Welcome to The Beef Report, your one stop source for all the breaking news on rapper beefs, and the general idiocy that comes with them. Let’s examine some of the most recent beefs developing:
MC HAMMER VS. JAY-Z
“I lost 30 mil, so I spent another 30, Cause unlike Hammer, 30 million can’t hurt me.”
-Jay-Z, “So Appalled”
The conflict between these two started over something so unbelievably misinterpreted that it really leaves me scratching my head at where the offense was taken. On the GOOD Fridays song “So Appalled”, Jay said the above line in his verse and Hammer for some reason took this as an enormous insult, immediately hopped on his Twitter to hurl jabs at Hov, referring to him as “hellboy”. What’s so confusing about Hammer’s response is that even if Jay’s intent was to diss him (a stance we’ll file under “not likely”), it really doesn’t matter since Hammer is already a punchline to begin with. I mean, does anyone take him seriously? Last I checked, Hammer’s money woes had been a point of mocking and jest for a decade; sometimes the jokes didn’t even need to be made, because the entire hilarity of the situation was enough to laugh at by itself. For God’s sake’s, does he realize this photo actually happened?
Stop and think about that for a second: this image is not photoshopped in any way. That is really MC Hammer selling his trademark golden parachute pants on TV. And he’s honestly going to take the biggest insult from a throwaway Jay-Z line?
And what was Hammer’s ultimate comeback against his supposed attacker? Releasing a video for his diss track that is so cringe-inducing, it should come with a NSFW banner. Sorry, Hammer, but your sad attempt at making something out of nothing is only just putting more egg on your face than you already had to begin with.
GEORGE W. BUSH VS. KANYE WEST
“It was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency. He called me a racist. I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘This man’s a racist.’ I resent it, it’s not true.”
– George W. Bush
In a recent interview with Matt Lauer to promote his new memoir, Decision Points, Bush went ahead and said that Kanye saying that he does not care about black people during a Hurricane Katrina telethon was the lowest moment in his entire presidency (video of the telethon here- it’s worth rewatching just to the see the dumbfounded look on Mike Myers’ face). First and foremost, we’re not even going to acknowledge that Bush, out of ALL the monumentally dumb and low points of his eight years, chose Kanye West as the worst moment. Therefore, in Bush’s opinion, Kanye West is worse than the War in Iraq, the Patriot Act, Abu Ghraib, the 2000 election, the recession…. etc, etc.
Honestly, even though it was remarkably stupid and shortsighted, I initially sided with Bush in this beef. It doesn’t matter who you are, being called a racist when you don’t believe you are sucks, especially when it’s on live television during a national tragedy by the guy who sang “Gold Digger.” Personal opinion of him aside, I can understand Bush being offended by this remark.
However, my stance on the beef completely switched to team Kanye after I heard an interview with him addressing Bush’s remark. Before Kanye responded, I expected him to react in typical Kanye form; I was fully expecting an all caps rant claiming Bush to be a ridiculous racist and that the ex-president was trying to keep Kanye from being the greatest rapper of all time. But then I saw the video of Kanye replying to the remarks during a radio interview:
“I definitely can understand the way he feels, to be accused of being a racist in any way, because the same thing happened to me, where I got accused of being a racist. For both situations, it was basically a lack of compassion that America felt in that situation. With him, it was a lack of compassion of him not rushing, him not taking the time to rush down to New Orleans. For me, it was a lack of compassion of cutting someone off in their moment. But nonetheless, I think we’re all quick to pull a race card in America. And now I’m more open, and the poetic justice that I feel, to have went through the same thing that he went [through] — and now I really more connect with him on just a humanitarian level.”
Did… did Kanye just… respond in a way that made total sense and was the textbook definition of “taking the high road”? That response was so appropriate and positive that I was almost shocked when I read it. But Kanye missed another element of Bush’s remarks about him. As I’ve discussed previously, so many beefs are the result of someone throwing rocks at a rapper who is more popular, hoping to stir up some attention for themselves. Bush could have chosen any celebrity who has made poor remarks regarding him. He could’ve chosen The Dixie Chicks, who said they were literally insulted to be from the same state as him; he could’ve picked Neill Young, Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M, and the countless other artists who started a concert tour in 2004, specifically advocating his impeachment. But no: he chose the one celebrity who has a giant release in the next few months, and an easy target to vilify and remind everyone of the crazy remarks he once made. Instead, Kanye turned the table on Bush, not falling for his trappings, and opting to take the high road against Bush’s remarks. I want us to all pay attention to this moment: this is the moment where Kanye West responded more maturely than a US President.