonafide local celebrity in the gangster rap scene.

Luck One started making music as a teen in the late nineties. A trained musician and student of theater, Luck used his charisma, improvisational skills and political agenda to create a major buzz in Portland before landing a nearly 6-year prison sentence for robbery. Since returning to the real world, Luck has been one of the region’s most impactful rappers, dropping an array of musical projects and regularly gracing the covers of major newspapers. On February 17th, Luck performs at the AllInMusicFest at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum along with Lupe Fiasco, Bun B, Lloyd, AyeLogics and Machine Gun Kelly.

So why are these two beefing? The world may never know. But here’s what it looks like: On a verse for V1Creative’s audio/video project Pass The Mic PDX, Luck dropped the line, “I cut em open with a DJ’s skill, but try to test and get crippled like you’re DJ Chill.” That’s a bar. DJ Chill heard this several weeks later, and wasn’t so impressed. He responded by pulling a Kobe – throwing gay slurs at Luck – and then released a diss track. Luck responded by dropping a track of his own… featuring yours truly. Is this entire situation wonderfully stupid and ripe for comical review? Yes. Did I really get myself involved in this? Absolutely. I’ll give you 3 reasons why both are true.

Why The “Beef” is Silly

1)      Rappers shouldn’t battle DJs – Maybe I should have reversed the wording, but this is true either way. I guess Chill raps too now, but while he’s an impeccable DJ, he’s not an emcee of Luck’s caliber; as such, there’s very little Luck can attain by responding to Chill’s diss. Besides, these two are in different parts of the business… What’s the beef about?

2)      This is Portland, Oregon – Beef in Portland is not like beef in bigger cities like NY and ATLANTA (Ed’s Note: Especially Atlanta). There’s like a half a million people here and we all know each other. Chances are anybody you are beefing with will randomly pass you on the street by the end of the week… Plus, I’m pretty sure DJ Chill has Luck’s number and they could’ve talked about this offline. But that wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining.

3)      Facebook – Diss tracks aside, this is a Facebook beef. At 27 years of age, Luck is too old for that, and at 40, Chill obviously is too. What makes it doubly hilarious is that the two have not addressed each other directly, however watching mutual fans “mount up” for their respective “team” is like reading comments on a TMZ video. Awesomeness in its purest form.

Why I Allowed Myself to Get Drawn In

1)      Have you read everything else I just wrote? – This is an insanely random faux-altercation and I am about that life. I live for awkward moments. Passing on an opportunity to be dragged into the most over-blown music rap beef since Ray J & Fabolous would be very un-Mac-like. And we can’t have that now, can we? Plus, you can’t just talk about my sister-in-law…

2)      Every rapper loves a good diss record – I’ve never been a battle rapper (OK, there was that period around 2000 where I tried to freestyle my way through written battles and failed miserably) but penning battle bars over beats makes any rapper feel like 50 Cent, or LL Cool J, or Nas. I’ve penned so many battle verses over the years only to let them sit on a server, unreleased. Not this time, buddy!

3)      PR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Jadakiss once said, “controversy sells”. I don’t know about you, but I trust Jadakiss. (D-Block!) Have I mentioned that Luck is rocking the Memorial Coliseum on February 17th with Bun B, Lloyd, Lupe Fiasco, Aye Logics and MGK? Have I noted that Beautiful  Music 2 is dropping on the 21st? Or that my album, The Black Collar Movement, is almost done? I think you get the point. Thanks for playing along. #Swaaaag

Before I go, I just want to say that I appreciate all of the artists in Portland doing their respective things. This includes Luck One and DJ Chill. A little disrespect is healthy at times, but let’s keep the big picture in mind, and not go overly ape over silliness. (By the way, if anyone knows how I can get this on WorldStar Hip-Hop, PLEASE let me know.)

In honor of the late great Don Cornelius, I’ll sign off by saying: Peace, Love, and Soooooouuuuuuuul!

~Mac Smiff aka The Assassin

 

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  • bobby

    The quality of articles is going down. Why would someone featured on a track write an article dissing its purpose? Also, Atlanta is smaller than Portland by about 150,000 people…research isn’t that difficult, is it?

  • PDX503

    You’re aware portland is bigger than Atlanta, right? disappointing to see your second point is irrelevant and your knowledge of your own city is pitiful.

  • Jake Espi

    Yikes. And fixed that error.

  • http://macsmiff.blogspot.com Mac Smiff

    *Author’s note: I’m sorry to see that bobby and PDX503 are mad at the quality of my writing and my point that Atlanta is larger than Portland. My fault. I should have said “metropolitan areas” instead of “cities”. While it’s true that Portland proper has around 580,000 people compared to the 420,000 residents residing in Atlanta proper, the associated metro areas read 2.5M for PDX while ATL boasts 5.2M. I don’t want to discount the good people of Gresham, Marrietta, Beaverton or Decatur, so when I speak of cities, that’s how I rank them. I used to live in ATL, so I’m fully aware of just how much more of a “big city” Atlanta is.

    I hope that eases your concerns with my research and accuracy of writing.

    Humbly,

    Mac

    P.S. Espi, put my “and Atlanta” back in. LOL

  • Luck One Killa

    Fuck you and Luck one im about to kill yall

    • Jake Espi

      um… Your IP Address is showing…

    • http://macsmiff.blogspot.com Mac Smiff

      Eh…. Whatever.

  • Brent Miller

    Dope piece. Love the approach.
    Outkast is from ATL, that alone makes it bigger.

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  • http://www.farnellnewton.com Farnell Newton

    Cats are a trip in Portland….If you are not a rapper dont make a rap dis track! Get a real rapper to do it! I love a good beef….but I can see some of Chill’s loyal fans taking things toooo far. I need to start some jazz beef in portland!

    • Jake Espi

      Yes. Hopefully people are encouraged to stay on the sidelines and enjoy the show.

  • http://@danfreewordz Dan Freewordz

    Its entertaining. Chills first responce was weak, then Luck came out with responce.. Chills newest responce.is much better then his first snippet. Its alright though. Its mainly entertaining..

  • http://www.twitter.com/frontyp Fronty P

    sounds like a big misunderstanding to me. squash that. lets get this money #supportland

  • anybody killa

    Wac Sniff is weak as hell Fuck one too

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  • Sean Irey

    First and foremost, I would like to thank you Mac Smiff. I found your article both informative and entertaining. I have spent the last few years with my boy Nomatic as he has clawed and ripped his way through the lower rungs of the Portland Underground HipHop scene…. So I feel it is especially important that any and all fueds between Portland area rapper’s should remain only the tracks, because we already have to overcome some very negative stereotypes. Venue owners and operators are already really hesitant to let our genre of artists perform in their establishments. Not to mention that your fan’s won’t want to attend shows where they have to worry about being in the middle of a street fued. All it takes usually is for one person to forget that the rap game is suppose to be fun and entertaining. Not, violent and bloody (unless it is part of your stage show). So with that said, I hope we can all remember that the pen is mightier then the sword. Kill your enemies on a record so we can begin to unite the NW in a positive movement towards the pursuit of fortune and fame!

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