The Meek Mill and Drake beef is wack, and if you’re participating in it, you are too.
“Ernest, would you want to write about the Meek Mill/Drake beef?”
That was the gist of an email exchange that took place earlier this week. Due to a lack of real interest, I haven’t paid much attention to the fracas currently going on between Meek Mill and Drake. If I’m being real about it, I haven’t listened to a single song yet. Not for some holier-than-thou reason, but because life is nuts right now. Twitter has been acting a donkey for two weeks about the whole thing, and I finally had some time on my hands, so starting at 11:08 p.m. CST I listened to the songs—Drake’s “Charged Up” and “Back to Back Freestyle,” and “Wanna Know,” Meek’s response that dropped last night.
By 11:26 p.m., I concluded that every single one of you needs to be ashamed of yourselves.
What in the hell are you fools thinking hyping up this nonsense? I expect this kind of behavior from that pile of delusional men and women who peaked in high school that I like to call #1GottaGo Twitter, but I’m downright disappointed in the folks who have been present for any of the legendary rap beefs (Nas vs. Jay, N.W.A vs. Ice Cube, Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J, MC Skat Kat vs. Paula Abdul). Those people know that a well-executed rap beef is equal parts lyrical dexterity and those rare "Holy Crap" moments that only come when someone actually sounds like they're telling the truth in rap music, an increasingly rare feat in the genre. Both sides feel like they're opening the curtain a bit, but it comes off less "Callin' Out Names" and more "XOXO, Gossip Girl." Look, I don't expect any better from these kids, but if you're 30 or older and you’re championing these piles of audio potted meat, shame, shame, shame.
Look, I don't expect any better from these kids, but if you're 30 or older and you’re championing these piles of audio potted meat, shame, shame, shame.
At its absolute surface here’s what this whole thing looks like: Meek Mill’s album isn't great. Not as great as we all probably wanted it to be, that’s for sure. I’m sure the tepid response isn’t sitting well with Meek. He expected more support for the people who performed on it, especially from Drake, an artist so influential at this point that he could probably record a fart and people would stan for it. I’m sure the good folks at M-M-M-M-Maybach Music hit Drake to show some love and he probably hit him with the same line you use when your friend starts doing comedy and you have to act excited for them even though you know it’s gonna be bad. Meek most likely took offense and went in on Twitter. Now we’re in a cesspool. Bars-wise, there are some good moments but guys, come on.
First off, Drake ducked the whole “Other people write my raps” thing and pivoted it towards jabbing at Meek’s relationship with Nicki and then kinda just repeating variations of “I am better than you.” Not only are both of those stances boring, the former one reads funny seeing as it’s coming from a guy who literally built a career on being bummed about girls and then playing it off like shit is cool. Don’t get me wrong: As an emotionally unavailable man with an ego bigger than it should be, I LIKE that about Drake; just don’t swing at a guy for appreciating a woman like we don’t remember you tweeting random female celebrities that you’re proud of them.
@taylorswift13 I'm so proud of you.
Meek’s response, which really should have consisted of a Vine of him playing the Quentin Miller reference tracks and doing the D-X crotch chop, apparently wasn't that good because he took too long to deliver it to Funk Flex or it wasn’t lossless qualiity or whatever you people were upset about. What should have been a KO ended up being less impressive, mostly because you can tell he’s mad that people are ignoring the fact that he called out Drake for not writing his raps (and even worse, that a lot of people don't seem to care!) but then trying to be clever at the same time. You gotta keep emotions out of this kind of stuff, man!
Anyone who saw the Dame Dash/Kevin Liles scene in Backstage knows that in an argument, the one who isn’t yelling always looks like the winner from the outside. Instead of a victory lap, Meek sounds confused and angry, like he has a Philly version of Scrappy Doo bouncing around him going "You gon' let him say that about you, homie? Are ya? Are ya?" at all times, and even thinking about that bums me out. I have to admit the positives, though: Jahlil Beats’ flip of the Undertaker theme on "Wanna Know" is so dope that if WWE had any black people working in creative (ha, I know, right?), I hope they would currently be kicking in Vince McMahon’s door right now yelling for Meek to rap Taker down to the ring at Summerslam.
So yeah. I don’t see the big deal here. Is everyone bored? Y’all know Tink just dropped a tape, right? Is all of this hyperbole because we’re all waiting for football to come back? Man, I can’t call it, but I can say this: This beef is butt and if you’re hyping it, you are too. Go outside. Wash your ass. I don’t care, I just know I haven't been this disappointed in this large of a group of people since Bush won a second term.
Ernest Wilkins is a writer living in Chicago. Follow him @ErnestWilkins.