Yesterday, August 17th, should have been a day of universal celebration. But on a date as sacred as Lil B's birthday, the virtues of honesty, integrity, loyalty, passion, and friendship gave way to public, petty beefs that splattered out from social media accounts like real time robot wars. It got weirder and weirder as the hours rolled by and we couldn't look away—with Drake vs. Meek fully died down, maybe we were hungry for a fresh hit of raw human conflict and the wince-worthy back-peddling that almost always follows. Today we nursed our beef hangover by breaking down the five brawls that stormed our timelines from sun up to sun down. It's all in good fun, and do remember that the only real winners in beefs are the spectators. And whoever wins.
1. Rihanna vs. Memphis Grizzlies' Forward Matt Barnes
This mini-beef was so deliciously short and so cringe-worthy it earned its own post, but it still earned its place on this list. After NBA forward Matt Barnes gave a coy, eyebrow-raising interview to TMZ Sports regarding the nature of his (non)-relationship with Rihanna, Rih took to Instagram to shut the poor soul down. The succession of hashtags, which began with #bishwhere and ended with #defamationofcharacter, was the social media equivalent of a 15-second KO.
Choice Quote: "#thedevilisaliar"
This was a since deleted, early evening tiff between FADER favorites Kali Uchis and Father. It all started when an anonymous fan referenced early Father songs where he'd mentioned Kali's name. Kali quickly replied, making it clear she'd never met Father in person and warning him not to act up if she did. To his credit, Father was short but humble in his replies, admitting he was younger and unknown at the time, essentially citing artistic license. It ended after a few exchanges and Kali wiped her timeline clean of the remnants. We were glad it was over because we love them both. Fans felt the same way, bristling at the sight of two of their favs fighting like kids watching their parents argue from behind a stair railing.
Choice quotes: "Kali Uchis is 🔥, and everything rhyme with her name." -KeithCharles Spacebar
In one of the wimpiest, filed-down spats of the day, former One Directioner Zayn Malik and producer Calvin Harris exchanged fightin' tweets. Harris noticed that Malik had retweeted a poorly constructed comparison of Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus's attitudes towards album sales, and got pissed.
If u don't get what it means when a successful artist uses their celebrity to benefit every other musician and songwriter in the industry...— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) August 17, 2015
Malik lobbed insults back—like the oblique "nothing changed you just never knew"—until they quickly realized they were completely misunderstanding each other's intentions and messages, and probably, actually, were in agreement. While Malik refused to back down, Calvin Harris tried to offer a flattering olive branch.
Choice Quote: "Stay out of my fuckin mentions pls"
4. The Internet vs. The Fat Jew
Hatred for high-profile Instagram comedian The Fat Jew has been broiling for a while now, but the announcement that he had signed with blue-chip talent management behemoth CAA brought it over the top.
Comedians who operate at signals lesser than the Fat Jew's 5.7 million followers began to call him out for his joke stealing, re-flagging past transgressions and putting Joshua Ostrosky's stream of stolen (or "re-aggregated") content under the microscope.
Established comedians were quick to pick up the roasting trend, leading mainstream outlets to cover the growing outrage, gleefully adding updates that Comedy Central had dropped Ostrosky's pilot (though in reality that had fallen through months ago).
My favorite Jane's Addiction song is "Been Caught Aggregating."— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 15, 2015
As of last night, The Fat Jew had quietly added attributions and tags to almost all of his pre-existing Instagram posts. Splitsider reports that Comedy Central will no longer be working with him. CAA has not yet commented at all.
Winner: The Internet.
THE FAT JEW at pitch meeting: so it's called Black Girl Rosé EXEC: not sure that's hittin our demo TFJ: white girl rosé E: here's $1 billion— NLFMemes (@J_M_Cook) August 15, 2015
5. BuzzFeed Writer Grace Spelman vs. Harry Potter enthuasiast Ben Schoen
This beef actually runs pretty deep (the complex flavor of a short dry-aging), but I'll leave the summarizing up to the comprehensive look The Cut gave it last night. Essentially: girl follows boy who co-hosts a Harry Potter podcast seven years ago, boy Facebook messages her yesterday with muddled declaration of love, girl gently rebuffs and de-friends, boy flips the fuck out and goes on insane, self-defeating Twitter rampage.
sry guys i am going to tweet abt this asshole who used to be a huge podcast host & now is being aggressive toward me— Grace Spelman (@GraceSpelman) August 17, 2015
You get the picture. This was followed by an "apologetic" email...
But, amazingly, we're not even at the good part yet. The good part comes when Schoen in turn takes to his Twitter to, by turns, pretend he was trolling, boast about his book sales, "joke" about committing suicide on Livestream, align himself with Hitler, and just generally tarnish the Google search results for whatever generations of Schoen are to come (if they come).
My favorite part of today is deliberately punching up at a buzzfeed staff writer and watching her take the bait— benschoen (@benschoen) August 17, 2015
All of these people wasting their time trying to come after me and generating precisely the reaction I was looking for— benschoen (@benschoen) August 17, 2015
etc. etc. etc. Last time we checked, he was livestreaming a "press conference" from his couch. Also, somewhere in this mess it was revealed Schoen runs, and possibly ghost-writes the majority of, a website called "Feminspire."
Winner: Grace Spelman, obviously.
Choice Quote: "Thanks Sheeps" — Ben Schoen