Rap Beef on Twitter: A Brief History
Twenty years ago, rap animosity was expressed via diss songs. Like, if someone pissed you off you went home, thought about it, went to a recording studio, pressed up your album, and sent it around. The object of your diss might not find out until six months later.
Lil B has a 3-0 Twitter beef record
More recently the rise of the mixtape and the internet allowed diss tracks to reach their targets much more quickly, and today rap disses arrive mostly in 140 character bundles.
While we certainly miss classic diss tracks like "Takeover" and "No Vaseline," Twitter beef can be pretty damn entertaining. Here's a brief history, and at the end we crown a champion.
Way back in the Twitter dark ages of 2009, Nick Cannon fueled the fires of his wife's feud with Eminem by challenging Slim Shady to a boxing match. (Haha to Sohh italicizing "Twitter.")
Further rapper vs. comedian conflicts would emerge in later years, including Marlon Wayans hollering back at Joe Budden ("At this point u are a question on Black Jeopardy. Can I get a lifeline?") and D.L. Hughley butting heads with Lupe Fiasco over their stances on voting. ("obama ain't gone lose cuz of me and my raps.")
Last fall saw Lupe step on an even more serious Twitter landmine. After attempting to impart life lessons to controversial fellow Chicagoan Chief Keef and adding "Chief Keef scares me. Not him specifically, but just the culture he represents," Keef seemed to mock him: "lupe fiasco a hoe ass nigga And wen I see him I'ma smack him like da lil bitch he is #300." This left Lupe crestfallen ("i have spoken peace only 2 receive vitriol and malice in return") and caused him to announce his retirement from rap. Shortly after, Keef tweeted that his Twitter was "hacked" and he was not responsible for the comments. (Lupe, naturally, did not actually retire.)
Earlier in 2012 Havoc from Mobb Deep also said his account was compromised while airing out partner-in-rhyme Prodigy, but then later recanted and admitted the tweets were real. It was another example of the "my Twitter was hacked" excuse, commonly used to defuse situations, or as a 'get out of jail free' card of sorts.