In the interview with Touré, he expressed some unusual, counterintuitive opinions about rap beef and fandom.
When asked who won the Nicki Minaj/Remy Ma beef, he replied: "Shit is corny."
"I don't wanna see people demean one another for no reason when they can have a phone conversation," he said. "Especially when they’re actually successful musicians, not like a thing. There is battle rap. I am a fan of that, but as far as the spitefulness of it, 'cause battle rappers are actually like all friends, for the most part, and they write about it, and have fun, and talk about it on Facebook later. It’s real fuckin cute, but all that other shit they can get the fuck out of here. That shit is corny as fuck. It’s like, 'I’m gonna say really hurtful things about you for the sake of hip-hop. Oh.'"
It’s that last part that’s important to understanding Vince’s argument about fandom. After discussing the Amy documentary with Touré, Vince explained he doesn’t think fans actually love the artists they claim to. Or, at least, they don’t always act with understanding for those artists.
"When you go to Target, and you like your groceries, your bags specific way, and you tell the lady, hey, can you double bag that? And she forgets to. Or she doesn't seem like she's paying attention. You might look at her kinda crazy. But, then you might look at their face like, you know what, they're probably having a bad day.
"You run into people with jobs all the time that might not perform to the best of their abilities all the time, but, usually, we take into consideration their current mind state, the things that they're currently going through. We do it all the time. We always look at people and say, aw, man. I wonder what's going on with him. They don't seem like they're having a good day."
Being a rap fan in some ways parallels being a sports fan, in that you’re devoted to your artists and want to see them win, oftentimes no matter the cost. And, like with sports, there’s more excitement when the competition is particularly fierce. The way beef often unfolds, it results in tough talk about uncomfortable subjects. Like during the beef with Nas, when Jay rapped, “Left condoms on your baby seat” on “Super Ugly.”
For Vince, so-called fans fail to empathize with artists at crucial moments, and so he finds nothing worth celebrating in fandom. Which is related to how he views beef as corny, since it so often boils down to fans getting excited about rappers digging into each other’s personal lives to say really hurtful shit. For instance, Remy Ma bringing up Nicki Minaj’s brother, who is accused of raping a child. Or Nicki retaliating by talking about Remy abandoning her family when she went to prison.
The question to consider is: If this person whose music means so much to me is being harmed in some way by this situation, is it worth it? It’s not unlike the moral dilemma of an artist who makes music about their drug use, or who seems to make music out of their drug use. At what point is the damage the person is doing not worth the art they’re making?
Most of the time, there aren’t easy, neat answers to these questions. But as social media allows for greater access to artists, while also allowing fans to interact more directly with artists, these issues become more and more commonplace. What would stop you from encouraging a beef? When would you forgive an artist for a poor performance or late show?