By Micah Drago and the AllHipHop Team
The year in beef was extremely entertaining and, the truth is, there was something for everybody. If you wanted street sh#t, you had the for potential violence everywhere. However, if you wanted raw lyricism back to back to back to back, you smiled broadly. Pure ratchet cattiness? All in 2018. There's no need for a long intro. Lets recap the best beefs and rap feuds of the year.
1. Drake vs. Pusha T - Drake is a rarity; a rapper so big he transcends genres and cultures. So when Pusha T poked and prodded at the Toronto rapper on his latest album Daytona, it wasn’t a stretch to assume Drake wouldn’t respond à la his beef with Joe Budden. In fact, Drake came right out of the gates with some direct heat for Pusha T with his “Duppy” freestyle and it was at that moment that we knew this would be a great beef. When Pusha T took things to a new, ballsy level with sharp personal jabs on “The Story of Adidon,” it looked like we were in for an all-time great beef. Unfortunately, the beef ended without a response from Drake when J Prince stepped in to end things.
2. Nicki Minaj vs. Cardi B - In terms of talent and mainstream success, Nicki Minaj hasn’t had a ton of competition from female rappers throughout her career. So when Cardi B found herself at the top of the charts and poised to take Nicki’s spot in the game, things naturally heated up. Nicki and Cardi traded jabs on various tracks, including what many believed to be subliminal shots on Migos’ “Motorsport,” a track they were both featured on. The lengthy feud peaked with a fight at NYFW and eventually “ended” with an agreement, although whether things will stay that way remains to be seen.
3. Kanye West vs. Everybody - It was an interesting year for Kanye, from showing his support for Donald Trump to making a series of pseudo apologies and eventually claiming he had seen the light. It should come as no surprise that Kanye found himself at odds with just about everybody in the Hip-Hop community. His most notable feud of 2018 was with Drake, who alleged Kanye played a large role in igniting the beef with Pusha T. For the sake of Hip-Hop, social media and Kanye’s eroding legacy, we can only hope that 2019 is a more serene year for the Chi-town legend.
4. Tory Lanez vs. Joyner Lucas - Tory Lanez and Joyner Lucas didn’t have a legitimate beef, but their friendly sparring on wax brought us some really great bars to close out the year. It all began with the two rappers arguing over who has the upper hand lyrically, and it quickly went to music with Tory’s “Lucky You” freestyle. By the end of the feud, tracks like “Litty” and “ZEZE” had been remixed and both rappers felt like they had won the battle. But the truth is, Hip-Hop was the real winner in this friendly feud.
5. 6ix9ine vs. Everybody - In terms of pissing a lot of people off, we haven’t seen a talent like Tekashi 6ix9ine since 50 Cent. If you thought Kanye ruffled some feathers with his comments and actions in 2018, take a look at a list of people who had beef with Tekashi this year. The list includes names like Adrien Broner, Bhad Bhabie, Casanova, Chief Keef, J Prince Jr., The Game, YG and so many more. Hell, he had beef with whole cities like Los Angeles and Chicago. You’d probably have a harder time coming up with a list of rappers who don’t have a problem with 6ix9ine. Right now, the Brooklyn native is in a cell. Now, that's beef.
6. Ja Rule vs. 50 Cent - Yep, you’re reading that right—it’s 2018 and 50 Cent and Ja Rule are still at it. Despite this beef taking root nearly 20 years ago, it seems there’s no level of petty that’s beyond 50 Cent. The beef reignited in 2018 with the rappers taking jabs at each other, but by far the best moment of this exchange was when 50 Cent claimed to have purchased 200 front-seat tickets to a Ja Rule show “so they can be empty.” In terms off off-wax war tactics in rap beef, 50 Cent may have taken the crown with this move—even if it did involve him spending thousands in support of Ja Rule.
7. Nicki Minaj vs. Travis Scott - When Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott were slated to drop a week apart, nobody would have guessed it would cause problems between the two. But when Travis Scott’s Astroworld beat Queen in sales despite being in its second week, Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to air out her grievances with Travis Scott and the music industry. While the claims she made against him were somewhat legitimate, the tactics she complained about have been common in the industry for some time. Though there wasn’t a particular end to this beef, it did shed some light on how the charts work, prove how absolutely massive Travis Scott’s potential is and provide us with some funny Nicki moments.
8. Eminem vs. Machine Gun Kelly - Machine Gun Kelly and Eminem barely makes our list of the best beefs of 2018, but it does. After Eminem took some light jabs on “Not Alike” from his new album Kamikaze, MGK felt like he had to respond. His song, “Rap Devil,” was surprisingly solid and Eminem took some flush blows from his Cleveland counterpart. When Eminem responded relatively late with a lighthearted diss track of his own in “Killshot,” it was clear that this beef wasn’t going any further—and that was probably for the best. #kanyeshrug