In a wildly coincidental scheduling that could’ve only been orchestrated by the hip-hop gods, rival rappers Lil Wayne and Young Thug performed in each other’s native states on Saturday (April 25). Thugga took the stage at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and Weezy graced Atlanta club Compound. And as you may have heard, neither fared very well.
While Wayne supporters heckled Young Thug, unknown assailants let off literal shots at Lil Wayne’s tour bus following his show. And suddenly, the silly Barter 6 beef — and to a greater extent, Wayne and Birdman’s rift — has become a bit too real.
There’s no word on whether the gunmen in Atlanta are fans of Thugga or acting on behalf of one of their city’s hottest artists of the moment or if the shooting was related to hostility between Wayne and audience members inside of the club. But Thug’s agitators were definitely riding for the Young Money head honcho, as some were seen on video shouting out his name and hometown hood.
The idea of stans defending their beefing rap idols is not a new one. And sure, hip hop is a competitive sport, from the artists that make up the genre to their loyal followers who debate who’s the best MC.
But overzealous fans gotta remember: Music is just entertainment. You don’t actually know either of these dudes.
One video that was posted on WorldStarHipHop shows a man at Young Thug’s show taunting and flipping off the ATL rapper, shouting out “I don’t f**k with you.” Which begets the question, why even attend the show? Meanwhile, if Wayne was indeed targeted by Young Thug fanbois, they’re risking their freedom and threatening lives all over a stupid rap beef.
This all seems even more ridiculous considering that on the same date of both incidents, rival gangs in Baltimore united to seek justice for the mysterious death of Freddie Gray under police custody.
We all know the dangers of music beefs that spiral out of control, hip hop history is littered with examples. As fans, let’s treat these rivalries like the NBA playoffs and watch from the sidelines.
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(Photos from left: Paras Griffin/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET)