Totally over the Cardi B/Nicki Minaj drama of Fashion Week? Care for a rap feud with a little less glamour, and not to mention melanin? Then have we got the fight for you! Iggy Azalea, Eminem, G-Eazy, and Machine Gun Kelly are all in a war of words over Eminem’s recent songs. As they say on the streets (do they?), let’s break it down:
This week, Eminem dropped a new song from his album Kamikaze called “Kill Shot.” As Variety explained, “Killshot” is “in response to Kelly’s ‘Rap Devil,’ which itself was a response to Eminem’s ‘Not Alike.’” So, right off the bat, we are like three or four layers removed from reality. According to Rolling Stone, on “Rap Devil,” Kelly claims that “Em tried to blackball him from the music industry after he tweeted about his daughter, Hailie, being ‘hot as fuck’ in 2012.” And then, on “Killshot,” Slim Shady goes after MGK “for a variety of things including him sporting a man bun and his choice of breakfast food.” (For an even more thorough analysis, see Vulture’s timeline.)
Diss tracks, rivalries, and taking shots at other artists is part of the tradition of rap, and these men have every right to call each other out if they want, but still—it’s a song about a song about a song. Just whip ’em out and measure already?
And while the whole song is directed at Kelly, a few lines from Em’s latest in particular that mention other musical artists have caught special attention: “You ain’t never made a list next to no Biggie, no Jay / Next to Taylor Swift and that Iggy ho, you about to really blow.” According to Genius (formerly RapGenius), Eminem also made a rape joke about Azalea (“that Iggy ho”) on a previous album. What Taylor Swift, a successful country-pop singer-songwriter, has to do with any of this remains to be seen. Back to the beef!
Iggy tweeted in response: “Diss songs shouldn’t be filled with celebrity name drops to pad out lazy bars…And that’s my unbiased opinion from a girl that watched this guys set and sung the words in the crowd. I’d think it regardless. One of the greatest to do it, I’m NOT in dispute about that. But I do think the name dropping thing has become a crotch [sic]...Also let’s talk about why it’s lazy now; but wasn’t in the earlier work. The earlier stuff was crazy, twisted and creative. This stuff feels more like picking names that fit easily into a rhyme scheme. ?♀️”
Let’s assume that “crotch” is a typo and that she meant to write “crutch.” Although celebrity crotches are certainly a topic a person could rap about.
So how does G-Eazy fit into this? He’s on Team Em, in that he’s on Team Not-Machine-Gun-Kelly. Because his song “Bad Boy” mocks Kelly for his low album sales “and being jealous of his on-and-off relationship with Halsey,” per Vulture. Solidifying his alliance, yesterday G-Eazy posted a picture of himself with Eminem flipping the bird to Instagram with the caption, “Let’s talk about it.”
But that’s not the only controversial aspect of the Eight Mile star’s new album. On another track, “Fall,” he raps, “Tyler create nothin’ / I see why you called yourself a f----t, bitch,” directing a homophobic slur (which is distorted on the album) at Tyler, The Creator. According to Billboard, Eminem apologized for his word choice, saying, “I think the word that I called him on that song was one of the things where I felt like this might be too far. Because in my quest to hurt him, I realize that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it.” Tyler, The Creator has yet to comment.
With Mac Miller sadly gone, we suppose it falls to Macklemore to preside over matters pertaining to the White Rappers Community. Unfortunately, he’s more interested in trivial matters like encouraging people to vote. Will we ne’er have peace?