New Yorkers Weigh In On Their Favorite Rap Beefs of 2017

How do you end an incredible year for rap music? By talking about beef.

Rap beefs in 2017 ran the gamut from hilarity to curiosity. Remy Ma came out of nowhere with “ShETHER,” challenging Nicki Minaj and her status in the game. Young Dolph and Yo Gotti, two Memphis heavyweights, have moved past their beef and thankfully so; it escalated to Dolph getting shot earlier this year. And for East Coast rap heads, the idea of Cam’ron and Mase exchanging diss tracks in 2017 is a dream match-up come true.

More recently, there have been tensions brewing between former friends XXXTentacion and Ski Mask the Slump God. Azealia Banks is always out here doing the most on social media and reigniting beefs. Then there’s Drake and Meek Mill, but the 6 God decided to officially end their feud in a freestyle over Jay-Z’s “Family Feud.” Just when you think the year will start off calm and friendly, rappers always seem to have something to settle.

So, which one was your favorite? We asked New Yorkers to tell us theirs and you’ll be surprised to hear some of their answers.

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Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Respond to Nicki Minaj’s “MotorSport” Comments on ‘Everyday Struggle’

On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska respond to Nicki Minaj's claims about “MotorSport” and her budding issues with Cardi B. They also break down the XXXTentacion and Ski Mask the Slump God feud before diving into some new music from Fabolous and Jadakiss. 

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Ski Mask the Slump God Gets Interviewed by Puppies

Ski Mask the Slump God has been everywhere recently. From collabs with ASAP Ferg to an upcoming project with his personal hero Timbaland, the Florida rapper is living out his dreams at a blistering pace. His hit single “Catch Me Outside” is still spreading, and there's a new tape on the way.

So it's safe to say the artist born Stokeley Clevon Goulbourne is well on his way to stardom. But first he has to get past the puppies. In the second episode of our new series Hounded, we sat Ski Mask down to have some soft puppies ask him hard questions about his family, his music, and the afterlife. Watch what happens above, and get familiar with Ski Mask's recent rise below. 

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N*E*R*D, Gucci Mane, Young Thug, and M.I.A. Set to Headline Second Annual ComplexCon

The music lineup for the second annual ComplexCon has officially been announced, and it expands on everything that made the first year such a success for fans of the latest and greatest in hip-hop. N*E*R*D is set to headline the first night of the two-day festival, which kicks off on Nov. 4 in Long Beach, California. Gucci Mane, M.I.A., and Young Thug will headline the second night on Nov. 5.

In addition to the headliners, there will also be a long list of other performers set to hit the stage at ComplexCon. Those performers will include DJ Khaled, A-Trak and Friends, D.R.A.M., SUPERDUPERKYLE, A$AP Ferg, Jaden Smith, Virgil Abloh, i am OTHER #BeGreat Party ft. Special Guests, Noname, Ski Mask the Slump God, Wifisfuneral, Dreezy, Chloe x Halle, Injury Reserve, Ronny J Presents, Cozy Boys, and more. Additionally, Fool’s Gold Day Off will make ComplexCon its southern California performance stop.

Tickets for ComplexCon will go on sale starting at 12 p.m. PST on August 25 at Complexcon.com.

Want to experience Complex IRL? Check out our second annual ComplexCon, a festival and exhibition taking place in Long Beach, California Nov. 4-5. Host committee members include Murakami, Pharrell, Virgil Abloh, Sarah Andelman, J Balvin and Jaden Smith. For more information on performers, panels, and tickets, visit here

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XXXTentacion Builds Hype for Debut Album With 2 New Songs

As fans get closer to the Aug. 25 release date of XXXTentacion’s debut album 17, the South Florida rapper wanted to give them something special. Over the weekend, he shared two tracks—“Ok Shorty!” and “In the End”—that tease the sonic direction of his project.

Or, maybe not? X made sure to write a disclaimer before anyone pressed play: “Don’t worry this is not what my album sounds like lol.” Instead, fans will have to go with his earlier words that 17 is an album that’s “for the depressed ones, for the lost ones.” Earlier snippets displayed a more melancholic sound, and he also previewed a collaboration with Trippie Redd titled “Fuck Love.”

These tracks are roughly two minutes long, but possess X’s infectious energy that you’ve seen before if you watched him perform live. “OK Shorty!” has a Ski Mask the Slump God vibe, with him repeating the refrain “OK Shorty!” several times. “In the End”—not to be confused with Linkin Park’s classic record—​is sorrow-filled as X contemplates about love. “In the end, I won’t run, I won’t hide/It’s too late I won’t stare at the altar,” he sings.

Two different sounds from X. Which one are you feeling more? Check them out below.

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Florida Rapper SmokePurpp is Putting Numbers on the Board

Florida rapper SmokePurpp has an album called Deadstar on the way, and he's putting up big numbers before it's even dropped. While rising Florida artists like Lil Pump and Ski Mask the Slump God have become known for blown out bass and a DIY approach, SmokePurpp's polished, catchy melodies should help him reach a whole new audience.

Read more about the meaning behind SmokePurpp's memorable album cover here and watch our Numbers on the Board video on Lil Pump below.

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Inside the Beef That Lead to XXXTentacion Getting Knocked Out

During the San Diego stop on his Revenge Tour, 19-year-old Florida-based rapper XXXTentacion got knocked out mid-song while performing at The Observatory. The assailant, who's identity has not been confirmed, is said to be an associate of Rob Stone, a 22-year-old rapper from San Diego who made some noise with a song “Chill Bill” but has been connected to XXXTentacion through a beef that's been stirring since April of this year.

With XXXTentacion's name being in the news circuit for most of 2017, and a flurry of theories regarding what happened in this altercation (which someone who may or may not have been the person who attacked XXXTentacion being stabbed), the question on everyone's lips is “what the hell happened?”

Let's walk back to the beginning of the beef, which reportedly features everything from grabbing mics, more violent attacks, and a rapper named Ski Mask The Slump God. Here's a look at Rob Stone and XXXTentacion's beef.

April 9, 2017: Ski Mask the Slump God escorted off stage during Rob Stone performance

To understand how XXXTentacion and Rob Stone started beefing, you have to understand Stone's beef with Ski Mask the Slump God, another Florida-based rapper who is down with XXXTentacion. According to reports, Ski Mask was escorted off the stage at a show at The Observatory on a San Diego date for Desiigner's Outlet Tour.

As the story goes, Ski Mask tried getting on the mic as Rob Stone was getting on stage to start his performance. Ski Mask got frustrated over the ordeal and decided to not leave the stage. Footage shows that he ended up getting walked off the stage by a number of unidentified men.

When word got to XXXTentacion about what happened at the show to Ski Mask, he took to Twitter to vent. The tweet, which has since been deleted, said, “Let them know whoever the fuck that is getting fucked in they mouth when I go on tour for putting their peasant hands on my brother.” Rob Stone wasn't here for it, and let it be known in his own tweet.

To which Ski Mask sent his own tweet, insinuating that there was more to the growing friction between himself and Rob Stone.

April 10, 2017: Ski Mask gets jumped

The very next night on Desiigner's Outlet Tour found Ski Mask and Rob Stone getting into it at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. At the start of Ski Mask the Slump God's set, a pair of individuals are jumped him from behind, causing the three of them to fall into the crowd. Ski Mask is said to have then jumped back on stage, and was chased by a whole squad of people.

April 11, 2017: Two sides of the same story

In two separate conversations with XXL, both Rob and Ski Mask laid out their sides of what happened in Los Angeles. Stone likened Ski Mask's set in L.A. to being the “third strike” of disrespect. Strike one was said to have been an incident where Ski Mask ran out during Rob's set in Seattle to interact with fans mid-song. Stone says, “The nigga was ruining my spot. So that was the first strike and I told the nigga, ‘Don’t do that. If you’re gonna run on my set, come on ‘Chill Bill’ at the end.’ So he was like, ‘Aight, cool’ and it was straight.” Stone said strike two was at the San Diego show. According to him, Ski Mask's lateness forced set times to be pushed back, with Ski Mask being told he's go on at 9 p.m. Around 9:25, Stone says Ski Mask finally showed up, and took to the stage as Rob Stone was about to go on. When Stone's DJ wouldn't hand Ski Mask the mic, he got aggy and stood his ground.

Stone said that after the back-and-forth with XXXTentacion and Ski Mask on Twitter, as well as seeing XXX on Instagram Live “talking about Ski Mask gonna slap the shit outta me,” Stone decided he'd approach Ski Mask at the L.A. show, but Ski Mask showed up and hopped right on stage. “I wasn’t even trying to run onstage and do bro like that. I was supposed to get at bro behind the scenes, but he wanna run onstage and not holla at me like a real nigga, so I run onstage and take the mic from blood and then we beat his ass from the stage to the street. And that’s how it goes. And I left his ass out in the street with his ass out and his underwear. And that’s exactly what happened, from beginning to end.”

Ski Mask saw things differently, saying that AEG (who was putting on the Outlet Tour) was trying to get Rob Stone off of the tour. “Statistically, I shouldn’t even perform before him. Looking at numbers, I shouldn’t have to perform before him because it doesn’t make sense. My numbers are way higher than his in general. Then performance wise, this nigga is ass. He doesn’t do good in general in performance. So they were trying to throw him off [the tour] and he was angry as fuck.” Ski Mask also stated that the San Diego date was supposed to be his last date on the tour, but he says he might not have been getting paid.

Now, even though he says he wasn't going to perform if he wasn't going to get paid, he did indicate that he would be telling his fans “'on the mic that I'm not performing.' Because they're gonna think I didn't even pull up and they're gonna be mad.” According to Ski Mask, that's when the footage starts, where he's on the stage not being given a mic, but not wanting to get off the stage.

In the case of the Los Angeles tour date, Ski Mask said he only went there because he “didn't want to seem pussy,” indicating that he “didn’t think, even if he was gonna jump me, he was gonna do it like that, by jumping me on the stage and not even give me the heads up that he’s about to jump me or wait until I’m done performing.” As you can see in the above video, that wasn't the case. Ski Mask also alleges that around eight people attacked him, and at some point, knives were drawn and his friend was stabbed.

They both indicated to XXL that they were no longer a part of Desiigner's Outlet Tour.

May 1, 2017: Rob Stone replaced by Ski Mask the Slump God at Rolling Loud Festival

After their very public scuffles on the Outlet Tour, Ski Mask and Rob Stone would spend time clapping back and forth at each other, but the next real issue was Stone's claims that he was removed from the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami. According to a tweet of his on May 1, Stone says he was paid in full in advance “not to show up at the festival,” saying that “the promoter is their boy.”

The “their” is in reference to XXXTentacion and Ski Mask the Slump God; XXX was already on the bill, and its said that Ski Mask ended up taking Rob Stone's slot. Stone later spoke out on the situation, reiterating that he was paid not to go “for 'safety & security,'” and spoke on how his issues with XXXTentacion was the cause of him being let go.

 

#robstone says he was paid NOT to attend #rollingloud because of issues with #xxxtentacion (part 1)

A post shared by DJ Akademiks (@akadmiks) on May 8, 2017 at 6:26pm PDT

 

#robstone says he was paid NOT to attend #rollingloud because of issues with #xxxtentacion (part 2)

A post shared by DJ Akademiks (@akadmiks) on May 8, 2017 at 6:30pm PDT

June 7, 2017: XXXTentacion gets suckerpunched

It's hard to tell if XXXTentacion was worrying about any flack from his shared beef with Rob Stone when hitting The Observatory during his Revenge Tour, but knowing what has gone down between Ski Mask and Rob Stone, it's hard to be surprised. During his set, someone ran onstage and knocked XXX out with a blow. The individual was immediately bumrushed by security, with a major scuffle ensuing both on stage and behind-the-scenes.

It appears that many in the building started screaming “Fuck Rob Stone.” After the incident, when XXX came to, he hit Twitter to not only say he was set up, but to throw a threat for the next time someone attacks him.

Fox 5 San Diego reports that at some point during the incident on stage, a 19-year-old was stabbed. They also indicated that, at the time, there were no reported arrests.

At the time of this writing, there's been no comment on social media from Rob Stone, though the Slump God did share a couple of tweets.

Sadly, this doesn't seem like it's going to be over any time soon. Maybe Rolling Loud had the right idea; the heat between these factions is too great to have them near each other. If someone doesn't step up to mediate the situation, this could go from bad to worse very quickly.

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