(In light of the terrible, awful events in Israel/Palestine in the past few days, it was decided that a temporary departure for this blog may be in order)
The latest hip hop feud has certainly been good for one Jewish Canadian (Drake), and very, very bad for Meek Mill, (not Jewish, and a native of Philadelphia, which is not in Canada).
Now that I have your attention with that ridiculous headline (I worked at a Jewish/Israeli news site where we would have run a story on this feud using the excuse that Drake is Jewish, same reason we wrote about the late DJ AM – Adam Goldstein – when he was critically injured in a plane crash in 2008), let’s examine a few aspects of this feud.
First off, IF Meek Mill is correct in his diss track “Wanna Know”, someone, at some unknown place and time, pissed on Drake in a movie theater. No further details are given. (If this was in France, it could maybe be reportable as an anti-Semitic attack in some corners of the Jewish press.)
As Twitter user Alex Gale (@ApexDujeous – a senior editor at Billboard, and a redhead for whom retweets are NOT endorsements) said Friday morning “whoever figured out who peed on Drake will win the Rap Pulitzer.” If so, a Pulitzer could be in the works for Us Weekly, who was direct tweeted by user Deaux (@dstfelix “crooklyn little chocolate baby”) with the tip that “idk if yall investigate black people @usweekly but someone peed on drake”.
Did someone pee on Drake? We don’t know, nor may we ever find out – surely Meek Mill can’t be trusted, he has his own axe to grind here, though TMZ later reported that during an altercation in 2010 at a private screening of Takers, a member of T.I.’s entourage urinated on Drake and Drake ran, with another man’s piss on him. No video has emerged, so we won’t rush to judgement.
Meek Mill also tells Drake “you really sweet, I call you buttercup / You fucking dork”, and sampled the Undertaker’s ring intro and now may face a lawsuit from the WWE.
One person who the feud may have been good for is Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist/WORLD’S GREATEST WAR CRIMINAL who shot dead a very famous lion last month in Zimbabwe. Cecil the lion, according to his Wikipedia page (every famous lion has to have a Wikipedia page) is not named after former Detroit Tigers power hitter Cecil Fielder, rather, British imperialist and mining magnate Cecil Rhodes, for whom Zimbabwe was named, back when it was named Rhodesia. (Incidentally, Palmer reportedly paid over $50,000 to a professional hunter to enable him to kill the lion, probably much more than it would have cost him to kill Cecil Fielder, who retired with 319 home runs.)
When word got out that Palmer most likely killed Cecil (the lion), the internet launched total war against this 21st century Mengele, with a fury that has only ebbed slightly in recent days, coincidentally (or not?) with the virtual tsunami of ridicule that has met Meek Mill’s release of “Wanna Know” on Thursday. Meek Mill’s track came a week after he accused Drake of using ghostwriters (rap equivalent of doping?), prompting him to reply with the track “Charged Up”, followed by “Back to Back”.
I thought of Palmer in a non-sexual way over the past week, wondering what it must be like to be the target of such rage, no matter how justified (if out of proportion) it may be. Though he’s not the target of rage per se, for the past 48 hours ever since Meek Mill dropped “Wanna Know” he’s been maybe the biggest joke in hip hop in years. I’m at a loss to think of a greater embarrassment any time recently – when Rick Ross was exposed as a former corrections officer? Maybe the release of Insane Clown Posse’s “Miracles” in 2009, with the classic line “fucking magnets, how do they work?”, but they started off as a joke, so the fall to earth was non-existent.
By Friday the ridicule was snowballing, and everybody was getting a piece of Meek Mill, including probably a lot of people who hadn’t even heard “Wanna Know” (aka, “the lucky ones”). Brands started to get in on it, with their social media departments competing with one another to tie their product to the beef.
Whataburger probably won that fight, with the Texas national treasure tweeting “Meek Mill take it from us- if you gonna serve beef serve it high quality”. This has been tweeted over 105,000 times and counting, and they followed it up with “chicken fingers turn to Twitter fingers” (a take on “trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers” from “Back to Back”), but they stayed in the game too long, tweeting “Drake pass the mic: Last name Burger, First name Greatest!”, which is the type of thing you’d almost expect a Jewish guy from Canada to tweet.
By Saturday night, the ridicule was still cresting, and I got to thinking how this would have played out in my younger days. If this was 15 years ago, or just 10, far fewer people would have heard Meek Mill’s track, and very few of them would have had a public platform to comment on it, much less ridicule the rapper in a way that can be seen by legions of people online. His track still would have bombed, but today, in an age when hip hop beefs play out on social media; his song becomes something akin to a cultural milestone, potentially with the ability to sully his career permanently.
It’s yet another reminder that anybody my age (36) is lucky they were born way back when, and grew up knowing that their mistakes, acts of poor judgement and just flat out failures and fuck ups took on normal proportions.
So, Meek Mill vs. Drake, good for the Jews? I guess it can’t hurt, but they really shouldn’t have peed on Aubrey Drake Graham, he seems like such a nice young man.