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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Towson chapter.

By Saniyah Ikard

He said, she said, but what actually happened? The rap community has been popping off with the most action we’ve seen in a while and we barely know why. It all began with J.Cole vs. Kendrick Lamar, Metro Boomin and Future vs. Drake, but now it’s a whole crew of rappers against Drake and even Quavo vs. Chris Brown? It leaves most fans wondering what everyone is mad about. If you’re feeling lost, let me break it down for you. Buckle in while we discuss what’s happening in Hip Hop. 

Since the beginning, rap beef has always been a part of hip hop culture. Artists battling over the mic is a way to determine skill and who’s the better artist. As J. Cole had stated in a previous collab with Drake, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and himself were the “Big Three” of rap. In March, Kendrick Lamar dropped a diss for J. Cole and Drake on Metro Boomin and Futures track “Like That,” where he says, “Motherf**k- the big three, n***a, it’s just big me.” Shortly after this release, J. Cole dropped an entire diss track for Kendrick Lamar, effectively saying that Kendrick’s music doesn’t hit and that he would destroy him lyrically. But Cole later publicly apologized to Kendrick Lamar, saying he let his emotions get the best of him. J.Cole also apparently switched sides when featured on the deluxe Future and Metro album. 

Other artists who dropped Drake’s disses on the Future and Metro Album are the Weeknd and A$AP Rocky. The Weeknd and Drake tension rises from the singer no longer being signed to his label, OVO. But what about A$AP Rocky? No one’s quite sure what that’s about, but rumors say it’s for Drake’s diss towards Rocky’s significant other, Rihanna, on his last album. Rick Ross also had a mouthful to say about Drake, as they have been on bad terms for several years. In Ross’s record, he accused Drake of getting cosmetic surgery and coining him as “BBL Drake.” Messy! At this point, it became Drake versus everyone. 

Since then, Drake has dropped two diss tracks, slamming everyone at once. His second diss track in particular has been going viral for usage of AI verses from West Coast rap legends, Tupac and Snoop Dogg to question Lamar’s street cred in Compton, LA. Kendrick Lamar dropped his diss “Euphoria,” dragging Drake through the mud! Personally? I think Kendrick takes the crown in this one. Drake’s former friends seem to have something to gripe with him, which says to me, clearly he’s not who fans think he is. 

Another unexpected rap beef that ended almost as quickly as it started was between Quavo and Chris Brown. It seems to have started over Chris Brown’s ex-girlfriend Karrueche and now even Quavo’s ex Saweetie? The two went back and forth over a few songs, Chris Brown dissing Quavo calling his music weak and dissing him for messing with Karrueche. Quavo responded right back brining up his 2009 altercation with Rihanna and even calling him the “crackhead Michael Jackson.” Chris Brown clapped back with his diss track “Weakest Link,” and let’s just say it was harsh. The singer said: “RIP Takeoff, he the only real one that got true respect..crazy how when he died, everybody really wished it was you instead.” Yikes. Unfortunately, Quavo’s diss track response didn’t do too well with fans and didn’t quite match Chris Brown’s intensity. Easy to say Chris Brown took the win in this one! When it comes to what’s acceptable in rap beef, there’s a very thin line in which no one should cross. Let’s take the Megan Thee Stallion vs. Nicki Minaj beef from earlier this year. Fans were in a frenzy, debating whether Megan should have dissed Nicki’s husband and if Nicki should’ve avoided speaking on Megan’s diseased mom. Rap has always been gritty and in most battles, you have to hit below the belt to assert your dominance. However, I do think there’s such thing as too far. Personally, I wouldn’t be speaking on Quavo’s deceased bandmate and nephew, Takeoff, but Chris Brown clearly wanted to make sure that he left that battle victorious, and to many, he did. In rap, you have to have a certain kind of ferocity to hang with the best. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen! All of these beefs are simply apart of the culture and it’s nice to finally see that spark ignite again. I say, let’s bring real rap back!

Saniyah Ikard is a Junior at Towson University majoring in Public Health. Saniyah specializes in health and culture. She is a health major interested in uplifting health in college-aged women, and she hopes to one day become a public health program director focusing on minority health equity. She is a massive community advocate and very interested in social issues. Outside of HerCampus, Saniyah is very involved on campus and in many student organizations: the Black Student Union, the Towson Diamondz majorette team, the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, and more! She loves dance, music, and having a good time.