Your Guide To The Best And Most Cooked Music Beefs Of 2018
Robbie Williams, you should know better.
2018 may have been on fire, but at least its music was too.
But it’d be remiss if we didn’t also look back at some of the juiciest beefs of the past 12 months. And no, we’re not talking about Knickers. Here’s your beef-in-review.
Chumbawamba v Clive Palmer
Chumbawamba may be one-hit wonders, but they’re one-hit wonders with a message, born of North England’s punk-anarchist scene of the ’80s. ‘Tubthumping’ is a delightful sing-along that continues to get the masses, whether they know it or not, singing a revolutionary, pro-working class anthem.
Clive Palmer was seemingly not aware of this when he used the song in a short promotional video for Palmer’s (recently rebranded) Australia United Party.
The Blow Up
In a short 10-second video shared on Palmer’s Twitter and YouTube channel back in June, a group of workers sing the song’s classic line, “I get knocked down, but I get up again”. It’s a really poor effort, honestly — they clearly haven’t practiced it.
In response, the band shared a statement with The Guardian in which they demanded Palmer remove the video, calling him a “Donald Trump-lite egomaniac”. “Tubthumping is a song written to champion the resilience of working people,” they wrote, “not to further a billionaire’s political ambitions.”
While the video remains up on Palmer’s Twitter, it’s very much an awkward self-own.
Bhad Bhabie v Iggy Azalea
Earlier this year, Mullumbimby rapper Iggy Azalea made some comments about Bhad Bhabie (aka Danielle Bregoli, the 15-year-old meme-star-turned-rapper) being unable to sell a gig ticket. Bregoli responded via an Instagram story saying she was bigger than Iggy (honestly, true) — and then eventually, the two found themselves in the same room.
The Blow Up
In November, the two were both at the Hollywood launch party of Cardi B’s collab with Fashion Nova. Upon spotting Iggy, Bregoli threw a glass of water at her and factually stated, “You’re all wet, bitch!” It’s all on video, too.
Iggy didn’t really respond, instead separating herself from the narrative and laughing the whole thing off in an Instagram story.
“So the Dr. Phil girl is really upset about me apparently and thought I’d fight a child?” she wrote. “Lol!”
Good call: as she said, Bregoli may be 15, but Iggy is very much an adult. Bregoli’s still on it though — at her recent Sydney concert, she called out Iggy and said “I’m in your country now, bitch”, which, again, was probably more of a factual statement than a burn.
Winner: Iggy Azalea
Robbie Williams v Jimmy Page
Robbie Williams and Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin’s legendary ex-guitarist, have been engaged in a civil dispute since 2013, when Williams became Page’s next door neighbour.
Williams wants to build a swimming pool and gym in the basement of his west London home: Page is vehemently opposed, saying the construction’s vibrations would damage the façade of his red-brick Gothic Revival Tower House. The two have exchanged harsh words across the years, with Williams having to publicly apologise in 2017 for insinuating Page was mentally ill.
This year, William tried to get his building plans approved by the council for the third time, but Page blocked it again.
The Blow Up
Five years after Williams moved in, the dispute was settled this year by Kensington and Chelsea Council’s planning committee. Kind of.
While Williams’ team argued the vibrations would cause no damage, this May the council once again ruled on the side of Page. If any construction would take place, it’d have to be done by manual labour, which is pretty much near impossible. Williams’ lawyers have again pushed back, prompting Page to tell the council just a few days ago that he’s extended a rejected olive branch to solve the matter out of court.
In the meantime, Williams is purportedly living elsewhere with his family, presumably swimming in some public London pools.
Winner: Jimmy Page
Azealia Banks v Grimes and Elon Musk
In August, Azealia Banks came by Elon Musk’s LA mansion to work on a track with his girlfriend, Canadian alt-pop star Grimes. But then according to Banks, Grimes didn’t show, leaving the rapper alone in the mansion for “days”.
The Blow Up
In what might have been the most ‘the simulation is broken’ event of 2018, Banks live-blogged about the experience across Instagram and Twitter.
“Literally been sitting at Elon Musk’s house alone for days waiting for @grimes to show up and start these sessions,” she wrote on Instagram. “I have no idea when she is coming back. I’m going to wait one more day then I’m going to go home.”
She later clarified, across more posts (and then an interview with Business Insider) that Grimes was there at first, but soon became pre-occupied.
She also said they only invited her for “some weird threesome sex shit.”
Banks alleges that Grimes was calming down Musk, who was in the middle of an acid-related meltdown after (allegedly) getting high and Tweeting that he’d sell Tesla shares for $420, something which might have broken the law and jeopardised his fortune. She also said they only invited her for “some weird threesome sex shit”, and threw out some choice insults.
Musk later confirmed that Banks was at the property, but said they did not interact. Grimes has largely been silent on the issue (only returning to social media recently), but Banks continued to share details and encrypted messages in which Grimes appears to say Musk’s accent is fake, his penis is big, and that she is at risk of being kidnapped because “Russians want Elon dead”.
Two weeks later, Banks apologised in an open-letter for helping tear apart Musk’s life, not that he needed much help given he’d already called an international hero a “child rapist”. In October, he had to step down as Telsa’s chairman and pay a US $20 million fine after those $420 Tweets.
Winner: Azealia Banks
Pusha T v Drake
Pusha T and Drake’s near-decade long beef, amazingly, predates Drake. Billboard’s extensive timeline is worth a read, but essentially, Pusha first started to diss Drake as a by-product of an on-going feud with Lil Wayne, since the Canadian rapper signed to Wayne’s imprint, Cash Money.
Over the years, Drake and Pusha T’s feud lost attachment to the original beef, as the two traded harsh words across several albums. In 2016, Pusha used ‘H.G.T.V Freestyle’ to allege Drake’s songs are all ghostwritten; the next year, Drake fired back on ‘Two Birds, One Stone’ to say that Pusha made up his drug dealer past.
The Blow Up
Oh boy, here we go.
In May, Pusha’s album Daytona was the first of five Kanye West-produced G.O.O.D Music albums released week-by-week. Closer ‘Infrared’ pushed the ghostwriting allegations further, directly suggesting that rapper Quentin Miller was writing Drake’s music.
Days later, Drake responded by uploading diss track ‘Duppy Freestyle’, which paints Pusha as irrelevant and relying on this one-sided beef to get attention. It ends with Drake saying he’d invoice Pusha and Kanye for the publicity — and soon after, he did on Instagram, for US $100,000, no less. Slaughtered, right?
Not at all — Pusha responded with ‘The Story Of Adidon’, arguably one of the most savage diss tracks ever released. First, there’s the album artwork — a picture of Drake in blackface from a long-submerged photoshoot, which frames the rapper as uncomfortable with his own race, or some kind of traitor.
Then there’s the content, a pure character assassination. First, Pusha psychoanalyses his opponent to link Drake’s perpetual whore-Madonna treatment of women in his lyrics to watching his father abandon his mother. He then accuses Drake of himself abandoning a hidden, illegitimate son, Adonis — something rumoured online but never confirmed.
Turns out it’s true. Drake’s son was born October 11, 2017: his mother is Sophie Brussaux, an adult film-star and painter who he briefly dated.
In addition, ‘The Story Of Adidon’ was a coup, as a track from Drake’s then-pending album Scorpion was going to announce Adonis to the world with the dubious, defensive line “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world/ I was hiding the world from my kid.” It read more as a publicity than a cathartic moment: ‘The Story Of Adidon’, cutting as it is, comes across as true.
Winner: Pusha T
Cardi B v Nicki Minaj
Ever since Cardi B joined Nicki Minaj’s nemesis Remy Ma on-stage last June, the two have routinely quelled rumours they are feuding.
Every second song, comment or feature by Cardi and Nicki has been put through a shade-detective machine online, but both artists have repeatedly denied they had any bad blood. Even ‘Motorsport’, the Migos song they both feature on, wasn’t immune.
The Blow Up
It all bubbled under the surface until this September, when the two got into a physical altercation at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party at New York Fashion Week.
In videos, Cardi appears to take off her stiletto to throw it at Nicki, who’s protected by security. A viral photo went around where Cardi was escorted from the event without a shoe, but with a bump on her head.
Shortly after, Cardi took to Instagram to suggest Nicki had tried to get her black-listed, but that the final straw was that she’d “made comments” about Cardi’s ability as a mother. On her Beats Radio show two days later, Nicki denied it all, said that Cardi made up those excuses because she knew ‘she looked dumb’ in wake of the fight. As a rebuttal to the rebuttal, Cardi posted 10 Instagram stories arguing against Nicki line-by-line.
Things have continued. Nicki allegedly leaked Cardi’s number to her fans; most recently, British group Little Mix were thrown into the fray, too. Cardi alleged that they first approached her for a feature on ‘Woman Like Me’, which Nicki raps on — the group clarified both were approached, but they went with Nicki because they’ve wanted to work with her for years.
The whole thing is incredibly messy, and we doubt it’s anywhere near over, either.
Winner: Probably Cardi B?
Liam Gallagher v Fish
Someone threw a dead fish at Liam Gallagher while he was performing this July at Spain’s Internacional de Benicàssim Festival. It missed. Suck shit, fish: your dead corpse was part of a failed attack.
Winner: Liam Gallagher
Jared Richards is a staff writer at Junkee, and has a small, personal list of music beefs which are very juicy but cannot be published. Follow him on Twitter.