Seattle Kanye fans got even more than they paid for—if that’s even possible—at the rapper’s Wednesday Saint Pablo tour stop. Yeezy acolytes worship at the altar of shit-stirring and oversize controversy, and their lord and savior did not disappoint. The man who has elevated indignation into an art form (along with sneakers, taupe athleisure, and Twitter) rewarded concertgoers with a lengthy tirade against none other than Hova himself.
Kanye aired out all of Jay Z’s laundry, blaming their brewing beef on what is possibly the least glamorous hip-hop trigger of all time: feuding streaming services. Kanye traced the tea back to Drake’s “Pop Style,” which features both Kanye and two sad, solitary bars courtesy of Jay Z. To hear Kanye explain the rapper’s brief appearance, “Jay thought about it and out of respect for Meek Mill he didn’t want to be on the track.” Really, Jay? In the imagined words of Nicki Minaj, Meek’s longtime girlfriend/benefactor, “Respect? For Meek?? *series of laughing crying emojis.”
Naturally, Kanye wasn’t buying Jay’s impassioned defense of the Philly rapper turned hip-hop punching bag. Or in his words, “Then it went into some political shit about percentages on songs. I can’t take this shit, bro.” The Apple/Tidal turf war, which is somehow both endlessly complicated and deeply boring, has nevertheless driven a wedge between some of the biggest names in hip-hop. Miracle walker/Toronto hero Drake has firmly thrown the weight of his new body behind Apple Music. Meanwhile, Kanye is a co-owner of Jay Z’s Tidal, better known as the site that lets you keep watching Lemonade for free as long as you keep making up fake email accounts.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Kanye has maligned the mounting cold war between the streaming services. Back in July, he used his favorite social-media network to attempt a forced truce, tweeting, “This Tidal Apple beef is fucking up the music game… I need Tim Cook Jay Z Dez Jimmy Larry me and Drake Scooter on the phone or in a room this week!!!” Unfortunately, Kanye’s Parent Trap lacked the subtlety and nuance of the Lindsay Lohan classic, and ultimately failed to get Apple Music and Tidal together.
Luckily, Kanye’s rant against Jay extended beyond the well-publicized streaming-service impasse. In between threats that “there will never be a Watch the Throne 2,” Yeezy blasted Jay for being a bad friend. Is it just me, or have the two reigning kings of hip-hop gone a little soft? As the 39-year-old rapper confided to an arena full of his closest confidantes, “Don’t call me, after the robbery, and say ‘How you feelin’?’ You wanna know how I’m feeling? Come by the house.” Adding, “Bring the kids by the house, like we brothers… Our kids ain’t never even played together.”
If you don’t have your pop-culture encyclopedia open, here’s a primer. Kanye seems to be alleging that, in the wake of his wife’s jewelry theft at gunpoint, Jay merely deigned to reach out with a phone call. In the spectrum of shitty responses to a close friend’s trauma, that barely ranks above a sad face emoji or a GIF of a cute koala. Naturally, Kanye would have appreciated it if his brother physically dropped by the house to pay his respects and/or kiss Kim’s naked ring finger. Despite having made both music and money together, Jay doesn’t appear to appropriately value Kanye’s friendship. In fact, Yeezy seems to be alleging that their kids haven’t even had a playdate together. Denying music to dedicated fans is one thing, but standing in between the fated future union between Blue Ivy and Saint West is quite another.
“Jay can’t stand him,” a source told Page Six. “He looks at him as this crazy, eccentric motherfucker he can tolerate in small doses.”
This isn’t the first Jay Z/Kanye West clash of the titans. Slights, both real and imagined, include Jay’s controversial collaboration with Coldplay—Kanye insists that he had the idea first—and that time when Jay Z had a retirement concert at Madison Square Garden and didn’t even invite Ye to perform.
According to Jay, the two rappers spent “four days arguing” while recording Watch the Throne. Disagreements over which songs would make it on to the record led to “some pushing at one point”—as well as the alleged slap heard ‘round the world—though, to be fair, it also produced a hit album. Jay and Bey also snubbed Kim and Kanye at their Italian nuptials, skipping the West’s fairytale wedding in favor of a quiet weekend together in the Hamptons. At the time, rampant rumors alleged that Bey was dreading the tacky affair, and didn’t want to associate her pristine brand with Kim and her reality-TV clan. Luckily, America’s second and third families found it in their hearts to bury the hatchet, resuming relations over a paparazzi-stalked double date in West Hollywood. While Jay and ‘Ye have appeared to be simpatico ever since, it’s quickly becoming clear that the hip-hop world (and the internet) may not be big enough for the two of them.