At this point in time, the beef between Drake and Meek Mill is so played the fuck out that you’d think it was a well-intentioned Napoleon Dynamite joke. And while it’s somehow still the first thing on people’s minds when they wake up in the morning, there’s no doubt that Drake and Meek Mill have probably forgotten about it by now.
Nonetheless, the beef continues to be pervasive. I saw someone’s Dad state his opinion on the matter on Facebook, for fuck’s sake. Ugh. I cannot handle this. If you’re still busy memorizing the lyrics to Drake’s “Back To Back Freestyle,” GET OUT THE KITCHEN, FAM, CAUSE THE BEEF IS BURNING. Stop retweeting those Meek memes and read on, because I’m about to convince you that caring about this rap bitch fight is a complete waste of your mildly valuable time.
(Full disclosure: I wrote extensively on this topic for IHEARTCOMIX, so, yes, I do enjoy self-harm).
What Drizzy and Meek Milly have done in 2015 is in no way, shape or form “original.” Ever since the advent of hip-hop over 30 years ago, rappers have been pissing each other off, and doing it publicly (see: The Bridge Wars). Rap is the perfect arena for megalomaniac egos to flourish, and when one inflated ego pokes fun at another, both parties react like it’s the Cuban Missile Crisis. Because, despite rapper’s air of untouchability and prestige, they’re really just delicate emotional flowers like the rest of us. Words are exchanged, feelings get hurt, chests are puffed … but at the end of the day, no one is convinced anyone’s reaction is the result of anything other than a bruised ego. This rap beef archetype is so standard, in fact, that even Wikipedia has an entry about it. Now, that Sinead O’Connor vs Miley Cyrus beef. . . that was something new.
Without a doubt, the fatal blow Drake dealt Meek Mill to K.O. his ass was the slanderous meme projection he rapped in front of at OVOFest.
But, if you ask me, his prolific use of other people’s Meek Mill memes is beyond overrated. For one, Drake didn’t come up with those memes himself. He essentially crowd-sourced Meek disses from other people, proving his non-capacity for original thought. But if anyone was convinced by the meme performance, know this: it only seems more insulting and sassy than it actually is because it’s formatted in memes, a language people are speaking today. Meek insulted Drake in common English, not social-media speak, which resulted in a shit ton more fans relating to Drake, who speaks internet-ese with fluency.
Social media is really the driving force behind the popularity of this beef. There’s a distinct possibility that the only reason people care about this is because Drake has managed to to market himself as a human meme. No one cared nearly as much about the T.I./ Ludacris beef, or pretty much any other recent beef, because none of the people involved have figured out how to become part of the very fabric of social media quite as well as Drake has.
Drake gave Meek Mill a “participation award” for his involvement in their beef, but you know what? If I came out losing a fight, I’d rather walk away with a participation award than with a black eye. Last year, Drizzy and Diddy had beef over the fact that Drake rapped over what would eventually become “0 to 100/ The Catch Up” – a beat originally intended for Puff. Only, the dispute got settled “real fuckin’ quick”, when Diddy allegedly punched Drake in the face outside of a Miami nightclub. That took care of that.
What does Barbie have anything to do with it? In his first diss track, “Charged Up”, Drake tells Meek, “no woman ever had me star stuck/ or told me to get my bars up.” Cool, GREAT. Not only is Drake setting the feminist movement back a bit (God forbid a female artist be more popular than a man!), he’s lazily bringing Meek’s fiancé into an argument she has no place in. Sure the “Back To Back Freestyle” lyric, “is that a world tour, or your girl’s tour?” is funny in an cheap, topical kind of way – but it essentially amounts to Drake relying on chauvinism rather than penmanship to get his message across. You’re a better rapper than that, Aubrey! It’s a bad look, cut it out.
Remember in 2007, when Kanye West and 50 Cent each swore to retire from the game if the other’s latest album sold more copies than their own? Well, 50 lost, but he didn’t uphold his end of the bargain. To make matters worse, the two later admitted that the entire “beef” was a hoax – 50 himself called the stunt “just great publicity.”
What makes you think that the Drake/ Meek Mill beef is any different? It comes right on the heels of Meek’s album release and two new singles from Drake. If you want to buy into the stunt, that’s great, but you’re a lemur.
As people with herd mentality encoded into our DNA, we’re subjected to the constant lure of lemming-dom, a.k.a the inherent need to do what everyone else is doing. This is simply an evolutionary survival method; if everyone’s doing something, it must be beneficial. Problem is, that argument dilutes itself when it comes to behaviors with no real benefit, such as, I don’t know, getting your jock strap twisted over this rap beef. While there’s something natural and intoxicating about joining a group and taking a side, then asserting to the world why that group is better than all the other groups, it only affirms your status as a human sheep, a slave to the biological need to conform. It makes you feel safe, but you’re just one of the herd.
This mentality is no different than the way fanatic sports fans act about their beloved home teams. They affix themselves so strongly to a team that they feel their wins, losses and dramas just as intensely as the people actually involved in these matters. Yet, these fans aren’t part of the team at all; they’re just people, sitting at home in front of a Little Cesar’s pizza, getting worked up over something that has nothing to do with them whatsoever, expending valuable adrenal juice on a far-off interaction they did not create. But, when the team triumphs, they feel they themselves have triumphed, and are therefore better than whatever group of people “they” beat out. It’s jock behavior at it’s finest. Are you seeing where this all fits in with Drake and Meek Mill?
The people that care to take sides in the Drake vs. Meek Mill beef are nothing more than jocks disguised as music fans; sports fanatics operating under the guise of rap enthusiasts. Any one of you who took Drake’s side and felt like you won because he’s “your team,” or any one who felt mad or emo about Meek’s “loss” are subject to this line of thinking.
Knowing all these things, I think it’s safe to assume that you shouldn’t waste time caring about this beef. In fact, go vegetarian for a while and focus on legumes. Beef sucks. Beef: it’s what’s for dinner.
Similarly, can’t we all shut the hell up about which rapper came out on top in this fight, and see the real good that became of it: new music from two truly great rappers?