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Fight Club: Hip-Hop's Biggest Beefs of 2012

Drake vs. Chris Brown? Rick Ross vs. Young Jeezy? Pusha T vs. Lil Wayne? Look back on hip-hop's biggest beefs of the year
December 18, 2012

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Shareif Ziyadat

If the world really will end this Friday as the Mayans predicted, two things will undoubtedly remain: cockroaches and rap beefs. Sometimes, it feels like half of our working day is spent checking, researching, updating and monitoring the hundreds of squabbles, both real and made-up, among our favorite millionaires. Some have led to great art (Kendrick Lamar's "The Jig Is Up (Dump'n)"), while others have just made us scratch our collective heads (J. Cole vs. Diggy Simmons?). Fuse looks back on a year filled with hip-hop beefs and looks forward to the first inevitable fight of 2013. Let's do this.

Common vs. Drake

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What Happened?: After Common called out Drake on "Sweet," rhyming "Singing all around me man, la la la/You ain’t muthaf-cking Frank Sinatra," Drake fired back on Rick Ross's "Stay Schemin'", proclaiming, "It bothers me when the gods get to acting like the broads." Scarface, the Weeknd and Cash Money CEO Birdman would all eventually weigh in on 2012's first legitimate battle.

Result: While talking to Fuse on the red carpet of the Grammys, Common officially ended the beef. Sweet!

DMX vs. Drake

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What Happened?: Right when Drake was breathing easy after the Common debacle, perennial sh*t-talker DMX told New York radio station Power 105, "I don’t like anything about Drake: I don’t like his f-cking voice, I don’t like what he talks about. I don’t like his face, I don’t like the way he walks, nothing. I don’t like his haircut." Drake didn't respond, but months later, when Drizzy appeared on a posthumously released Aaliyah track, Dark Man X was at it again, calling Drake "disrespectful."

Result?: DMX tempered his comments recently, telling a radio station, "The n-gga ain’t do nothing to me. There ain’t no reason, son. I don’t want to beat him up. It ain’t that serious."

J. Cole vs. Diggy Simmons

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What Happened?: J. Cole rhymed about both Diggy Simmons and his sister Vanessa in his track “Grew Up Fast.” Despite Cole saying, "No diss to the young boy/I'm just rappin'/Get bored quickly," Diggy took it personally, releasing the Cole diss track, "What You Say to Me." Diggy’s father, Reverend Run, claimed his son’s song was two years old and was a rebuttal to a different J. Cole song “Purple Rain,” in which Cole mentions a woman many thought was Diggy’s sister Vanessa. Yeah, this one gets convoluted.

Result: The two rappers re-ignited beef months later with each releasing tracks aimed at each other. The world continued to not care.

Mobb Deep: Prodigy vs. Havoc

5 / 14

What Happened?: Queens duo Mobb Deep remains a linchpin in the development of raw, gritty New York hip-hop in the 1990s, but the relationship went south when member Havoc implied that his partner Prodigy was gay, the worst sin ever imaginable in hip hop. Havoc tweeted, "I had to smack P ask him. prodigy u pussy! O long island a$$ b-tch. I'm about to expose u! next time i see u, u getting layer out, on camera!! i can't wait!" Havoc later said his phone was stolen and someone else tweeted the remarks. Prodigy would later respond, "I'm a father, an adult. I'm not here to beef; I'm here to make music."

Result: It's still unclear whether this was an actual beef or publicity stunt for Prodigy's album H.N.I.C. 3, but general rule: if there's an album coming out at the same time as a beef, assume the latter.

Pusha T vs. Lil Wayne, Drake

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What Happened?: Pusha T released the Drake-dissing “Exodus 23:1,” prompting Lil Wayne to tweet “Fu-k pusha t and anybody that love em.” Weezy responded with the Pusha diss track “Ghoulish,” with Drake insulting Pusha at a concert soon after.

Result: Pusha came back with the G.O.O.D. Music track “New God Flow,” but would later say that he had no “personal beef” with the two rappers.

Nicki Minaj vs. Hot 97's Funkmaster Flex, Peter Rosenberg

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What Happened?: In June, Nicki Minaj was scheduled to perform at Hot 97’s annual hip hop show Summer Jam. Earlier that day, Hot 97 Peter Rosenberg mocked Minaj’s “Starships” and said it wasn’t “real hip-hop.” Minaj pulled out of the concert alongside Busta Rhymes and DJ Khaled after Lil Wayne tweeted, “Young Money ain’t doing Summer Jam.”

Result: Minaj battled with Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex on the phone the next day, and the feud would last for months, with Minaj telling the radio station in December never to play her music again. The station continues to play her music.

Drake vs. Chris Brown

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What Happened?: In June, members of Drake and Chris Brown's entourages started brawling at New York club W.I.P. Bottles were thrown and nearly two dozen people were injured in the fight. The brawl allegedly started when words between the two stars were exchanged over Rihanna, Drake’s ex and Brown’s on-again, off-again girlfriend. Brown later tweeted a picture of his gash and would diss Drake on the “Game Don’t Like” remix.

Result: No criminal charges were filed against either man. Rihanna stays in the headlines without doing a thing.

Chief Keef vs. Lupe Fiasco

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What Happened?: “Chief Keef scares me. Not him specifically, but just the culture that he represents,” Lupe told a Baltimore radio station. "The murder rate in Chicago is skyrocketing and you see who’s doing it and perpetrating it, they all look like Chief Keef.” Keef responded by threatening to slap the rapper on Twitter.

Result: Lupe would eventually apologize to Chief Keef and all was squashed. "I love my brother," the rapper said. "I want to see him succeed and do his thing, and that goes for everybody anywhere everywhere in the world. Shout out to the big homie Chief Keef."

Rick Ross vs. Young Jeezy

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What Happened?: At the BET Hip-Hop Awards on Sept. 29, the two bulky rappers started shoving each other before security broke up the fight. Ross would later say about Jeezy: "I tried to choke him." Maybach Music Group member Gunplay also got into a fight with members of 50 Cent’s G-Unit at the same show.

Result: No charges were filed on either side, but Ross recently said on a radio interview, "If I see Young Jeezy again, will I try to choke him? I don't know that's an option."

Young Jeezy vs. Gucci Mane

11 / 14

What Happened?: Jeezy and Gucci have been beefing for years, with Gucci getting arrested for a shooting death of a Jeezy associate (he was acquitted). The BET hip-hop awards reignited the beef, with Ross hopping on Gucci's diss track "Respect Me."

Result: Still ongoing. Expect more stories in 2013.

Shyne vs. Kendrick Lamar

12 / 14

What Happened?: Shyne took to Twitter to call Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d. city "trash," a suspect move given the album's near-universal acclaim and Shyne's lack of relevance.  

Result: Lamar shot down Shyne before he could get started, releasing the J. Cole-produced "The Jig Is Up (Dump'n)" with the lyrics, "I pray to God this beat is good enough for Shyne/If not J. Cole, your sh-t is trash/But at least my opinion just made everyone laugh."

Game vs. 50 Cent

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What Happened?: The Lauren Conrad-Kristin Cavallari of hip-hop have been playing out their own little soap opera in recent months. On his new single "My Life," 50 subtly rhymes, "I tried to help them kids get on, they turned around and spit right in my face/So Game and Buck, both can suck a d-ck." Game shot back in a subsequent interview, calling 50 a "zombie" and saying, "Maybe he got somethin' he wants to tell us about his secret life."

Result: TBD, but presumably far from over. 

50 Cent vs. French Montana

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What Happened?: After Maybach Music Group French Montana said of 50, "I feel like beef hurt him. After his first album he just kept on going down. You think 50 could come out and sell 10 million now?," 50 tweeted, "Do you realize this fool hasn't sold one record and talking about sales. I'm not tweeting about this little fool no more." 50 would later say he would "put him completely out of business."

Result: Montana requested that the two rappers drop their albums on the same day and see who sold more and called 50 a "donkey." In December, when asked about Montana, 50 told XXL, "Don’t mention artists that haven’t sold records while I’m talking to you," and hung up on the interviewer. To be continued?

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