Who Is Partynextdoor Calling a ‘Culture Vulture’?

The age of trading pointed bars back-and-forth may have passed, but new-school artists are well-versed in throwing vague shade at their rivals. Though “beef” has expanded past hip-hop artists to include celebrity feuds of all sorts, you rarely see it escalate to the point where direct shots are being taken.

Partynextdoor is no stranger to throwing shade, and he isn't afraid to acknowledge the people around him who are being fake. The latest chapter in this saga is a video that emerged from his Snapchat over the weekend where he appears to call out another artist for being a “culture vulture”:

So who is Partynextdoor beefing with here? There are a few options on the table.


Whenever an unnamed artist is getting dissed these days, Drake's name is always one of the first to come up. It makes sense from a certain angle—he's at the top of the music industry, and his combination of multiple musical styles puts him in the crosshairs for a variety of artists. And fans connected the two as soon as the culture vulture video dropped on Twitter:

But it wouldn't really make sense for PND to come at Drake. For one thing, they have a pretty good working relationship dating back years, when a connection through OVO crew members Oliver and Boi-1da who helped put Party on the map. Party would eventually sign with OVO Sound, singing background vocals on Nothing Was the Same and earning his first platinum-certified single “Recognize” with Drake featured on the track.

If he really wanted to go at Drake, he probably has way better ammo than calling him a culture vulture. Party has made a name for himself as writer for R&B artists the last few years, including being credited as a writer on Rihanna's No. 1 song “Work.” With Drake dodging ghostwriting claims during the same timeframe, Party easily could have connected a few dots for the public in an effort to take down the rap kingpin.

Instead, Partynextdoor has consistently shown love for his fellow Canadian, and often goes out of his way to credit him for all that he knows about the music industry.


Partynextdoor has a more complicated history with Jeremih, with 2016's Summer's Over Tour stirring up a number of wild stories. The two were at the center of a major controversy in December, when Jeremih allegedly sent out a stunt double to perform for him during their tour stop in Houston.

Things went downhill from there, with Jeremih openly dissing Partynextdoor on stage and later dropping out of appearances on the tour altogether. Party would eventually air his own grievances to the public, taking a more indirect route in the process.

“Everyone knows I'm a real person and I don't have time for any other fake shit,” he said. “I can't do fake shit. I'm not calling nobody fake, I'm just saying.”

But both artists appeared to have moved on from the controversy in recent weeks, and they featured in a picture together on May 19 prior to the ASCAP Pop Music Awards:


Foolin' with mi foola

A post shared by Thumpy Johnson (@jeremih) on May 19, 2017 at 12:22am PDT

It would probably be best for both parties not to continue squabbling, so it's unlikely Party was reviving their bad blood.

​Bryson Tiller

The most likely target of Party's shade could be Bryson Tiller, both because of the content of Party's video and the timing of its release. Tiller's True to Self dropped unexpectedly over Memorial Day weekend, and he announced a tour with Metro Boomin once the holiday was over. With his name in the headlines, it would make sense for a competitor like Party to come at him.

Though they've worked together in the past, both artists are incentivized to distinguish themselves from the other. They're competing for a lot of the same fans, and comparisons never seem to go away:

The Everyday Struggle crew seems to agree it's Tiller, and Joe Budden highlighted why an artist like Partynextdoor might take issue with a hybrid artist in his lane, like Tiller:

Tiller is the front-runner, but there's one dark horse to keep an eye on.

Ed Sheeran

Yes, that Ed Sheeran. Though it may seem farfetched, there are a few signs the British crooner could be the man at the center of the controversy. As mentioned previously, Partynextdoor played a pivotal role in the creation of Rihanna's “Work.” Take a listen to Ed Sheeran's song, “Shape Of You,” and see if you notice any similarities in the construction of the song.

Sheeran would later claim in a radio interview that when he wrote the dancehall-influenced song, he thought it would “really work for Rihanna.” Given that it's not far removed from music she'd already released—and that Sheeran's background is decidedly not in that vein of music—it's not too big of a leap to say he could be seen as a “culture vulture” here.

The Everyday Struggle crew also discovered PND's shots were being fired not at a rapper, but at a pop star, and Sheeran certainly qualifies there.

Maybe that's reading too far into it, but it's just as credible as any other theory at the moment. I don't know if Sheeran should start prepping a PND diss track, but at the very least, he's on notice until PND says otherwise. 

More from Complex

Share to Facebook
Share to Google Buzz
Share to Google Plus