The Bridge Wars was a rap battle in the mid-80s between MC Shan of the The Juice Crew and KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions which divided New York City, N.Y.
Shan talks about what the Bridge Wars meant for hip-hop and how up-coming emcees can learn from his story.
“What me and KRS did is take hip-hop to another level,” said Shan. “Back in the day emcees battled all the time, but the Bridge Wars brought battling to the mainstream.”
Although KRS-One and MC Shan were considered bitter rivals, Shan claims that him and KRS have a good relationship. Explaining how the Bridge Wars was more about “ego” than “beef.” Shan then stated that he does not condone violence within the hip-hop community.
“These new rappers need to understand how violence gets in the way of their careers,” said Shan. “Look at Rick Ross, no promoter in the country wants to work with him after his shooting. The insurance alone will cost too much.”
Shan stated how the music industry is not as glamours as people make it out to seem. Explaining the biggest mistake an up-coming rapper can make is not knowing the business side of the music industry.
“Record companies will take advantage of newer artists,” explained Shan. “You can’t trust anyone. My advice to rappers who want a career in the music industry is to get a lawyer.”
The hip-hop pioneer has a new album in the works. The album’s title and release date are yet to be determined. “Let’s Bring Hip-Hop Back” is the first single off of the album.
“I don’t care if people see me as just another old school rapper,” said Shan. “My quality of work is so good, you have no choice but to respect me.”
The Queens, N.Y., native is currently living in Atlanta, Ga., with his family. His son is a member of southern style rap group “Stoners Club.” You can follow MC Shan on his Twitter: @mc_shan