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UPDATED: If You're Reading This It's Too Complicated: Breaking Down The Latest in Meek v. Drake

by Eric Thurm

Last time we looked at the Drake-Meek Mill Twitter beef/rap beef/somewhat confusing fight over Nicki Minaj, it was relatively small in scope -- Meek accused Drake of having other people write his rhymes (which was already kind of common knowledge), said possible ghostwriter Quentin Miller had to run for the hills, and poor Nicki Minaj was caught at the center of two dudes -- a slap-fight between her current boyfriend and a man with whom she has a rather complicated personal and musical past. It's developed sufficiently now to suggest all kinds of levels of strangeness, and to require this: a full timeline of recent developments in the Great Meek Mill-Drake Battle of 2015.



Saturday, 7/25 -- Drake Drops Meek Mill Diss Track "Charged Up"
"Charged Up" premieres on the OVO Beats 1 radio show. It's a pretty much what you expect from a Drake diss track, in that it's relatively non-aggressive, sad, and has spawned a minor meme comparing Drake to a fully charged iPhone battery (and Meek to a phone about to die).






Monday, 7/27 -- Meek Mill Ghosts on his Response Track

Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex, a New York hip-hop mainstay (for perhaps too long), has already announced his interest in the Meek-Drake beef, claiming to have the reference tracks ghostwriter Quentin Miller recorded. Flex loudly says that Meek is going to premiere his response on his show, which entices many people to listen to terrestrial radio for the first time in years. Instead, Flex loops Rihanna and Fetty Wap and becomes the subject of a vast array of jokes on the internet.



Instead of taking the L, Hot 97 tries to pile on Meek, claiming he just failed to give them the track. DJ Ebro Darden complains that they just wanted to take Meek "at his word," and it is sad.




Later Monday Night -- Meek Screams Into His Computer

Meek claims to have dropped a response diss track called "Beautiful Night," which is just him yelling. 'Kay.




Tuesday, 7/28 -- Nicki's Ex Safaree Issues a Cry For Attention

Safaree Samuels, the ex Nicki has already sufficiently clowned, attempts to enter the musical fray by, among other things, claiming that he ghostwrote swathes of The Pinkprint (notice how many of these moves are just people claiming things without showing the receipts). The track, ironically titled "Lifeline," is very bad, but you can find it here if you are feeling particularly masochistic with regards to tertiary participants in mediocre rap beefs.



Tuesday Night -- Meek and Nicki Perform in Toronto, and it is Weird

Nicki's Pinkprint tour stops in Toronto, the city her boyfriend Meek Mill is supposedly barred from by the most badass city councillor in the game. Meek is late for his set, but eventually shows up to what appear to be light boos.



During his abbreviated set, Meek performs Yo Gotti's "Fuck You," flashing the title lyrics to the assembled crowd of teens and parents who wanted to see his girlfriend perform.



Meek's choices appear increasingly confusing and opaque to a world that just wants to see him follow through on a fight he initiated in the first place. Meek and Nicki make a show of togetherness, but Drake looms over the performance.



Wednesday, 7/29 -- Drake Drops "Back to Back"

With Meek seemingly collapsing, Drake goes in for the kill with another diss track, a "freestyle" in which he addresses the situation far more aggressively, owning his role as a musical curator ("I got the Midas touch") and leaving us with classically divisive Aubrey phrases. (Like, seriously -- is "trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers" genius, or horrible?)





And here we are. There are some other minor developments piling on the participants (like this GoFundMe campaign to help Meek finally record an actual diss track), but for now, we're left with a large number of extremely confusing choices and questions. Why hasn't Meek made an actual explicit diss track? (This is especially confusing since he is, by all accounts, a pretty good battle rapper.) Why is Drake going in so hard on Meek, when all of the laws of rap beef suggest you never, ever punch down at someone less popular than you, lest you validate them and give them unnecessary attention? How pissed is Nicki at both of these man-children?


The only plausible explanation, from where I'm sitting, is that this is all a PR campaign gone horribly wrong for a secret Drake-Meek Mill collaborative album, their own version of Watch the Throne where the throne is adorned with psychosexual post-breakup hangups and framed photos of Nicki Minaj while she rolls her eyes from the booth, where she is actually continuing to do the work being a recording artist. The cover of this album will feature Meek and Drake hugging. It will be profound.


UPDATE: Thursday, 7/30 -- Meek Responds, Flex Thanks the Old Gods and the New

The beef is ongooooing. Meek claims he will finally drop his diss track on Hot 97, and the rap world reluctantly turns on their radios one last time, only to hear Funkmaster Flex go on and on about how "THE STREAM IS LIT" and "THE GRAM IS LIT" and some other random yelling that reminds you why Spotify is actually kind of great. After several hours, just before the end of his show, Flex plays the Quentin Miller reference tracks, and while it doesn't definitely prove Meek's allegations (is the reference track strictly for lyrics? is it for sound?), it does function as an actual, um, piece of evidence. Then, finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for -- Meek's diss. (Spoiler alert: It does not go down well with the internet.)


Titled "Wanna Know," it includes a rather aggressive comparison between Drake and Milli Vanilli, the use of the Quentin Miller reference tracks as samples, an admittedly pretty fantastic beat that far outclasses the actual rapping, and the apparent accusation that someone once peed on Drake in a movie theater or something? It's not a great song, but it's a solid diss track, which means the internet gets to spend ever more time wondering who is winning the Drake-Meek beef this weekend. See you at OVO Fest!



Thursday Night/Friday, 7/30-31 -- Day of the Dead Instagrams

It's fitting that much of the conflict has played out through open-letter, weird social media posts, since Meek started it on Twitter. But this time, an entire round went down on Instagram, as Drake first sort-of responded to "Wanna Know" before Meek basically reiterated his position again. And now, with a lull in the beef, we have to ask ourselves: What did it all mean? (Maybe these memes can help.)






Monday, 8/3 -- Drake Gets Petty With His Shirts

Once more unto the breach, fam. A couple of updates on the Drake front. First, at a kickball game he was apparently supposed to play with LeBron James, Drake says he "hasn't taken a loss all week" and then reveals the "Charged Up" logo on his shirt which, ha, because he's winning the beef! (And he's really good at turning stuff into clothing-based memes.)



Drake Does His FIRST INTERVIEW Since He BODIES MEEK. . . Someone PUT A BATTERY IN HIS BACK . . . And He's STILL Shading Meek Mill!!
Posted by DeLorean on Sunday, August 2, 2015

Then he wears a "Free Meek Mill" shirt backstage at OVO Fest, continuing his tradition of sick burns through torso clothing.


Ouch.




Later That Night -- Drake Sticks the Knife in: More Like NO-VO Fest (Please, Make it Stop)


And here we are. In addition to the "Free Meek Mill" shirt, Drake's performance at OVO Fest starts with his diss tracks, during which the screen behind him displays what was essentially a PowerPoint of Meek memes (a few of which we've already rounded up). Twitter feasts.



The crowd at the festival (which included appearances by Kanye West, Skepta, and Pharrell) chants "FUCK MEEK MILL" a bunch, while Drizzy takes his victory lap and teases yet another diss track. Drake-Meek diss tracks will become the way our grandchildren measure the passage of time.


And after the set, Drake, Kanye, and Will Smith hang out to look at memes and clown Meek Mill. (Celebrities: They're just like us!)



Meanwhile, the Meek-dome is in disarray.

Tuesday, 8/4 -- Meek Threatens to Wedgie Drake

Sigh. Once more, unto the beef. Meek drops another "freestyle" in Charlotte, attacking Drake over the OVO Fest stuff -- including a threat... to... wedgie him? Admittedly, Drake the type of dude who you kind of wish would get wedgied by a bully, but this seems like an inappropriate way to conduct your rap feud. Check it out below, with more information at Consequence of Sound.





Meek stays pretty strongly in his lane here -- he keeps repeating the accusations of ghostwriting, which Drake has yet to respond to (and should, by all rights, have some negative effect on his career), and he's 100% right that Aubrey was too afraid to respond when Kendrick and Pusha T came at him. This is still kind of weak and flailing (in keeping with the rest of Meek's responses during this beef), but if Drake releases "3Peat" and overplays his sneering hand, is there a chance public opinion might start to turn? At least that'd make things more interesting.



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