Published Dec 12, 2014In theory, it'd be a much nicer world if everyone could just get along. But wouldn't that be so boring? At least on a smaller scale, it's fun to get all popcorn.gif and watch artists get petty, catty and bitchy with one another in a public sphere. Does that make our lives sad? Maybe don't answer that.
Either way, there was plenty of steamy protein getting grilled up in 2014, with beef coming in all shapes and sizes. Some wasn't as fun as others — it'd be chill if people like Eminem would stop threatening women with physical violence, for example — but there was enough idiocy coming from the likes of Mark Kozelek, Billy Corgan and Tom Morello to keep us chuckling throughout the year.
For better or worse, here are the spatula-shaped words that flipped beef in 2014. All quotations herein are, of course, [sic].
Don't forget to head over to our 2014 in Lists section to see more of our Year-End coverage.
Top 10 Beefs of 2014:
10. U2 vs. Tyler, the Creator and other iPhone users:
In the fall, U2 delivered their Songs of Innocence LP via some not-so-innocent means, forcing it down their fans' throats via a gross Apple cross-promotion that saw it appear on everyone's Apple device.
Well intentioned or not, the album's rollout was compared to a computer virus by thousands of people who didn't ever want it on their phones.
Particularly pissed off was loudmouthed Odd Future ringleader Tyler, the Creator, who let off a tirade of angry tweets. "FUCK BONO," he wrote. He also said the album's appearance on his phone was "LEGIT LIKE WAKING UP WITH A PIMPLE OR LIKE A HERPE."
9. The Black Lips vs. Gene Simmons:
Atlanta garage punks the Black Lips have always had plenty of stunts up their sleeves, though often they've involved peeing into each other's mouths and other such unsavoury acts onstage. This year, they took things a step further and ambushed Kiss tongue-wagger Gene Simmons during a live video interview.
Simmons was appearing on HuffPost Live a mere week after expressing sympathy for ousted Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. In response, the Black Lips video'd into the show. Wearing crude Kiss makeup, they called him out. "Mr. Simmons! We're here to tell you that the day of misogynistic, sexist rock'n'roll is over!" they said. "We call for the complete and utter surrender of the Kiss Army. Lay down your guitars! Do you accept our terms of surrender?"
Simmons attempted to deflate the ambush with insults, saying, "I want to compliment your mom for the wonderful way that she designed the decoration on the basement she lets you live in. I think it's very attractive. I hope you get to leave your mom's basement soon." Sorry Gene, but if there's one thing garage bands don't have a problem with, it's hanging out in basements.
8. Tom Morello vs. a Seattle restaurant:
When he's not penning protest anthems and/or raging against the machine, guitar experimenter and nu-metal icon Tom Morello just wants to eat a damn meal with his friends. Is that so much to ask?
When the 5 Point Cafe in Seattle turned him away because they were at capacity, Morello put them on blast on Twitter, calling them "super rude & anti-worker."
The restaurant was quick to bounce back, pointing out that they "try to pay more than any other small restaurant" and also give employees health insurance, paid sick days, time off, retirement and profit share. Rubbing it in further, they said, "rock stars don't get special treatment at The 5 Point. We couldn't give less of a shit. Sorry."
Fortunately, Morello let the whole thing fizzle out, though we wouldn't have been surprised if he staged a march and/or threw a benefit concert. The things we do on an empty stomach...
7. Drake vs. Macklemore:
Drake talks a tough talk on occasion, but let's be honest — dude's a polite Canadian and, well, a softie at that. And while he's had a few wars of words in the past, Drake's more of a people pleaser than anything else. That said, he didn't dance around Macklemore's goofy Grammy backpedalling earlier this year. The Seattle-based blondie beat out Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Kanye and Jay Z at the Grammys for the guidance counsellor rap of his album The Heist, then Instagrammed a pic of a text message he sent to Kendrick.
Drake called bullshit on the whole stunt, telling Rolling Stone, "It felt cheap. It didn't feel genuine. Why do that? Why feel guilt? You think those guys would pay homage to you if they won?" His insights didn't end there, as he said, "This is how the world works: He made a brand of music that appealed to more people than me, Hov, Kanye and Kendrick. Whether people wanna say it's racial, or whether it's just the fact that he tapped into something we can't tap into. That's just how the cards fall. Own your shit."
6. Thurston Moore vs. Jezebel:
You may recall that former married couple/Sonic Youth bandmates Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon broke up, thereby ending their reign as indie rock's most powerful power couple. When the feminist-friendly website Jezebel detailed the extra-marital affairs Moore had that effectively ended his marriage, he took them to task on Facebook: "Jezebel is gender fascism. By not having any real critical facility to understand, in their case, men in relationship to women (presumably them) they opt to promote hate by imperialist blather. By couching it in feminism is a distinct lack of class, but i'm sure they're having a bit of online fun and when they grow up maybe they'll glean the complexities of real life and love." Nobly standing up for himself or revealing himself as a bit of a mens' rights activist? You decide.