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  • The 10 Biggest Band Beefs Of 2012
8. Drake Vs. Chris Brown

Rihanna was at the center of quite a few ugly situations in 2012, from furious music journalists who nearly mutinied her disastrous 777 aircraft to her truly disturbing (and never-ending) abusive relationship with Chris Brown. Ri-Ri wasn't in the room when Brown and Drake threw down, but it's hard to believe she wasn't the cause of the confrontation. One June evening, both Brown and Drake (who had been romantically linked to Rihanna at the time) ended up at NYC nightclub W.I.P., and while the substance of their interaction remains a mystery, it soon escalated into violence between both artists and their entourages. As Tom wrote when it happened:

TMZ reports that, according to eyewitness claims, Drake and Brown were hanging out together in the VIP section when Drake jumped up and started yelling and pointing at Brown. Both entourages ran in, somebody threw a bottle, and punches were thrown before security broke up the fight. When police arrived at 4 a.m., Drake and Brown had left. No arrests were made, but a few people were injured enough to require medical attention. There was also a lot of property damage in the club.

On Twitter, Brown posted some since-deleted taunts at some nameless assailants, and he also Tweeted a since-deleted picture of a cut on his chin; Rap-Up has a screenshot. Meek Mill, who's been touring with Drake and who's also been rumored to be linked with Rihanna, was also apparently there, and he may have encouraged Drake to confront Brown.

My favorite version of the story is the mostly-discredited one I saw on Vulture. According to this particular (probably false) rumor, Chris Brown sent a sort of conciliatory bottle over to Drake, and Drake returned the bottle with a note that said, "I'm fucking the love of your life, deal with it." If that's true -— and, once again, it's probably not —- it's just awesomely cold.

Regardless of why the fight went down, the bad guy wound up with the girl. Rihana's 2012 album, Unapologetic, included a song featuring Brown called "Nobody's Business" (released as a single, for maximum outrage), and on Christmas Day, the couple were sitting courtside at a Lakers game, in full view of every camera in Hollywood, all over each other like newlyweds. Publicity stunt or sick, self-destructive co-dependence? Either way, merry Christmas!

Argue all you like about the quality of music produced in 2012, but no one can deny the truly outstanding beefs to which we bore witness in The Year That Was. Social media has made those dust-ups easier and more immediate, of course; 40 percent of our 10 Biggest Band Beefs Of 2012 started or built steam on Twitter and/or Facebook. (That percentage would be at an even half if either blogs or online poker-discussion forums were considered “social media.”) The other half started either in traditional media or in real life — as it happens, both IRL confrontations included on this list ended in physical violence.

It was that kinda year: A lot of people talking a lot of smack on Twitter; a small handful showing up at the club with a knife or an agenda. Perhaps most interestingly, though, the beefs that claimed our Nos. 1, 2, and 3 spots centered not on petty personal melodramas, but industry-based outrage. These were vocal and heated disagreements whose roots lay in a fundamental philosophical divide over new technology. Laugh all you like about the words and actions of parties on either or both sides — heck, I laughed plenty myself; it’s the best medicine! — but the questions at the cores of those feuds are Big Ones: What are the responsibilities of the artist, the industry, the audience? None of these beefs led to bloodshed, but the revolution’s most explosive moments are likely in its future.

But we’re not here to speculate — we’re here to look back on a year of sweet beefery. So let’s get started. The Countdown kicks off here.

Comments (15)
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  2. One of the funniest tweet beefs that escaped most people’s attention because it happened on a Saturday morning was between Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings and Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear. Baldi tweeted out that all of the people in attendance at his show looked like Grizzly Bear fans (a.k.a. boring) and Droste called him out for shit talking. It was politely resolved, but personally, I don’t think it really was. It was more like an, “Oops! I didn’t think anyone from Grizzly Bear would actually read this so I’ll pretend I’m easing things over” sorta polite PR fix.

  3. Albini is the man.

  4. Who won this beef though?

  5. a personal favourite of mine is Dâm-Funk Vs. Kanye/Jay-Z/Tyler on artists using the “N word” in their work.

    Dâm-Funk: “I’m tired of people making songs like ‘Niggas in Paris’. You’ve got millionaires like Kanye and Jay-Z who still have the nerve to use that kind of word and have the whole world running around talking about niggas in Paris. What are you doing? You got millions, fool. What are you doing making my race look bad? You don’t ever hear people say ‘Kikes in Paris’, ‘Chinks in Paris’, ‘Wetbacks in Paris’? So why do you degrade my race and my people? I’m tired of it, I’m not degrading my black people in my music, I won’t. I won’t be like those other coons doing it right now.”

    In audio:

  6. this list reveals how many people spent a better part of last year picking on Lana Del Ray (including myself). I bet she loves the attention. Next year we should pick on Blake Schwarzenback for a Jawbreaker reunion tour.

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  8. not really a ‘band (vs. band) beef’ but my one and only favorite was from early November when Hamilton Leithauser fighting off 3 guys in Lisbon that tried to mug him in a park. He managed to get one of the would-be mugger’s cell phone and posted a pic of it the @TheWalkmen twitter saying he would be ‘throwing it in the river’. Of all the easy targets in a park you go after the 6’4″ dude who looks perpetually like he wants to kick someone’s ass??

  9. My favorite was the Texas police vs. Fiona Apple, and that horribly misogynistic letter the officer wrote to Fiona that wound up online.

  10. Danny Brown vs. Whatever Knocked Out His Teeth

  11. Lana Del Rey Vs. Ambien

  12. what about Die Antwoord vs. Lady Gaga?

  13. brb gotta pee

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