Porter Patin once hacked The Game’s Instagram.
They should never have given rappers Instagram. Actually, on second thought, scratch that. Rappers are truly among my favorite people to keep up with there. The service provides yet another way for artists to interact with their fans. For one, the most fuego alphets get exhibited there. Song snippets and project release dates are posted there, too. Rappers with great Instagram presences like Gangsta Gibbs receive tons of acclaim in fan circles and pop culture alike for their exploits on the site. However not everything is sunshine and rainbow emojis over there on the ‘Gram. Artists frequently use the service to exacerbate beef, what with making threats, dropping left-field disses, or even tattling on themselves. A lot of the things discussed here have since been deleted from the artists’ IG pages, but you know what they say: Screenshots Are Forever. —Porter Partin
50 Cent vs. Meek Mill (With retrospective on 50 Cent vs. Rick Ross offered)
Prelude: 50 Cent and Rick Ross have been publicly beefing since 2009; that’s seven years ago and it’s been plenty ugly the whole time. For years they’ve been shooting poison darts at one another and for years it appears that the two have been at a stalemate of sorts. In 2009 Ross released “Mafia Music” where he says, “I’d love to pay ya bills, can’t wait to pay ya rent / Curtis Jackson baby mama, I ain’t looking for a cent / Burn the house down, you gotta buy another / Don’t forget the gas can, jealous, stupid motherfucker.” That line about the fire is pretty dubious since 50’s house did actually burn down. Ross infers that he or at least his blunt holder is the one who struck the match.
50 responded with his own diss song and they’ve been sporadically throwing jabs at each other ever since. Not even two weeks later, Rick Ross decided it would be privy to manipulate a photograph of a monkey, putting 50 Cent’s son’s face on said monkey. As anyone can see, their beef is longstanding and viciously unapologetic. Fif first dissed Ross on Instagram in March 2014 when he posted a picture that seemed to imply that both Diddy and Ross were gay, possibly for each other. Bypassing the impropriety of disparaging sexual orientations, this was straight out of left field and reignited their supposedly “deaded” feud.
On the flipsid, Ross’ protégé Meek Mill can’t seem to keep his phone out of his hands. Meek dissed 50 Cent on the song “Gave ‘Em Hope,” finally choosing a side in the ever-evolving Ross/50 feud. The most important takeaway from the track is how Meek called Fif out for his Instagram presence. How did 50 respond? I’m glad you asked. I for one do not find it surprising in the least that he’d reply to a diss rap with a diss IG. I’d be more upset at Fifty if it wasn’t such a funny post. Poor Meek can’t seem to stop picking losing battles; Meek responded immediately. The G-Unit leader clapped back again and again and again… and again.
Whereas others would probably use videos to get across exactly how they feel, Fif has no problem creating his own memes or using recycled ones. We know 50 Cent’s record at this point and he’s beefed with just about everyone in the rap game and even a few athletes. It’s arguably a part of who he is. Through Instagram he’s allowed complete (albeit controlled) glimpses into the lives of many people, even those he dislikes.
Chief Keef vs. Migos
This was truly a beef of misunderstanding and unchecked male ego. In 2013, Migos released “Brokanese” wherein the midst of his brags Quavo says, “No off-days, everyday payday / My diamonds looking like KK (white)”. Chief Keef heard this and assumed the Migo was making reference to his daughter “Kay Kay” Cozart. Just like Kanye West will tell you, you don’t want to bring someone’s kids into an argument, ever. Except Migos had no reason to go after Keef or his child any way one looks at it. Regardless, Chief Keef and some of his compatriots jumped on Twitter and in a series of threatening tweets began to insult all the Migos. Chief Keef even released a diss song of his own directed at the Atlanta trio named “Mando.” This back and forth went on briefly with Twitter fingers eventually turning to balled-up fists as a brawl between some of the folks in the GBE collective and the Migos broke out one evening at a gentlemen’s club in Washington, DC.
The fistfight resulted in one of the most infamous deleted Instagram posts ever. Less than a month after the altercation, Chief Keef and the Migos would appear to set aside their differences and agree to be friendly. Their beef now seemingly squashed and Keef’s menacing IG posts deleted, one has to wonder why someone didn’t just tell Chief Keef he had the wrong understanding from the very beginning. Some say violence is not the answer and that was definitely the case here. Tragedy was mostly averted. I say mostly because Keef yanking Quavo’s chain brings back sour memories of Yung Berg’s Autobot chain getting passed around like a stanky White Owl.
Snoop Dogg vs. Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea has long been the whipping boy of the rap community. Her forced twang, appropriative ways, and lack of any good music does nothing to help her. Instagram behemoth Snoop Dogg shares the opinion that she is indeed bad and not good. In a post from 2014, Snoop posted a meme targeting the Aussie rapper. Iggy took to Twitter to respond to his attack with confusion and distress. Snoop, seeming unmoved, continued this polemic. In a related but now-deleted post, Snoop posted a picture of Nicki Minaj sitting alone with, “Nicki sitting with other relevant female rappers” slapped over the picture. It isn’t too far off believing that he meant contemporary, mainstream [female] rappers in this case. Snoop’s caption on the picture was grossly sexist as well which is probably what led him to delete the picture shortly after posting it.
I almost feel bad for Iggy. Snoop was surely out of line when calling her a bitch and a cunt but I feel like we all like to forget this is the same man who sang “bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks.” Perhaps he was upset about the supposed whitewashing happening at The Grammys—Macklemore & Ryan Lewis beat out Kendrick Lamar for Best Rap Album #neverforget—or perhaps he knew what we all know: Anyone anywhere can say mean things about Iggy Azalea only to be met with applause and roses thrown at their feet. What started out as humorous ended up a misogynist tirade. This is one of those rare beefs where the belligerent is the one who ends up with egg on their face. I say shame on Snoop for his combative, anti-woman statements and I also say shame on Iggy for continuing to release music, or whatever you want to call it.
The Game vs. Everyone
If you follow anyone on Instagram, please make it @LosAngelesConfidential aka Jayceon Taylor aka The Game. If you’re a living breathing human with an Instagram account you’re likely to catch his wrath. One can question the authenticity of The Game all they want but he really seems to be ‘bout that beat-your-ass life. Ever since the days of his much-hyped beef with G-Unit we’ve know he has a penchant for threatening violence. It has gotten him in legal trouble here and there and he never seems to learn his lesson. But anything to appear hard, yeah?
Game’s sense of honor is both questionable and steadfast. Sometimes he’s the dirtiest dude out and sometimes he stands up and fights for his friends. This camaraderie was most clearly seen during Young Thug/Lil Wayne’s schism that took over parts of 2015. After sensing Thugger was disrespecting Wayne, Game drew his line in the sand and sided with Wayne. Insults and threats were matter-of-factly stated. Game will fuck [Young Thug] up. Thug’s reply escalated the tension between the men, and was rather funny, too, since Young Thug’s about five years behind on California state politics. Always the one who has to get the last word in, The Game aggravated the situation even further with his reply—peppering in a bit of sexism to boot. This was as intense as it all got, as the two eventually made up and Young Thug said he’d “make 100 songs” with Game if allowed the chance.
To Pimp a Butterfly decided to go in on ghoulish Florida rapper Stitches too, for some reason. This collection of Instagram videos from Stitches’ and Game’s profiles illustrate the fateful night that “Game knocked Stitches out.” The story goes that the two men were involved in a squabble outside a Miami nightclub one December night, with one of Game’s entourage helping guide Stitches to his asphalt bedding. Stitches is relatively small potatoes compared to Game. He may be a buzzing name in his home of Florida but he’s surely lacking the widespread worldwide notoriety of The Game. Weeks—and another ass whopping—later, Stitches personally thanked Game for helping him achieve a new level of fame. The old adage goes, “all publicity is good publicity” and this happening exemplifies that.
Young Thug vs. Lil Wayne
It all started in January of 2014 when the clairvoyant Young Thug began hanging out with Birdman. This friendship and eventual partnership proved to be highly beneficial for both men and anyone else involved. For the first few months everything was blissful; Wayne had announced Tha Carter V to be released on Cash Money, dubbing it his “last album.” Beyond that, Thug was seen showing up on stage with Weezy and YMCMB artists and saw meteoric success with the Rich Gang song “Lifestyle” alongside Rich Homie Quan. Then of course there’s Birdman, who continued rubbing his hands together while babbling about his stacks on tracks. Sounds like business as usual, right? Indeed it was. However, sadly, the dream began to unravel when Thugger announced he would be naming his debut album Tha Carter VI. Stating simply “I just feel like I’m that big” this news garnered quite the buzz.
I can’t speak for others but my Twitter feed was chock-full of people saying that it was a disrespectful move. Concurrently, Tha Carter V was catching delay after delay and many feared Young Thug’s project would be released before Lil Wayne’s. One night in December, two months after Tha Carter V was supposed to come out, everyone’s fears were confirmed. Wayne revealed on Twitter that Tha Carter V wouldn’t be coming out any time in the foreseeable future. Weezy went on to claim he was a prisoner to his label and wanted out of his contract since Birdman wouldn’t allow the release of the album. Lawyers got involved soon thereafter. Messy, messy, messy.
Once Thug revealed his proposed cover for Tha Carter VI, Lil Wayne clearly had enough of the assumed disrespect and dissed him on stage, officially commencing their beef. Or maybe he was dissing Prince. Who really knows? Upon this occurrence, Thugger took to Insta G (deleted since) to offer a bit of doubletalk about the state of affairs. “I know Lil Wayne frustrated bout his career…” he begins, ending the video with a laugh which to some could indicate that he was being disingenuous. Soon thereafter Wayne released the Sorry For The Wait 2 which was full of venomous subliminals about Baby, and continuing in his legal proceedings, sued him for $50M+.
After being threatened with legal recourse, Young Thug was forced to change the name of his debut. Being the Bool guy he is, Thug went with the vastly different title Barter 6. Clearly upset about having to change his album’s title, Thugger posted another (since deleted) video wherein he blames “fuck ass niggas trying to sue”. For those keeping score at home, in the previous video Young Thug said he would “never diss his idol [Wayne].” The antagonizing didn’t stop there, either. With Barter VI mere days away, Young Thug hopped on Instagram once more and this time seemed to actually be threatening Lil Wayne or any of his affiliates with violenc—er… dicks.
Why Thugger chose to brandish guns and make terroristic threats online isn’t easily understood. Perhaps he needed to do something outrageous to gain more buzz for his album. Obviously, it isn’t legal [or smart] to make threats online, and such things can be very serious offenses. For Barter 6’s release Thug announced he’d be performing in Hollygrove, Louisiana — Lil Wayne’s hometown. He was not met with the warmest of welcomes.
On that same night, incidentally, Wayne was performing in Thugger’s hometown of Atlanta and got his tour bus shot at, allegedly by one of the men brandishing guns in the IG video. Mainstream rap beef actually rarely culminates in fatal bloodshed. Wayne could very well have been struck by a bullet when his tour bus got shot. This went from a small spat to attempted murder real quick.
Luckily, since that incident things been relatively quiet and Birdman and Wayne seem to be attempting to reconcile. Young Thug even recently admitted there was “nothing between” he and Wayne. I believe Young Thug when he says he idolizes Weezy and would never wish harm upon him. I also believe that Thug saw an opportunity to take advantage of social media for free buzz by antagonizing Wayne. Time will tell if things stay lax, if we ever get Tha Carter V, and if Wayne and Thug will ever collaborate again.
Instagram seems to be the modern social media vehicle of choice for rappers to air their grievances with each other. Sure, artists may still start diatribes on Twitter, but this seems to be giving way to the utilization of Instagram. Why, exactly? I believe that artists prefer to use Instagram for these purposes because it’s a more personal social media profile than Twitter . Self-promotion is the core of Instagram, everything done on the app is for the benefit of the user and the user only.
People can—and have—claim(ed) many times that they were “hacked” after something particularly weird gets tweeted under their handle. The same can’t really happen on Instagram. The app grounds the artists and celebrities we adore; it makes them seem more extant and less “larger-than-life.” You get to see more of these people via the app. Facets of their emotions are up for vibrant display, from 50 Cent’s state of perpetual jest to Young Thug’s flip-flopping between hardcore gangsta and flattering fanboy. The Game put it best with this post: “Beef is when he IG you.”