2013 In Review: The 10 Best Music Beefs Of The Year

Mike Wass | December 18, 2013 5:30 am

When historians discuss 2013 fifty years from now the major talking points will no doubt be Beyonce‘s stealth album, Miley Cyrus 2.0 and the proliferation of public (and very messy) beefs. Instead of picking up the phone or — holding their tongue — our favorite pop stars used social media to air their dirty laundry.

While shade throwing and open letters (hello Sinead O’Connor!) can be hugely entertaining, most of these encounters have ended badly. Just look at Azealia Banks, who could well be the first person to commit career suicide by Twitter. See the year’s 10 most memorable beefs after the jump.

10. Miley Cyrus Vs Skylar Grey (details)

This little joust was actually quite funny. Skylar Grey didn’t enjoy Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the MTV VMAs and quietly expressed her opinion on Twitter. Only the Bangerz diva caught wind of the diss and tweeted a pic of the frequent Eminem collaborator deep throating a Moonman. Classy.

9. Harry Styles Vs Austin Mahone (details)

The award for the lamest Twitter beef of 2013 goes to Harry Styles and Austin Mahone. It seems the One Direction heartthrob thought Iggy Azalea was robbed of Best New Artist at this year’s MTV VMAs and tweeted his opinion to the world. Austin, the actual winner, was clearly cut but replied with the passive-aggressive hashtag #imstilladirectioner. Bye.

8. Tyler, The Creator Vs Will.i.am (details)

Will.i.am had the nerve to give Tyler, The Creator some friendly advice at an event. It turned out to be a bigger mistake than executive producing Britney Jean. The talented MC unleashed a flood of tweets directed at the Black Eyed Peas founder, accusing him of making “butt shit” music and being a sell-out. Guess they won’t be collaborating in the future.

7. Solange Vs Dev Hynes (details)

Here’s an example of a generally polite Twitter beef that was all the more painful because it spelled the end of a genuinely great creative marriage. Dev Hynes claimed sole songwriting credit for a handful of songs from Solange‘s True EP in an interview — a move that triggered an increasingly awkward to-and-fro in front of the world.

6. Kanye West Vs Jimmy Kimmel (details)

The world’s leading practitioner of embarrassing Twitter rants, Kanye West, was fairly well behaved in 2013. At least, online. He did, however, take exception with talk show hits Jimmy Kimmel spoofed BBC1 interview with Zane Lowe. Yeezy hit the caps lock and let loose, tweeting that his former friend never had “good pussy” and wasn’t as funny as Sarah Silverman.

5. Diplo Vs Daft Punk (details)

French electro-pioneers Daft Punk trashed the current state of EDM in a raft of interviews and Diplo decided to get his own back on Twitter by writing off Random Access Memories with a string of low-key hilarious tweets including this clanger: “Motherboard sounds like a coked up austrian guy working on chariots of fire soundtrack”. At least his shade is creative.

4. Rihanna vs. Teyana Taylor (details)

This is a case study in how to lose money via social media. Rihanna struck the first blow by uploading a video of her male stylist in Teyana Taylor drag to Instagram. The G.O.O.D. signee clapped back and the ladies were soon firing tweets at each other, which seemed fair enough until Teyana brought up the Chris Brown beating and subsequently lost her shoe deal with Adidas.

3. Lorde Vs Taylor Swift & Selena Gomez (details)

The ramifications of this three-way beef are still being felt. Lorde jumped on Tumblr and called Selena Gomez‘s summer smash “Come & Get It” anti-feminist before describing Taylor Swift as “too perfect”. That unleashed a tidal wave of hate that made the Kiwi teen public enemy number one. Interestingly, the Pure Heroine songstress is now firm friends with the country superstar, a development that seems to have ended Taylor’s famous friendship with Selena. Messy.

2. Sinead O’Connor Vs Miley Cyrus (details)

Open letters are never a good thing as Sinead O’Connor proved several times by offering unwanted advice to Miley Cyrus. Admittedly, the Irishwoman’s first note was motherly in tone and expressed genuine concern but the 21-year-old’s casual dismissal threw the Grammy winner completely off-kilter and she came across as increasingly unwell in her second, third and fourth letters.

1. Azealia Banks Vs The World (details, more details and even more details)

Congratulations, Azealia. You could well be the first truly gifted artist to throw your career away because you can’t find the off button on your phone (or mouth). In 2013 the mouthy femcee beefed with Lady Gaga over mermaid outfits, blamed Pharrell for “ATM Jam” flopping and, most unforgivably, called Lily Allen‘s children ugly on Twitter.

What was your favorite beef? Let us know in the comments below.

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