New Orleans bounce queen Big Freedia opened recent track, "Almost Famous, with a succinct and powerful line: "I'd like to thank all my fans /And all my haters /For making me famous."
Beef is beneficial for both parties involved: Music outlets love covering it, fans love chiming in, and any collateral damage to dignity or self-respect can be dealt with later. Just because "haters gonna hate" doesn't mean one mustn't respond in full, no matter how insipid, juvenile, or dull the affront to one's music or style. In this edition of "Beef," we join in the spirit of shallow bickering, rounding up a few of the music industry's latest races to the bottom.
"Gucci Gucci" viral star Keayshawn and brand new Universal Music signee Azealia Banks discovered there's no better place to manufacture beef than Twitter. Earlier this month, Kreayshawn actually gave props to Banks and tweeted a link to Banks' newest music video. The offense? The version of the video she tweeted was hosted on a porn website. D'oh!
A beef of this magnitude felt imminent. We all know there's no way hip-hop can manage having two rising-star female rappers at once, because that would upset the matriarchal power system!
We didn't even have to pit them against each other; these two rhyme-slaying ladies started aimlessly dissing each other on their own! Hey Judith Butler, smell this Grade-A pile of regressive gender performance BEEF!
Damn, girl! I just did a Z-snap so fast my nose needs a skin graft. Or is that just the noxious odor of e. coli enzymes on this BEEF? #swag
Speaking of enlightened 21st-century Internet discourse, L.A. noise punx No Age are way bummed about doo-doo eaters Kings of Leon appropriating their t-shirt design. So bummed, in fact, they wrote a one-line blog post about it. (Way to keep the Blogspot flag flying, dudes!):
t shirt designs by the kings of originality... looking good
No word yet from the KOL camp, but Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes wasn't gonna let some arena rock Goliaths poach the same plainly simple giant-text-with-color-gradient scheme from the li'l guys: apparently No Age drummer Dean Spunt screens their shirts by hand!
Pecknold, who'd dealing with his drummer, the equally Twitter-prolific J.Tillman (@Father John Misty) leaving the Fleet Foxes issued this delicately-worded, all-caps response (which has since been deleted): "THEY ARE THE WORST."
Y'all just got Fleet Foxxxed! Retweet the BEEF!
But listen, you guys, beefing is very much like the human papilloma virus: Lots of people are infected by it at some point, but thankfully it often goes away by itself. Observe: Rap veteran Common told Rolling Stone that he has quashed his long-expired beef with Canadian newcomer Drake.
The two had exchanged verbal swipes in various mixtape and album tracks, with Common calling Drake a "bitch" at one low point, but the 39-year-old Common acted his age and said he appreciates the work of the former Degrassi dreamboat. "I think he makes good music," he told the magazine. "He's definitely said some real clever things and made some cool songs. I like his music." Yay! *Hugs*
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So what did we learn after sifting through all this turgid BEEF? The music media loves treating half-baked tweets like real quotes? Camaraderie between women in hip-hop is still discouraged? Drake makes good music? Innocuous online blathering about t-shirts and back-handed compliments are totally worth publishing if the artists involved are buzzworthy?
Until next time, refrigerate that BEEF!