Everybody loves a good celebrity feud. What’s not to like about two rich, fabulously successful people pulling out one another’s figurative weaves like reality show contestants? Knowing that even stars can be petty, jealous, psychopaths makes us average, under-paid psychopaths feel a whole lot better about ourselves. Plus, it sells a lot of issues of OK! Magazine and subsidizes Ryan Seacrest’s Crest Whitestrips addiction.
But while celebrity bickering has always been a juicy, smack talking good time, 2014 will henceforth be known as the year the beefs got sicker. This year’s feuds are downright dirty; between rape allegations, racial tensions, and rampant misogyny, we felt #blessed when Drake and Chris Brown served up a simple case of Mr. Steal Yo Girl. And who could have guessed that with one hilarious Legolas punch, Justin Bieber would end up being the unlikely hero that Gotham deserves? But before we get to the fun stuff, it’s time to trudge through the heaping, toxic pile of shit-talking that is celebrity beefs 2k14.
Lorde Versus Diplo Versus Taylor Swift
This November Diplo took a break from pressing play on Garageband to tweet a senselessly snarky comment advocating on behalf of a Taylor Swift ass enhancement kickstarter. Lorde quickly showed off some girl power solidarity, tweeting back “should we do something about your tiny penis while we’re at it hm.” As befitting a 36-year-old man who publicly tweeted a request for a young woman to surgically enhance her behind, Diplo responded by (maturely!!!) dismissing Lorde as a high schooler. Don’t feel so insecure about your advanced age, Diplo—you have the juvenile sensibilities and ignorantly misogynistic outlook of a man half your age!
Hannibal Buress vs. Bill Cosby —> Everyone Versus Bill Cosby
Comedian Hannibal Buress actually started off the evisceration of the celebrated career formerly known as Bill Cosby’s by calling Cosby a rapist in a stand-up routine. More specifically, Buress pointed a finger at the media and the public at large for perpetuating Cosby’s Teflon image. In the wake of Buress’s bold set, Cosby found himself besieged by a whole host of new allegations, as women came forward to share their horrifying stories. While there’s very little good in this disgusting scandal, there is a smidge of poetic justice in tarnishing the reputation of a celebrity who once condemned low-hanging jeans as the height of impropriety.
“Cultures” Versus “White Girls”
As you can probably sense from my scare quotes, you can never be too careful these days. Critiques of overly P.C.-ness aside, a few young starlets clearly crossed the line this year, appropriating and commodifying cultures faster than you can say “teach me how to twerk.” This year, two music videos in particular became fodder for “Race & Culture” discussion sections across America: Avril Lavigne’s “Hello Kitty,” an ode to Japanese cuteness, Japanese food, and Japanese product placement, and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” and ode to Taylor Swift’s unshakeable whiteness. While Swift’s apparent appropriation of ratchet culture was undoubtedly the more scandalous of the two tracks, it’s clear from the video that no one is made more uncomfortable by Taylor Swift twerking than Taylor Swift.
Chris Brown Versus Drake
No, you’re not just sippin’ too much lean—this really is some serious celebrity feud deja vu. Back in the day, Chris Brown and Drake allegedly engaged in a bout of old-fashioned fisticuffs over Rihanna’s honor. When Chris Brown and ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran broke up earlier this month, Brown confessed to some close friends (AKA all of his Instagram followers) that he believed Tran had been seeing Drake on the side. While Brown later apologized on Instagram, it’s fair to say that he’s made a permanent enemy out of Drake—which is a pretty serious thing, now that the Canadian has thrown away his wheelchair and become one of the biggest rappers in the game.
Justin Bieber Versus Orlando Bloom
Bad News: permanently high/horny imp Justin Bieber is here to stay. Good news: so is this grainy TMZ footage of a Bieber/Bloom Ibiza brawl. Apparently, the boys weren’t fighting over eyeliner or attention, but rather over allegations that Bieber slept with Bloom’s ex-wife, Miranda Kerr. While the video doesn’t feature Bloom’s reported swing, you can hear Bieber scream, “What’s up, bitch?” before fleeing the crowd. Truly, a Cipriani Ibiza profile in courage.
Solange Versus Jay Z
Not to be outdone by a hot-boxing 20-year-old and Legolas, the Knowles sisters featuring Jay Z dropped grainy footage of an epic elevator brawl earlier in the year. In the video, Solange smacks and kicks her brother-in-law while Beyonce DOESN'T EVEN FLINCH. The squabble was also immortalized in this incredibly awkward family portrait. Some questions we may never know the answer to: Was Jay Z doing something he shouldn't have been doing? Did that something involve Rihanna? Is Solange still relevant? If we do know anything, it's that Bae is #flawless and after the after party is when the real shit goes down.
Iggy Azalea Versus Snoop Dogg, Iggy Azalea Versus Eminem, Iggy Azalea Versus Azealia Banks
The artist currently known as Igloo Australia isn’t having an easy go of it. Her first celebrity beef began when Snoop Dogg started Instagramming some pretty vile things about her, seemingly unprovoked. Then Eminem decided he wanted in on some of the mean-spirited misogyny, actually rapping about raping Iggy. At this point, the female rapper comes across as fairly sympathetic—that is, until Azealia Banks grabs the mic.
In a radio interview for New York’s Hot 97, Banks linked Iggy’s fame to a larger trend of black erasure and appropriation, a particularly strong argument given Iggy’s spitting style, which blatantly adapts black, southern, vocal patterns and trends. Banks argued that while Iggy is profiting off of black culture, black artists are suffering; "That Iggy Azalea s--t isn't better than any f--king black girl that's rapping today.”
Azalea fought back on Twitter, basically accusing Banks of throwing down the race card as a way to call attention to their personal feud. Other hip-hop heavyweights quickly took to Twitter to duke it out. Q-Tip served Iggy with an abridged hip-hop history, while T.I. defended his protégé, arguing, “not all white people out to steal our culture.” Still, given Iggy’s history of racism, it’s hard to understand why her commoditization of a distinctly black sound falls into the “good appropriation" category. Or as Azealia Banks would say, “I pray for this Clueless White Girl”.