Myles Duve isn’t claiming Compton, but he moved to Riverside.
In a time when an Instagram comment or a repost from Akademiks can constitute a rap beef, it’s hard to tell when a feud is real or contrived. The 03 Greedo versus RJMrLA beef lived mostly on IG and Twitter, but it felt genuine—Greedo (Watts) and the 4Hunnid Summers signee RJ (South Central) are two of LA’s hottest rising stars and the desire to be crowned as the city’s best is a very personal one. That’s at least the narrative around which their two head-to-head shows at Santa Ana and the Novo were billed, and it’s probably why two fights broke out in the crowd after my being at the latter no less than 30 minutes. I’d like to say Greedo and RJ carried out that contention in front of a sold-out crowd last Thursday, but that would mistake what the show actually became: two artists putting beef aside and uniting through their music.
The setup wasn’t great—a song-for-song battle sounded workable in theory but mixing issues and inconsistent energy to start found it poorly executed—but it meant watching heated exchanges between the artists divulge into compliments in real time. Greedo, per usual, shined, bypassing early mic issues to deliver a medley of hits highlighted by the street spiritual “Mafia Business.”
His performance resonated with the audience and the English-accented banter he offered in between tracks made for some of the most entertaining moments of the night. RJ had a strong showing, too—so strong that the heavyset drunk guy to the left of me whispered in my ear on two separate occasions to insist that the rapper was winning the battle. That guy, like the show, was a bit of a mess. Still, a couple things stand clear from that night: Greedo has undeniable superstar potential and, in this era, it might be okay if the crown for LA is a bit more communal.