The Greatest Feuds In Music

Above: Kanye West and Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs
Above: Kanye West and Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs

Thanks to a secretly recorded conversation, the Twitterverse has been abuzz with “Taylor vs Kanye” rhetoric. The feud, stemming from a now infamous interruption at the 2009 VMAs, was reignited two nights ago thanks to Kim Kardashian’s snapchat. In the duration of a few minutes, it was revealed that Taylor Swift passively green-lit a controversial lyric aimed at her, on Kanye West’s song “Famous”. The fallout of this reveal has led to more name calling from both camps, and of course, everyone and their mom chiming in.

The video is yet another highlight, in an insane series of events involving the two megastars. This moment becomes another part of an already, legendary feud. Sometimes, it feels like it’s the only real one in music. If you’ve looked back at the last few decades, however, you know “Ye vs Tay” has some tough competition.

Try to step away from this beef for a minute, and catch up on some of the best music feuds of all time. Some of them may surprise you.

Oasis vs. Blur

damonnoel
In the mid-1990’s, you couldn’t escape these two bands. The Brit rockers were close in the Billboard charts, and apparently, they were getting a little too claustrophobic. In an attempt to outdo each other, both bands released a new single. Blur dropped “Country House”, while Oasis released “Roll With It”. Both songs did well in sales, and the feud sort of simmered down years later, when members of the band performed at a charity event. If you were a fan of alternative rock in the 90s however, you really had to choose a side.

Courtney Love vs. Kathleen Hanna

Collage_Fotor
In 1995, Courtney Love (Hole) and Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) were both slated to perform at Lollapalooza. What followed was a back stage exchange of pleasantries and punches. This altercation, likely a result of tension formed by Love, who had publicly stated her disdain for Hanna’s band. It’s been said in the police report that Love had flicked a cigarette at Hanna, and then proceeded to punch her. Whatever the details, the tussle has solidified these two as enemies.

Nas vs. Jay-Z

Musically speaking, the term “ethering” someone, means to body another rapper on a track. While the term bodying someone, means to ether them on a track. Wait, I suppose that doesn’t really help. In hip-hop, the term “ether” traces itself back to the Nas song of the same name. The cut was a direct hit to Jay-Z, who had called out Nas on-stage at Hot 97’s Summer Jam. The two New York rappers had problems with each other in the early 2000s, and decided to duke it out with bars. What resulted, became one of music’s most classic tiffs. For what it’s worth, most agree that Nas came out on top.

Tupac vs. The Notorious B.I.G.

If we’re talking hip-hop beefs, then we would be remiss to ignore the grandaddy of rap feuds. It’s the conflict that started the West Coast vs East Coast mentality. Biggie and Pac had been friendly rivals for a while, but after Shakur was robbed, he and his crew blamed the “Juicy” rapper. What followed were both lyrical, and literal shots being thrown. Most attribute this battle to the unfortunate murders of both stars.

Morrissey vs. Robert Smith


The moody post-punkers, are consistently heralded as modern music icons. This praise, however, doesn’t seem to be shared mutually. The singers’ beef evolved in the 80s, when both of them fronted The Smiths and The Cure respectively. Both bands were incredibly successful, breaking boundaries and selling out shows. Because of their similarities, the two were often compared to one another. That comparison didn’t sit well for either band. Smith is once quoted as saying, “If Morrissey says not to eat meat, then I’m going to eat meat; that’s how much I hate Morrissey.” Moz has fired back with lines such as, “The Cure, a new dimension to the word ‘crap’.” Yikes!

Aidan D'Aoust

Aidan D'Aoust

Aidan is a writer from Toronto. His favourite things in the world are music, movies, and mini dachshunds. Give him a follow on Twitter at @aidandaoust, where he’ll also accept your mixtape submissions.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>