The 15 Best Pop Music Shade-Fests Of 2014

Kathy Iandoli | December 22, 2014 6:00 am
Idolator editors pick their 20 favorites from the past 12 months.

Oh boy, did the shade run rampant this year in music! Blame social media or blame the artistic ego, but whatever the reason, we got our fair share of beef happening in the streets. Sometimes it’s fun to witness — especially when it comes down to picking sides. But what happens when two of your favorites are going toe-to-toe with the insults? Whatever do you do? Events like the recent Diddy/Drake drama (who are apparently fighting over the reportedly stolen “0 To 100” track) got us thinking about all the other beefs that ran through this year!

The more famous feuds involved the dueling of prominent pop stars, so chances are you felt torn at least once this year when it came down to the now infamous brawls. Regardless of the side you were on, you were at the very least entertained. So we at Idolator have compiled a list of 15 Shade-Fests-slash-Beefs from 2014. From sassy pop divas to hip-hop legends, there was a ton of erratic behavior going on. You know you loved it all, though (and so did we). Check out our shadiest picks below!

Lady Gaga vs. Katy Perry

So what happens when the Little Monsters and the KatyCats go to war? Madness ensues. It all started when Lady Gaga’s “Applause” and Katy Perry’s “Roar” were pegged against each other in Summer of 2013 when the singles dropped on the same exact day — GASP! Mother Monster carried the drama into the next year when she performed in Austin, addressing the crowd with: “I don’t know what the f**k-all I have to do with Katy Perry. Our music is so completely different.” A few months after that she tweeted some snark about the singer’s Prismatic World Tour, stating “It looks like green hair and mechanical horses are the thing now.” Katy retaliated, making fun of Gaga’s fake-puking antics, as she exaggeratedly puked up paint during later performances at her tour. Clearly this was a tale of two icons, taking jabs at each other’s level of fame. Must be rough.

Taylor Swift vs. Katy Perry

Among many things, you can blame John Mayer for this one. Or just “Bad Blood,” really. Considering that both Taylor Swift and Katy Perry have dated the crooner, the knee-jerk reaction would be that this is over a guy. Well, apparently not! While the rumor mill swirled that Perry just wasn’t digging the “Blank Space” singer’s vibe, Taylor took it to the next level in the September Rolling Stone cover story, where she accused Katy Perry of attempting to ruin her arena tour. “She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour,” Swift says in her interview.

“She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly non-confrontational – you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it,” she continued. Taylor also said she couldn’t tell if they were ever friends or not. So how did Katy handle it? By sub-tweeting Swift with a Mean Girls reference. “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing…” Perry tweeted. Now that’s fetch.

Iggy Azalea vs. Nicki Minaj

When Nicki Minaj blew up, she was under scrutiny by veteran female emcees like Lil’ Kim. Now that Nicki is the “O.G.,” she is rumored to be passing the shade torch onto the newbies. At the BET Awards this year, during her acceptance speech for the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist Award, she said: “What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it.” The public reaction to this line was that it was a subliminal diss to Iggy Azalea, who has been using a ghostwriter for her rhymes. During Iggy’s performance of “Fancy” at that same award show, Nicki was awkwardly dancing in that “Guys, doesn’t she suck?” kind of way. That’s all that was needed to determine that there was a war budding between the two.

Nicki wasn’t pleased and took to Twitter as her podium, stating, “The media puts words in my mouth all the time and this is no different. I always take a stance on women writing b/c I believe in us!” She didn’t exactly say she wasn’t throwing shade at Iggy. Meanwhile the “Beg For It” rap diva hit Instagram with her reply, posting a graphic with a paragraph that closed with “Just let it go.” She even dropped some suggestions that the Illuminati was involved — wait, what? This beef was ultimately diffused when Iggy explained she never even met Nicki, but thinks they could be friends. Could they though?

Kesha vs. Dr. Luke

Remember when Christina Aguilera released a diss track to Scott Storch titled “F.U.S.S.” (or “F**k You Scott Storch”) years ago? Well this next beef was reminiscent of that, only way way worse. Kesha filed a lawsuit against her former mentor, super-producer Dr. Luke, for sexual assault and battery. In the suit, Kesha explained that she was reportedly “emotionally, physically, verbally, and sexually abused” for over a decade. She claims he began his sexual advances once the pop singer turned 18. She then alleged that he would drug her, sexually assault her, and then give her “sober pills” to wake back up. Further, she claimed he threatened her and her family, and she asked the judge to release her from her contract with Dr. Luke. She also stated this level of abuse led her to develop an eating disorder, causing her to check into a rehab facility.

Dr. Luke swiftly responded with a countersuit for defamation and breach of contract. Then, things started to get messy. His lawyer dug up an old deposition from 2011 (from a lawsuit against Kesha/Dr. Luke and her former manager), where under oath said she never had sexual relations with Dr. Luke and was never drugged or assaulted. Kesha’s lawyer Mark Geragos called the evidence “pathetic” and explained that she lied under oath after Dr. Luke threatened her life. The singer’s mom has since gotten involved, suing Dr. Luke for PTSD and emotional distress. This situation is all bad, and Geragos is about to take it to the next level. He has unspecified evidence that suggests Dr. Luke was the producer who raped Lady Gaga. While Gaga’s rep denied the allegation, Kesha’s lawyer plans to bring Gaga into it. This is going to get even messier than before.

Snoop Dogg vs. Iggy Azalea

Petty male rappers with Instagram accounts jumpstarted this feud. Snoop Dogg first re-circulated a photo of a woman with albinism that compared her looks to Iggy Azalea’s, captioned “Iggy Azalea no makeup.” He then took it to the next level and posted a meme with a split photo of the rapstress and Marlon Wayans’ costumed character in White Chicks with the caption: “So we just gonna ignore the fact that Iggy look like Marlon from White Chicks.” She was noticeably hurt, tweeting to Snoop things like “Why would you post such a mean pic on Insta when you send your bodyguards to ask me for pictures every time we are at shows?” and “Every time I’ve ever spoken to you, you’ve always been nice as hell. I’m disappointed you’d be an ass for no reason.”

She even referenced a time when her bodyguard hailed a fire truck to save Snoop’s friend’s life when he set fire to a hotel room in Canada. He evidently forgot about that and released a nasty video calling Iggy a “C U Next Tuesday.” The Aussie’s mentor/label head T.I. had to get involved, calling Snoop to address the situation. The rapper dropped another Instagram video, saying, “Boys and girls, I just got off the phone with my boy Tip, the king of Atlanta, and it’s officially over. No more bad talk, I apologize. I apologize. I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.” Iggy replied to him via Twitter with, “I appreciate the apology.” Let that be a lesson to never mess with T.I.’s friends.

Iggy Azalea vs. Eminem

Iggy Azalea sure kept busy this year with endless feuds! Next up is Eminem, who came for her on his track “Vegas” with the line: “So, what’s it gon’ be? / Put that s**t away, Iggy / You gon’ blow that rape whistle on me … scream!” She took to Twitter (like always) to voice her frustration. “I’m bored of the old men threatening young women as entertainment trend and much more interested in the young women getting $ trend. zzz,” she wrote, adding, “It’s especially awkward because my 14 year old brother is the biggest Eminem fan and now the artist he admired says he wants to rape me. Nice!” Iggy got the ultimate payback at this year’s American Music Awards, where she beat Eminem out of the Favorite Hip-Hop Album and Favorite Artist categories. Guess who got the last laugh? I-G-G-Y!

Ariana Grande Bette Midler shade beef

Ariana Grande vs. Bette Midler

Bette Midler sounds like a controlling parent talking her teen daughter out of wearing makeup in this situation. In an interview with The Telegraph, the legendary singer had a few choice words about the budding pop diva. “It’s always surprising to see someone like Ariana Grande with that silly high voice, a very wholesome voice, slithering around on a couch,” Midler says, saying she looks “ridiculous” and questions who is giving her creative direction. She then goes on to advise, “Trust your talent. You don’t have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead.”

Midler, who has a history with being equally racy, got a response from Grande via Twitter. “Bette was always a feminist who stood for women being able to do whatever the F they wanted without judgment!” the singer tweeted. “Not sure where that Bette went but I want that sexy mermaid back!!! Always a fan no matter what my love.” Grande’s poised reply led to Midler tweeting that she’s a “reformed old whore,” and that Ariana has a beautiful voice regardless of the aforementioned couch. Midler then apologetically had a birthday with via Twitter: “Yes, it’s my birthday!” she tweeted. “And my birthday wish is that @ArianaGrande forgives me soon and lets me direct her next video.” Let’s see what happens with that…

Rihanna vs. TLC

If there is anything you need to know in this world, it’s that you should never ever diss Rihanna — she will bite back. HARD. This beef originated in June, when the Bad Gal appeared at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards wearing a sheer dress that had her breasts and booty in full view. TLC’s remaining members T-Boz and Chilli got on Australian TV and commented on Rihanna’s choice of clothing…or lack there of.

T-Boz said, “Every time I see you, you don’t have to be naked,” with Chilli adding “We became the biggest selling girl group of all time with our clothes on and that says a lot.” Whoops, wrong choice of words ladies. Riri dug up an infamous old photo of TLC topless holding their breasts and using it as her Twitter cover photo. T-Boz claimed, “I wasn’t talking about her then and I ain’t talking about her now. That’s irrelevant. I ain’t even got time to waste on that,” blaming the misunderstanding on a poor TV interview edit and saying she never even mentioned Rihanna’s name. The Bajan songstress flooded her own Instagram with side eye pics, clearly directed toward the girl group. T-Boz then challenged her to a fight, saying, “I’ll fight Rihanna and kick her ass.” That obviously never happened, but the #RihannaNavy is probably on 24-hour surveillance in the event that it does.

Solange vs. Jay Z

There are levels to this one — literally. First, Jay Z, Beyoncé, and Solange all attended this year’s Met Gala, and Bey’s sibling got into it with Rachel Roy. The rumored reason was that Jay was planning to attend Rihanna’s after-party with Roy; his close relationship with the famed fashion designer being a point of contention for the younger Knowles sister. Apparently, the rapper didn’t attend said after party. He instead went to another Met Gala after-party at New York City’s The Standard Hotel, where video footage showed Solange drunkenly attacking him in the private freight elevator, as Beyoncé calmly leans against the elevator wall.

The fight sparked rumors upon rumors that Jay Z was having an affair, which is why Solange attacked him, and that the Knowles sisters were at odds while the Carters were headed to a divorce. Beyoncé promptly posted pics to her Instagram and Tumblr of her sister, signifying that there was no bad blood. Soon after, the Carters brought their On The Run Tour worldwide, showing how drunk in love they were. The only really comment about the incident made was by Beyoncé on her “Flawless” remix with Nicki Minaj where she says, “Of course sometimes s**t goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.” Goddamn goddamn goddamn!

Azealia Banks vs. T.I./Tiny

Another day, another feud involving Azealia Banks. This one is complicated, though. T.I. and Azealia Banks have had historical beef (primarily involving Iggy Azalea), but it was resurrected when the “Chasing Time” rapstress hopped on Twitter following the release of T.I. and I-G-G-Y’s collaborative track “No Mediocre” to offer commentary. This time, the rapper’s wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle was thrown into it. “U want no mediocre but…Have you seen your wife?” Banks tweeted, later adding that Tiny had “meth face” and couldn’t read.

The tweets have since been deleted, but the sting didn’t settle, as T.I. posted a screenshot from Azealia’s “Atlantis” video with the caption: “U musty-mouthed-thot-bot-bad-body-syphilis-lipped-rectum-vomit-unimportant-ugggggly-monstrosity-of-a-maggot-ass BIIIIIIIITCCHHHH!!!!!! If u speak ill of my family again….. I WILL END YOU!!!!!! #OnPHIL #OnDOE #NoBuuullls–t people fall down stairs daily…. U better watch yo step,u ungly-ass Gremlin-baby #nerveofdisCretin #f–kouttahea.” He deleted that too, but also threatened to “end” her adding, “People fall down stairs daily.” This beef has since simmered, but don’t be surprised if it boils again.

Eminem vs. Lana Del Rey

Since his unapologetic debut in 1999, it’s become expected for Eminem to target a famous female in his music. This one came out of nowhere though, as the rapper decided Lana Del Rey would be his next victim in song. Em dropped a track called “Shady Cxvpher” with his Shady Records pals, and he drops some venomous words about the moody chanteuse: “I’ll punch Lana Del Rey in the face twice like Ray Rice / in broad daylight / in plain sight of elevator surveillance / ‘til the head is bangin’ on the railin’ / then celebrate with the Ravens.” Yeesh.

The internet didn’t take too kindly to Eminem’s bars, and Azealia Banks even got involved — are we even surprised here? She tweeted some advice for BFF Lana: “tell him to go back to his trailer park and eat his microwave hotpocket dinner and suck on his sisters tiddies.” It isn’t surprising that Slim got shady with yet another female, but choosing Lana Del Rey did seem to come from thin air. So don’t expect a collaboration from the two artists any time soon.

Demi Lovato vs. Meghan Trainor

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Meghan Trainor’s breakout single “All About That Bass” has been a Pop favorite in 2014. The song boasts having some curves and a little “junk in the trunk” (euphemized as “bass”). Trainor has become something of a new mouthpiece for women being proud of their bodies, but she had a major snafu when she brought up eating disorders in her interview with Entertainment Tonight. After explaining in her interview that she was chubby growing up and didn’t get her crush that she wanted, she went on to express why she never had an eating disorder. “I wasn’t strong enough to have an eating disorder,” she said. “I tried to go anorexic for a good three hours. I ate ice and celery, but that’s not even anorexic. And I quit. I was like, ‘Ma, can you make me a sandwich? Like, immediately.’”

Demi Lovato, a very vocal eating disorder survivor, was none too pleased by Trainor’s remarks. She hit Twitter with her frustrations, stating, “Having an eating disorder doesn’t show ‘strength.’ Strength is when are able to overcome your demons after being sick and tired for so long.” She then continued to explain that eating disorders are a form of mental illness and “deadly diseases that are taking lives daily.” Meghan was “all about that silence” as she never publicly replied to Demi’s comments.

Diplo vs. Taylor Swift/Lorde

So earlier in this list, you read about the never-ending feud between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. Well toward the end of 2014, Perry’s boyfriend Diplo decided it was a good idea to get in on the action. Last month he tweeted, “Someone should make a Kickstarter to get Taylor Swift a booty.” Ouch. After some Swifties tweeted responses to the producer, he took it a step further and tweeted a link to an online crowdsourcing site Fundly, which has a campaign to raise money to buy Taylor Swift a booty (To date the campaign hasn’t broken the $100 mark). It seems like in this instance, Swift has more friends than enemies. But Lorde came to the singer’s rescue. After Diplo tweeted about T-Swift’s backside, Lorde tweeted to him, “Should we do something about your tiny penis while we’re at it hm.” Ruh roh.

Diplo retweeted the insult and tacked on a comment of “the moment u realize she’s a high school student.” The “Yellow Flicker Beat” singer explained in a FADER interview why she opted to join in the battle. “I love Wes and he’s a big brother to me and one of my first friends in the industry, and part of having a friendship with someone like that is not letting them say stupid s**t,” she explained. “Taylor’s my friend as well, and I’m a girl, and if I see some weird body-shaming on my feed I’m going to be like, ‘Hey man…’ We do still love each other, hopefully.” Lorde definitely made her point loud and clear. How’s that for a “high school student,” Diplo?

Iggy Azalea vs. Lorde

Nirvana fans might remember this beef from earlier in the year and rejoice at Iggy Azalea’s comments. Back in April, when the legendary grunge band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, Lorde took part in the ceremony with a cover of Nirvana’s “All Apologies” as a tribute to the rockers. Azalea wasn’t impressed, and in her cover story for Billboard she voiced her opinion. “Nothing against her, but I think when you’re doing a tribute to someone that’s dead, generally it should be the person’s peer,” said Iggy. “Lorde is not Kurt Cobain’s peer. No matter if she killed the performance or not, I just don’t think it’s appropriate.”

Lorde partially addressed the critique in an interview with Australian publication the Herald Sun stating, “I had a good time. That’s all that mattered.” It felt like there was some backpedaling eventually on Iggy’s part, and she tweeted an “official” statement: “I consider Lorde my very talented friend.” She continued, “My opinion on the makings of a touching musical tribute wasn’t meant as some back door way to take a dig at her or the performance she gave. Sorry if it came across that way, it’s not what I intended & I feel genuinely bad about it because I still think Lorde is an awesome chick.” Nirvana fans might have hoped Iggy stuck to her guns, but c’est la vie.

Drake vs. Tyga

The Young Money Empire has some sibling rivalry going on! The beef dates back to 2013, when in a radio interview with Los Angeles’ Power 106, Tyga was asked if he would save Drake from drowning. In all fairness, he was given the option of him and either Nicki Minaj or Lil Wayne. He picked everyone but the Canadian rapper. His response: “I don’t hate him. I like his music.” Drake shrugged off any idea of beef, but then over a year later, Tyga came for the whole YMCMB camp on Twitter: “Gold album been done. My label holding me hostage so I can’t release nothing. Might just leak it for my fans then let them make $ off it.” We are hearing now that Lil Wayne suffers from a similar affliction, as he’s targeted Cash Money kingpin Birdman for committing the same crime. But Tyga decided to zone in on Drake. Is he just a guy people don’t get along with? After having previous beef with Chris Brown that led to violence at a club and most recently getting into a brawl with Diddy in Miami over his “0 to 100” beat, perhaps Drizzy is just a guy people don’t like. Tyga certainly feels that way.

In an interview with VIBE, Tyga said, “I don’t like Drake as a person. He’s just fake to me. I think his music is good, but we’re all different people. We were forced together and it was kinda’ like we were forcing relationships together.” A Tyga song dropped called “Make It Work,” and despite saying his bars were written way before this feud, there was a suspicious line: “Never was my homie / all these b**ches know you’re corny.” So what does Champagne Papi do? He goes ahead and likes a bunch of Tyga’s ex Blac Chyna’s pics on Instagram. He eventually joined in on coming for her former boo, but only after Drake posted a pic to Instagram with Tyga’s rumored girlfriend Kylie Jenner. So the moral of the story here is, if a guy has beef with Drake, he’s coming for your girl.

Which shade-fest from 2014 was your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below!