The Biggest Lyrical Feuds in Music History: Kanye, Taylor, Cardi, Nicki, MoreFebruary 4, 2019
It goes down in the lyrics. Musicians use their songs to express their emotions — both good and bad — so when there’s drama between two artists, things can get pretty heated, pretty quickly.
The world was shocked when Taylor Swift released 1989 in October 2014 and admitted to Rolling Stone that “Bad Blood” is about a female artist who “tried to sabotage an entire arena tour.” Katy Perry later confirmed the diss was aimed at her when she tweeted a Mean Girls reference, writing, “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing…”
More than two years later, Perry, 34, fired back with “Swish, Swish.” She croons in the tune, “A tiger don’t lose no sleep / Don’t need opinions / From a shellfish or a sheep.” The pair have since made up, with the “I Kissed a Girl” songstress literally extending an olive branch in May 2018.
But that musical battle wasn’t the first for Swift, 29, and it wouldn’t be the last. In June 2006, the “Delicate” singer told Ellen DeGeneres that Joe Jonas broke up with her over the phone in 27 seconds, which prompted her to write “Forever and Always.” Jonas, now 29, eventually responded with the Jonas Brothers’ “Much Better,” in which he sang, “I get a rep for breaking hearts / Now I’m done with superstars / And all the tears on her guitar / I’m not bitter,” referring to Swift’s early hit, “Teardrops on My Guitar.”
The drama continued for Swift when Kanye West dropped “Famous” in April 2016. “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous,” he rapped, referring to the headline-making moment when he grabbed the microphone out of her hand at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. The tune is thought to be the inspiration for the majority of Swift’s latest album, Reputation, including its first single, “Look What You Made Me Do.”
However, the Cats star isn’t the only musician who has gone head to head with another artist. Pusha T caused a stir in May 2018 when he claimed in his song “The Story of Adidon” that Drake secretly fathered a son. The Degrassi: The Next Generation alum, 32, confirmed the allegation the following month in “Emotionless,” in which he rapped, “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid.”
Check out the video to relive these crazy battles — like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj‘s heated beef — and more of the biggest lyrical feuds in music history!
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