If sex sells, then beef is that guy on the street corner in the Statue of Liberty costume making the Turbo Tax sign do acrobatics while cranking the Nae Nae. It might not be the most admirable tactic in drawing attention, but beefing is the perfect eye-catching ploy—whether done with ulterior motives or not.
When the (lyrical) shots are popping off, we all watch. We click on the abrasive, trolly videos. We trip off the scandalous tweets. We comb through the rhymes to find subliminal jabs to use as evidence that the beef is cooking. It’s must-see TV. However, while everyone loves reveling in the spectacle of two rappers clapping at one another—whether on social media, in person or on wax—fans love a good reconciliation story just as much.
Most rap issues are petty in nature and could have easily been avoided with a simple conversation. Therefore, aside from mortal enemies Ja Rule and 50 Cent, beef typically has an expiration date. 2018 has been a year in which a number of issues were resolved.
Drake put two of his most highly-publicized beefs to bed, nullifying his lengthy squabble with Chris Brown and settling his problems with Meek Mill. J. Cole and Lil Pump had a Kumbaya moment after previously butting heads. Hell, even 6ix9ine ended one of the 12,846 beefs he acquired throughout the year.
With 2018 about to kick the bucket, XXL scans back over the year and looks into when the smoke cleared with several highly publicized clashes.
Boosie BadAzz and Kevin Gates January
Two of Baton Rouge’s biggest artists were at odds for a few years. The origin of the beef appears to lie in the streets, but things came to a head back in 2016 when Boosie and Gates' crews got into a brawl in Louisville, Ky. In January 2018, Boosie revealed the issue between the rappers was officially dead by announcing he was trying to get Gates to perform at his concert.
Remy Ma and Lady LuckMarch
Remy Ma and Lady Luck engaged in an epic Fight Klub battle all the way back in 2004 and the bad blood remained for years. In March 2018, both artists finally took the high road and decided to end it. The two reportedly talked on the phone and later exchanged compliments on social media.
The Game and Meek MillApril
It was on and popping between Meek Mill and The Game in 2016 and 2017, after Chuck accused Meek of telling the police he robbed Sean Kingston in a Los Angeles club. Memes were made, diss songs were exchanged and things got tense for a moment. Then Meek went to jail. In December 2018, Game revealed he and Meek quietly squashed their beef on the phone shortly after the Dreamchasers rapper got out.
6ix9ine and Casanova’s beef was getting real in these streets, allegedly. Over its course, a near-scuffle and two shootings were reportedly related to the Brooklyn rappers’ problems with each other. In May 2018, at the height of the back and forth, they unexpectedly called a truce on Instagram. Cas later called it a defining moment in his life.
J. Cole's “1985 ('Intro to the Fall Off')” track rubbed a number of rappers the wrong way. But none were more perturbed than Lil Pump, who took the song as a personal attack. The “Esskeetit” rapper went on to throw shade Jermaine’s way on multiple occasions. They ended up deading their issues in May 2018 with a simple phone call. They sat down for an interview to talk about their differences.
Lil Yachty and ThouxanbanfauniJune
In March 2017, video surfaced that appeared to show the aftermath of a fight between Lil Yachty and Thouxanbanfauni. This sparked a war of words between the Atlanta rhymers on Twiter, solidifying that there were major issues afoot. It took more than a year, but the two eventually made up in June.
Boat revealed the news on Twitter, typing, "Just talked to @Thouxanbanfauni and it's all of love. A lot of brotherly love ❤️."
Fauni retweeted Lil Boat's tweet, adding, "Do what we want Not what they tell us ☪️."
Kodak Black and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie September
This one came out of nowhere. A few weeks after being released from jail, Lil Kodak curiously went on a wild rant on Instagram Live and promised to bless Bronx rappers A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Don Q with the fade. "I'm finna beat up A Boogie," he said. "Everybody in the world! I don't give a fuck. I'm finna beat up everybody."
A few days later, Q sat down with The Breakfast Club and revealed Kodak had called Boogie and apologized for his head-scratching behavior.
Drake and Meek Mill September
Drake put a major dent in Meek Mill’s armor during their battle in 2016, which started when Meek claimed his presumed friend didn't write his own raps. “Back to Back” happened, Drizzy was universally considered the victor and they both seemed content with being at odds for the foreseeable future. That is until Drake surprised the hell out of everyone by bringing Meek out at a tour stop in Boston in September 2018. They later reunited on the Championships track, “Going Bad.”
Drake and Chris Brown’s beef is hinged on one person: Rihanna. But things turned physical in June 2012, when the entertainers’ entourages nearly fought during a bottle-throwing incident at New York City’s now-defunct W.i.P. Nightclub. Tensions seemed to die down in 2014, when they both appeared in a comedic skit for the ESPY Awards. A short time later, CB made it clear that he was not messing with Aubrey. In October 2018, Drake reunited with Breezy at an Aubrey & The Three Migos tour stop in Los Angeles.