Diss Tracks and Social Media: Hip-Hop Celebrity Feuds

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Eminem - Hip-Hop Celebrity Feuds

The surprise album Eminem dropped this January had quite a few strong words addressed to various individuals. On the receiving end, we find Machine Gun Kelly and Nick Cannon, Joe Budden, Lord Jamar, and many others. Over his 25-year career, Eminem has had many long-running feuds with people often outside of his genre, dissing politicians and pop stars, too. On his latest album, Eminem mentions Ariana Grande, too – this time, in turn, he seems to have gone a bit too far, attracting criticism not only from Grande’s fans but the whole world.

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Eminem, in turn, is not the only rapper with many feuds under his belt. Perhaps it’s the popularity of diss tracks that keep this tradition alive, perhaps there’s true hostility behind them – whichever the case, we enjoy them the same.

Drake

Drake - Hip-Hop Celebrity Feuds
Canadian rapper Drake has engaged in many feuds over his career already – and he will likely continue to do so in the future. His opponents include Chris Brown, with whom he even entered a “brawl” in a New York night club in 2012, Jay-Z, with whom the feud has proven to be for the show alone, Ludacris, whose attempts to lure him into a rap-down he averted successfully, Nicki Minaj, Tory Lanez, Kendrick Lamar, and many others.

50 Cent

50 Cent - Hip-Hop Celebrity Feuds
Curtis James Jackson III doesn’t shy away from some sparring in the mike either. The rapper who blasted into the spotlight with his hit “Candy Shop” in 2003 once challenged Kanye West to a battle in album sales, accused Sean John of making money off his late friend Biggie Smalls, calling Lil Wayne a “whore”, mocked Ja Rule’s trademark battle cry, told Floyd Mayweather he couldn’t read a page from a book without screwing it up and attacked actress Vivica A. Fox on social media, calling her “crazy” on Twitter.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj - Hip-Hop Celebrity Feuds
Nicki Minaj was often at the receiving end of uncalled-for lyrics – but she initiated her fair share of feuds, too. Among others, she dissed Iggy Azalea in her 2015 BET Awards acceptance speech, claiming she doesn’t write her own lyrics, got into a fight with Cardi B at the New York Fashion Week in 2018, accused Taylor Swift of winning so many awards only because of her body type, and accused Miley Cyrus of cultural appropriation.

+1 from history: The Roxanne Wars

Roxanne Shante - Hip-Hop Celebrity Feuds
Back in 1984, hip-hop trio UTFO recorded a track called “Roxanne, Roxanne” about a girl resisting every attempt to be charmed, and not even answering the phone (it’s a bit like leaving you on “read” today). Rapper Roxanne Shante, 14 at the time, overheard producer Marley Marl and DJ Mr. Magic discussing how UTFO canceled their gig at a show they were promoting and proposed to record a track to get back on the band. For this, she assumed the persona of Roxanne Shanté.

The record called, “Roxanne’s Revenge” was born, as a result, released in 1984 – it was filled with profanities, used the beats from the original recording, but sold 250,000 copies in the New York area alone. UTFO decided to answer this provocation with their own track, featuring “The Real Roxanne” – originally, a persona assumed by Elease Jack, who was later replaced several times. Roxanne Shanté responded by releasing “Bite This” and “Queen Of Rox”, to which UTFO recorded their own… over the next year, up to 100 answer records were born out of the feud, becoming perhaps the biggest such exchange in history.

Image by:  Kevin Winter / Staff  |  Getty Images North America


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