When it comes to rap beef, there is no one more strategic than 50 Cent. The G-Unit juggernaut brags that he has less compassion than the average human being and has gone to extraordinary lengths to embarrass the competition.
In his latest feud with French Montana, the battle-tested mastermind is looking to drive a wedge between the Bronx, New York, MC and his pal DJ Khaled by claiming that it was Montana who provided him with footage of Khaled's mom, which Fif later used in his 2009 viral dis video "A Psychic Told Me." Things get particularly sticky because of French's strong ties to Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group and, by extension, DJ Khaled, with whom he has collaborated in the past.
Provided that 50's claims are true, how damaging will his moves against the rising star be?
"In the case of French providing 50 with the tape, I would look at him from a tainted view, or a skewed view, rather," RapRadar content director Brian "B.Dot" Miller told MTV News on Friday, shortly after the news broke. "At the end of the day, certain lines were crossed, so it sets up a trust issue."
Low Key, founder of the hip-hop blog YouHeardThatNew.com believes that if Khaled takes issue with this latest revelation, it could be resolved, though it may ultimately change their working relationship. "With artists, the majority of the issues can be worked out, but now we're involving families," he said. "This may put a wrench in how they resolve it. They may resolve it, but they may not work together anymore.
"In French's defense, he didn't know that he'd be linking up with Ross and Khaled in the future," he added.
In the past, 50 has been relentless against his foes. He came into the game in 1999 with "How to Rob," a funny name-dropping track that ruffled the feathers of Jay-Z, Big Pun and Ghostface Killah, just to name a few. Fif's most famous battle is, of course, with Ja Rule, whom he attacked both physically and on records like "Life's on the Line" and "Back Down."
Fif has launched attacks against Nas, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, former G-Uniters Game and Young Buck and Rick Ross. Many believe 50 times his feuds to coincide with album releases to drum up excitement. He's never quite owned up to that, but with his fifth solo LP, Street King Immortal, on deck for a February 2013 drop, this recent tiff with Montana isn't going to hurt. "50 has been looking for some trouble to get into, some motivation," Low Key said, and he believes Montana is playing right into the crafty veteran's hands.
Nevertheless, on Friday, French took to Twitter and challenged his rival to an old-fashioned sales battle, but Low Key believes Montana should proceed with caution. "Now that 50 has all of this dirt, allegedly, this could really hinder what French has coming up with Interscope, with Ross, with Khaled," he said. "Provided all of this stuff is true."
Who do you believe will emerge the victor if 50 Cent and French Montana continue their rap feud? Let us know in the comments!