2015 was a thoroughly entertaining year in rap, from start to finish. There was an abundance of quality albums, and every few weeks one rapper was pissed off at another rapper, and no one could keep the peace. Some of these "beefs" -- like Vince Staples vs. The '90s -- were pure comedy, while others were heartbreaking (Lil Wayne vs. Birdman), absurd (Ghostface vs. Action Bronson), and straight-up jaw-dropping (Nicki Minaj vs. Miley Cyrus).
Take a look back. You won't be bored.
Lil Wayne vs. Birdman
Families go through rough patches, but it really seems like we're watching the final, messy chapter of Lil Wayne and Birdman's relationship unfold. After firing off a tweet in Dec. 2014, where he informed fans that he was a "prisoner" at Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne took his issues to court, filing a $51 million lawsuit against the label that he's called home for almost two decades.
In addition to revealing that he's been barred from releasing Tha Carter V, Weezy also alleged that Cash Money has failed to pay royalties to YMCMB artists, including Drake and Nicki Minaj, and he's fired endless shots at Birdman on his independent musical releases this year. The most bizarre part, though, is that Birdman still downplays the issues between them, stating repeatedly that "Wayne isn't going anywhere."
"That’s my son, I love him to death," Birdman told Angie Martinez, adding, "Nicki and Drake ain’t going nowhere, regardless." -- Nadeska Alexis
Young Thug vs. Lil Wayne
Every once in awhile, I actually confuse Young Thug's voice for Lil Wayne's, because the influence there is so obvious. It's no secret that Thugger grew up idolizing the YMCMB rapper, but this year things went terribly wrong between them.
In the midst of Lil Wayne struggling to release his Carter V album on Cash Money Records, Thugger -- who developed a strong relationship with Birdman as part of Rich Gang -- tried to release his own tape called Carter 6. Lil Wayne was not amused. At all. He took legal action, forcing the ATL rapper to change his project's name to Barter 6, and then there were hard feelings all around.
Young Thug got to the point of threatening Lil Wayne with physical violence, after Weezy referenced Barter 6's cover art during a show, telling the audience to “stop listening to songs of n—as that pose naked on they motherf–king album cover." After all of this, Thugger still seems confused about why they have bad blood. -- Nadeska Alexis
Game vs. Young Thug
Lil Wayne's Young Thug feud sparked Game’s Thugger beef, too. In May, Game said he’d “f—k Thug up” because “anybody f–kin’ with [Lil Wayne] got a problem with me.” This led to a back-and-forth on Instagram with Thugger, further highlighting this year’s social media impact on beef. After this, a mutual friend named JoJo Capone mediated the issue.
“I just had a great peaceful conversation with both of y’all,” he said on IG. “We need y’all to put an end to the minor situation and not let the media who only care about ratings fuel the situation. Let’s love and respect each other.” It looked like cooler heads actually won this battle, but then they went at it again in September. With two unpredictable stars like this, it's hard to know when this will actually end. -- Andres Tardio
Drake vs. Meek Mill
Meek Mill and Drake faced off in 2015’s biggest beef. Brief recap: Meek called Drizzy out on Twitter for having a ghostwriter, Drake hit the booth for “Charged Up” and then struck “Back To Back.” After a bit of waiting, Meek finally dropped “Wanna Know.” The online consensus was that Drake won the battle in a landslide. The aftermath at OVO Fest (where Meek memes played on a giant slideshow) looked like a victory lap.
What A Time To Be Alive sounded like a championship parade. But the beef, which helped spark other feuds, was also important because it was more than just entertaining; it also shed light on lyrics, ghostwriting, social media and authenticity debates in hip-hop. Who knows? If Meek delivers on DC4, we might even see more from the Drizzy/Meek saga, even if Drake doesn’t want to hear about this ever again. -- Andres Tardio
Wale vs. Meek Mill
Tension within the house that Rick Ross built first became publicly apparent in 2014, when Meek tweeted his frustration that Wale hadn't promoted his upcoming album online. "#UNOTMMG," he alleged. After that, though, and Wale's response, the relationship was either patched up or the dissension was brought behind-the-scenes for much of the next year, highlighted by when Wale told MTV News Meek was "family."
That changed in October, when Wale was asked about Meek's beef with Drake, and he said he brought “pencil to a gun fight” and tried to “paper cut him to death” (he also said he had been trying to get in touch with him to no avail). The Philly rapper shot back via Instagram, again saying Wale wasn't a part of MMG, and suggesting he was broke and telling him to jump off a roof. Like last summer, Rozay claimed that he had brokered a peace treaty between the two shortly after all of this, but we'll have to wait and see. -- Adam Fleischer
Drake vs. Tyga
It's not easy to bait Drake into beef, but once you've got his attention, he can be lethal. We knew that things were been sour between him and former YMCMB labelmate, Tyga, and the Toronto rapper finally said his peace when he dropped If You're Reading This It's Too Late. I'm not sure if it's even accurate to call it a "beef," since it was so cut and dry: Tyga decided to air out his grievances with Cash Money Records and Drake (and Nicki Minaj) in a Vibe interview, which Drizzy didn't find amusing.
He saved the dagger for his bonus track "6PM in New York," spitting, "I heard a little little homie talking reckless in Vibe, that's quite a platform you chose, you should've kept it inside/ Oh, you tried, it's so childish calling my name on the world stage/ You need to act your age and not your girl's age." Word to Kylie Jenner. -- Nadeska Alexis
Nicki Minaj vs. Taylor Swift vs. Miley Cyrus
Where do we even begin with this one?
It started as Nicki Minaj vs. MTV, when she voiced her frustration that "Anaconda" wasn't nominated for a Video of the Year VMA, tweeting, "If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year." Taylor Swift took that comment as a jab at her and her VOTY nominated "Bad Blood," causing a public back-and-forth between the two on Twitter. Soon, Taylor apologized, they made up and even performed together to open the show.
Less easily resolved was Nicki's tiff with Miley Cyrus, which started when Miley, the VMA host, was asked, in the days leading up to the show, about the whole Nicki/Taylor situation. "What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It's not very polite," she said. Though she didn't respond to that prior to the show, Nicki definitely saw it, because when she was onstage accepting her Best Hip-Hop Video award (for "Anaconda," it turns out), she kept it all the way real and delivered the now-infamous, "Miley, what's good?!" moment that belongs on a loop in a museum somewhere. -- Adam Fleischer
Ghostface Killah vs. Action Bronson
For years, critics have said that Action Bronson sounds a lot like Ghostface Killah. The Wu-Tang Clan vet didn’t seem to mind too much, but Bronsolino changed all that in July. That’s when he went on ESPN and said that GFK wasn’t “rapping like this no more.” So Ghost unleashed a 6-minute video with a soulful soundtrack where he threatened to set Action’s beard on fire and “gut” him “like a pig.” Other Wu family members even got involved.
Want some peaceful news? Bronson later apologized for his comments and it looks like the beef is over for now. Want more good news? Both MCs dropped critically acclaimed albums this year and they had nothing to do with this feud. -- Andres Tardio
Game vs. Stitches
Some guys just seem to feed off of beef -- or, at least, certainly not back down from it -- and sometimes those guys get into it with one another. Enter: Game and Stitches. After baiting (but failing to get a response from) Tyga and Jeezy, Stitches moved on to Game, showing some apparent DMs between the two (Game denied they were real) and posting sh-t-talking videos. The feud remained digital for a couple months, until Game was in Miami in early December.
Stitches spent all night posting threatening videos while waiting for Game outside of the club, and when the Compton native finally emerged, the heavily tattooed newcomer indeed approached -- only to get knockout by someone in Game's crew. Stitches then dropped a dis song, and hasn't stopped spewing hate on social media, but Jayceon doesn't seem too worried, joking about the incident in concert.
Let's hope this doesn't turn physical again. -- Adam Fleischer