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Jay Z and Drake are at it again, caught up in a rather tame rally of beef tennis. Drake criticised Jay earlier this year in a Rolling Stone interview, slamming his interest in collecting art. Then the "99 Problems" star responded to the diss with a verse on a Jay Electronica track with a retaliatory rhyme: "Sorry Mrs Drizzy for so much art talk, silly me rappin' 'bout shit I really bought."
This month, Drake made an offhand comment whilst commentating on a basketball game, remarking that "Jay's probably off somewhere eating a fondue plate." Unwilling to let sleeping beef lie, Jay responded with a verse on a new DJ Khaled track, "They Don't Love You No More":
"Haters wanna ball, let me tighten up my drawstring / Wrong sport boy, you know you're soft as a lacrosse team." It's a laborious back-and-forth that clearly neither side has the heart to escalate. (FYI, Jay, you might wanna rethink the idea that only weak little girls play lacrosse – we're sure Beyoncé would have something to say about that.) And eating fondue? What happened to proper diss tracks? It's not exactly the glory days of Jay Z versus Nas, is it?
But rap beef doesn't just extend to rap these days. At Coachella, Arcade Fire aimed fire at DJs everywhere with a shout-out "to all the bands playing real instruments". Deadmau5 responded on Twitter with this on-point putdown:
arcade fire needs to settle down. some dudes devote their lives to instruments, others to electronic composition by cpu, dafuqs yer problem?— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) April 23, 2014
Dafuq's your problem, bro? Of course, arguments between artists have been going on for centuries. The philosopher Frederic Nietzsche, once a friend of the German composer Richard Wagner, wrote an essay in the late 19th century called "Nietzsche contra Wagner", a piece of writing outlining his disapproval of Wagner's artistic and personal choices. Nietzsche lambasted Wagner's conversion to Christianity and told him that his music was a contrived sham. Grill that 19th-century beef, Nietzsche!
And whatever you think about Noel Gallagher, at least he's always capable of a good insult, including this one on Jack White: "He looks like Zorro on doughnuts.". Note to Drake and Jay Z: fuck it, that's how you beef. This nonsense about fondue and lacrosse is wafer thin. If you've got nothing horrible to say, then don't say it at all.
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot